Midnight Violet is a unicorn scent ó long discontinued due to the loss of a key component and rendered a real rarity in the stinkosphere as the result. What conversation does exist is mostly positive, and the scentís often name-dropped in ďbest of violetĒ lists with a sheepish ďgood luck finding anyĒ disclaimer attached. Those who do own a bottle (or even a vial it seems) keep it well guarded, but a friend was kind enough to send me a couple of ml so I could sniff what is supposed to be the holy grail violet.
To cut to the chase, it is very good, but itís also very indie ó meaning that it doesnít reflect some act of technical virtuosity. Furthermore, itís not a realistic depiction of violet, nor is the violet well lit. It is, however, a plush, ambery, earthy scent threaded through with a hyper-goth purple floral. Thereís a sharp green note up top, but it doesnít contribute much and appears to burn off right away. The ďvioletĒ doesnít smell like standard ionone-driven violets, leaning closer to chalky parma violets than anything cosmetic. Iíd consider it more of a violet conceit ó almost like a hushed version of Memoir Womanís floral incense. The accord is dark and durable, but itís hard to tell where the violet ends and the rest of the scent begins. What undergirds it is a base that hovers between an oriental and a vintage chypre ó a lot of moss, quite a bit of pencil-cedar (that shows up on paper but not skin), and a subliminal amber that I suspect contains actual ambergris. While the moss, cedar, and amber components are synced, they smother the floral too forcefully. Therefore, Iím not inclined to say that the scentís well balanced, but I think any imbalance is intentional in that itís a dark, earthy take on a violet thatís been buried six feet under. In that sense, it works very well.
But what stands out to me the most is the effect produced. The scent has a druggy, hypnotic feel to it ó a visceral quality that most likely stems from components that caused the scent to disappear. I suspect that thereís an authentic musk involved, some vanillic ambergris, or perhaps a generous dose of a heady, spendy floral fixatives. For as earthy as the moss spins it, the scent wears buoyantly and never feels oppressive. So, while I donít consider it to be the be-all end-all of violet perfumes simply because the violet is so muted, itís a delightfully histrionic affair ó the kind of scent that should probably come with its own fainting couch. For anyone mourning its loss, I would turn to Neil Morrisí Gotham (which is surprisingly similar in theme and effect) and Sonoma Scent Studioís Wood Violet (which, to me, smells like a rectified version of the same concept). What I love most about Midnight Violet is what I love most about well-done indie perfumery ó the bridging of perfume history with an arty sensibility and the clever use of beautiful, rare components. Although itís unlikely that Iíll find one, Iíll be keeping my nose to the ground for a full bottle.
I grew up in south-central Minne"soe"ta, where the culture is heavily Scandinavian (as is my heritage). There we put our groceries in a 'bayg' and finish as many sentences as we can with 'you know'.
For the most part we speak softly, and therefore there is a certain group of Americans whose speech we find rather 'grating'. I won't say who, but they tend to talk too loud, too much, and without properly pronunciating their 'R's'.
Midnight Violet opens in a similar fashion-itís a little grating. It stays this way for over two hours before reluctantly settling down and becoming a better conversationalist. This is when I get the warmer, earthier woody tones, which to my nose smells like orris root. It seems like the more time you spend with this the better it gets (you could say it Ďwearsí on you). The sharp, woody florals during the drydown are downright endearing; but it can't compensate for the persisten off-note that keeps this fragrance from finding its rhythm.
This is not a bad violet; itís just not one I fell in love with. I think it would be better if the supporting notes were less loud, you know?
I agree with all reviews here that this is one of the best by Ava Luxe. I've never sampled a darker or more aggressive violet that this one. I think this would smell wonderful on anyone, it's a true unisex scent.
A complex ,balsamic dark perfume of violets and damp earth. The name is very fitting. This is beautiful in the extrait form and is tenacious. This is one of the most beautiful violet perfumes I have used. Gothically romantic and definitely unisex. A winner for Ava Luxe.
Earthy, complex, dark: a vision of black violets growing in a discarded rubber tire. It evokes a place from a strange dream. This is not a perfume for women only, it's very unisex. I think this is Ava Luxe's greatest achievement.
An initial blast of galbanum gives way to pepper. Then cedar and dusky violet with green leaves take over. In the end, there is sweetness, but it is very dark and earthy. The base lists moss and hemlock, but there may be patchouli as well. These woody, grassy notes lend a dried-leaf type of sweetness. In the end, the notes combine to form a strange violet candy or a bit of Sen-Sen breath mint aroma. This fragrance is sensual and strong. It smells like dry wood and living leaves at the same time. I find it extremely attractive, wet and dry, with dark, earthy sweetness. This is not for the "shrinking violet" type of person. Midnight Violet makes a bold statement.