Sunday, November 24, 2013

Best Sweet Violets Fragrances (Violet Series)

Candied violet fragrances have a retro ambience about them, same as often happens with violet scents that have a cosmetics and face powder tonality (due to the association with vintage face products that were scented with this chord). The sweet violet note evoking benevolent grannies however has to do with comforting rather than vain cultural associations, thanks to the ubiquitousness of violet candies in previous decades, such as Violettes de Toulouse, Parma Violets and Choward's Violet Mints to sweeten the breath.

via pinterest

Contemporary violets with a sweet, sugared feel often comprise a berry note (raspberry or blackberry), which is due to both a facet of the ionones molecules used to render the violet note itself (purposefully highlighted for this particular genre) and thanks to an additional dosage of berries aromachemicals that boost the syrupy effect, thus recalling Sirop saveur Violette, a popular addition in cocktails and desserts. This technique modernizes them and gives the violets a fruity floral touch that makes them more familiar to the young consumer, such as done recently to varying degrees of success in YSL Parisienne and Guerlain Insolence.

Sweet violet perfumes are especially recommended if, like my friend Gaia The Non Blonde, you have "skin where violets go to die" (i.e. if you have longevity issues with more delicate notes in a fragrance that fall apart when you wear them). These sweeter violets are perfumes which stick for dear life in most cases and provide a discernible violets trail unlike quieter, greener or soft violet fragrances.
Naturally the threshold for sweetness is an individual case; trial and error will guide you through how much you can handle.

This is part of Perfume Shrine's Violet Series perfume articles focusing on violets-laced fragrances in all their nuances, so if you missed previous posts, take a minute to consult Violet, Violet Leaf & Ionones (for an essay on the perfumery materials), Best Soft Powdery Violet Fragrances Best Woody, Earthy Violet Fragrances and Best Green & Aqueous Violet Leaf Fragrances.

Top Sweet Violet Fragrances include:

Alexander McQueen My Queen (a candied violet with patchouli in purple packaging; how apropos!)
Annick Goutal La Violette (lightly sweet, subtle, soliflore)
Borsari Violetta di Parma (a quiet, lightly sweet Parma violet scent)
Berdoues Violettes de Toulouse (the reference candied violet scent, inspired by violet fragrance candies)
Berdoues Violettes Divine, (a flanker to the Violettes de Toulouse with a darker base)
Christiane Celle Calypso Violette (retro sweet, with a celebrities following including Liz Hurley, if that means anything to you)
Guerlain Insolence (with tangy sweet berries top note; muskier in EDT, denser and sweeter in EDP)
Oscar de la Renta Oscar Violet (limited edition of Oscar with an unusual milk chocolate rendition of violet, odd and nice)
Possets Silver Violets (directly inspired by Choward's violet candies, sugary stuff and not exactly great, included on this list just to gauge how much sugar is possible)
Thierry Mugler Angel La Violette (a violet nuance on top of the regular gourmand oriental of Angel)

I'm also including Lipstick Rose (Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle) in this sweet violets list, although it's predominantly a lipstick-reminiscent fragrance (as implied by the name), because it's a very very calorific, waxy violet with rose, almost to the point of stickiness. Your mileage may vary.
Last but not least, the original version of Caron's Violette Precieuse used to be a succulent candied violet, refined but playful. The fragrance has changed at least twice over the years and the current version is much more of a greener, slightly metallic version with rose.

Related Reading on Perfume Shrine: The Violet Series


  1. Anonymous07:06

    I sometimes like very much L'Occitane's (limited edition) Delice des Fleurs; it is a violet/rose combo in the old style, with a very gourmand vibe (I think I remember that when it was released a couple of years ago that it was supposed to evoke pastries!). But I can't take too much of it or wear it too often as its sweetness starts to overhwem me. But it's nice to have around, especially in the winter, and it reminds me of past Geurlains, but with an overdose of sugar.

  2. Anonymous07:07

    The comment above was from me, Elena, Jillie! Just so that you know I am still loving your violet series!


  3. This one that has escaped me so I will need to track a bit down to try. I also find that too sweet violets (and not only!) overwhelm me, they have the capacity of numbing the nose, you know.
    Thanks for the addition!!

  4. Jillie,

    thank you honey! Glad you have enjoyed.
    Last post will tackle a perfume mystery rather than be another round of best of picks. Should be intriguing! ;-) :-)

  5. Oh you know I love that Goutal Violette !
    There is a wonderful chocolate shop in Australia called Haighs and I LOVE the Violet Creams!!! Yes Helg - little candied violets on top too!!! Yum!!!
    Mmmm - Haighs Chocolates have rose too! :)

  6. M,

    you're making me hungry now!! (rose chocolates, is there anything more elegant?)


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