Back to blog listing

Violet Leaves Absolute

Item#: 508760  CAS: 90147-36-7   FEMA: 3110

Odor Strength: Medium
Odor Description: Oily, Green, Cucumber, Leafy, Fresh, Sweet, Floral
Taste Description: Green, Leafy, Melon-like

Violet is a favorite among prestige perfumers.  The distinct floral note of violet, commonly carried by Violet Leaves Absolute, is featured in blockbuster perfumes such as Marc Jacobs Daisy, Cartier’s Eau de Cartier, and Yves Saint Laurent’s L’Hommes Libre.

Violets are characterized by deep green, heart shaped leaves and purple or white flowers.  Out of the nearly 200 species of violet, the Parma variety is commonly used in perfumery due to its airy, pleasant aroma. Egypt’s tropical sunshine and fertile land nurture the precious violet crop destined for the fragrance industry.

In the Nile Delta, from germination to full maturity, violets are highly susceptible to pest attacks and disease, and requires meticulous care – most of it performed by hand. In addition, it takes four years for violets to reach the level of maturity and oil content required for commercial extraction . One hectare of violets produces around 10 tons of violet leaves.  The botanical is typically harvested four times a year; in May, July, August, and December. Harvest is performed manually.

Once harvested, violet leaves are swiftly placed into an extractor and “washed” with solvent.  This process produces the violet concrete, a waxy substance that contains all of violet’s valuable fragrance compounds, and excess solvent which is evaporated out of the mixture. Next, waxes are filtered from the concrete, resulting in an intermediary product rich in alcohols and aroma molecules. The alcohol is evaporated out; and finally the thick, green liquid that emerges is violet leaves absolute. 1 ton of violet leaves produces a mere 900 grams of concrete, making the absolute extract precious and costly.

Perfumers seek the naturally-occurring aroma compounds in violet leaf: parmone, nonadienal, ionone, viola quercitin, along with hexyl & benzyl alcohols.  These molecules are responsible for violet leaf’s sweet, yet slightly vegetal and grassy scent.  This unique aroma makes violet very well suited for use in fresh, floral perfumes.  Due to its potency, a very small amount of violet leaf absolute has a dramatic impact on a fragrance blend; delivering long lasting notes.  Perfumers often use the green, melon-like aroma of violet leaf to balance the saccharine, powdery notes of violet flowers for a more refreshing fragrance.  Violet leaf is used widely in masculine scents as well, as it can also compliment woody, fougère based formulations.

In aromatherapy, Violet leaf is believed to have many benefits.  It is known to help aid headaches, symptoms of minor colds, and even has pain relieving properties due to the presence of salicylic acid.

Fun Fact: Violet flowers themselves are edible, and are often candied or used as garnishes.

Vigon’s Violet Leaves Absolute

If you are interested in seeing a sample or placing an order, please email Nicholas Bourne at nbourne@vigon.com or call 570-422-6026.