Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Plum Quest 2014: Wood Violet by Sonoma Scent Studio

We grow a lot of plums in California. Now that I think of it we are probably the state that grows the most plums. The Santa Rosa plum was created in California. We are a plummy state. Going to the farmer's market here at the right time of year is like being in plum land, the sheer variety is amazing. So getting to the point: I know plums. In fact I like plums enough that I want a well done plum scent, something that bursts with plumminess, which if you are a perfume lover know is bizarrely rare to find. So I have started my plum quest, a search to find the plummiest fragrance I can get (reasonably). For an idea of what I am going to try or what I have deemed not plummerific enough check this post.

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


Sue said...

I also love plums and have looked for a good plum perfume for a long time. Natori came close, but was a bit "raspy" on my skin. The win for me was actually Bottega Veneta EDP - I get a perfect plum over a sueded base that's brilliant for fall. Good luck in your search!

Unknown said...

Hi Sue,
Interesting that you get plum from Bottega Veneta EDP, for me it was more of an apricot scent, and was very akin to Serge Luten's Daim Blond. Glad you found your plum :-). Natori was almost good but the dry down for me was more patchouli than I was wanting.

ghoulnexdoor said...

I can't say I've been on the lookout for a plummy scent (not really fond of fruity scents in general) but your description of this is incredible! I have one scent from Laurie/SSS - Ambre Noir - which I adore. I should probably check out some of her other offerings!

Unknown said...

I don't consider myself a fruity scent lover either that is until I find the rare scent that actually smells like real fruit and then I have a change of mind. The thing is it is so easy to forget that real fruit can smell amazing and not like the "fruity florals" that are so cheaply and ubiquitously made nowadays. They don't even smell like real fruit; it is like they use the idea of scent of a fruit and then amplify it with most synthetic smelling notes they can find. I'm not necessarily agains't snynthetic (I love Narciso Rodriguez and while a gorgeous scent there is nothing natural smelling about it.) I have always meant to try Ambre Noir. Laurie/SSS is so worth exploring.