Friday, February 17, 2012

Oscar de la Renta Oscar Violet: fragrance review & draw

Violet is a limited edition "flanker"* of the signature Oscar fragrance, one of the group of limited summer editions by fashion designer Oscar de la Renta which launched through 2005 (Violet is from that season) and 2006: Soft Blossom, Soft Amber, Sweet Flower, Tropical Flower, Fresh Vanilla, Red Orchid, Pink Lily, Sheer Freesia, Citrus, Bamboo. [Wow they did a lot of them!] From this assorted progeny I always thought Violet was the best  and though by no means a masterpiece or a must-smell, it's an easy to wear desert-like, yet judiciously restrained, vanillic fragrance. By all accounts a no-brainer, no need to steel-yourself-for-it scent, for days when you can't be bothered by complicated things and just want some cosiness and comfort.

The subtle overture is fresh and a bit "sweet peppery" thanks to the cinnamon touch sprinkled on a short-lived, citrusy accord. This very soon opens into the main plot: a dark chocolate accord, powdery cocoa shifted for angel's cake and 70% cocoa solids chunks for glazing it. This is quite a sweet perfume, which is a precarious balance to do right, but without the sickly candy notes of many a modern fragrance fare. More a cocoa-vanilla blend than one resting on violets, it's ironic it got named the way it was. (Even if consciously searching for violets when smelling it, you're getting the Violettes de Toulouse confectionary kind, not the Parma violet, even less so the metallic violet leaf note). The base is quite persistent, with inclusions of musk and sandalwood (creamy, goose-down soft), but the generic vanilla blend tends to overshadow these subtler, more discreet notes. This is the main drawback of the Oscar Violet fragrance and why it doesn't get out of the cabinet more. The drydown is lackluster compared to what a delicious, sophisticated gourmand like Angel Innocent, or  Prada Candy can offer; and as to searching for a sweet violet or gourmand sandalwood combo I'll go with Bois de Violette, Santal Massoia and Praline de Santal. Still Oscar Violet is so cheap online it's worth grabbing for your curiosities cabinet or your little sister who likes "sweet stuff" and shouldn't be let to plunge too deeply into the vulgar end lest she never resurfaces again. 

If a few well-judged comparisons illustrate a point like a thousand pages, Oscar Violet is reminiscent of Hypnotic Poison Eau Sensuelle by Christian Dior and Deep Red by Hugo Boss (but sweeter, creamier than the latter) with similar notes of pear, mandarin orange, sandalwood, vanilla and musk.
Discontinued, but still found discounted on etailers and Ebay.

For our readers, a bottle of this discontinued fragrance up for draw, for those commenting. Draw is open internationally till Sunday midnight.

*flanker is industry speak for a new, different fragrance coat-tailing on the success of an established one by the same brand, exhibiting some twist on the name & packaging to differentiate it from the original.

Related reading on Perfume Shrine: Floral Gourmand Fragrances 


  1. Anonymous15:20

    Wouldn't mind to win this one. I liked the original Oscar very ucha nd composition of this one sounds inteeresting to me. Alica - alica at cleis dot net

  2. Maureen15:49

    I do not have any violet fragrances. I do remember the original Oscar and liked it very much. I would love to win this. thanks for the draw.

  3. this sounds interesting, please enter me in the draw.

  4. Thanks for the draw and for explaining exactly what a flanker is. ��

  5. maureenC16:23

    Oscar was my sister's signature scent when it first came out. I would love to give this a try. Please enter me for the draw. Thank you.

  6. Dleep17:02

    I wore Oscar as my signature scent for a couple of years. I would love to be in the drawing.

  7. Anonymous17:18

    I would like to try this.
    Barbara Orr

  8. Would love to try this one, so please enter me in the draw. Many thanks! :-)

  9. Recently sampled Praline et Santal and loved it! I have 'Fresh Vanilla' from this Oscar series and it's a nice, easy scent for lazy Sunday type days. Enjoying your blog! Would like to be entered into the draw :) Thanks!

  10. I'm a fan of the Oscar line, so I'd love to try this! Thank you for the draw.

  11. Anonymous20:41

    Hmm, that talk of chocolate and cocoa makes it sound like Angel! I do like violets, and would love to try this. Thanks for including me in the draw.

  12. Lili Bitmore20:43

    Makes me to smile, as I think of "Oscar" and get the image of the Odd Couple. Sounds lovely. I'd love to be in the draw, please!

  13. The Daut and grandkids are fine Helg!

    I have voilets growing under my trees but our heat and no rain is making them very sad- still, come winter they will pop up! Tough darlin's ! LOL
    I will give this a go when it hits our shores.
    Hope I find you well too Helg :)

  14. Violets are so beautiful in the spring. I would love to try this. Thanks for the draw!

  15. Anonymous02:17

    Amazing. I would love to own this perfume :)

  16. My wife wore and loved the original Oscar but slowly was weighed down by its heaviness - many more came and went till she finally settled on J'adore (in the original config only). Would still love to have this on the shelf and sniff occasionally - if only to place in the arcana of heavy chocolate soups...

  17. I have to say that this does sound interesting, please enter me in the draw as well.

  18. Anonymous04:54

    I remember Oscar Violet well! It was gorgeous. At the time, I was debating whether to get a bottle of that or Oscar Tropical Flower, and I chose the latter. I've enjoyed Tropical Flower, but looking back, Oscar Violet was the one I should've gotten. It was far more wearable than most other violet scents I've tried over the years.

    -prettykitty1 from MUA

  19. Patricia10:51

    Couple of years ago I had a big violet craving. I didn't find Oscar Violet, but it was on my list.

  20. I love violet, this frangrance sounds interesting!

  21. I would love to give it a try
    please, enter me the draw
    thank you

  22. Anonymous04:32

    I wear violets well, and I quite like the quirky bottle. Please enter me!


  23. Would love to win this one. I've been collecting violet fragrances but my favorite so far is from Berdoues; Violette Cherie. Thanks for the drawing!

  24. Andrea10:13

    This sounds interesting! With two teen daughters, odds are that someone in my house will enjoy it!:-). Thanks for having a drawing so that one of your readers might win it!

  25. Barbara Patty10:47

    You make it sounds very nice, so having three women in the house I'm sure someone will jump at the chance to try this out.
    Please enter me in the draw and thanks for hosting it in the first place.

  26. Cheryl15:25

    Violette Précieuse is a favorite
    on days that feel tender and 'traditional'. Cinnamon and violet...
    sounds yummy.

    Thank you for the opportunity.

  27. I love the sound of this perfume, it's one my wife would adore. I am sure she would love this, Please enter me for the draw.

    OooOoo Look - It almost rhymes!

    Thanks for a great website :-)

  28. Please enter me in the draw. Thank you so much for this opportunity.

  29. Anonymous17:15

    Just discovered your web site. I love the idea of the perfume notes...makes it a bit easier to "discover" new fragrances. Oscar scents are exquisite, I've been using the original "Oscar" and "Celebration" for the last while, I'm ready for another Oscar fragrance...I just saw "Violet" sounds amazing! AND.....M-m-m-m I LOVE CHOCOLATE!!! Thank you for entering me in your draw!


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