|photo by Bettina Rheims pic via pinterest|
In Sigmund Freud's seminal The Interpretation of Dreams (1899) the otherwise asexual word "violets" takes on the much more sinister nuance of "violence" and/or "viol" (French for rape) in the context of a dream. Insolence must have been inspired by the very concept, having Roucel chuckle up his sleeves while thinking about it, no doubt cognizant to the word association double-entendre, added to the illusion of violet, iris and rose fragrances perceived as soft and delicate. It was possibly the bourgeois standing of Guerlain that disallowed the risky association to surface through the advertising, going for some strobo-lights dancing Hilary Swank.
Predictably it was provocateur Tom Ford who saw the possibilities, when he baptized his own violet fragrance Violet Blonde which -of course- makes anyone think of a... violent blonde! Another missed train of fantasy for Guerlain, then, yet still a long-standing commercial and artistic success on the French brand counters everywhere.