Don’t look for nuance or complexity in Violetta. It’s violets and violet leaves here, and not much else. When a scent is this straightforward in structure, its quality really needs to shine. Violetta’s opening is a touch chemical to my nose, and the unsupported powdery violet accord winds up smelling more like a candle than a perfume. Pretty, but I'd rather have it scenting my sock drawer than my person.
A lovely smoky kind of violet scent. It's not sweet or musky, but more earthy, I like it a lot.
It depends of the feeling you have with violet leaves the evaluation that express about it since Violetta is a single note dominant fragrance which is surrounded by notes that play just an accessorial role. The citric opening pushes up the starting angularity of a violet flanked by an astringent ad opaque earthy geranium. In this phase the fragrance is still just an hint aqueous (or better alcoholic), hesperidic and a bit herbal. The following evolution is radical. The base is indeed basically soft musk and powdery woods (sandalwood and cedarwood) in order to push up a sort of dry talky smell of violet. The cedarwood is dry and powdery while the sandalwood impresses a woody vibe and a certain level of structure. Romantic and nostalgic.
17th November, 2011 (last edited: 22nd December, 2011)
Penhaligon's has been alarmingly disappointing to me thus far. Granted, I've only tried this, Castile, and Hammam Bouquet, but all fell so short of expectations that I'm beginning to think the house is overrated, and more egregiously, over-priced.
Violetta hits the skin in a burst of alcohol and synthetic violet, and after a few seconds settles into a fuller version of the flower, with support from a stale and chemical vanilla. I get the concept here; there is something pleasant about the powdery quality of violets that conjures impressions of soil and dust. The stale vanilla base is probably meant to lend Violetta this quality, but it simply doesn't. While staying fairly linear, the scent simply whimpers through a few hours of blatantly synthetic violet before fading away (leaving a headache in its wake).
If you're a violet lover and want a natural-smelling take on that note, I recommend you skip this and spend your time and money on Grey Flannel instead. It smells much better, and at a fraction of Violetta's cost.
03rd December, 2010 (last edited: 10th December, 2010)
For those not familiar with the scent of violets this would be described as powdery and sweet, with a hint of musk. It is perhaps reminiscent of berries or sweets, so for those who enjoy that kind of scent give it a try. Of course most will be familiar with the smell of violets, and this take is a pleasantly sweet and likeable one. It has a nostalgic charm about it and wears well on both sexes. It can be a little cloying so it is advisable to wear it sparingly rather than compulsively. A simple and sweet fragrance with a something a little different.