Tag Archives: Penhaligons Violetta

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.

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.

 

Yardley
Yardley

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.

Stockists

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.

 

Penhaligon’s Bluebell

bluebell

I have long wanted to try Penhaligons Bluebell, despite knowing that it was a favourite of Mrs Thatcher, of whom I was not a fan.  Interestingly, it is also rumoured to have been a favourite of the late Princess Diana, and the very current Miss Kate Moss.

The reason I have longed to try this is two fold.  Firstly, when I was growing up there was a field and some woodland near our house which were  awash with bluebells every year.  I would pick huge bunches of them and the smell of them is a memory that has always stayed with me.  Olfactive memory is never to be underestimated and can pack more of a punch than a photo.

The second reason, tied in with the first reason, is that the very first bottle of perfume that  I ever bought myself with my own money was a little glass bottle of Bluebell perfume from Boots The Chemist.  It was a splash bottle, square, and made of frosted glass.  It has long since been discontinued but I remember buying it in my early teens and splashing it on liberally.

 

Bluebells in the Forest of Dean. Photo by me
Bluebells in the Forest of Dean. Photo by me

I had a Penhaligons Scent Library sample tin for Christmas, but Bluebell was missing.  Luckily dear friend of the blog  Patsi came to the rescue and I was delighted to receive a sample of both Bluebell and Violetta from her yesterday, for which, many thanks indeed Patsi.  I cannot pick a favourite from the two!

Penhaligons Bluebell lived up to my expectations.  It smells exactly like a fresh bluebell, only cranked up a little and made more intense.  The natural smell of a bluebell is more subtle, but we’re not going for realism here, we are going for reproduction. There is slightly metallic, medicinal tang to it, a little like Jasmine at its freshest.  Alongside the central bluebell note ( listed as Hyacinth, but all the same family)  are other floral notes that fill in the gaps as the sharp, high pitched Bluebell wavers, unable to keep the fresh note going.  Here I can discern Lily of The Valley and a faint rose, before the Bluebell note melds into the spicier, base notes with its cloves and cinnamon, used sparingly, like a faint outline.

 

kew.org
kew.org

There is a definite vegetable note in the base, reminding me that bluebells are related to asparagus, but it is eclipsed by wafts of  pleasing flora.   Would I buy this? Yes.  And I would also buy Penhaligons Violetta and wear them together, because, oh boy, that smells amazing!

Stockists

You can buy Penhaligons Bluebell from Penhaligons and Penhaligons stockists and franchises, which you can find here.  You can also find Penhaligons on allbeauty.com, Amazon UK and Amazon.com, as well as eBay.