Once, an absolute – an intense essence extracted with alcohol – was made with violet flowers. Because violet flowers are tiny and it takes so many, production pretty much ended after the first world war. A further death knell was the discovery of ionones, chemical compounds that smell of violets. Soon after, violet perfumes became inexpensive and popular, losing the caché of the very costly absolute of violet flowers.
When violet flowers fell out of favor, violet leaves were used to make an absolute – violet leaf absolute. VIOLET LEAF absolute smells nothing like violets (although there are those who claim the similarity is there), but instead has an intense green aroma reminiscent of icy cucumbers.
Few of us, except perfumers, have knowingly smelled violet leaf absolute. It is in part for this reason – the need for something natural, invigorating, and unfamiliar – that it is included in BPC’s collection of eaux fraîches. Until now, violet leaf absolute has been used only in combination with other aromatic ingredients to which it gives a fresh and green elegance. It functions in a perfume much like lemon or vinegar function in a sauce – to give a certain nervosité that balances what may otherwise be heavy flavors or aromas.
VIOLET LEAF eau fraîche is best after a shower or during the heat of the day when refreshment is called for.