I Miss Violet is the latest from French niche line The Different Company, working with perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour (shown above left). It's a unisex floral / vegetal leather, and the brand's description is reasonably close to reality:
Discover a vegetal leather accord at the heart and the base of the sillage. Bertrand Duchaufour creates the fragrance like a sculptor and brings out green notes with the freshness of basil and tangerine right behind a vibrant and sparkling champagne note and the spice of the nutmeg, whereas mahogany with soft aromatic leather touch and vanilla bring a sensual angle in the light of a extremely luxurious musk.
The start is a lovely boudoir violet, creamy and round, but we stay in that territory only briefly. The 'pretty' is almost immediately cut by the green notes (plenty of violet leaf, a little touch of basil) and then shortly thereafter by the "champagne" (I would not have thought of champagne, although there are watery undertones and a sort of greenish-golden aura).1 The heart is a powdery soft floral, now less violet, more mixed bouquet, still a bit watery and green. The woody dry down is mild, lightly sweet, with the merest suggestion of leather, maybe something closer, in perfume-speak, to suede. Farther on, it does darken a shade or two, but it never gets heavy or weighed down, and the velvety finish keeps things relatively muted and quiet.
Verdict: I did not fall violently in love with I Miss Violet, but I liked it. It's interesting, modern, sophisticated, yet easy to wear, and it plays nicely in a wide variety of weather, from cold to warm to hot and humid. Lovers of violet fragrances and/or soft leathers will want to give it a try, although if you were specifically after a fragrance tightly focused on either note, you may be disappointed. And do be warned: I Miss Violet is in the brand's "Excessive Collection", and it has an immoderate price to match.
(And if you almost love I Miss Violet, but it's not quite right, you might consider another Duchaufour "leather", like Ann Gérard Cuir de Nacre, or even his Skin on Skin for L'Artisan. If you wanted a wallop of powdery animalic leather, of course you need to go way back in time, to something like Robert Piguet Bandit or Molinard Habanita.)
If you have smelled I Miss Violet, or have any other soft leather recommendations, do comment!
The Different Company I Miss Violet is available in 50 ml Eau de Parfum, €175. For buying information, see the listing for The Different Company under Perfume Houses.
1. The notes include violet leaves, Vietnamese basil, mandarin, ambrette seeds, champagne, nutmeg, osmanthus, violet flower, iris, mimosa, cyclamen, ozonic notes, leather, mahogany, vanilla, musk and ambergris.