Yardley April Violets: Contemporary Classics



The Perfume Society
The Perfume Society

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.

Sweet violet flower (Viola odorata) portrait. France

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.


Yardley April Violets is currently available on Amazon UK, Amazon.com and Boots.com as well as www.yardleylondon.co.uk.  My sample was from the Perfume Society Beautiful Blossoms Discovery Box.



6 thoughts on “Yardley April Violets: Contemporary Classics”

  1. The really nice thing about Yardley is that they don’t just produce good, reasonably priced perfumes, they produce a whole range of products that go with them, like soap, talc, and body spray. Fantastic!
    I remember a lovely bottle of Yardley Sandalwood perfume I had a few years ago (before the obsession kicked in). It was gorgeous stuff. Sadly discontinued, but I live in hope.

    1. Oooh Yardley sandalwod- I would have loved that. I love a good sandalwood. I too love dear old cheapo Yardley. I just tried Yardley Rose too and loved it.

      Watch this space my fragrant friend! xxx

  2. My mother’s signature for 50 years. Yardley has repackaged its floral fragrances so many times I’m quite sure even the company itself has probably lost track of the many iterations and designs. At the moment its websites proclaim the existence of ‘original classics’ and ‘contemporary classics’ – in fact they are the same (rose, lavender, violet and lily of the valley). I’ve always thought that April Violets is by far the best, and a violet soliflore as good as any as you’ll find anywhere. ‘Refreshing and powdery at the same time’ is absolutely right. I can’t wear it but keep a bottle in memory of my mother. I wear Balenciaga Paris instead.

    1. Hi annemariec and thanks so much for sharing your lovely memories. I know what you mean about memories in perfume- my late grandmother wore Coty L’Aimant and I always have a bottle- but it’s bittersweet when I wear it. Yardley is a terrifically trusty brand- they have never let me down. It’s so refreshing that they keep it simple and keep producing the classics that other brands over-embellish. Sometimes you just want a violet soliflore!
      warmest wishes

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