Search This Blog

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Botanical of the Day: Violet Leaf

I've noticed lots of fragrance blogs have a SOTD (Scent of the day) so I thought it would be fitting to have a BOTD (Botanical of the day) based on whatever natural perfumery oil I was "feeling."  I find I tend to become fixated with particular scents for periods of time.  All right, truth be told maybe I get a little obsessed.  There were the weeks, nay months devoted to creating the perfect Rose Oud perfume.  Bottles and bottles of mods labelled "Rose Oud #11" etc. I had a few that were good, however I decided I needed to let them age before drawing any conclusions.  Then as quickly as the obsession arrived, it departed.  Mentally erased and replaced with the "orris addiction" that persisted throughout autumn.

Now that Spring has arrived here in New England, I feel the need for GREEN.  This winter was one of the longest I can remember, snow storm, after ice storm after freezing rain.  It was a long cold winter.  Just now the crocus flowers are pushing their yellow and purple heads through partially frozen earth.  I crave grass, sunlight and the smell of all things green beginning to sprout.  I'm drawn to mimosa, galbanum and violet leaf.  These fresh green watery essences become essential components in my recent blends.  I can't get enough of the green, almost vegetal aromas.

According to lore, the heart shaped violet leaf has been said to possesses magical properties.  One worn in the shoe for seven days was said to bring a new lover into the wearer's life.  If a violet leaf worn in the shoe can conjure a lover imagine the romantic power of a violet leaf perfume!

Violet leaf (not to be confused with violet flowers) has a green freshly mown grass aroma.  Sometimes traces of mineral or leather notes can be found.  The absolute is a very dark green liquid that sometimes contains traces of sediment.  The dark color of the violet leaf absolute adds a beautiful green hue to perfumes.  It blends well with cassie, oakmoss, cedarwood, linden blossom, rose, mimosa, many indolic florals such as jasmine and orange blossom and lime.  The zesty green aroma seems to tame the indolic aroma of florals adding freshness and lift.  It is an essential component of many fougère perfumes.  Violet leaf can easily overtake a perfume, so adding in minute quantities and aging is best to determine it's effect on fragrances.

I have purchased a few violet leaf absolutes over the years from different suppliers and not noticed much difference between them.  This is interesting to note as typically there are big differences between botanicals depending on supplier.  Most violet leaf absolute is distilled in France or Egypt.  According to Biolandes the shelf life of violet leaf absolute is about two years, so purchasing in small quantities would be preferable to the home perfumer.


Donna Maria @ Indie Business said...

I love violet leaf. It's so delicate and soft. I'm going to try some body oils!

Olive and Oud said...

Our noses are craving the same things! I've been playing with violet leaf too, this week, after letting my little vial sit unused for six months. I'm testing it with hay, aglaia, rose...I think it's my favorite of the green scents--at least this week.