While Robin has been trying and reviewing Nuit Etoilée, the newest fragrance release from Annick Goutal, I've been revisiting Goutal's La Violette this week. La Violette was developed by perfumer Isabelle Doyen and was originally released in 2001. It has come and gone from the Goutal catalogue over the past few years, but it was recently re-released as part of the company's quartet of soliflore fragrances, alongside Le Mimosa, Le Muguet and Rose Splendide.
La Violette really does concentrate on the idea of the violet flower; even more, it suggests the crystallized sweetness of candied violets. Its opening is a pure violet note with an aldehydic clarity. The violet soon develops a sugary veil that lasts through the fragrance's development, although there's also a light green note and just a breath of spice in the heart to balance out the confectionery effect. La Violette never feels chilly or sharp; overall, it's a friendly, almost flirty violet, although its drydown turns more subtle and lower-pitched. La Violette has moderate sillage and average wear for an Eau de Toilette; if you're planning on wearing it throughout a long day, you'll probably wish to "refresh" it at some point. In a nice touch, its bottle is ornamented with a bit of sheer, violet-colored ribbon.
Violet is one of my favorite floral notes to wear, and I enjoy having a few different violet-inspired scents in my collection. They range from woody violets (Balenciaga Paris and Sonoma Scent Studio Voile de Violette) and noticeably "green" violets (CB I Hate Perfume Room with a View) to powdery, vintagey violets (Frédéric Malle Lipstick Rose) and pale, wistful violets (the classic Guerlain Après L'Ondée). La Violette is none of the above. It's just a sweet and airy violet solifore; however, I really shouldn't qualify that statement with "just," because it's so well done. I like soliflores and I think it's important to try one (or more) if you're curious about a certain floral note, so if anyone asks me to recommend "a violet fragrance," I'll suggest that she start with Annick Goutal La Violette.
Annick Goutal La Violette is available as 100 ml Eau de Toilette ($120). For purchasing information, see the listing for Annick Goutal under Perfume Houses.
Note: image is Viola Odorata by Jacob Sturm (1796), via Wikimedia Commons.