Mystery Violet Perfume in Manhattan...Please Help! {Ask Marie-Helene} {Violet Notebook}

Sometimes one falls in love with an unforgettable waft of perfume and this event heralds the beginning of an obsessive quest. Risa writes,

"I was eating dinner in Manhattan in a sushi restaurant when a table of 4 sat down next to us....within 5 minutes the ladies perfume empowered the area...i was absolutely in love...yet i heard them talking it was not my language of English. the perfume was extremely powdery, yet had a violet scent to it....soft and quite a statement.....might u be able to suggest this day i am so upset i didn't even try to ask was fabulous...probably a scent from Europe , and i cant even get it here...but i have been trying to look up anything i could online, and i have been quite unsuccessful...PLEASE HELP..."


Dear Risa,

We're here to help, whenever we can. First of all, let me tell you how I can well imagine that scene, which sounds like a missing episode from Sex and the City!...
The first name of a fragrance that comes to my mind when you said "extremely powdery" and "violet" is Météorites by Guerlain which can be found at online discounters for a song. But because violets have been so on trend lately and also because it looks like, from what you say, that the perfume is very diffusive, I am thinking that it might be a more recent perfume. You seem to be pretty sure it was more of a violet perfume than an iris one (they can smell somewhat similar in a number of fragrances), so I will go with that.

Check out the latest Guerlain Insolence in Eau de Parfum concentration, which has that power quality in terms of violet scent you refer to. You could check the Guerlain boutique or Sephora.

Since it was Manhattan, I am thinking next that it might be the less easily found yet relatively accessible Dans Tes Bras by Frédéric Malle at Editions de Parfums sold via Barney's in New York City. You can order it online.

Another possibility this year - because Serge Lutens released one of the exclusives from Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido as an "export" fragrance for the US market in the second half of 2008 - is that it might be Bois de Violette. It is more woody than powdery in principle, but who knows?This is available at Aedes and Luckyscent and they have a sample program.

I also have to suggest Creed Love in Black which certainly possesses that elegant European quality you perceived. It was created with the intention of capturing the aura of Jackie O.

The new Stephen Jones is an edgy violet scent worth checking out also.

Another recent European violet perfume is John Galliano.

Going back further in time, I would also have to urge you to go to the Caron boutique as they have potential candidates for your very powdery violet. Try Aimez Moi, an absolutely enchanting summery violet perfume with a superlative sillage (wake, as in the wake of a boat) and Royal Bain de Caron. The new Violette Précieuse is a green violet scent but the vintage version is powdery.

If you love violet perfumes, as you seem to, see also if the simple classic Violettes de Toulouse de Berdoues might please you. The Eau de Parfum is the way to go, over the Eau de Toilette.

There are many other possibilities, but you could start by chasing these initial violet trails. These are also some of the best violet fragrances to be had.

Al the best,

Photo credits:; la veta jude 

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5 Comments | Leave a comment

  1. The description of this beautiful phantom violet is more or less word for word how I would describe the beautiful John Galliano perfume, but also worth a try is another favorite of mine, Violet Angel. I find this perfume can fill a room yet remain soft and whispery at the same time Good luck! x


    • Oh, yes, that's another worthy violet perfume to try out. Thank you

      Chant Wagner
  2. That's a great movement of your life. I appreciate the John Galliano perfume that's so impressive. You have still several alternatives. You can try other violet perfumes.


  3. Try Penhaligon's "Violet" or if you can get it Yardley's humble "Violet" is a great powdery violet.

    Angie Cox
  4. Since you're in New York you might also consider a locally made scent as a possibility: Chris Brosius from I Hate Perfume has a scent called Violet Empire which sounds like it could fit the bill. I've not smelled it but Robin over at Now Smell This has this review.

    It doesn't appear to be 'powdery' but I thought it was worth mentioning since the mystery lies in Manhattan...


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