Saturday, October 25, 2014

Histoires de Parfums - Blanc Violette (perfume review)

After the debacle that was Histoires de Parfums Vert Pivoine, I wasn't sure if I wanted to try another Histoires de Parfums scent right away. Especially with the L'Artisan Parfumeur samples calling my name. But I gave it 2 days and was ready to tackle another HdP.  I had 5 options left - 1886 Moulin Rouge, Blanc Violette, 1826, Tubereuse 1 Capricious, and Tubereuse 2 Virginal. I went with Blanc Violette mainly because I'd recently read a comment on another blog where someone claimed to love it the most out of the HdP lineup. 

Photo from Histoires de Parfums Press Downloads

Unlike with Vert Pivoine, I was not blasted with fragrance upon my initial spray. I gave it only one spray lest I be bombarded with the scent of another pickled vegetable, but fortunately that did not come to pass. I let the singular spray dry and then had to lift the scent to my wrist to smell it. The opening felt floral (perhaps this is what violets smell like, but I have never smelled a violet, so I do not know) and high pitched. Flowers obviously don't play instruments - but when I smelled this it sang to me like a high instrumental note. It wasn't quite soft enough to be a flute and not full enough to be a clarinet, but perhaps oboe would be fitting. A high note played on an oboe. It was pleasant and a bit soapy. After about 2 minutes I actually gave it another spray to smell it better.

After about 5 minutes, the high note settled down and mellowed into what smelled to me like a low octave soapy almond accord. For a brief second I got the faintest touch of pepper, but it disappeared quickly and I was left with the soapy almond wrapped in just the slightest gauze of powdery amber. 

Around 30 minutes in, the scent felt even fainter, but conjured up cumin-like spices and earthy wood. Though it required dedicated wrist sniffing to smell it, the fragrance unfortunately never melded into my skin but sat above it kind of awkwardly.

At the 1 hour mark I started to get a whiff of sharp florals. While it didn't change the fragrance *that* much, it made the perfume feel a lot louder to my nose. Strangely, I couldn't smell the Blanc Violette at all unless my wrist was within 6-12 inches of my nose, but when it was, it was there and it was noticeable. 

As the drydown progressed, the spicy earthiness quieted down to musky base while the sharp florals took center stage. They were screaming. At this point the scent was definitely too loud for my tastes but this may be awesome for a lover of big florals.

Overall, I enjoyed the opening of Blanc Violette and appreciated its soft and understated floral tones - especially after my experience with Vert Pivoine. Unfortunately the opening was short and as the scent transformed through the dry down, it wasn't my bag of tea. By the end the screeching florals become too sharp and way too strong for this nose. 

Interestingly, this was the first perfume my hubby actually didn't like (though to be fair I didn't have him smell Vert Pivoine). This may be telling as he's been an easy pleaser. He's liked everything I've sampled even when I didn't. Upon my frequent requests for opinions, he once asked "Don't ALL perfumes smell good? Isn't that the point of perfume?" I tried to explain that not everything necessarily smelled good, but he didn't believe me until today. 


My rating of Blanc Violette: 2.5

1  -  - -  -  2  -  - X -  -  3  -  -  -  -  4  -  -  -  -  5
 Nausea/Gagging           Meh       Decent       Great         Olfactory Elation 


Vert Pivoine as described by the Histoires de Parfums Press Kit:
powdered floral; fem.

The violet, from Parma or Toulouse, is delicate and discreetly opens out, revealing its powdered floral scent in all subtlety. An alchemy leaving a delicious imprint.

Top Note: Violet, Bergamot, Iris
Heart Note: Violet, Ylang-ylang, Star Anise
Base Note: Violet, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Musk, Rice Powder

Perfumer: Gerald Ghislain


Looking at the notes, I didn't get much bergamot, star anise or vanilla. Vanilla would have definitely been welcome to tone down the florals at the end. I'm not sure where I got soapy almond or amber but one reviewer on Luckyscent got cheap chemical movie theater butter so I'm happy with soapy almond! 

Have you tried Blanc Violette?  If you have, what was your take on it?

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