// September 4th, 2012 // Comments Off // Bath & Body
Viola odorata is a species of the genus Viola native to Europe and Asia, but has also been introduced to North America and Australasia. It is commonly known as wood violet, sweet violet, English violet, common violet, or garden violet. The plant is known as Banafsa, Banafsha or Banaksa in India, where it is commonly used as remedy for sore throat and tonsilitis. It is a hardy herbaceous flowering perennial.
The sweet scent of this flower has proved popular throughout the generations particularly in the late Victorian period, and has consequently been used in the production of many cosmetic fragrances and perfumes. The French are also known for their violet syrup, most commonly made from an extract of violets. In the United States, this French violet syrup is used to make violet scones and marshmallows. The scent of violet flowers is distinctive with only a few other flowers having a remotely similar odour. References to violets and the desirable nature of the fragrance go back to classical sources such as Pliny and Horace when the name ‘Ion’ was in use to describe this flower from which the name of the distinctive chemical constituents of the flower, the ionones – is derived. In 1923 Poucher writes that the flowers are widely cultivated both in Europe and the East for their fragrance, with both the flowers and leaves being separately collected and extracted for fragrance, and flowers also collected for use in confectionary and the production of a galenical syrup.
There is some doubt as to whether the true extract of the violet flower is still commercially available at all. It certainly was in the early 20th Century, but by the time Steffen Arctander was writing in the late 1950s and early 1960s production had “almost disappeared”.
The violet leaf absolute however remains widely used in modern perfumery.
(Info and Pictures via Wikipedia)
Violet leaf absolute (Viola odorata) is a dark green liquid displaying a powerful, green leafy/herbaceous odor with a fine, delicate floral undertone possessing distinct aroma of violet flowers. It has good tenacity and diffusive power
In natural perfumery is used in herbaceous bouquets, floral bases, chypres, literary perfumes, culinary creations, new mown hay.