Spring is in the air… Part I: April Violets… The Perfumed Dandy’s Seasonal Selection

Dear Friends

First it was some prompting from Portia, the doyenne of Australian Perfume Junkies.

Then the sunshine appeared and the temperatures in London rose above 10 degrees for seemingly the first time this year.

Oh, and of course our clocks just shifted seven days ago, telling us all in dear old Blighty that we are now in “British Summer Time”.

But what sealed for certain it was the The Dandy peeking his first violet of the season on his perambulations this Sunday afternoon.

So, my cherubs, here is the first part of The Perfumed Dandy’s Seasonal Seasonal Selection for Spring: six very lovely violet hued scents…

1. Aimez Moi by Caron

And why on Earth should one not love this sumptuous scent from Caron?

Well, some find it a fusty, feisty sort off thing… a little detached.

The Dandy says she needs a little time: get to know her and you will be handsomely rewarded by a truly spicy violet that has a decided something of the boudoir about her.

2. Jolie Madame by Balmain

“It all starts with a phalanx of surprisingly savoury sweet violets.”

“It is a more careworn and perhaps caring sort of scent, one which seeks not to portray a perfected idea of the world but rather to suggest memories and make associations that are more real and realistically rough edged and imperfect.”

To read The Dandy‘s more extensive thoughts on this wonderfully rich mix of violet, leather and memory, visit the review.

3. Feerie by Van Cleef & Arpels

An ever so slightly curious and delicate delight.

This starts as a subtle sugar water that holds a hint of Parma Violet sweets underscored and offset by powdery iris and a sharp cassis.

Over time it gradually grows into a splendid early summer rose with a hint of vetiver for sophistication’s sake.

A turn of seasons in a single scent.

4. April Violets by Yardley

The Dandy is quite determined that this royal and ancient perfume house should not disappear due to neglect and lack of knowledge.

Why? Because they produce fragrances as fantastic as this astonishingly unsubtle floral explosion.

If there is a hint of violet candy about the Van Cleef, then this one is like having a whole packet in your mouth at once and then inhaling deeply.

It’s fun, but only for a short while… which is just as well as there’s a change in the dry down to a deeply Victorian powder puff and corset perfume that is like drinking in sweet tea and out of date morality.

Not to everyone’s taste, but for the price it’s worth it for the ride.

5. L’Essence by Cristobal Balenciaga

“A light airy perfume resembling the half remembered memories of an evening perilously misspent.”

“Opening with an unexpected and unmentioned citrus jam note, the fragrance is soon subsumed into a vast array of flowers, all violets.

“One could be deceived for thinking this the scent of a simple and straightforward young woman. That would be a mistake.”

To see the details of what The Dandy had to say about this perfume of hidden depths you can visit the review.

6. L’Hommage a L’Homme by Lalique

Of course oud is omnipresent in male perfumery, almost to the point of tedium.

But with the worthy exception of Juliette Has A Gun, houses have been, so far, quite sparing in its use in ‘feminine’ fragrances.

Lalique‘s impeccably made perfume is a deft marriage of agarwood with violet, for once allowing the flower to take the lead.

To The Dandy’s nose, this scent with it’s twist of black pepper and sublime saffron undertone would sit quite surprisingly well on a woman’s skin.

And there we have it my lovelies.

The first half dozen from my seasonal selection.

Violet down, what note will follow next..?

There are five more to come!

Here’s to a climatically more comforting week.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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20 Comments

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20 responses to “Spring is in the air… Part I: April Violets… The Perfumed Dandy’s Seasonal Selection

  1. brie

    Lovely…can’t wait for the rest!

  2. rosestrang

    What a difference a little sunshine makes! I’ve been out and about, gamboling and culture seeking. Sir T.P.D. I reckon you’d enjoy Iris de Nuit by James Heeley. Gentle iris and violet with a touch of greenery and subtle wood. I want a vat of it for Spring!

    • Dearest Rose
      How right you are! Suddenly ambling thorough parks and catching those exhibitions that have been calling all winter seem so inviting…
      Had a quick peek at the James Heeley and it does sound heavenly… one more for the list.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  3. Lilybelle

    I adore violets. I’ve had violet on my mind lately so that post came just in time. It’s time to resume violet sampling.

    • Dear Lily
      The Dandy too! And yet so many people seem to have an aversion.
      They make for some of the most fun of all fragrances in my view.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

      • Lilybelle

        Yes, violets are fun, aren’t they? I think many people expect too much of violets It isn’t fair. They are what they are: charming…ephemeral…gone. That is their beauty. Like butterflies, whch are shortlived but totally enchanting. The only one of your selections I’ve tried is Jolie Madame, which I love. I will add the others to my “to try” list. 🙂

      • Dear Lily
        Quite so.
        Now, I was actually reading somewhere that the active ingredient in violet perfume becomes undetectable by the human nose after around five minutes and takes a little while for us to become unaccustomed to it again before we smell it once more…
        Fancy that!
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

  4. Hands down the most unusual/odd bottle and name- Feerie. But I guess it makes sense that it would have violets… Interesting.

  5. I LOVE Aimez Moi as well, and Jolie Madame. And I like your anti-snobbery in including the Yardley.

    • Dearest Ginza
      Jolie Madame is a new personal favourite, though she has been (temporarily) retired. Aimez Moi: well what can I say other than who could resist such a command!
      As for Yardley, blow snobbery when things smell so simple and nice and cost next to nothing who is The Dandy to turn up his nose?
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

      • brie

        Amen to blowing snobbery!!! A few of my most beloved fragrances were drugstore bought in the late 70s…fragrances that are similarly scented today are considered niche and cost a fortune!

  6. Hey TPD,
    Excellent! I find that faerie disappears from my skin withing 15 minutes, sugar water and then gone. I love Jolie Madam though, even in current iterations it is lovely,
    Portia xx

  7. Dear Mr Dandy

    I share your love of Jolie Madame and indeed, of violets. This is an interesting and attractive list that I shall bear in mind when next out near any perfume counters. I also applaud your inclusion of Yardley scents. Affordable floral is what they do best. I have heard good things about their Iris scent too, and their Orange Blossom. Sadly, after much consideration, I have decided that Iris is not for me, which is a shame as it is so often paired with my beloved violets.
    Your friend
    IScent

    • Dearest Iscent
      Never give up on a note… one never knows when it might surprise one.
      I thought I would never wear tuberose and look at The Dandy now Amarige, Do Son, I might even buy a bottle of Fracas if I ever spot a bargain!
      On Yardley, I am so with you, their lavender is lovely, their rose though undeniably quaint is quite pretty and I heartily recommend their narcissus if you ever see it…
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  8. Lilybelle

    Dear, dear Dandy,

    My very latest love. It arrived today, as a matter of fact (a used bottle from a fragrance forum friend: Violette in Love by Parfums de Nicolai. It’s lovely! A fruity violet with a pinch of pepper and absolutely no heavy handedness, it has both finesse and joie de vivre. Sometimes I feel like I’m writing blurbs for Wine Spectator. Or attempting to. 😉

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