Berdoues is a French perfume house established in the early 1900’s with it’s original violet fragrance, Violettes de Toulouse. Violet soliflores were a huge trend, an absolute craze, during the early twentieth century, similar to the fruity floral phenomena of the past decade. The house of Berdoues has managed to stick around all these years and has now added two new violet scents to their repertoire. Their original, Violettes de Toulouse, is a typical violet fragrance, very similar to Borsari Violetta di Parma. It is sweet and pleasant but possesses that plastic-y note I can’t stand. Their other new violet fragrance is Violet Cherie, which is aimed at a younger consumer, essentially a violet-fruity-floral.
Last year Berdoues introduce a heartier, denser violet called Violette Divine. I admit it was solely the packaging that caused me to purchase this one. The boxes are darling and the bottles are retro chic, plus they were on sale at Parfum1.com! I wasn’t expecting much and wouldn’t have been upset had I not liked Violette Divine. But the good news is that I like it. Violette Divine is a nice sweet violet, more potent than most, with a woodier dry down and no plastic note.
I can’t find a straight list of notes anywhere so here is the mumbo jumbo ad copy: “Intense, powerful and sensual, it opens with notes of mandarin. The heart is magical with violet and cedar, while the romantic base consists of sandalwood.” It starts off almost like a violet gourmand to me. There’s something highly vanillic and syrupy at the start. But if this puts you off, don’t worry, this is brief and the vanilla fades away to mostly a dense violet note. A sweet, deep purple violet note with a touch of spice and a mild woody base. This is nice. It is not exceptional or even especially good, but it’s nice. My favorite violets are still firmly in place: Creed Love in Black (for a sweet, edgy take), Sonoma Scent Studio Voile de Violette (for a cheerful, jammy, flirty violet) and Penhaligon’s Violetta (for a fresh, green, unisex violet) and Annick Goutal La Violette (for an old school violet soliflore that isn’t too sweet or powdery, and doesn’t have plastic).
If you don’t already like violet fragrances Violette Divine isn’t going to change that, but if you enjoy violet scents and collect a variety of them you might want this one, if not just for the pretty packaging.