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Monday, June 16, 2008

Perfume Review: Histoires de Parfums Blanc Violette

I recently learned a great French expression, "mi chien mi loup", which basically means "dusk" and literally translates as "between dog and wolf". I think it perfectly describes that time of day when night is already chasing away the sun, but it is not quite dark yet, and everything is covered with cool, milky mist. At work, we use mi chien mi loup when talking about L'Ete en Douce. I think that Histoires des Parfums' Blanc Violette inhabits the same twilight hour.

It is less sweet than most violets; the beginning is fresh, almost juicy, because of the presence of bergamot. The tangy note is carried to the heart of the scent by anise. Ylang-ylang serves as a counterbalance to the fresh accord, bringing creamy softness to the composition. It is ylang, combined with sandalwood and vanilla, that adds the blanc to the violette. The three notes create the milky fog that envelops the green leaves and delicate petals, keeping the fragile flowers warm till the chien of the day will chase away the loup of the night.

Fresh and creamy, hiding a hint of witchy darkness among its white notes, Blanc Violette is quite unlike other violet perfumes that I know. The two that, in my opinion, come closest are Verte Violette (because of the green airiness) and Pierre de Lune (because of the downy, ethereal feel).

Available at, $115.00 for 4oz.

The image is by Tim Walker.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful description, Marina. I'm have mixed feelings about en Douce. It hits me with a lot of musk, and while I intellectually love linden, it's also likely to make me feel slightly creepy, as if someone were stepping on my shadow deliberately.

Is there a trend toward all this licorice and anise? There seems to be a lot of it emerging mixed with florals, hidden as absinthe, tucked underneath greens. How can I say this delicately? EWWWWWW.

2:47 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

entre chien et loup - between dog and wolf - is my favorite french expression! the idea is so poetic. it even made me want to write a poem. i suppose it could also be ni chien, ni loup - neither dog nor wolf - but i haven't heard it that way. then again, i don't live in france, so there are a lot of things i haven't heard the french say! tant pis. will have to remedy that.

i don't know the scent, but am now curious about it.

- minette

4:08 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Linden is a very tricky note for me too.
As for anise, in Blanc Violette, it is just a tang, a tiny speck of purple in all the whiteness, not a humongous purple monster that note usually is. Trust me, anise and I are not friends, so if it was any more loud in a scent, I would have been saying ewww too :-)

6:40 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

A very poetic expression for sure. First time I heard it, I had goosebumps :-)

6:40 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Sounds lovely. . .love the expression, too!

8:44 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

PS Is this the same as Bergman's "Hour of the Wolf," do you think?

8:47 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

What an absolutely perfect expression for my favorite time of day!
I'm not a huge fan of violet scents - like the odd few, but almost never wear even those. Still, violet is on my list of notes to fall madly in love with in the next decade, so will be sure to sample this one and keep it in mind for when my violet epiphany occurs.

9:09 AM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

I would not have thought this one was "you", M...

1:57 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am working my way through the set, but I did not get to this one yet. Now, I am curious. I also love "entre chien et loup" expression.


4:09 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Interesting! But wouldn't the hour of wolf be already night? :-)

4:35 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am not huge fan of violets either, actually, not a fan at all, really, but this one is haunting me

4:35 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Something is happening to me, clearly :-)

4:36 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Which one are you liking so far

4:36 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I love that phrase, but am unsure that I would like the scent..

5:32 PM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Actually, I think "the hour of the wolf" is just before sunrise (or maybe a bit earlier)--the time when you think all sorts of terrible things.

6:50 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I kind of don't think it's You either.

7:18 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

That makes a lot of sense! Chilling...

7:18 PM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

Ah, me.
I'm a violet fiend...

9:16 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too tempting: your nom de plume (nom de web?!) should be Eve:-)

I'll have to search for this one, just to try it for myself ... I'm intrigued by the description,

cheerio, and thanks for setting me a quest,

regards, Anna, Edinburgh, UK

6:31 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I want a different, darker, warmer, more sensual violet for you. Like Bois de Violette, perhaps.

10:40 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

thank you! I have always, always wished my parents would've called me Eve or rather Eva. Honestly :-)

10:42 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wore this for my wedding. Spent a happy afternoon in my profumeria in Roma choosing it. I still love it.


6:05 PM EDT  

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