A great scent is pleasurable; perhaps even able to fling you back in time, to relive a memory, a moment. But an amazing scent is something else. An amazing scent has the power to transform.

Tom Ford‘s fragrances tend towards the transformative. His latest offering for women, Violet Blonde, gives depth to a flower often pigeonholed as purely delicate. This violet doesn’t shrink. Instead, as the first spray dusts the skin, one’s thoughts draw pictures of classic femininity. The kind that takes shape in cascades of waved hair and richly colored lips, sharp tailoring against soft lace. This imagined woman is one capable of being cool, sophisticated and strong, but one who’s ultimately soft and seductive. She’s a beauty that’s as rare and complex as the very ingredients inside that ridged glass bottle.

As with all things Tom Ford, the evocation of classic glamour is no accident. As Ford himself puts it, “Violet Blonde has the spirit of a classical, European fragrance. It is formal, polished, and yet draws you in closer and closer, like a beautifully dressed woman whose refined presence charms, then fascinates, and ultimately seduces you.”

The fragrance’s violet top notes are wrapped in Orris, the precious root of the iris flower, while the heart of the fragrance is also lush with Jasmine Sambac. The Orris brings a particularly unique luxury to the scent, taking years to age and distill and therefore making it an ingredient rarely used in modern perfumery. Benzoin, haitian vetiver, musk and soft suede form a base base that’s both woody and soft.

If you’re after something as heart-stoppingly unique and boldly exotic as Ford’s intoxicating Private Blend fragrances, which are some of the most long-wearing scents I’ve ever owned, Violet Blonde probably isn’t your best option. But if you’re after a fragrance that, with every whiff, fills you with a rich sense of classic glamour, one that makes its wearer feel like a rare flower indeed, this is a violet worth picking.

Violet Blonde will be released in September, 2011. In Australia you can review the scent for yourself exclusively in David Jones stores (Elizabeth St, Sydney; Oxford St, Bondi Junction; Bourke St and Chadstone, Melbourne; Rundle Mall, Adelaide; Queen St, Brisbane; Hay St, Perth) from 4 September, 2011.


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