Monday, October 10, 2011

Norma Kamali Violette: A true violet floral

Violets have been on my mind the past few months.  This summer when I couldn’t wear much of anything due to the heat and humidity, I turned to Annick Goutal La Violette quite a bit.  It was either the weather or the simple fact that I love Goutal’s La Violette so much. The Goutal Violette is perfectly powdery, but not plasticky, and it smells like true violets with a hint of green and a dash of anise.  I’ve had a long struggle with violet fragrances over the years.  I still haven’t found one, aside from the Goutal Violette, that I really think is The One.  The new Tom Ford Violet Blonde is one its way to me, tracking number says it should arrive by the end of this week, so I’m revisiting all my violet scents in an effort to make comparisons once the Tom Ford arrives.  While sniffing around my ‘violet cabinet’ I found Norma Kamali Violette and I can’t imagine what my problem has been all this time, because the Kamali Violette is really great and I should have written about it, or at least been wearing it more often.

Norma Kamali Violette opens purple.  It smells like purple floral syrup.  It starts off heavier than it ends; I’d classify NK Violette as a light-medium weight fragrance by the time it dries down.   I think what I have been looking for all this time is a violet that smells of violet flowers most prominently, with less green than say Penhaligon’s Violetta, and much less powder than say Guerlain Meteorites and a bit more oomph, less delicacy than Goutal’s Violette.  It sounds like I’m describing Guerlain’s Insolence in edp, but that one, while extremely violet-y, ends up a bold fruity floral and not so much a violet soliflore on me (I do love Insolence edp, though). NK Violette is strongly about violet florals with less green and less powder than most other violet scents.    NK Violette is also much less candied and doesn’t remind me of violet flavored candy treats.  NK Violette dries down to a more subtle scent than the big purple syrup opening.  Once it settles in, it becomes a cool, dry violet; a complete violet floral, with hardly any green or earthiness.   This is all about the flower.  And it’s very well done; it stays true to the scent all the way to dry down and many hours thereafter.


Kym said...

Thanks for writing about this. I, too, am looking for a violet, but haven't been able to find the right one for me. I want something a little chilly, not sweet, maybe earthy. I do kind of like Dans Tes Bras which is not a straight out violet. Love to hear your thoughts on that one!

Abigail said...

Hi Kym,
Most violets are very sweet. I don't like Dans Tes Bras because it smells of mushrooms and very little violet. It's certainly earthy!
My favorite earthy violets are Ave Luxe Midnight Violet (now discontinued, which is so sad because it was amazing) and Soivohle Domino Voile. You might try Penhaligon's Violetta if you haven't already. The Penhaligon's is very green and not sweet.

Undina said...

I didn't think about violets in perfume until this year. Not because I do not like violets but because I didn't realize this flower had a scent. Maybe I saw/smelled some wrong variety? And then I tried Wood Violet by Sonoma Scent Studio. Well, it looks like I do like violets after all.
I enjoy wearing Tom Ford's Violet Blonde more and more with each wearing. But I'm not sure if it's a violets' scent that I like in it. It will be interesting to read what you think about it once you try it.

Anonymous said...

I missed out on this one - but that's okay, I've got about a gazillion violet samples hanging around.

Favorites? The Penhaligon's, followed by AG. Though I really should jump on those SSS samples too.

(Midnight Violet was dreadful on me. Sigh.)

Abigail said...

Only once have I smelled wild violets having a scent (in my aunt's garden in Maine). All other times they seem scentless to me, too. But somehow I have an exact scent in mind when I think of what a perfume violet soliflore should smell like. It's a bit weird.

My TF Violet Blonde arrives tomorrow!

It's all good that the Ava Luxe didn't work on you because she had to discontinue it (could no longer source the materials).
The SSS violets are fab. I, too, love both Wood Violet and Voile de Violette (the VdV is fruity flirty fun). :)

Kym said...

I forgot to add that I also rather like Caron's Amiez Moi...what's you take on this one?

Anonymous said...

This sounds quite good, and I like that bottle. Thanks for writing about it - I hadn't heard of it before.

Abigail said...

I've worn Aimez Moi a few times and for whatever reason I'm kind of forgetting what it smells like today. If memory serves I *think* Aimez Moi is the one with the too strong anise/licorice note for me. It has anise and caraway (seeds in rye bread) and these notes just don't work with the violet for me. But, you know, now that I love AG La Violette so much, and the Goutal does have an anise effect, maybe I should revisit Aimez Moi. Disclaimer: I used to love many from Caron but over the years have started to dislike them. Farnesiana, in particular, I used to love and now I don't like it. This isn't a case of wearing it and making myself think I like Farnesiana, I genuinely liked it, but I've changed. (!)

JulienFromDijon said...

What about Lutens's "Bois de violette", or Guerlain's "Après l'ondée?
Turin talk as well of the original "Violette précieuse" from Caron, that sounded like a great thing. The perfect mix between hard candy violette and the verdancy one.

Yes, I admit, to find a good violette soliflore is hard.
Many perfumes have a glimpsee of violette, I wonder why they say it was out of fashion because violette never left the battlefield :P It's a big perfumer tool.

Oh! Paris from YSL (original or actual) has one "big violet" too.

Trying again "aimez moi" would be a good try.
And even "féminité du bois" in the old Shiseido version.