It’s Raining Violets!!!

Move over Apres L’Ondee and Bois de Violette, there is a new violet killer in town, and its name is Stephen Jones, made by Comme des Garcons.  Notes of violet leaf, meteorite, cloves, carnation, rose, violet, jasmin, heliotrope, gaà¯ac wood, magma, black cumin, vetiver, amber make up this concoction.

 First, the packing?  Completely, terminally, unrepentently cute.  A little black hat box full of whimsical black netting and an adorable black bottle with a black bow on it.  The designer of this complete package needs an award and a big sloppy kiss.

The juice is perfection.  Cold violet on the open.  I’m not sure where the meteorite or magma comes in, but this thing is over the top violet that makes me just laugh, bubbling over with aldehyes.  As it settles, the notes deepen, and you pick up the spicy clove, florals and dark woods, but it still has a coldish feel even while it warms up.  It’s unsettling, slightly odd and stunningly gorgeous.  The woods and cumin keep it dry enough, it never tips over into sweet, but it’s not as dry as one of my other favorite violets, Caron’s Violette Precieuse.  Did I mention the burnt quality to it?  It’s like you scorched Aunt Minnie’s violet-doused dress and rubber-soled practical shoes, but I don’t mean that in a bad way at all. Robin’s review is here for another opinion on this marvelously fun perfume.

Most of you know how much I adore violets, so when I say this is my new favorite violet, that’s saying a lot.  It’s so much more than a violet scent.  Good grief, I’ve got three huge hits that I love at the end of the year, which goes to show, they seem to have saved the best  for last.

 Okay, cooking class is beckoning, so let’s do a draw and a discussion of violets.  Up to now, if you love violet scents, what is your favorite?  I’ll  also be doing a draw for two samples of this from comments, and winners of this and the musc draw will be announced Friday!

  • Ambs says:

    I just got a sample of this because I love violet perfumes. My fav. now is caron’s violette precieuse, but Stephen Jones doesn’t smell like violets at all on my skin. ALL I smell are cloves and carnation. It continues to smell very spicy for a while, not so much like a spice rack but a good mulled wine spicy with a waft of light violet now and again. I like this perfume but it’s not something I would run out and buy a bottle of.

  • Pikake says:

    Just found this website today! Love it! I too am a lover of violets and L’artisan Verte Violette is probably my favorite, right up there w/ FdB. (I consider that a violet as it seems many here do too).

    I can’t wait to try this Stephen Jones. Had no idea it was a violet frag. Thanks for the review, loved reading it.

    Would love to be in the draw if that’s OK for a perfume posse newbie 🙂

  • Vasily says:

    Ava Luxe Midnight Violet – earthy, dark; like the darkest violets growing in a discarded tire in the woods. Bottle-worthy.

    Serge Lutens Bois de Violette – violet and cedar, one of the better SLs in my opinion. Decant or even bottle-worthy.

    Frederic Malle Dans tes Bras – metallic violet, kind of like Comme des Garcons No. 2 with violets. A near-miss.

  • Sara K says:

    This sounds absolutely amazing! I would love to be in the drawing.

    My current favorite is Goutal’s La Violette, but I also like Violets and Rainwater and Love in Black.

    • Sara K says:

      I also want to sniff Byblos, which I haven’t had the chance to sample yet. I was wary of the grapefruit….

  • sunnlitt says:

    Ummm….violets. I go to sleep with Byblos,which is violets, grapefruit, and honeysuckle. I have had it for years and it has become such a comfort scent. I would love to be entered in the drawing. thanks

  • CindyN says:

    Love, love violet frags. My favs: E. Duse, A l’O, Violette Precieuse (original), Love in Black, and Violetta de Bosco (iPdF). Second tier: Unicorn Spell, AG La violette.
    Please enter me in the drawing.

  • Existentialist says:

    My favorite violet thus far is Jolie Madame. And the smell of rain on hot asphalt is one of my favorite smells. I imagine the magma is sort of like that. I’d love to be in the draw to try this – thank you!

  • snowcrocus says:

    My favorite is Violetta di Parma. I used to layer it with Heeley cardinal for what I thought of as sulfury-firecracker-over-dewy-grass-smell.

  • Dawn says:

    I love Violet! That is why Guerlain cosmetics is one of my faves. Would love to try this.

  • Lindsey9107 says:

    I MUST try this one, Patty! Thanks for getting me excited about sampling something new…I’ve been just enjoying my sample stash and haven’t acquired any new samples in awhile.

    My favorite violet is Bois de Violette, nothing else really compares for me. I like Lipstick Rose as well, but there’s a different thing going on there.

  • moi says:

    Oh, my, how I love the violet fumes! When I die and go to heaven? St. Peter is going to greet me with a gigunda, eternity-lasting bottle of Apres L’ Ondee, followed by another full of Balenciaga’s Le Dix. Please enter me in the draw, as I’m drooling for Stephen Jones and I haven’t even smelled it yet. Gracias.

  • Connie says:

    I love Apres L’Ondee and Borsari. I haven’t smelled Dans Tes Bras although it sounds divine, too. Please enter me in the draw. Thanks.

  • sarah patton says:

    am a violet lover from way back. someone else mentioned those French violet pastilles and I used to get them in my xmas stocking. They are like eating perfume. I like Bois des Violettes, Amiez Mois, it’s “needier” cousin N’Aimez Que Moi and no one has mentioned Amethyste Cuir which I happen to have an expensive, pre-economic melt down bottle of. I don’t wear it very much because it’s kind of scary but I love the violet/leather combo.

    • Shelley says:

      Sarah, those Choward violet candies ARE like eating perfume…nearly ruined a friendship once by offering one. :-s Another one of those love it or hate it items…

  • Melissa says:

    Dans tes Bras is my new favorite weird wonderful violet. I like Bois de Violette, though it is not FB worthy on me. And occasionally I like to wear Spectral Violet. The name suits it perfectly. Often I find that violets go too powdery on me, so perhaps this one, which appears to have violet leaf, rather than violet, will be a winner. Plus the other notes look so enticing! Please enter me in the draw.

  • Jubilee says:

    Try as I might, I have a really tough time with violet. I love the scent, and even the idea of violet, but if it’s cast as delicate and ethereal– Apres L’Ondee, I’m looking at you– my skin just chomps it up. The violets that work best on me are the headier ones– Attrape Couer, with that heavy amber, or even BdV.

    But the Stephen Jones (and gosh, I love his millinery) sounds really wonderful– beautiful and strange, my favorite combination. I just hope my skin doesn’t eat it for lunch. And geez louise, that packaging? Adorable, but with a sense of humor, and even a tad bit avant-garde. Terrific. Have fun cooking, Patty!

  • Aparatchick says:

    LOVE the packaging, but magma? As in, from the molten core of the earth? Wouldn’t that smell sulferous? 😕

  • Marsi says:

    My favorite is Apres l’Ondee, but I do rather groove on Lipstick Rose and Dans Tes Bras as well. Bois de Violette has always been rather flat and a little tinny on me.

    One of my four Maine Coons is named Violet. We call her “Teeny” most of the time though, because she is anything but.

    Please add my name to the drawing; thanks!

    • Jubilee says:

      Oh, I love Maine Coons so much. They’re beautiful, but rough-and-tumble, and sweet, sweet, sweet– almost like dogs. How wonderful that you have four!

  • Kim says:

    Violets really don’t do well on my skin – in fact really, really, not well! I’m a hard core Guerlain fan and even Apres L’Ondee is not nice on my skin. Which is why I was surprised that I liked Armani Prive Cuir Amethyste (leather and violet). Still, not enough to buy a full bottle. Now, how about a violet chypre? That would be interesting 🙂

  • Zoe says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever tried a violet-based scent… Quelle horreur! Must be remedied. Please include me in the drawing, too.

  • rachael says:

    I LOVE violet, but I can’t find the right one. If the frag really features violet, it doesn’t seem to last on my skin. I love lipstick rose, I really do, but it’s too expensive for me (college student).

    This one sounds great, I would love to try it!

  • violetnoir says:

    Favorite violet is probably Apres L’Ondee, with Meteorites or E. Duse as close seconds.

    Please enter me in the drawing. Thank you, darling!


  • pyramus says:

    I’m intimately acquainted with only one violet-based scent, Guerlain’s Apres L’Ondee, but what a stunner it is, like eating violet pastilles in a cool, dewy spring garden. I wore Grey Flannel for years but I never found it particularly violet-y; it’s too much of a piece for me to sort out the various elements of it.

  • barbara says:

    …another violet lover here-SL’s Bois des Violettes, and Annick G are my faves-count me in the drawing…

  • trinity says:

    I just got this a couple of days ago. Unsniffed purchase. The bottle got to me. Plus I wanted to see what the h*ll a meteorite smells like. Still don’t know if I do or not, but this juice is the bomb. My husband could still smell it on my arm 12 hours after I initially spritzed. That’s some kind of lasting power!

    Also, the juice is beautiful – it has such a playful, happy quality to it. I get wet pavement and violets at first, then the spices show up later, but never get very strong. It has almost a fizzy effervescent thing going on. I totally love it.

  • Tarleisio says:

    Ooooooooh, violet – a favorite color and a favorite, favorite scent, of those tiny posies of the wild violets that bloom in warm patches of the woods in early April.

    Well, this is is a hard one. Apres L’Ondee was one of my mother’s favorites, so even if I admire it, I can’t wear it – it turns to baby powder in nothing flat on me. In summer, I like GEO Trumper’s Ajaccio Violets – green, violet – what’s not to love?

    But in winter, you need and want and desire something with a little more oomph. So – drumroll, please!

    The Bois de Violette is in my top three violets. Stunning, stunning stuff. I trail twenty-something guys in my wake whenever I wear it. I’m not complaining. That alone justifies the expense.

    Wild Pansy is beautiful – or it was the one time I sampled it, but for sheer, strange, ethereal beauty-in-a-bottle, it would be another Christopher Brosius, Violet Empire. It’s all the violet in the world taken to some other dimension altogether.

    But the Unicorn Spell wins out. There are no words. So if Stephen Jones can top that, then please, please count me in.

  • maggi says:

    Apres, def. Also the Goutal Violet. A friend got a sample of this and spilled it immediately on herself, which she thought would be terrible, but ended up wonderful…It’s good in big doses, apparently. Mijitamaggi.

  • Dea says:

    Yay! More violets. How does its scent compare to Bois de Violette and Violet Empire… more spicy? The descriptions make it seem like a mix between Bulgari Black and Bois de Violette.

    Please enter me into the drawing.
    cheers~~~ dea

  • helenviolette says:

    😡 I do love my violets- Sonoma Scent Studio Wood Violet has a gorgeous candied violet opening and a warm woody drydown- highly recommended. Caron Violette Preciuse, original formulation- is the best violet I have ever put my nose to, but I also like the new version (only about 1/2 as much)

    And the violet w/ the top spot in my heart is of course my daughter, Violette…thanks for the review Patty and please enter me in the draw!

  • Natalie says:

    Après l’Ondée is gorgeous but a bit too wimpy for me, so I would love love LOVE to try an over-the-top violet! Flamboyant violets + fabulous hats = MUST TRY… please enter me in the drawing!

  • smy says:

    Sounds like a must try! Please enter me in the drawing!

  • Susan says:

    Can’t wait to try this one!
    Crazy about violet – but my scent-eating skin turns the samp of Apres L’Ondee to faint powder in about five minutes. Even the Bois de Violette’s staying power is disappointing. Wild Pansy is nothing on my skin. Lipstick Rose is pretty & “violetty” & lasts a bit longer.

    I’m taking note of other posters’ violet recommendations esp the Ava Luxe & Liz Zorn frags. Louise, I’m taking special note of your recommendations. You were so helpful with rose recommendations (the Montales & an Andy Tauer -too lazy to look up the exact ones)

  • tania says:

    Count me in, please!

    I like Unicorn Spell, Liz Zorn’s Domino Viole, and a Cosmetics To Go oil I still have from the 90’s. It’s called simply ‘V’, and it’s violet and deep, dark incense. They used to sell it as ‘perfume to wear while watching the X-Files’!. It’s quite goth-y.

    • Kristin A-T says:

      That sounds awesome! Does it even have a brand or house? And with a name like V, you’d expect a perfume to watch V by! 😉

      • Tania says:

        Yes, that’s exactly what I thought at the time! But I guess they decided that the X-Files was sexier and they’d rather have Fox Mulder ‘associated’ with their scent than Robert Englund… 😉

        The brand was Cosmetics To Go, a UK-based ‘green’ company started by Mark Constantine. Mail order only at first, then they had a shop in Dorset. They went under, but seem to have evolved into Lush and Be Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful.
        I have a few of the original CTG scents, and they have reissued some online through Lush Retro, but sadly, V is not among them.

  • Eileen says:

    Count me in! Cool violet scents have been a real winner for me — The Unicorn Spell, Violette Precieuse, Fresh Violet Moss, CB I hate Perfumes Violet Empire, Floris’ discontinued English Violet. There’s always room in my heart (and cabinet 😉 ) for more violets!

  • sybil says:

    I’ve had a some trouble finding a violet tough enough to withstand my ‘fume-eating skin. Probably Midnight Violet is my favorite. But DD1 (the violet lover) prefers L’artisan Verte Violette, and AL Midnight Violet is the runner-up. Please put me in the drawing, she’d love to try this!

  • Kristin A-T says:

    My favorite violet would be Bvlgari pour Femme. I love Aimez-Moi but on me the sweetness is amped up far too much. I need to try Apres l’Ondee, but fear I might love it! 🙂

  • aelily says:

    I can’t seem to find a violet that my skin doesn’t eat within an hour or so. I love Apres L’Ondee, but all the violet is gone too soon, and the rest of it doesn’t stick around much longer after that. Would love to try this new one!

    • Mindy says:

      I have the same problem. I adore Apres L’Ondee for the brief amount of time it stays on my skin. The only violet that really seems to stick is Borsari’s Violetta di Parma but it’s not my favorite. I use it for sweet dreams at night.

  • Nika says:

    Wowsa! I keep hearing about this one, must try! My favorites so far are Ava Luxe Midnight Violet and Liz Zorn Domino Viole and Violets and Rainwater. One in a while Violettes de Toulouse fills the violet void. Would love to be in the drawing, thanks!

    • Musette says:


      I’m learning to love Domino Viole, especially in the colder, darker days of winter… somehow feels a bit warm and for a hot minute I was going to tell you it reminds me of pizza…..then I realized it does nothing of the sort, scentwise – it’s the name and my own PMS-ing self, craving melted cheese….:”>


  • sara says:

    Thanks for an interesting and lovely review Patty! I would love to be included in the drawing! My favorite violet fragrance is Apres L’Ondee. Thanks again!

  • pavlova says:

    Good morning Patty! I adore Apres L’Ondee (thanks to the Perfumed Court) and am a proud owner of a FB that I procured in Paris last May which makes it all the more special. I would love to try this so please include me in your generous draw.

  • kathleen says:

    I had no idea that this was a violet scent. The name didn’t attract me, so it was overlooked. But I’m a violet girl, so thanks for the heads up. Would you please include me in the draw?

  • Kathryn says:

    Caron Aimez Moi is a sweet and charming violet that always lifts my mood. It’s a bit flirty and frivolous, and would go nicely with Shelley’s Hattie Carnegie hat. And, yes, in a completely different mood, Les Nez The Unicorn Spell. The Unicorn Spell makes me think of walking through a green, leafy forest with a bit of mist in the air. Even if I happen to be in the middle of a city. I don’t usually think about wearing violets this time of year, but now I am motivated to rummage through my samples for my as yet unsniffed vial of Spectral Violet. Please enter me in the drawing!

  • Anne says:

    Don’t have a favorite…..yet. SL’s BdV I will wear if someone twists my arm and sprays but only because of the Bois. Wild Pansy I love to dab on and enjoy but wouldn’t actually “wear” it. Please, as you can tell, I need to be entered in this sample draw. :)>-

  • Louise says:

    Sounds splendid:)

    I am not generally well-liked by Violet, though I enjoy NM Spectral Violet, and an occasional slap of vintage Jolie Madame parfum :d/

  • Carol Sasich says:

    there are so many I have never smelled .
    Le Nez Unicorn Spell was a wow the one time I sniffed it .
    Le Dix is candied powdered champagne violets .
    The hat box pkg is too over the top , count me in the draw and thank you for the heads up on this one !!

    • March says:

      Totally seconding you on Unicorn Spell, a greenbean-violet wonder that I should add to a post on “Stuff We Love that Nobody Ever Writes About Anymore.”

      I love violet. Annick Goutal Violette for a sharp-ish violet, Berdoues for a bedtime violet.

      Probably my favorite up to now? Another one nobody talks about — Laura Tonatto’s Eleanora Duse (additionally hampered by the fact it’s not called anything violet – she was a famous actress.) You raved over it in 2005 in the Posse. I miss it. I can’t even find it online any more, wonder if it’s d/c’d?

      • Erin T / Tigs says:

        Patty, how does this one compare to The Unicorn Spell (which I love)? My fave violet, I suppose, has to be Apres L’Ondee, since it’s pretty much my fave perfume ever. But I’m glad people still remember Unicorn Spell and CBIHP Violet Empire. With the flood of releases, things get lost so quickly. Can you enter me in the draw, please?

      • Shelley says:

        Eleanora Duse…a method actress long before Stanislavsky or The Method…perfume? Figures. Violets and name capture my curiosity; unavailability holds it out of reach.

  • MattS says:

    Another violet lover here. As mentioned above, Apres l’Ondee, Bois et Violettes, Dans tes Bras, plus the violet aspect of Grey Flannel and CB’s Violet Empire. And I think the packaging of this one is super charming too.

  • Gustav says:

    I’d love to be in the draw too. From the reviews of Stephen Jones I find that this one might be for me! Anyway, this and Dans tes Bras 🙂

  • maitreyi1978 says:

    Violet, you’re turning violet! Violet! I’m sorry, I had to get that out. Please include me in the draw.

    • vidalicious says:

      What an awesome movie that original “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” was!

    • vidalicious says:

      I adore those little French pastilles that are candied violet petals…yum! My fave violet is Borsari Violetta di Parma. SOOOO pretty! And Wild Pansy, so earthy! And, sigh, Dans tes Bras, need me some of that sweet skin…

      HMPH. Now I’m stuck at work far away from my collection, :(( and I’m so craving violets! You are a cruel one, Marchie, to put these things in our heads! :-w

  • zeram1 says:

    And just think, I was at a Braney’s to get the SL BdV, but it was the only one, of the recently transferred to the export line, bois trio that was sold out. This one sounds even better. Please enter me into the draw as well.

  • Klara says:

    The packaging is so gorgeous!
    I think that Dans tes Bras is violetty as well – and I love it.

  • Joe says:

    I’d love to be in the draw. Though I enjoy violet, I mentioned on NST that I just feel burnt out on new, luxury launches and so I’d probably skip this one unless it fell into my lap.

    Borsari will always be a classic that I turn to when I need a soliflore fix, and CBIHP Wild Pansy has been on my FB list forever. Recently, I’ve been most won over by Dans tes Bras, though it may be one of the most subtle violets of all. And it’s worth mentioning that Liz Zorn has a new potion called “Purple Love Smoke” that is weird and brash up top but becomes addictive to me in the dry down. So yeah, I’m always up for some violets!

  • Francesca says:

    I love violets, too, but don’t have that many. A l’O would have to be first, though that doesn’t really hit me over the head with its violettiness. Another fave was AG la Violette, but I did a wrist-to-wrist comparison with Bois de Violette and the SL was the winner. I also have a beautiful little antique perfume bottle in a treenware case, absolutely empty but still smelling divinely of violets. I wonder what was in it, and who owned it.

    I remember seeing this Stephen Jones packaging a while back and thinking it looked like an accessory for Mel Odom’s fashion doll, Gene. Adorable. Would certainly love to give it a sniff.

  • noyna says:

    I love both BdV and Apres L’Ondee…such a gorgeous melancholic scent, the violet! Would love to be entered in the drawing.

  • Shelley says:

    I haven’t found my favorite violet yet, which would be true, and yet earthy slightly smokey with green laced throughout. I do like Norma Kamali for a straight up violet, Fresh Index Violet Moss has its days (but that is just green + violet on me), the occasional Aimez Moi (too sweet, who thought it). I just spent another day with the LZ Violets & Rainwater Musette mentions…I was surprised to discover hints of sweet leather emanating forth as I finished my teaching day. (What’s that???) Kind of nice, but totally not what I was ready for.

    Anyway, I have a Hattie Carnegie hat that peeks out of its storage spot much like the packaging in your illustration…for love of violets, and perhaps for the hat karma, would love to try the Stephen Jones.

    • Shelley says:

      I forgot to note that I find myself returning to my happy little gift decant of Feminite du Bois over and over…have not found words quite yet for how I feel about it, but to that bottle I have been regularly returning, sniffing, huffing, applying…. Does that one count as a violet?

    • Kathryn says:

      Oh, what a nice thought–a Hattie Carnegie hat peeking out of a hatbox! My aunts used to wear hats like that. with stunning perfumes. Sadly, the hats and perfumes are long gone, but I do have some of their gloves. Sighing for lost elegance….

  • tmp00 says:

    I find Dans tes Bras pretty violetty..

    Is that a word?

  • ChantillyLace says:

    Violet of the moment is Violettes de Toulouse. But this sounds Fab!:d

  • Calypso says:

    I recently tried Keiko Mecheri Genie Des Bois and just love it, a combination of green violet with wood and spices. Before that I would have said my favorite was Serge Lutens Bois de Violette: wood (cedar) and violet, though the violet is not as strong or firmly present as in the Genie Des Bois. Finally, and for something different, I sometimes turn to Alexander McQueen’s My Queen (plus I love the bottle!). It’s much more sweet with some almond/vanilla aspects.
    Please do enter me into the drawing, I would love to try this. It sounds wonderful!

  • Mindy says:

    Violets are my favorite so it’s hard to choose one, but I know I have a bottle of Goutal’s La Violette under the Christmas tree and I can’t wait to open it. I also can’t wait to read everyone’s comments so I can learn about other violet scents I might enjoy.

    • Mindy says:

      Do I really need to mention that I’d like to be in the drawing? Because I really, really would.

  • Musette says:

    Well…A l’O is still No. 1 but my new crush is Liz Zorn’s Violets and Rainwater. I fell in love with this after sampling it at the Chicago Event. It’s been my only FB purchase this year (Femme doesn’t count). It’s gorgeous – light…but with a whump! of dirt in it (at least to me) that keeps it solid. Not at all sweet or twee. Sort of violets and rainwater that’s in a puddle in the middle of a just-turned spring garden.