Violet – The Flower and the Scent

I’ve always loved violets. Wild violets, violets on a windowsill, violet ground cover – oh so petite and pretty. When I was bush-walking with my cousin on the weekend I snapped a pretty violet in the wild and it got me remembering ……


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pretty wild violet

pretty wild violet


Memories of my childhood, nothing specific really, just a general fondness and lovely feelings come to me when I see a violet. I love the delicacy of the flower, the deep rich colour (symbolising the Crown chakra), and the old-fashioned simplicity of the cute little things. I suppose they remind me of my Great Aunt, and other elders passed. I think I had a violet perfume and it could be this one:

The sweet little perfume Devon Violets

The sweet little perfume Devon Violets


I remember this perfume being almost sickly sweet – I don’t think I even liked it! But what I liked was the colour of the bottle, the purple ribbon, and the idea that this came from violets! Well of course there’s no real violet absolute in here, just synthetic fragrance, but at the time I simply assumed it was real. So I over used the perfume, as most young women do, and as a 10-year-old, thought I was marvellous.


Lovely violet ground cover

Lovely violet ground cover


Fast forward about 20 years, and as I discovered my love for essential oils I came across “violet leaf” absolute. Hardly able to contain my excitement I bought it, only to realise on opening the bottle it was “leaf”, not “petal” or “flower”. This absolute has a place in perfumery, but does not have a solid foundation in aromatherapy. Obtaining a real extract from violets is almost impossible because of the yield ratio – meaning millions of little flowers may yield a tiny amount of absolute, making it hugely expensive. I actually don’t know if anyone makes this, but if they did I probably couldn’t afford it!

As I forge further into botanical perfumery, I hope to add some violet leaf to a new creation – if only for the romantic notion.


My neighbours violets in the rain

My neighbours violets in the rain

I’ve often found describing a scent difficult, so my dear friend Portia Turbo from Australian Perfume Junkies, sums up the tiny violet perfectly:


“Violets are cool, waxy, fresh and crisp to me.

If any flower could simultaneously give the smell of spring and melancholy, I think it’s the humble violet.”


How can I say more?

Do you love violets too?


copyright 2016

2 thoughts on “Violet – The Flower and the Scent

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