Thursday, February 09, 2012

Day 9 ~ One Year, One Nose

Everything's coming up . . . violets?

Again with 'Phyllis' flowers', as me mum likes to call 'em; the little low to the ground weedy things she's always tearing out of the lawn, trying to corral them back into the brick-lined garden spot -- that have turned out to be nothing less than viola odorata.

Funny, I'm slightly anosmic to the flowers themselves, but my 'boys' pick up the scent of violet when a short bouquet of them has been thrust up their noses. "Ooooh," they say, their bleary eyes rolling up in their heads, "those flowers smell nice." Me? I take a sniff and catch only the barest whiff of a delicate almost-flower thing, sweet and powdery smelling with a hint of the pastille (y'know that's just an associative connection -- I adore violet pastilles AND I can smell them. They don't taste half bad either).

Violet leaf (abs.) at a 10% dilution ~ smells intensely green, almost melon rind-like and heavy with the cucumber tones. There are a lot of fruity (melon?) notes in the leaf, though the bright, fresh green of it dominates. I feel that a 10% dilution for evaluation is perhaps a bit high. A 5%, 3% or even 1% might be a better ratio at which to study this lovely and intense green scent. Violet leaf is a take over scent -- put it in any high quantity in a composition and you've made it a violet leaf eau de parfum (or whatever concentrate you're working in). Violets, in any form it seems, do not shrink from anything. Not from crazed grandmothers with pinchy-grabby-twisting fingers, nor from your big old nose. Violet leaf is a BIG smell.

Violet flower tincture (Parma) ~ now we're talkin'! Sweet, powdery, intensely sweet, honey-like with shades of warm powdery amber, not heavily 'white floral' indolic like gardenia or jasmine, but pervasive nonetheless. Orris root tincture has a lot of these same characteristics, so I wouldn't be too far off the mark in comparing violet flower tincture with an orris root tincture; they're both softly sweet, slightly floral, powdery, candy-like and again, pervasive. Violet flower is a very distinctive scent -- basically once your nose locates and correctly identifies the smell of violets, it doesn't get easily erased from your olfactory database. But then you might confuse it with orris root . . .

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