Violet Perfumes – Comprehensive Guide

It has been a while since we did a comprehensive guide, but here we go with Best Violet Perfumes! I feel like I’ve covered violets so much, including a 12 Days of Violets post the first year of the blog.  I have to note that wearing this many violet perfumes has been a treat.  I love violet, but assumed I’d be quite sick of it, as I normally am of the note I’m reviewing, by the end of the post. Oh, no, I’m more in love with violet than ever.  Try it sometime, spray on about 10 violet scents and just sink down into the beauty of it.  There will be a giveaway, details at the end.  As always, these are violet-centered fragrances or where violet is used in an unusual way, not just perfumes with violet in them.


violet perfumes

I’ve adopted Violet Crawley from Downton Abbey as the icon for violet. I love that the costumers for the show put her in violet a lot. She is the perfect violet. You think it’s frail and feminine, but find out it is also tough, beautiful, underestimated, persistent, cranky and quirky.

Such a dainty little flower with a delicate scent that can just kick your butt with persistence.  It’s amazing.  Part of the VioletPerfumeProblem seems rooted in its heavy use in early perfumery.  Many vintage perfumes have violet and the perception becomes violet is old-fashioned.  I don’t find that true, but I get why it sometimes is perceived like that.

[pullquote]Oh, Certainly.  All this unbridled joy has given me quite an appetite. – Violet Crawley[/pullquote]

Violet Perfumes – Classics from the Past Brought to the Future

Caron and Guerlain have been full of violet love for decades.  Guerlain Apres L’Ondee is the gorgeous iris/violet standard-bearer.  Yes, it’s a blend, but such a beautiful blend. The iris so beautifully grounds the violets, and it has a joyful melancholy (yes, I know, these two words don’t really go together) that perplexes me. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry sometimes when I put it on.  Guerlain made some modern violet scents as well – Guerlain Attrape Coeur and Guerlain Insolence – one for the classic fan and one for the mainstream audience.  Of course Attrape Coeur is now gone, and it was never really one of my favorites, too powdery, but I admired its craftsmanship. Guerlain Insolence is a violet perfume truly made for the modern perfume buyer, a little candied, warmed Guerlain vanilla violet perfume. It’s one of the perfumes I thought I knew and had dismissed  Taking another look at it reframed it as a violet to love.

Caron houses a couple of my very favorite violet perfumes – Aimez-Moi and Violette Precieuse.  Caron Aimez Moi was created in 1996 by Dominque Ropion, which was a major coup that was a little out of character for Caron.  The result was great.  Using Caron N’aimez Que Moi as a reference, Dominque created this gorgeous warm spicy violet.  I’m not as fond of Caron N’Aimez Que Moi, the urn extrait.   It’s just not that interesting, and the reformulation has pretty much rendered it a nonviolet perfume.  Caron Violette Precieuse is my violet Holy Grail. Dry, dark peppery violet that starts out as Violet Gym socks (as I referred to them back in 2005).  Violette Precieuse is a violet perfume that just doesn’t give a shit what you think of it.  It is what it is, and it makes no apologies.  Tough, a little tender when you draw in closer. It had character, and I still mourn its passing.  There is/was a modern version that I don’t see anymore, so I think they discontinued it.  I didn’t hate it like most everyone else did, but do be aware there is a difference that is quite dramatic between the two.

Balenciaga has a vintage violet perfume and a modern one.  Balenciaga Le Dix is from the 1940s and is an uber-feminine violet.  There are parts of it I’m not crazy about, but in the end I really do love it for what it is.  It is a step back into time, when perfumes were elegant femininity with a powdery feel.  Balenciaga sold the rights to make perfume under their name to Coty, and they released Balenciaga Paris.  Peppered green violet, it’s a really solid violet perfume. Coolly elegant and something I really liked seeing in the mainstream perfumes.  

Balmain Jolie Madame (just get the vintage version.  The newer one isn’t absolutely horrible, the vintage is far more interesting) is violets, smoke and leather, which is weird because nowhere in a list of notes is violet listed.  I kept wanting to leave it out of this guide because of that omission, but everyone, including me, smells the violets, so in it goes! March reviewed it years ago, and Muse in Wooden shoes has a great review of it as well.

Yves Saint Laurent Paris is a little more in the rose department, but I get a lot of lovely violet along with the iris and roses.  It is the happiest violet perfume out there, and that’s saying a lot. It’s perky and pretty and a joy to wear.

Candied Violet Perfumes

Alexander McQueen My Queen is all candied violets on the open, blended with almonds and vanilla.  Want to make your head explode?  Wear it next to Alexander McQueen Kingdom.  Skanky violets supreme.  Berdoues Violettes de Toulouse is like a violet pez dispenser.  I mean that in the best way.  If you are going to candy a violet perfume, you should go all in like Berdoues did.  There is plenty of room in this world for candied violet perfumes.  Tom Ford Black Violet is a jammy little violet that I had a hard time placing because it disturbs me. It’s sorta dark, but then it’s sorta sweet and a little boozy, and I keep thinking of it as my perfume version of a scary violet clown.  I like the idea of it, it’s just a hard one for me to love or wear.  Now the damn thing is torturing me because it knows it doesn’t belong in this category, and so do I, but I’m leaving it here to punish it for scaring me and I didn’t have any other entires for a category called “SCARY Violet perfume.”

Modern Violet Perfumes (wide distribution or mainstream)

Lolita Lempicka led the modern charge back into the violet field carrying the Angel gourmand banner. It almost feels like it should be in the candied violets category because it is gourmandish, but while it flirts with it nonstop, it just stays flitting about the rim of the gourmand cocktail without falling in. A gorgeous modern violet perfume.  Creed Love in Black was created as an homage to Jackie Kennedy.  It veers from the powdery violet perfumes of decades ago and updates violet to a slightly green, sweet violet that is easy to wear, but it has this nice little black tarry note running around.  Tom Ford Violet Blonde is his violet entry in the mainstream market.  A cool, chic iris/violet blend that is better than the marketing surrounding it.

Van Cleef and Arpels Feerie never got the love I thought it deserved, which makes me quite sad.  Yes, it’s inexpensive and comes in a weird bottle with an annoying oversized weird cap, but it is just joyful to wear. A little sweet with some fruit, but never too much. I reviewed Van Cleef & Arpels Feerie back in 2008, and I really haven’t changed my mind about it, and I don’t care that no one else seems to love it.  Except, well… you.are.missing.out.

Annick Goutal Eau de Ciel is an airy green linden/violet slice of spring. It’s probably more about linden than violets, but there’s enough violet whisked in that makes this as joyous as Feerie is, but in a very different way.  If you want to OD on happy, just spray Feerie on one wrist and Eau de Ciel on the other.  Violet heaven.

Classic Violet Perfumes – Soliflores

There are a bazillion soliflore violet perfumes in existence, and I’ll just mention a couple of my favorites, but this list is in no way exhaustive of the best violet perfume soliflores.  Santa Maria Novella Violetta is a great little violet with the Italian feel to it – meaning it has a nice citrus twist.  Borsari Violetta di Parma is cheap and chic and the violet soliflore I probably recommend the most as a place to start exploring violet in its solitary existence.  Penhaligon has a great violet perfume, as does Molinard and many, many more.

Modern Violet Perfumes – Soliflores

This category isn’t quite right.  There’s not that many violet soliflores, but the perfumes in this category really concentrate on the violet note much more than most others.  CB I Hate Perfume has two in this category, CB I Hate Perfume Wild Pansy and CB I Hate Perfume Violet Empire.  Both are great violet perfumes, but with differences.  Violet Empire is green, a little leather and then lovely green violets, but far less than Wild Pansy.  Wild Pansy is much more violetful, slightly sweeter, still green, but with the earth thrown into it.  Brosius has done a great job capturing violet with these two.  He has another, but that’s later in this guide.

L’Artisan Verte Violette is a gorgeous violet scent, a little sweet. It has a pretty freshness that is hard to resist.   Prada Violette snags some leather and galbanum to add interest, and it works.  This is a parfum, so it is pricier than a lot of the others, but it’s one of my favorites of the purely violet set.

Annick Goutal La Violette is a scent i don’t have, so I’m using the review from Muse in Wooden Shoes, which describes it as “The whole thing is about as girly and innocent and sweet as you could ever want.”  You know, some days when I want to remember days when I was that innocent and sweet, that sounds perfect.  Thierry Mugler Angel Garden of Stars Violette Angel is one of the deconstructed perfumes from Angel, and it really has almost no Angel in it, but a lot of violets. Not my favorite violet scent – far from it, but it’s worth mentioning.

violet perfumes[pullquote]Sybil, vulgarity is no substitute for wit – Violet Crawley[/pullquote]

Niche Violet Perfume Beauties

Niche perfume houses have done some amazing things for violet perfumes.  The only place to start in this is Serge Lutens Bois de Violette.  The offspring of Shiseido Feminite du Bois, Bois de Violette is woody violet wrapped in candy  It’s an intoxicating violet perfume that is unlike anything else. I reviewed Bois de Violette back in 2005. I’m not sure it’s still my very favorite violet scent ever, but it is still in the top five. The other Serge Lutens scent that has not so much violet, but treats violet in a way that moves me is Serge Lutens de Profundis.  It is the joyous violet laid against the funereal chrysanthemum that gives de Profundis its beautiful both/and conflict.  If you’ve read this blog for any time at all, you know my love for de Profundis. Well, and Tom’s love for de Profundis.  Pretty sure both Musette and Ann came ’round to at least admiring it.  It’s a scent I use as a reference for anyone if they want to know what conflict smells like in a perfume.  Is it fall or is it spring?  Is it death or is it life?  Complex, soaring and beautiful, and it is the violets that gives it that tension. Big job for a teeny flower.

Frederic Malle has a couple of violet perfumes that added a lot to the violet library.  Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose is a rose/violet blend, and it appeared in the rose perfume guide.  It’s a unique perfume that really does feel like that pearls-clutching ’50s dame who never left the house without her lipstick for afternoon cocktails.  I admire it so much, love smelling it, but I never wear it because, no matter how hard I try, it is that rare thing, a violet perfume that just won’t fit me. Frederic Malle Dans tes Bras is my violet perfume from Malle.  I reviewed it in 2008 and then weirdly forgot about it!  Or at least forgot it had violet in it.  I squealed with delight when I re-found this perfume I loved so much when I first tried it and then lost it under 145 new releases. For me, this is the delicate tension perfume featuring violets from Malle that is a counterpart in a weird way to Serge Lutens de Profundis. The violets are used in a similar way, it is a hopeful floral note when mixed in with other notes that have a more ponderous, dark or sensual feel.  I think you could leave me Dans tes Bras and de Profundis on my deserted island, and I’d be pretty content.  

Comme des Garcons Stephen Jones is another violet that perplexes me why it does not get the love and approbation that it deserves.  Yeah, it got a lot of good reviews when it released, but never really got the following it should have.  FFS, this thing came in the most cunning little hat box with netting around it you could imagine. That alone was enough to release the credit card locks, but add in a bucket of aldehydes, carnation, heliotrope, gaiac wood and black cumin, that smells like violet love to me! I loved it in 2008 when I reviewed it, and I still love it because it is quirky and some weird cross between Lipstick Rose and Bvlgari Black. Robin at Now Smell This loved it, Tania Sanchez said “Chanel No 22 with a top note of fried green peppers and overheated inkjet printer” when describing it.  It’s just not a serious violet perfume, and that’s the best kind.  

Parfums de Nicolai Violette in Love is a violet I haven’t spent much time with, which is odd. I love Parfums de NIcolai, and I love violets.  A slightly peppery raspberry violet. It’s fun to wear, doesn’t take much thought, but I don’t really get much else from it.  Laura Tonatto Eleanora Duse is one of the little known violet perfumes that need/deserves/should have a much bigger following.  I think it’s hard to find – not sure why some italian perfume companies have such big distribution problems. Mossy, green violets.

Ormonde Jayne Ormonde Woman is in my top three violet perfumes.  Violet, hemlock and woods. This is beautiful violet elegance, nothing being revealed straight-up, it just slowly unfurls.  

Violet Perfume Gems from Indie Perfumers

Smaller indie perfumers have put out some of the best violet perfumes with unique features.  Musette is totally smitten with Soivohle Violets and Rainwater, and I can’t seem to find her review of it so you can see what she said exactly.  She has it exactly right as far as the unfettered love.  It is a beautiful spring day, a little dirt, violets and the rain. Soivohle Purple Love Smoke is dirty violets with a wee bit of smoke. Unique, and I believe back in stock! I would have bet my last bottle of vintage Mitsouko that I had reviewed Les Nez The Unicorn Spell at some point, but if I did, I can’t find it.  Cool, chilly, violets peeping out of frozen earth with scads of ripe vegetation around.  Oh, hey, that’s NOT a bad thing. It’s a unique point of view on violet that I really love.  

Two violet perfumes I didn’t have that get mentioned frequently.  Histoires de Parfum Blanc Violette (review at Olfactoria’s Travels) and Sonoma Scent Studio Voile de Violette (review at EauMG and I Smell Therefore I Am).  Huh, I need to hunt down that SSS one, it sounds amazing.  There are many more indie perfumer violet scents, and I’m hoping if you have a favorite, you’ll mention it in comments.  

Now for something completely different violet-wise

These are my special violet perfumes, the ones that take a unique angle.  Top of the list is Mona di Orio Violette Fumee, which I just reviewed. I don’t really have more to add to it, it is just smokey violet perfection and such a unique approach to the violet, it deserves trying. You may love it, you may hate it, but if violets interest you at all or how a perfumer deals with an old note in a fresh way, this is one to test.  Giorgio Armani Cuir Amethyste marries violets and leather in a stealth way.  By that, I mean you can’t smell it exactly.  March and I reviewed it back in 2006.  We both concluded that some of the notes in it are like a dog whistle, only men can smell them both at the same time.  Brilliant.  I got the leather, March got the violets.  Fortunately, things have improved, and now I get both.  Best thing about Cuir Amethyste, it’s my favorite perfume to put on with abandon, then go traipsing around town.  Compliments just stack up like cord wood.  

CB I Hate Perfume Room With a View uses the movie of the same name as its inspiration, meant to capture the smells of the hills above Florence – vineyards, grass, violets.  It has an earthy quality that permeates that’s hay and dirt. It’s not a candied violet in the least, it is a violet set in nature.  The Non-Blonde reviewed it and I reviewed it as well in 2009 (ignore all that yammering at the beginning of the post about completely frivolous crap), saying “That pretty much nails it.  It is an earthy grassfest with violets peeping up and cascading out of every nook and cranny, and the longer it is on, the more the violets invade your senses nestling in a bed of hay. In simpler terms, think Black March, the Hay accord merged with one of CB’s violet scents.”  Parfum d’Empire Equistrius is a violet unlike any other.  There’s, of course, a review of it by me in 2007.  Hey, have you guys noticed how many violet perfumes I’ve reviewed since 2005?  I didn’t even link them all.  If I was ever in doubt about how much I love violet, this confirms it.  Equistrius is an iris/violet gourmand’ish thing. You could argue it is more iris than violet, but I can’t separate out the violet from the iris, so it has to fall in the interesting use of violets category because I don’t think I’ve ever smelled anything quite like it.  I still don’t get the horse part of it, though there are moments when I get my favorite horse’s neck smell. Iris, violet, doesn’t matter, Equistrius is an unusual beauty.  

That is our violet perfumes roundup!  If you would like to be entered to win a sample set of most of these violet perfumes (most, some I don’t have), just drop a comment below. You can do some other activities to get additional entries, but you must comment on the post to be officially entered.  The drawing officially closes on November 4, 2013. Winners are posted sometime after that.   Do you love violet, hate it, have any favorites? If you have a favorite I haven’t mentioned, please tell us!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • JK says:

    Un Parfum des Sens et Bois by The Different Company was my first known experience with violet, and it completely blew me away. I haven’t been able to find a violet since that I even like. Weird, as it’s one of the things I fell in love with about this one.

  • Mindy says:

    Oops! It’s the 4th. Am I too late? Annick Goutal’s Violetta was the first full bottle of perfume I ever purchased. I haven’t come across a violet perfume that I haven’t liked.

  • Susan M says:

    Thank you for this detailed post! I was surprised that Borsari Violetta de Parma wasn’t mentioned. And my mom, many years ago, had one of the little ceramic bottles of Devon Violets. It was very nice.

  • Sara says:

    Thanks for the post, I adore violet so my ‘must try’ list has gotten exponentially larger! Violet is one of those notes that, in perfume’s special way, transports me to other places, times, experiences. Prestat’s Violet Cream Chocolates are also an exquisite olfactory/gourmand treat. Dans tes Bras was one of the few Malle’s I thought I could skip but not now! And Equistrius sounds heavenly…

  • susan says:

    Love violet! Le Dix, Jolie Madame, Angel La Violette, Lipstick Rose… hurray!

  • allgirlmafia says:

    I too have a unique love for violet. I own (and enjoy) Balenciagia Paris, Balenciagia Le Dix, Lolita Lempicka, Bottega Veneta, Shalimar Initial…theres just something about violet… : )

  • Linda says:

    To be honest, I really don’ t like violets. They are like an opposite version of iris which I do love. But one thing I have learned about perfumes is that there’ s always a surprise in perfume

  • ClaudiaRae says:

    The only one of these violet perfumes I have is Ormonde Jayne Woman. I don’t think I would have ever suspected it had violet in it. The smell of violets reminds me of my Granny, and that’s nice, because she was a troubled woman, and I don’t have a lot of happy memories to associate with her. But she did like violets, so i think i will have to investigate this genre more closely. Thank you for this post.

  • Mippymuppett says:

    I love that you used Violet Crawley!!! Love me some Downton Abbey!!! I am a huge violet fan and some of your descriptions had me laughing. Thank you for taking the time to put these lists together. I know we are all so appreciative!!!

  • Gozen says:

    Is there any love here for Laboissiere Parfums? I have a quarter ounce of their Violette extrait and it is a beauty! Woody, slightly watery and only a touch sweet. I like to put it on my wrists before turning in for the night. I also have a decant of Aimez Moi which smells heavenly at the office.

  • Edward says:

    I have gotten my nose on Ajjacio Violet by Trumper which I liked a lot, other than that violet has not been showing up in my perfume… Iris I have tried in Dior’s homme, where I didn’t like it, and a smidge of Dior Homme Intense Vintage where it smelled just right!!

  • Mariekel says:

    I do love a naughty violet (not quite so keen on the more genteel ones), especially Prada No 7 Violette, which goes into my top 5 perfume list. I have been aching for a bottle for years and can never seem to justify the price (it jumped appallingly by $50 in a single year). Sigh. Also loved the departed Ava Luxe Midnight Violet, which is in the same dark, leathery style. And a cold weather standby for me is SL Bois de Violette, which I find both low key-sexy and comforting. Would love to try some of these newer ones, particularly that Violette Fumee….

  • Mihaela U says:

    I loved violets in the few perfume I tested because I did not test so many violet perfumes. I love the actual flower, it’s very nostalgic to me and it reminds me of my childhood!

    Thank you for this opportunity! Wish you all the best!

  • helena says:

    Or violets or leather lol! I love Jolie Madame (have the vintage version), but I’ve never smelled violets in it, and I do smell leather, a lot of it.
    I never new that I liked violet, but I really love some perfumes on this list (Paris, Lipstick Rose, Insolence, Jolie Madame), so I’d like to try more. Thank you for the giveaway!

    • Flora says:

      I don’t get violet in Jolie Madame either, in the vintage or the current version – but I do get lots of narcissus, which I adore!

  • Rhonda Colbert says:

    Thank you so much for profiling some of the violets that left me speechless, as I wasn’t able to conjure up a descriptive reason for why I did not like Tom Ford Black Violet. When Violet Blonde came out I read it as Violent Blonde, hahahah! The aroma of violet in general has always been welcoming to my senses but for some reason when I wear it I feel like I’m wearing my grandma’s perfume. I would love to explore some of the other cocktail varieties of violet.

  • Alexander says:

    The SSS violet scents are among my favorite. They are very natutal and lush exceptional quality. I’m not fan of very poudery scents but I adore the Guerlain classics including violet note.I’m realy curious about Mona di Orio Violette Fumee it sounds amazing.

  • I’m just getting into violet recently, and have been figuring out that scents I love have violet in. Like Ormand Jayne Woman–you just blew my mind again. I also like Bvlgari Pour Femme and Hilde Soliani’s Vecce Rosetti. So yummy.

  • Gina Thompson says:

    I never really think of violet as one of my favorites but I love so many of the fragrances you’ve listed and own many of them as well. Thank you.

  • trickyholly says:

    Love this! (Also, as an aside, I have a pair of violet Frye boots that I haven’t worn in ages but I wore today! Serendipity) I love violet perfumes–especially bois de violette/lipstick rose/ormonde Jayne Woman.

  • Carolyn says:

    I had a whole answer typed out and *poof*…my login had timed out. Tom Ford’s Violet Blonde has grown on me and I also like the candied violet scents. Not that I’ve tried many but adore them in the actual candy versions. I recall in my very young years a violet fragrance I had but don’t recall the designer. I suspect along the lines of Caswell Massey or Crabtree and Evelyn. I don’t suspect my mom would have been too keen on more costly scents for a little one… 😉

    • Mary P. says:

      Hi Carolyn, I was reading a while back from a woman – I think she may have been Cuban??…. Spanish??….?? – who said that all the kids wore fragrance in their hair. This violet one is that which she mentioned as being the one she liked best. Your comment reminded me of it: Agustin Reyes Royal Violets Splash Cologne

  • blessedta says:

    Après l’Ondée

  • Alison says:

    Stumbled on to Lolita Lempika somehow and have loved it ever since. I didn’t even know it had violet in it! Also love many of the others mentioned, including Love in Black and Paris. Must try the rest! Please enter me in the drawing!

  • Eva S says:

    I love Ormonde Woman, and also Arquiste Alexandre but apparantly there are a lot of more violet scents I have to try!

  • Ashley says:

    I love Apres l’Ondee, Attrape Coeur, and Violet Blonde, so it looks like I am a violet fan. This was a fantastic post, and I’m definitely going to have to sample a lot of these scents!

  • VVM says:

    I love Violette Angel by Thierry Mugler from the Angel Garden of Stars collection. So wonderful and addictive! Much better than the original Angel.

  • Dina C. says:

    I have so enjoyed your “Guide to..” series, and since I love violet scents, this was a great one. I’ve tried some of the ones you listed, but need to sample many more. Thanks so much for all the hard work you put into this. Thanks for entering me into the drawing. I hope I’m a winner. 🙂

  • CC ... says:

    What a great comprehensive guide; they all are. Royal Violets (I think that’s the name) was my very first cologne— as a baby and young child, thanks mom! :-). Would love to be entered. Thank you for the draw, Patty. 🙂

  • Laurels says:

    I haven’t tried many violet perfumes, but the few I have (Après l’Ondée, Violet Blonde, Micallef Ananda) have stuck with me. Thank you for linking to your review of Feerie–I never see a picture of that bottle without wanting to buy it, and it’s nice to know I’m not alone in that.

  • Elia says:

    I neither love nor hate violets. I think I’d probably pick Le Dix.
    I’ve always thought of YSL Paris as a huge rose so I’d have to revisit that one to pick out violets,
    and Stephen Jones didn’t strike me as violets either.

  • kizzers says:

    Another brilliant guide, and another batch of fresh lemmings hatching! I didn’t realise how many violets I had in my collection. I have lots on this list but now there are a few more to seek out. The original Insolence was always a bit too strong for me, but I adore it. I bought a little bottle of Insolence Eau Glacee which is frosted violets, colder than the original and perfect for Autumn mornings. I wore De Profundis a lot this summer, a perfect blend of darkness and light. Hope I’m not too late for the draw 🙂

  • Waverly says:

    I’m a violet fan. Nothing sweeter than that time in February when I can pluck one out of the plant and carry it around with me all day sniffing it. I’m happy to learn about so many other violet perfumes. My mainstay is L’Artisan’s Verte Violette. I’m eager to try some of the others you mentioned.

  • Catherine Signorelli says:

    What a nice article Patty! You’ve spelled out so much about violets. My favorite thing about them is that such a tiny flower can carry so much scent.

  • Stephanie says:

    I don’t think I’ve tried on violet perfumes before but reading the descriptions for some of these has got me intrigued! YSL Paris might just be the one to ease me into violet perfumes because I absolutely adore rose scents. Thanks for the helpful article! 🙂

  • Maren says:

    I didn’t realize I enjoy violet very much until I read your guide. Of the fragrances you mentioned that I have tried, I enjoy them all more than most. When I first started exploring perfume about a year ago, Apres L’Ondee was one of the first that I absolutely fell in love with. Such an unassuming flower that takes you by surprise with it’s beauty. Thanks for the draw!

  • Ncmyers says:

    Damn fine list! I’m in love with violet right now as I find this time of year between the seasons seems so right for it. Thanks for the great information and the draw!

  • Flora says:

    I also adore violet scents, and I would love to try more of them, thank you!

    My mother wore a shy violet perfume called Devon Violets. You can still but it today, just a sweet little simple thing but very pretty.

    Way back in the day I loved a violet perfume that seemed to disappear as quickly as it arrived – the incredible and over-the-top sexy violet chypre Volcan d’ Amour by Diane von Furstenburg. I would just kill for it now!

    I don’t know how the reformulation wars have affected Jean Patou 1000, but it is or was a woody floral that dries down to the most exquisitely refined violet imaginable after about 30 minutes. I consider 1000 to be one of the greatest woody florals of all time, maybe the best ever in its original version. I also love the one taffyj mentioned, Violet Disguise by Imaginary Authors. It’s what I would call a deconstructed violet, very unexpected and lots of fun.

  • Diana says:

    My grandma had a pretty little perfume bottle on her dresser that was made out of milk glass and had a picture of a violet hand-painted on the outside. As a little girl, I used to love to pull out the stopper and sniff the violet soloflore. After my grandma passed in 2005, I was going through her things and noticed that she still had that bottle on her dresser. When I picked it up, I saw that she had handwritten, “gift from mom 1969” on a sticker on the bottom of the bottle. Apparently, that bottle of perfume was as special to her as it was to me. I saved the bottle and it sits in the center of my perfume collection. I can still catch a whiff of violet when I pull open the stopper. Violet is a scent that connects me with the best times in my childhood and I find the scent both comforting and melancholy.

  • robinw47 says:

    I loved this article-I couldn’t believe there were so many violet fragrances I wasn’t familiar with! I have always loved Apres L’ Ondee, vintage Jolie Madame and vintage Le Dix. I have read so many wonderful things about Ormande Woman that I MUST try it very soon.

    I have loved violets since I was a little girl and my grandmother always had pots of violets throughout her house. She has been gone for along time, but when I see violets or smell the scent of violets I think of her.

  • Kandice says:

    I have stayed away from violet mostly because there are other notes I adore, and I tend to focus on those. However, your article has made me want to try several including Creed Love in Black, Feerie, and Santa Maria Novella Violetta. Thanks for the chance to win some in this draw!

  • Lej says:

    I most beloved violet perfume is currently Tom Ford’s Violet Blonde. I have a very strange relationship w/his Black Violet though, one day it’s Love and the next it’s”Meh”. I can’t get a gripe in this particular frag. The YSL Paris let me cold and not from the violet. I never got the violet out of F. Malle’s Lipstick Rose. I liked My Queen by Alexander McQueen and I have both Serge Lutens – Bois de Violette and De Profundis on my must try list. Shockingly be never tried Guerlains Après de Ondes and I really need to from everything I’ve read about it. I’m super curious about the Armani Prive Cuir Amethyste – wow violet & leather sounds very interesting!

  • mim says:

    Violet: I love it! Have not tried most of these…
    Loved Armani Prive Cuir Amethyste when I tried it in store many years ago but never saw it again…

    Love OJ Woman so so much, have resolved not to hoard my decant, but I totally get what you said in your review about not wanting to dilute the specialness. Never really thought of it as a violet scent, more just magic forest-y. But I can see that dark dappled forest floor has a carpet of teeny purple flowers…

    One favorite you didn’t mention was Keiko Mecheri Genie des Bois which I actually prefer to Lutens BdV. Its a vanillic spicy cedar/ candied violet, like a refined version of Lush’s Skinny Dip.

  • FearsMice says:

    Violet is an easy note for me to love, even as a soliflore. I’ve tried a number of the scents on your list, but now I’m really inspired to get my hands on some vintage Jolie Madame as soon as possible.

  • Erin says:

    I love violet perfumes and my favorites so far are Bois de Violette, Violetta Di Parma and Apres l’Ondee. After reading your post I am dying to try Violettes de Tolouse!

  • Nemo says:

    The only violet centered perfume I have tried is SSS Voile de Violette. From the perfumes I had read, it seemed like that should give me a pretty good idea of what a violet perfume should smell like if it isn’t doing anything too crazy (please correct me if I am wrong!). I have tested it a few times, and to me VdV reminds me of the smell of Dr. Pepper? Or maybe what Dr. Pepper would smell like if it had a smell, but mostly what Dr. Pepper tastes like? I might just need to get used the note. I would love to try others!

  • Nancysg says:

    I am starting to think that I love violet, even though I thought I loved iris! Perhaps both! Apre l’Ondee and Equistrius are my favorites.

  • Violet has been an interesting note for me. I used to hate it because I think I was a little bit sensitive to it. If it was there at all, it just overpowered everything else in a scent for me. But I guess I’ve gotten desensitized because it doesn’t seem that way to me so much anymore. SL Boxeuses was my gateway violet, the first one that had a pretty prominent violet note that I liked. I actually haven’t tried much that’s listed in this post. I have a sample of My Queen that I love, and I’m considering a bottle since it can be found pretty cheap. And the bottle’s pretty 😀

    Interestingly enough, the violet note in My Queen made me understand the violet note in Ormonde Woman better. I didn’t think I got violet in OW until I smelled MQ, then it clicked that the note I couldn’t quite place in OW was the violet. While they aren’t similar scents overall, they smell to me like they have a prominent ionone in common, but one that’s more woody/irisy that I woudn’t have necessarily picked out as violet. I just ordered some ionones (among other things) to play with from Perfumer’s Apprentice, so I’m excited to try them out and see what the differences are.

  • Musette says:

    My beloved Diane Ackerman devotes an entire chapter to violets (Of Violets and Neurons) in her book “A Natural History of the Senses”. She begins by saying that “violets smell like burnt sugar cubes that have been dipped in lemon and velvet” – and it goes on, beautifully, from there. I never really thought of violets until I read that book – now I adore them!


  • Stacey says:

    I love violet and have been dying to try Mona di Orio Violette Fumee since reading your review. Right now I am loving Lipstick Rose.

    PS – Love the Violet Crawley reference – can’t wait for Downton Season 4 to premier in the US.

  • Ann says:

    Yay, Patty! Thanks for a great list — some of which I’ve definitely overlooked. And you’re right — I did come around to Profundis in a big way — it’s divine. Think I’ll wear it on Halloween. Of course, DNEM.

    • Ann says:

      Yep, Profundis and OJ Woman are my scent costumes for Halloween — elegant, but a little bit dark!

  • LRyan says:

    i am ashamed to beg but puhlease, pleazey- wheezey, p-p-p-please add me to the draw. My mouth watered through this entire encyclopedic article! Please.

  • Tara C says:

    I love violet! Attrape-Coeur, Verte Violette, Cuir Amethyste, Equistrius, Violette Fumee, Bois de Violette, the list goes on and on. I also have Penhaligon’s Violetta body lotion which is quite nice.

  • solanace says:

    Thank’s, Patty! I suppose I can say I’m a violet fan, Jolie Madame being one of my first perfume loves, when II was still a child and would eagerly be sprayed by my aunt on Christmas Eve. (And I totally agree with you: vintage is way better.) Le Dix, my mom’s fume, is another gem. I wear Lipstick Rose for work (but only when I feel like shaking things a bit up.) And now you’ve created some serious lemmings here, lol!

  • Kathy says:

    One you and probably most have missed completely is a gem by Atelier Cologne – Sous le Tout de Paris. It is my holy grail of violets perfect in all its parts.

  • Elisa says:

    SSS Voile de Violette is my favorite violet! Also, for rose-violet: SSS To Dream, and DSH La Vie en Rose.

  • escritora says:

    I must admit that I don’t know too many violet scents (so I don’t have favorite one). But recently after all woodsy, incensy, dark kind of scents I really love, I want to try something else 🙂

  • Maureen says:

    I think the only one of these violets I have tried is Apres l’Ondee, thanks to some generous perfume fairy godmothers. I love it, but it is different than most of the perfumes I love…mostly iris(Chanel). I’d love to win and try some other violet scents. Thanks.

  • helical gnome says:

    de Profundis: oh how much I love you. I know it is meant to have some dark connotations but to me it smells like a violet tear running down the white cheek of a fairy. I love it! Great list of violet scents to try.

  • xtopher says:

    Lipstick Rose smells to me just like a woman in my dreams. I love violets, particularly candied ones.
    Thanks for this generous giveaway! YAY!

  • wefadetogray says:

    I love violets. They bring me back to a fantasy of what my childhood could have been yet it was not. Bois de Violette is my favorite just as anything that came to be after Feminite du Bois. I also adore Verte Violette and Black Violete.
    Thanks for this wonderful post!

  • Carolina says:

    “You think it’s frail and feminine, but find out it is also tough, beautiful, underestimated, persistent, cranky and quirky.”
    This is the best description of violets I’ve read, super underestimated! To me the smell of violets is the smell of heaven, and have the “try all the violets!” on my life’s “to do” list.
    Right now my favorite is L’Artisan Verte Violette, and De Profundis is in my want list. I’m deciding it to get a bottle of Houbigant’s Quelques Violettes. I’m really curious about this one, have you tried it?

  • Debra says:

    I love and have some of those you have mentioned, Après L’ondee was my first Guerlain and the first fragrance that really taught me that perfumery is an art, I can’t describe how much I adore it! Also Balenciaga Paris and Lipstick Rose, two that I plan to purchase soon. Thanks for such a wonderful article!

  • erica says:

    I adore violet scents… reading this I realized that there are so many that I have not tried yet!! I love A Room With A View by Christopher Brosius.I am REALLY wanting to try Stephen Jones and Equistrius… Actually,I would be thrilled to try so many of the scents that were mentioned!!

  • Stephanie says:

    Violet is difficult for me! I love some (Balenciaga Paris, Dans tes Bras) but cannot stand others (Bois de Violette, Lipstick Rose). Nonetheless I’d love to enter the drawing, as I’m sure I’d find some new things to love in this bunch! Thanks!

  • Jennifer Smith says:

    I’d love to be entered ! Thanks for the draw! I think that I like violets in blends mostly ( Jolie Madame,Paris,etc. ) rather than a dominant sweet note (Insolence-have a mini that’s enough for it unless my taste changes,Penhaligon’s -tried in a sample pass =so/so -okay ) My absolute favourite violet is the discontinued and HTF Diane Von Furstenburg Volcan D’ Amour :Violet, woods,and incense ..Yum! I’m wondering if Ormonde Jayne will be a good replacement for V d’A when I eventually run out?

  • fleurdelys says:

    Yes, I love violets, and Aimez-Moi and Paris are my two favorite violet mix scents. I also love the pure, straight-up violet of Ajaccio Violets from Geo F. Trumper. Another men’s violet that I need to try is good old Grey Flannel – who woulda thunk?

  • Tilia says:

    Thank you for the detailed guide and draw. I have not tried most of the scents you mentioned. I have and love Aimez Moi – such a bright and festive violet scent. I tried Guerlain Apres L’Ondee, but did not get any violets from it. And I have an untried small sample of Lolita Lempicka, but did not know it was a violet fragrance. I should try it ASAP.

  • Dionne says:

    Violets are hit and miss for me, as they sometimes go sour, but I love it when they behave (bad violet! very bad!). I can’t wear Voile de Violette by SSS, but it smells divine on my evil skin-chemistry twin, fortunately SSS’s Wood Violet likes me just fine. I love Après l’Ondée and Equistrius, and agree that Balenciaga Paris is a nicely done mainstream violet.

  • Maria B. says:

    Wonderful post and list, Patty! Violet is my favorite floral note. My favorite fragrance of all–the one that is most “me”–is Bvlgari Pour Femme, which combines violet with mimosa. When I wear it, I feel at home in my skin. Vintage Balmain Jolie Madame extrait is fabulous. For those who want to experience violet to the max I recommend Penhaligon’s Violetta. I find it very easy to wear. Remember Guerlain Meteorites? That was a cheap and cheerful violet. I like Caron Aimez-Moi also, but I don’t feel as comfortable in it because of the vanilla. At first I was very enthusiastic about Parfums de Nicolai Violette in Love, but now I can’t stand it (and I have a bottle). There is something plasticky about the smell. I have a sample of the delightful Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose. I think I’ll go put some on right now.

  • Mary P. says:

    I bought a violet scented soap from Lush many years ago – it’s discontinued now – but I put it in my underwear drawer and it still smells as strongly of violets as when I first got it. I wish they’d bring it back.

  • me says:

    Ah, your article came out just as i was trying to decide between buying a bottle of Bois de Violette or testing to see if Violet Fumee was too irresistible, even given the price.

  • Maya says:

    I am first and foremost a floral person, so violets are a love. Apres l’Ondee stands alone! Aimez Moi is my light and cheerful violet. I have tried some of the others you mentioned and they’re not for me, but you included many many that I haven’t tried! It’s like a smorgasbord of violet perfumes.

  • Lavanya says:

    What a great guide..I’m going to have to bookmark this as Iris and Violet are notes I tend to ignore (especially iris). I am just coming around to Iris, I need to get my act together where violet is concerned. Would love to be entered in the draw!

    I do own and like Aimez Moi which is also about anise (a note I thought I didn’t like) to my nose..
    I have some vintage jolie madame but didn’t notice the violet- will retest. Thanks!

  • Suzy says:

    Aha! Now I know why I like Le Dix so much. Just has a different sparkle for me. Thanks for the draw. Lovely article and I can’t wait to sample more Violet perfumes. Plus you have me wanting to watch Downton Abbey.

  • I always say that I love violet perfumes but I am shocked to realize how few of them I have actually tried! Jolie Madame and Jo Malone’s Violette are the only ones (I think…) I own. I do have a couple packs of Chowards Violet candies in my desk drawer…

  • Diane says:

    Violet is my favorite floral, wearable in its lighter versions during spring and summer, or in its deeper versions during the winter. From my perfume wardrobe, I have Borsari Violetta di Parma, Annick Goutal La Violette, the original version of L’Artisan Verte Violette, and Creed Love In Black (where violet dominates the blend). Because most of my violet perfumes are on the bright side, I would love to explore and find dark variations on violet, something mysterious and perhaps sensually dangerous.

  • jirish says:

    Violet is not a note I’ve explored much, but I do have a sample of Bois de Violette, and I find it stunning. Just worry a bit about its level of sweetness.

  • AD says:

    I just recently discovered Insolence EDP and I absolutely love it. Berry and violet goodness. My favorite violet is probably Lutens’ Bois de Violette. That one is so elegant!

  • I love violet, and love TF Black Violet (even with the scary clown allusion!)

  • Erick says:

    I love all violet perfumes so much! But my favorites are: Violette Précieuse(Caron), La Violette (A. Goutal), Verte Violette (L’Artisan Parfumeur) and Bois de Violette (Lutens). All are magnificent!

  • Janice says:

    I love several of the ones you mentioned, but there are so many more I want to try. And I adore Maggie Smith–Violet Crawley is the perfect symbol for this post.

  • Lily Everett says:

    I would love to try a bunch of these! And November 4th happens to be my birthday…just saying. ; )

  • I’d love to enter! I admit I haven’t always appreciated violet perfumes, but as I try more of them, I’m developing an appreciation for the scent. Of the ones in your list, I have ONLY tried Paris (eh) and Lolita Lempicka (love).

  • tammy says:

    Violet is one of my favorite notes! When I was a wee tot, one of my aunts brought me back a bottle of Devon Violets from England, and I think it marked me for life. (Do they still make that? I’d love to have some!)

    I tend to prefer soliflores, and the L’Artisan is the violet I wear most often, though I love the Stephen Jones one, as well. The Penhaligon’s has some bitchy little note in it that aggravates me no end, like a woman who is constantly making snide comments. I get that note in many of their other scents, too; it comes across more as bracing in the others, but it’s downright mean in the violet.

    And I suppose now is as good a time as any to confess that the much-vaunted Apres L’Ondee smells exactly like Dippity-Do to me, not that any of you are old enough to even know what that is! 😛

    I thoroughly enjoy these comprehensive guides…not just for the knowledge, but for all the great suggestions that continue on into the comments. Now I am going to have to hunt down some Grey Flannel, Meteorites, and Exultat!

  • Mary K says:

    This is a great posting and reference. I know I’ll be coming back to it again and again. My favorite violet perfumes are Apres l’Ondee and Eau de Ciel. There are so many described above that I need to try.

  • Dana says:

    Thanks for a great and comprehensive article. Many I haven’t smelled, but I do love Lolita Lempicka, YSL’s Paris, and Tom Ford’s Violet Blonde. You gave me many more ideas to try. Thank you!

  • Elena says:

    I love, love about 15 of perfumes mentioned here but I have never realized they were full of violets:)

  • Samantha L. says:

    My favorite violet is definitely Room With a View….I love the hay note with the violets. I need to try Violets and Rainwater again, I had a sample but it disappeared on me somehow! Please enter me for these.

  • Liz K says:

    I had completely forgotten about Feerie. I liked it enough when it came out to almost buy it and have considered it several times but always walked away with something else. Love Lolita Lempika but am determined to find it at a discount store (saw it once when I was on a tight budget so I know it happens). I don’t think I ever noticed the violet in Paris which my best friend wore for years and I really like. Will have to revisit it.
    My favorite violet is probably SSS Wood Violet (Voile de Violette is very nice too but I don’t reach for it as often for some reason) but there are a ton I haven’t tried. Will have to add Violets and Rainwater to my lemming list and I still need to try de Profundis.

  • Katrin says:

    I do not particularly like the smell of violets, albeit I have received compliments when wearing Apres L’Ondee. I also revisited my vintage extrait of Jolie Madame in search of violet and must say that I was surprised to smell this note. There is another
    lovely perfume featuring violet: mb02 by biehl parfumkunstwerke. I received lots of compliments wearing a sample of that one, too!

  • Diane Goudreau says:

    Recent months have found me in a fog of patchouli,e.g. Christian Dior Patchoui Imperial- this inspiring article has me thinking/scenting in a new direction- Thanks! 😀

  • Connie says:

    I like violet, but I’ve actually tried relatively few of them. Apres L’Ondee is a love for me though. And I need to retest Lipstick Rose and Drole de Rose, because I’ve been craving something like that. Thanks for the entry!

  • I didn’t realize how many violet perfumes I had until I read this post. I own many of the mentioned ones. Right now my favorite one is my newest one–Violette Fumee. I can’t stop spraying myself with it.

  • Janet in California says:

    I never thought I was a violet, or rose, lover until I tried Lipstick Rose. Love it. Bois et Violette and Violets and Rainwater are also favorites.
    Now I have many more to try?

  • Perfumella says:

    I’m a little surprised you didn’t mention Meteorites by Guerlain (violet bliss) or April Violets by Yardley (the vintage – not so much the newer one). It’s the violet soliflore by which I judge all others…..

  • DisconsolateChimera says:

    My Italian grandmother first introduced me to violets when I was about five or six. She kept violet water in a spray bottle to cool off during the summer. Also, she would always have a little tin of violet pastilles in her pocket, so I would get lovely violet inside and out!

  • Marcee Corday says:


  • rin_nd says:

    Love violets! Definitely not old fashioned, I think it is the powder violet was often combined with that is perceived as older. My go-to violet is L’Artisan Verte Violette, I feel like it has clean edge to it, great for work. Will have to try Ormonde Jayne Ormonde Woman. I often wear violet scents in the late winter – still snowing, very cold, but the scent reinforces that spring is coming.

  • Mals86 says:

    No need to enter me, as I have at least TRIED about 75% of these. Yeah, so I love violets too! 🙂 Terrific comprehensive post as always.

    My violet favorites would be Penhaligon’s Violetta and vintage Jolie Madame parfum (I have “rescued” five of those mini bottles via ebay, and the really interesting thing about them is that while they all smell like Jolie Madame, they’re all slightly different. That fascinates me). I also really enjoy Violets & Rainwater as well as Apres l’Ondee – though I hear that Al’O has been refo’ed with more of an iris thrust and less violet (boo. not an iris fan). I only have a sample of CdG Stephen Jones, and it is compellingly weird – like violets growing on lava rock. Paris is terrific (and, you know, the old Coty Paris is gorgeous too, also rose and violet with lilac and peach). And while the Tom Ford Black Violet is not very me, it’s terrific stuff. If I ever find a mini, I’m snapping that sucker up.

    I owned Aimez-Moi for awhile but it started working my last nerve for some reason… powdery vanilla maybe. OJ Woman is beautiful violet-conifer for five minutes on me and then it’s alllll amber all the time. I should love Le Dix but I don’t. I should love Room with a View but I don’t (it’s too sweet, which is odd because I rather like Lolita Lempicka). The Unicorn Spell is awesome – I ADORE that raw green bean note that some people hate – but I don’t have a bottle of that either… must go investigate a few of these.

    Thanks for the linkies!

  • Victoria Casey says:

    What a interesting & informative article. I had no idea there were so many violet based perfumes.

  • thegoddessrena says:

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention Sous le Toit de Paris. Also, tried Exultat recently and it’s fabulous

  • Jen W says:

    Love Ormonde Jayne. Would love to buy a full bottle. Gotta save up!

  • Marcia Marshall says:

    I bought a Violet scented candle back in July and love it. Would love to try the samples!

  • shellyw says:

    I have heard more than one review of Mona di Orio Violette Fumee, I really need to find a sample. I love apres l’ondee and le dix. I grow violets in my yard and the last two come closet to the feeling of smelling the real thing as a chemist can induce with whim and emotion.

  • Irina says:

    great guide- thanks
    I haven’t tried most of them, but I love “Apres lOndee” and “De Profundis”
    thanks for the draw

  • Peggy McMillan says:

    This list should keep me busy for a while! Really want to smell Ormonde Jayne Ormonde Woman!

  • Michelle says:

    Nice work! I love your guides. Please keep them coming!

  • Christine W says:

    What a wonderful guide to violet fragrances! Violet is probably my favourite flower note. I already own many of the scents mentioned, but it’s great to know there are plenty more to discover. Candied is how I prefer my violets, whether to wear or to eat. Parma Violets by Swizzels are fantastic. I’ve also recently discovered an out-of-this-world soft-centred violet cream chocolate made by Haigh’s Chocolates -utterly amazing!

    • Sally M says:

      Yes! The Parma Violets were the sweets I had when I was a child. MMMMMM I must look out for those chocs – they sound divine 🙂

  • Belle says:

    Finally! A new comprehensive guide! I do hope you make more of these soon. I haven’t tried any perfume with violets yet, but I’m working on it! I really want to try Le Dix, Jolie Madame, and De Profundis.

  • Tora says:

    I have only very recently come over to the side of violet ‘love’. And it happened with Exultat by Maria Candida Gentile. I ordered a full bottle within 2 hours of wearing my sample. I was literally slayed. I also love Laurie’s Voile de Violets. Thank you so much for this guide, I look forward to further violet exploration.

  • Patty P. says:

    I enjoy violet candies from Choward’s 🙂

  • Tiara says:

    I love these comprehensive posts. So helpful but at the same time I realize I much I’ve missed. OJ Woman and Violets & Rainwater are my favorites. Others are pretty but these two are the standouts.

  • Thera says:

    I’ve always loved the contrast of violet too, and your turn of phrase “joyful melancholy” is perfect. I also like the idea of it being an eccentric cranky scent. So me.

  • Jackie b says:

    Wow, this post makes me wonder where I have BEEN!
    The only perfume on the list that I have tried is Apres L’Ondee, and I love it! Iris is one of my favourite notes…I wonder whether violet will overtake it?

  • Forrest says:

    I haven’t met a violet perfume I don’t like. I love de Profundis and Bois de Violette, I love My Queen, and I want to try ALL the violet perfumes in existence.

  • Spiker says:

    Thank you so much Patty! I’m inspired to go out and try more violets after your lovely descriptions. One more to add to your list – CB’s I Hate Perfume’s Violet Empire. Violet plus lovely wood and leather in the dry down. I’ll be wearing it today in Honour of your post.

  • Monoatomic says:

    Wow, so many things here I’d love to try! I am definitely in the pro-violet camp, but am clearly behind in my sampling. Bois de Violette is a current favorite, but also really loved the Violette Fumee (at least the first wear!)

  • Christelle says:

    I’ve loved ever scent from CB I Hate Perfume that I’ve tried. And Annick Goutal… sigh… Thanks for the comprehensive review.

  • Lynley says:

    Thank you for the wonderful violet installment Patty 🙂 there are some of my favourites in here, and still more yet to smell that you make sound like I’m missing out! It’s a pity I’m not at home now- I want to go home and try the ‘McQueen Surprise’!
    Another of my favourite violets- well, violet duet really- is Guerlain AA Lavande Velours. The top notes are all lavender but the warm fuzzy velour bit is all violet 🙂

  • shylotus says:

    I had an awkward beginning in my relationship to violet. It began with Penhaligon’s Violetta. I didn’t like the “old-fashioned candy essence,” as I referred to it back then. I decided to revisit violets with niche lines and discovered Lutens’ Bois de Violette and was reeled back in to the flower. Bois de Violette is one of the only bottles in which I have a back up. It must always be in my closet! My other violet love is Balenciaga Paris. Sometimes I spritz my pillow with it.
    More favorites: Jolie Madame, Arquiste Aleksandr (another fascinating violet/leather), and Atelier Cologne Sous le toit de Paris – mmmmm. It’s not sweet, but I wouldn’t say it’s completely green either.

    Thanks for a really fun review and thanks for the draw, too!

  • Rikke Sonne says:

    Violet has been my favorite flower, colour and smell since I started to notice <3

  • I have a vintage-ish miniature of Le Dix and it is amazing: a powdery floral with buckets of violets and vanilla, wonderfully complex and old-fashioned. I know what a cliché it is to say this, but they don’t make them like that any more.

  • Lucy says:

    Wow, love this post. I love violets but have never really got on with the sweeter more candied versions (Berdoues aside). I’d love to try some of the old formulations. A lot of them seem to smell too similar. I’d love to try a real violet perfume some day, made with real violets not with methylionone.

  • Alexis C. says:

    Wow, what an exhaustive post! Thank you so much for the great rundown — I love violet fragrances 🙂

  • Rebecca Morgan says:

    Bois de Violette is just beautiful. I love Après l’Ondée as well, but Bois de Violette has an edge to it which nails it for me.

  • zazie says:

    Love love violets!
    My favorite, by and large, is attrape coeur.
    I find Guerlain’s la petite robe noire very violet-y, under all the liquorise and almonds and raspberry macarons….
    Il like it!
    Then there’s l’heure bleue, which I’ve always preferred to après l’ondé (though to my nose they smell very very similar, just one has the Guerlinade, and one doesn’t!).
    I also prefer the violet loaded feminité du bois to bois de violette…
    For the soliflores, my reference will always be Violetta di Parma…
    Now, I must stop here because I’ve already flooded your Violette fumée post with my inconditional love about violet, and the genetics of it all.
    Thanks for the draw!!!

    • Patty says:

      I just can’t get violets out of L’Heure Bleue. My nose overloads with so much powder, I smell almost nothing else. Weird. I thought about including Feminite du Bois and then didn’t.

  • Hester says:

    I can’t believe, simply can’t believe, how few of these I know! I own Lolita Lempicka and Paris and Insolence (wow, that selection is… not representative of my collection as a whole), but most of the others I haven’t even sniffed. I do remember being interested in Le Dix and having an aged French gentleman-proprietor crinkle his nose in distress at my choice. I didn’t buy it; wouldn’t have anyway, but his disapproval made me want to buy it just to see!

  • Annamaria says:

    I’m really pleased that you’ve written this guide. I adore violet, but violet-heavy perfumes are often temperamental on my skin, so I’m always eager for new suggestions. Balenciaga Paris is my favourite; it works well on my skin, and I love how the violet in it smells both fresh and green, velvety and dark, always with a dry, detached kind of feel; it puts me in mind of a modern professional woman with an old soul, secretly craving victorian times.

  • taffyj says:

    I have an enhanced appreciation of OJ Woman, now that I realize it is the violet that is pushing up in the woods. An edgy and unique violet I love is Imaginary Authors Violet Disguise.

  • Suz Winter says:

    Temptation abounds in this roundup! Ormonde Jayne Ormonde Woman is my signature scent…love it beyond reason. However, I haven’t had the opportunity yet to try many other violets (except Violet Blonde). Perfume….you are my one weakness.

  • Sally M says:

    I’m not very familiar with many violet perfumes although I do have and love Le Dix (vintage) and Apres L’Ondee. I do remember one of my favorite sweets when I was a child was called Parma Violets – I can still smell them! Funny taste but wonderful smell.

    One of my favorite dowager quotes : “Last night? He looked so well. Of course it would happen to a foreigner. No Englishman would dream of dying in someone else’s house.”

  • Audrey H. says:

    I love violet. Love Mrs. Crawley also! 🙂

  • Elena says:

    So many beauties I must try. I am looking forward to wearing Violet Blonde again now that the weather is getting colder. I am dying to try Violette Fumee now, too.

  • LeeAnn says:

    My favorite violet fragrance Soivohle violets and rainwater-violet perfection!

    • Musette says:

      the first time (of about 30) that I wrote about Liz Zorn’s Violets and Rainwater I said something about the melancholy of an overturned pot of violets in front of a florist on Lexington Ave (and if you just turned the pot right side up and put the dirt back in you – and the damn violets – would be Just Fine). And that still holds. It’s romantic but not maudlin. Later I did a scent/color pairing and it went thus (the colors, btw are ‘violet’ for VIOLET and sidewalk grey for ‘this color’ : Liz Zorn Violets and Rainwater. ha! Gotcha! I’ll bet you were expecting VIOLET. Ha! Nope. it’s this color. Which is weird because it smells so much of violets and green and dirt…but it conjures this misty pavement color. I always think of a little florist that used to be on Lexington Ave overturned pot of violets on the sidewalk. It’s the color of that sidewalk. Go figure.

  • Mary P. says:

    I enjoy so many of these fragrances – but putting My Queen together with Kingdom is a stroke of genius and I am going to try it! Thanks!

  • Ellen says:

    What an interesting post. I can’t say I’ve ever been a particular fan of violet fragrances, although I have a few you’ve mentioned, however, Yardley”s April Violets always reminds me of my grandmother-a steel hand in a velvet glove-not unlike the Dowager Countess. I’d love to sample some of the fragrances you’ve mentioned and get to know them better.

  • Jennie says:

    Lolita Lempicka is what introduced me to violets. I love that it’s mixed with licorice among other things, and it’s also a big fragrance that announces me to the world. I believe it’s the violet flowers, rather than the violet leaves, that I find the most attractive, and modern twists are definitely the way to go for me.

    Thanks for mentioning others that I now MUST try – Serge Lutens Bois de Violette, Van Cleef and Arpels Feerie, Comme des Garcons Stephen Jones, Ormonde Jayne Ormonde Woman and one of the Frederic Malle offerings will be on my sniff list.

  • ElizabethC says:

    I love violet and am particularly fond of Lipstick Rose. A few years ago I wanted to fill up a part of our rock garden with violet plants until I found out how invasive the little plants are 🙂

  • I really love Stephen Jones, which I just got recently. I’m glad you included it here. I’ve also recently been circling around Bois de Violette. I think I like it better than the current Feminité du Bois.

    One you missed.. and, why not? lol— is Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel.

  • Clara says:

    I have LOVED every violet perfume I’ve tried. When I first started sniffing, I though iris was my favorite note, but it turned out to be violet. It’s not the most sophisticated, but lately I’ve been loving Tocca Violette. It is the perfect balance between floral and candy, and I adore it. I only wish i lasted longer.