I reviewed a fragrance by French fragrance brand, Berdoues last year (HERE) and it was one of the most beautifully packaged and presented fragrances I’d ever seen. With a wealth of niche fragrance brands popping up in the last few years it’s a competitive market – everything about a new fragrance needs to grab us and hold us and that starts with being drawn in with our eyes well before we even smell it. Berdoues, a heritage French fragrance brand, introduced The Collection Grands Crus a couple of years ago which focussed on fragrances that depicted parts of the world, but Violette is the first of a new collection of Grands Crus florals.
Violet fragrances are few and far between – it’s a tricky note to get right. Violette is a rebirth of the original Berdoues violet fragrance which first launched in 1936 when violets were very popular flowers, not just in France but in the UK too where the south of England did a roaring trade in violet growing and production. Where we lost our love of violets I am not sure – most of us have more of a connection with Parma Violet sweets than we do with the plant. So, first you have to throw away your idea of Parma Violets or sweet, sickly notes. Berdoues Violette is a blend of violet, patchouli and iris with a fresh, slightly cologne like top over a smoky base. It’s powdery, but almost sugar free, and I find it quite light – it’s not a big, overpowering blast – more of subtle lingering on the skin.
The best stockist of Berdoues in the UK is Harvey Nichols HERE but it looks like Violette hasn’t quite made it on line yet. Violette is £110.