Thursday, February 4, 2010

Annick Goutal La Violette: Violet Perrier

Day 5 of Annick Goutal Week
La Violette is a beautiful green violet fragrance. It is not an overly candy-sweet powdery plastic thing which I find with many other violet soliflores.

Awhile back I wrote a piece called The Indies Saved Violet for me because at the time I couldn’t stomach violet fragrances and especially not most typical violet soliflores. After some coaching from Brian, I began trying violet fragrances and found I loved La Violette. While Annick Goutal’s La Violette isn’t nearly as edgy as the indie violets I described in my earlier piece, it still remains one of the best of the old school violets. The only other violet soliflore I like as much as the Goutal is Penahligon’s Violette.

Annick Goutal created a series of soliflores in the early 2000’s to include Neroli, Le Chevrefeuille, Le Jasmin, Le Muguet and La Violette. I’m a little confused because I thought Tubereuse and Rose Absolue were part of the Soliflore Collection but they aren't listed as such. I have already written glowing reviews for Neroli and Le Chevrefeille both of which I believe to be the very best in their categories. Le Chevrefeuille is the best honeysuckle fragrance in the world. It smells like honeysuckle iced tea. And it’s heavenly in the summer. Le Chevrefeuille seems simple but I imagine it's not simple at all to make such a beautiful honeysuckle fragrance that doesn’t smell like air freshener. Honeysuckle isn’t a note that translates well in perfumery but it’s sheer perfection when created by Annick Goutal.

La Violette starts off with a blast of violet and violet leaves. It’s green and purple at once. There’s a hint of fruity raspberry and a dash of violet flavored candies. Once dried down La Violette becomes a tad powdery and also a tad more candied – I happen to love this smidgen of powdery candy-ness – it’s just enough to make La Violette charming without being trite or the likes of something a 9 year old flower-girl at a wedding would wear. There’s a dab of clove in the base, if you’re looking for it. Overall I’d describe it as Violet Perrier – it’s fresh, clean, effervescent, green and delightful.

What am I comparing it with? Well, these are the violet soliflores that I’ve also tried: Borsari Violetta di Parma (too plastic-y), Serge Lutens Bois de Violette (go ahead, call the perfume police, I must be crazy but I dislike this combination of cedar and violets), Norma Kamali Violette, L’Artisan Verte Violette (lasts for 11 minutes), i Profumi di Firenze Violetta di Bosco (too cologne-y and masculine), Keiko Mecheri Genie de Bois (ditto what I wrote about the Lutens), Guerlain Meteorites (too powdery), Calypso Violette (too sweet), Histoires de Parfums Blanc Violette (too fleeting and somewhat drab) and so on. The Goutal Violette reaches the perfect pitch of crushed parma violet flowers and leaves rolled in Italian violet candies called Violetta Pastiglie Leone

I find the longevity of La Violette to be shorter than the other Goutals I’ve reviewed this week. If you apply lavishly it’s reasonable – probably lasting about 2.5-3 hours on me after 6-8 sprays.

There is something delightful, charming and cheery about violet fragrances, and Annick Goutal La Violette hits every note effortlessly.

Above photo taken by Susan/The Well-Seasoned Cook on Flikr


Ari Weinberg said...

Ahhh, I love violets! I have been very curious about La Violette for a while now, and of course I covet that Annick Coutal bottle. I smelled it very briefly once at Saks and was not particularly impressed, but I will be sure to try it again after your lovely review!

Martha said...

I just wanted to express general appreciation for Annick Goutal week. The Goutals are good, and interesting, and fairly reasonably priced, and fairly available, and in spite of that (or perhaps because of that?) I keep passing them by at sample time. I think that all of these very enticing posts will drive me to give them a proper try.

StyleSpy said...

I'll follow your example and keep trying, but after many years of perfuming, violet is still the one note almost guaranteed to make me shudder and push the bottle away as though it's got a contagious skin disease. It's a shortcoming on my part, but I just can't love it.

Abigail said...


I kid you not when I tell you Brian had to coach me through violets. For most of my life I haaaated violet scents. I still don't like L'Heure Bleue (Brian tried, but I just couldn't do it!)

I still mostly like the indie violets best - like Soivohle' Domino Viole' and SSS Wood Violet & Voile de Violette. But the two violet soliflores I love and appreciate now are the AG and Penhaligon's. All the rest just aren't my thing.

Ari & ChickenFreak,
Thank you!
I truly believe AG is an exquisite line and if you spend time wearing them you might think so, too.

Jennifer Bridget said...

My love for Annick Goutal fragrances have made me loyal to almost only this house. I have nearly every fragrance save Tubereuse. I may have to order from the UK. Anyway, each fragrance is a magical journey that is learned more about each time one is worn. Thank you Abigail for write the best review(s) of AG that I have so far read and I've read most of them. I love the Violet scents and find this one extremely strong and long lasing, the longest of all AG fragrances. It grabs your attention and makes sure you know it is there. It seems like it is a special treat each time it is worn.
I was surprised to find the Eau de Ciel has violet in it as well. It blends in making it less apparent. Again thank you for showing others the beautiful world of AG through your creative yet accurate descriptions!

Mals86 said...

La Violette is really lovely - that one and Penhaligon's are the violets I love, most of the others I've tried were either too sweet or too powdery. (Verte Violette, though, was just naaaasty on me, bitter and mean.)

I liked Bois de Violette, but it did not capture my heart the way Dolce Vita did.

Dain said...

Thank you for focusing on AG this week. It's just nice to see some justice done. How would you compare La Violette to The Unicorn Spell?

Virginia said...

Mais oui, Annick Goutal Violette is my desire. Maybe one day I can purchase!