As with many in the Mona di Orio range, this is a grower. The first time I tried it, I was disappointed - not much of the "fumee," lighter and sweeter than I'd hoped. But I soon found myself returning over and over again to my decant; there's something really strange and addictive about this, even though a better name would probably be "Violette Lavender." As an added bonus, the drydown makes a 180-degree turn from the green violet of the top & base notes, turning into a dark vetiver skin scent that lasts for a long time, over a day on my skin.
Bottom line: if you have any interest in the more unique end of niche perfumery, you should definitely try this, and don't make your mind up about it too soon. There's nothing else out there quite like it.
Soooooo...not quite sure about this one & the jury (the one in my mind) is still out! But the fragrance DID grow on me after a few days. Still, I'm giving it a "THUMBS UP" after wearing it.
The opening of this fragrance is a bitter, sour, earthy citrus-fruit approach that is akin to an orange peel thrown on a dirt pile. Bergamot-yes. Oak-moss-definitely! Opening notes are quite sour and acrid...not the best, frankly.
Eventually, mid-notes develop that (for me) are not quite lavender but GRAPE. At one point, I detect notes mimicking Stewart's Grape Soda in the most definite way!!! Eeeeeeew, I thought. Definitely detecting notes of leather, some tobacco...but dry, old grape SODA!
After an hour or more and with continued development, violet notes emerge but not in the way I hoped for or imagined. Not dreamy, dark, Gothic, mysterious or complex, this fragrance dries in a rather linear, faint, dusty violet manner.
The fragrance definitely lands with slightly acrid, somewhat (very faint) citrus-y violet notes. What's interesting though is a smoky, gray cloak that embodies the violet fragrance, toning it down and balancing the violet out in the nicest way. Also, for a rather "linear" dry-down, this fragrance is "still" complex and quite lovely, actually.
This is NOT a sharp, potent, shrill or pitch-y violet fragrance. In general, this is a very subtle, gentle wear. I applied a LOT to detect any fragrance, which isn't a good thing. And with all this said, silage is low and longevity isn't great. And the price? YIKES!
Guess I was expecting more of a flowery incense fragrance, which this is not. Smoke-yes. Violets-yes. Cashmere-yes. Incense-no. But please note: this is NOT our grandmother's violet perfume! This is different & unique! It's the reason I love niche fragrances!!!
Reminds me of a cloudy, gray day. Don't think I will be purchasing a full bottle of this at the going retail price of (what???) $350.00/3.3 ml.
Fumée indeed. I approach violet fragrances with reservation - will this one frustrate me as so many do, that quiet little violet note slowly bludgeoning me to death with its quiet unwavering insistence? Violet Fumée doesn't have that effect on me, thank god. Instead, the note is shot through with a radiating quality that makes it emit instead of sink into a quiet little black hole, sucking life.
The opening was very promising - an ozonic violet airiness, with earth and an interplay of lavender, bergamot and clary sage. In spite of how subtle this sounds, the opening is fairly intense. Strong violet, strong ozone, strong herbal lavender and citrus, strong earth. When a perfume describes oakmoss as a topnote what are they referring to anymore? There is a decided earth note in the opening, but it doesn't smell like oakmoss really, nor extend into that dense, twilighty drydown oakmoss is known for.
I'm usually not into describing fragrances note by note - I've read reviews in that vein that completely lose the true nature of the fragrance. So I'll say what this fragrance becomes is a mixture of a hay accord, though coumarin isn't listed, and the sweeter aspects of violet flower, slightly amped up, so the fragrance is juxtapositional, as opposed to blended. I can smell both accords separately, playing off each other. It didn't seduce me by any means. Probably what I'm balking at in this fragrance really, is the hay note. I've experienced very few that draw me, and in Violette Fumée, I can smell the hay too distinctly and keep wanting it to meld into the ambiance so I don't have to smell it. I often have this reaction to hay - this fragrance may blend beautifully, but anytime I can smell hay as a separate note, it becomes a divided fragrance for me.
It fades after an hour or two into an echo of this juxtaposition, but doesn't resolve it for me. Not bad, but not something I will wear. I have to give the fragrance points for taking violet flower away from its motherland of Victorian quaintness and giving it a breath of ozone. but for me, hay was the wrong note to use. Perhaps copaiba or something mineral, instead. I would call this fragrance interesting and casual.
04th February, 2015 (last edited: 01st March, 2015)
For the first hour on my skin, this is bitter, acrid & earthy, & hits the back of my throat like the eye drops l was given as a child after eye surgery. Not one of my most pleasant childhood memories. Gradually l pick out notes of lavender, vetiver, leather & most prominently, a dark tobacco, not the sweet cherry kind. The whole strikes me as very masculine, & it's not until two hours in that l get a hint of violet, but it's far more the leaf than the sweet bloom that l smell. Very slowly it dries down to a more palatable base of vetiver with a lemony frankincense, still going faintly after nine hours.
l was attracted to this by reviews describing it as a "smoky violet", but it did not live up to my expectations. l got nothing in the way of violet flowers, & instead of a soft wisp of smoke, l got something very unpleasantly acrid & dark. The base is much more bearable, but it takes a long time to get there. lt's a long time since l tested Black Violet, but l remember that one as being far more wearable for me.
In a nutshell-Violette Fumee is a beauty.
It's very strange - all the reviews I have read of Violette Fumee so far have described progressive single notes as the perfume opens and unfolds. Having worn this for a little bit - I get no distinctive notes standing out ( apart from the obvious - violet ) but instead I get a really very blended distinctive aroma.
Papery small violets and light woods . Aromatic , diffusive, elegant.
On my skin, it is not especially sweet nor especially tart in any way .I get no smoke at all .
There is a fragility about this scent - a wispiness and yet also a feeling of quiet strength . Very yin and yang- masculine and feminine. Very balanced.
It's absolutely gorgeous .Violette Fumee just simmers gently on my skin with good longevity and average sillage I guess but the quality is just superb.
Many thanks to Joreon Oude Sogtoen for making Violette Fumee available for us all .