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Violet Blonde – floral and woody and musky

I am besotted with Violet Blonde. It's been going on for years now and likely, will go on for many more. I suppose it was inevitable, given my penchant for violet-centric fragrances, that I would fall hard for this beauty from American fashion designer Tom Ford.

Reading up on the fragrance, I realized that Tom Ford is almost as interesting as Violet Blonde, but I'm eager to get to the fragrance, so I have condensed Mr. Ford's very interesting, textured life into this very small paragraph:

Tom Ford is an architect, filmmaker, and fashion designer born in Texas in 1961. Before graduating from The Parsons The New School for Design in New York City, Ford lived in Paris for a year and a half, working as an intern at French fashion house Chloé's press office. The experience inspired him to seek a future in fashion design. His rise was meteoric. In 1990, Ford was hired as Gucci's chief women's ready-to-wear designer. In 1992, Ford became head of Gucci's ready-to-wear, fragrances, image, advertising, and store design. In 1999 Gucci took over the house of Yves Saint Laurent, and Ford was named Creative Director of that label as well. Along the way, there were achievements, accolades, awards and professional ups and downs. So, in April 2004, Ford left the Gucci group, and in 2006 he launched his own brand, Tom Ford, with a line of womenswear, menswear, eyewear, beauty, accessories and fragrance. In 2011, Violet Blonde was brought to market as part of Ford's Signature Collection. It was signed by nose Antoine Lie.

On me, it opens with sweet, juicy mandarin and fresh, herbal, spicy pink pepper. They set the stage for the violet. The violet here comes mainly from the leaves – crisp, cool, green and metallic-tinged – it adds excitement to the fragrance.  But there are also flashes of violet flower, that true to form, play their game of now-you-smell-me-now-you-don't. As it settles on my skin, iris adds a sophisticated powderiness to Violet Blonde that makes it beg to be sniffed. Creamy orris root adds a gentle earthiness and woodiness while boosting the powderiness just as Sambac jasmine, sweet, opulent and indolic, appears. The jasmine counters the powderiness, so that Violet Blonde never wanders into old-lady territory. The notes list something called sampaquita. A quick Google search tells me that it is a reconstitution of the Sambac jasmine scent made by Givaudan, whereby 'The delicate fragrances of carnation and ylang together with a slightly green note were artistically grafted onto a rich basic accord of jasmine, tuberose, honeysuckle and rose…. It gives a new floral-jasmine effect to formulas.' It works beautifully here to give the florals in the fragrance more depth and presence. At the base, sexy musk makes it alluring, while a suede note adds softness and sensuality. Cedar and vetiver provide a green woodiness, while benzoin gently sweetens the blend.

Violet Blonde is a scent built upon contrasts, as the name suggests: demure violet, sexy blonde, powdery yet indolic, cool and warm, austere and lush. It's a fragrance that smells old-school but isn't. What is, is a well-crafted, elegant and polished fragrance.

Tom Ford has described his customers well-travelled, international, cultured, and with a high disposable income. Of his female clientele he says they are "strong women, … intelligent women who know their own style".  If you see yourself in that last sentence, Violet Blonde is for you.

Violet Blonde is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $6.00 for 1 ml.

Image - Violets in the garden -