In the past Yardley has been accused of being “old lady”. It’s a term I don’t like to use, since the mature set round my way always smell terrific, with wafts of Estee Lauder Cinnabar and Clinique Aromatics Elixir being particular favourites that many younger buyers local to me wouldn’t touch. So where some might say “old lady”, I would like to say “classic”, and since we are talking Yardley today, then classic seems to be a good fit.
My quest for the perfect violet is never ending and even when I find a good one, I still hunt for more. Stand-out violet scents for me are Lush Tuca Tuca ( sadly no more), Penhaligons Violetta, Pell Wall Deep Purple ( a green mossy violet) and my beloved Balmain Jolie Madame which combines violet with leather and oakmoss.
Clever Yardley has seen fit to relaunch four of their floral fragrances as “Contemporary Classics” and I for one welcome this move whole heartedly.
Yardley April Violets is a back to basics violet, but seems all the more rare for its simplicity. There are many notes listed, despite it being presented as singularly violet, and it does indeed change on skin the longer its there, but into a plaer version of its its own top note, rather than anything boldly different. On the Yardley website, there are notes of white peach, orris, mimosa and rose, with sandalwood, vanilla and powdery notes in the base. To my nose I could smell violets, a hint of iris ( probably the orris), a hint of white musk, and a handful of green notes. It is both refreshing and powdery at the same time, with an old fashioned note that makes me thirst for simpler fragrant times before the caramel tsunami.
So “classic” was April Violets that it fell out of fashion, or so Yardley thought, and they discontinued it. However, public clamour brought it back and it is now widely available at a very reasonable price. Longevity isn’t great: say a weak eau de toilette or a strong eau de cologne, but topping up is part of the pleasure, and at less than £12 for a big 125ml bottle, you can’t go far wrong.