Ingredient Spotlight: Violet Leaf
Posted on April 05 2019
Our beard goods are crafted from all-natural ingredients, with scent compositions inspired by the seasons and built upon the tenets of natural perfumery. In this series, we shine the spotlight on the ingredients that make Fjordmist beard oils, balms and waxes so ethereal.
Botanical Name: Viola odorata L.
Process: Solvent Extracted Absolute
Plant Part: Leaves
Note: Base to Middle Note
Aroma: Cool, intense, crushed green leafy, lightly floral, soft earthy/woody aroma; becomes muted, dry, grassy with faint floral notes during its long dry out.
Violet is a weird little flower that straddles the line between peasant and royalty. It's a weed, it's medicine, it's a confection, it's a perfume in many forms, and it was once a symbol of some rather frisky gods.
As a component of perfumery, an absolute extracted from its leaves imparts that prized “green” note that is cool, delicate and rich at the same time - the fine china of absolutes.
Although delicate in composition, the strength at which Violet Leaf hits the nose is due to the leaves containing secondary metabolites called ionones, or Rose ketones, also found in Osmanthus flowers, Raspberry fruits and Pinot Noir grapes, all heady things indeed.
For our purposes, cool green is the essence of spring, hence we could not make a spring beard blend without the essence of the fuzzy little Violet Leaf. Being a base note and fixative, it plans on sticking around, lasting longer than its more volatile top and middle note cousins.
Growing wild and cultivated in woodlands and gardens of North America and Western Europe and beyond, the violet is a humble flower. In the right conditions it is an invasive weed, but like so many humble plants, it has been used in medicine for centuries, dating back to first century Persia medicine for respiratory issues.
Over the years, violets were able to step up in society. One can eat its leaves and flowers, or candy those flowers and for the makings of a high society Victorian wedding cake or petit fours.
In ancient Greece, the violet was the flower of Aphrodite and her son Priapus (giggity), and adopted as the symbol of the city of Athens. Peasant flower indeed.
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