So the beginning of this quest has started with the wonderfully local Sonoma Scent Studio's Wood Violet. I would like to add how proud I am to know that this amazing perfumer is from California and creating some of the best niche fragrances out there. The quality is amazing and what I love about her perfumes is that they always feel finished, there is never a point where I think well this note feels off or the depth isn't right, they feel so wonderfully classically finished.
Wood Violet opens with one of the plum rich beginnings I have ever smelled in a perfume. This is a rich plum note, at full ripeness, the point where the honeyed flavor of a plums is the most intense. This opening is hyper realistic, I have frankly never smelled a plum opening quite so realistic. This opening stays around for quite awhile and yet what will catch you off guard is that violet comes in so smoothly, perfectly melding with plum that you are rather shocked when you realize it has fully taken over. What I find so interesting is that Laurie Erickson makes this transition so utterly seamless and they way she does it is by emphasizing the banana leather note you smell in violets and plums. The scent begins its middle stage where the violet is reigning queen, the plum is still there giving the scent a rather velvet depth, but now the scent is about violet. The scent finally ends on a warm cedar-y musky dry down at this point it is very akin to Serge Luten's Feminite du Bois but Erickson makes it even smoother there are hints of violet leaf and a very tiny hint of spices that keep the scent very rounded.
Wood Violet is most definitely inspired by Feminite du Bois but where as FdB becomes a cedar spice musk story, Laurie Erickson decides to run with the violet, and let it be the major player in the story. Along the way she also decided to emphasize the role of the plum in doing so she created a riper lush scent that emphasizes the magic of a well done violet scent.
Try if you like Feminite du Bois by Serge Lutens, Jolie Madame by Balmain, or Lolita Lempicka by Lolita Lempicka.
image from Sarahmet