Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tom Ford Violet Blonde

Earlier this week, in anticipation of Tom Ford Violet Blonde’s arrival at my house, I was familiarizing myself with my violet collection.  Among the other violets I already enjoy I came away professing my love for Norma Kamali Violette, which is something you should try if you’ve been looking for a nice violet floral.  

But now Violet Blonde is here and I’ve been sniffing it all day.  I've read many other reviews and find my impression to be pretty much in the same vein as everyone else.  I do find there to be a formality to Violet Blonde.  It’s hard to explain why a fragrance smells formal as opposed to casual but I’ll try by telling you that Violet Blonde seems restrained and subtle and I think this is mostly due to the iris note.  I imagine it could have been far less restrained, and more overtly sexy or daring such as Tom Ford’s other darling; Black Orchid.  Instead, Violet Blonde follows in the stylized footsteps of White Patchouli for me.

Violet Blonde (VB) seems at first to be all about violets but once it dries down I think it becomes an iris-jasmine fragrance.  The iris-jasmine combination is still confined to an overall violet-prominent fragrance but these notes are what keep Violet Blonde cool, not-very-sweet, and adult (by adult I mean refined and formal).   Many violet fragrances have a somewhat childish quality, something you might find appropriate for a 13 year old flower girl at a wedding.  Tom Ford’s Violet Blonde is a fragrance for a chic and elegant adult.

Others have considered Violet Blonde to be a potent fragrance.  I find it just about right, if not a wee bit too subtle.  There’s a cool streak in Violet Blonde, a slightly twangy metallic vibe that runs throughout.  This slightly reminds me of Balenciaga L’Essence for a moment or two.  Then in the very far dry down VB exhibits a warmer suede aspect, not dissimilar from Serge Lutens Daim Blond or the suede quality to Bottega Veneta.

I was very excited for Violet Blonde’s arrival.  In sum, I like it very much, but I’m just not sure yet that I love it.  I’m breaking one of my rules which is to wear a fragrance 2-3 full days before reviewing; maybe this is why I’m not sure if I love it yet.  Violet Blonde is certainly a wonderful violet fragrance for someone who doesn’t normally like the available violet scents; and especially for someone who finds most other violet scents to be overly sweet, cloying, powdery and plastic-y.  Violet Blonde is only slightly powdery and I think this depends on how you interpret the iris note.  On me, the iris note is cool and metallic, on others the iris might come off powdery.

Official noes: Italian mandarin, pink pepper, violet leaf, Iris absolute, orris concrete, jasmine sambac, Vetiver, musk, Virginia cedar, benzoin, suede accord

My question: would it have been a crime to put Violet Blonde in a purple bottle (a la Sensuous Noir)?  The above photo makes the bottle look purple but that's only because it's against purple flowers.  It is actually a clear bottle with yellow/gold juice.

PS: I keep typing Violent  Blonde and spell check doesn't pick this up as "violent" is, of course, a word!


Vanessa said...

I am so pleased to have been able to view your blog after months and months of my browser shutting it down before the home page had even loaded. Looks like changing to Firefox has done the trick!

Having just discovered and fallen for Bottega Veneta, this and Santal Blush are the next two "quiet scents" I am looking forward to trying, and your review has only confirmed me in my anticipation. It is nigh on impossible for a scent to be too subtle or understated for me to enjoy it. I agree that violet can be a bit sickly or childish, but this sounds very promising. The only Tom Ford I own is White Suede (Ebay special), so who knows if one of these new ones might turn out to be FBW.

Abigail said...

Hi Vanessa,
So glad it sounds good to you. It really is quite nice. Like you, I loved the Bottega but that one is just TOO subtle for me. There's no sillage at all. Lucky you found White Suede on ebay!
Sorry it took so long for you to view our blog. I've had similar problems with other sites myself. I normally use Firefox but when I switched to Explorer I was able to view the sites that previously would not load. So weird.

Undina said...

Since the bottle wasn't purple anyway, I went for a decant. But I would have bought a FB for sure had it been colored properly!
I want to confirm that it's almost impossible to view this blog through IE8. I think that one of the gadgets on the side doesn't play nicely with it (I always suspected labels/tags - you wrote about too many things ;) ).

Anonymous said...

What are your thoughts now after wearing it for 2-3 days? Love, or still like?

Abigail said...

It's still "like very much" but its not head over heels crazy yet. This could evolve, but it's like a 3.25/4 or a B+/A- :)

Tania said...

I tried VB this weekend. I found the start a bit too wispy and 'clean' for me, though the violet was nice (a note that I usually find too sweet). But I enjoyed the drydown the most. Suede? I don't know about that, I was getting mostly a good sandalwood, which isn't even listed.
I think I am in 'like' but not 'love'. I nearly forgot I was wearing it til the far drydown.