Botanical name: Viola odorata
Parts used : Leaves
Distillation: solvent extracted
Colour: Dark Green brown, becomes solid when temperature drops
Aroma: Earthy, grassy, slightly sweet
Note: Middle to base note
Main constituents: Nonadienal, parmone, hexyl alcohol, bezyl alcohol, ionone, viola quercitin
Properties: calming, comforting, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant and decongestant
There are over 200 species in the Violaceae family that are native to France, Italy and England, and thrive in temperate and tropical regions.
Violet, also known as English Violet, Blue Viloet, Sweet violet is a small perennial plant that grows a few centimeters high. It has dark heart shaped leaves and small flowers.
The Greeks considered the violet as a symbol of fertility and love.
Throughout history and civilisations, it has had its medicinal uses. Pliny, in ancient Greece recommended to weave the flowers and leaves into a garland to wrap around the head as a remedy against headaches and dizzy spells.
Traditionally in Europe, violet flowers have been used to make a syrup as a remedy to soothe respiratory congestions, coughing and sore throats.
The crushed leaved were used in plasters over area of skin to reduce swelling, redness, eczema and irritation.
The flowers are edible and are still used nowadays to add colours to a salad or candied to use as decorations on cakes.
A concrete and absolute is produced from the leaves and the flowers. The absolute produced from the leaves is dark green to brown, the absolute produced from the purple flowers is yellow-green. The latter is extremely rare to source. The leaf absolute is more commonly found and is mostly used in the perfume industry.
Grasse in France is the centre of the violet absolute production. Like most flowers, the yield is extremely low. It has been reported that 1000 kg of leaves will transform into 1 kg of concrete.
As an expectorant, it is useful for cough and bronchitis:
Add to a 10 ml bottle of jojoba and use as a chest rub
Add to half a glass of water and use as a gargle for sore throats
- Due to its cooling nature, violet leaf can be added to any skin formula that will treat area of the skin suffering from redness, inflammation, eczema and dermatitis.
- Psychologically, violet has a calming and comforting action and brings peace.
Robert Tisserand’s ‘Essential Oil Safety’ does not recommend any special precautions when working with violet leaf absolute. It may cause sensitization. Use diluted within the usual recommended guidelines for essential oils.
Violet leaf is a vital ingredient in the Perfumer’s palette and it is indeed the Perfume Industry that absorbs most of the production of the absolute.
Violet leaf blends well with a wide spectrum of essential oils and as such is very versatile: Within the floral group, choose clary sage, lavender, geranium, jasmine, neroli, tuberose. Within the spices, cardamom, cumin, black pepper. Within the woods, sandalwood, cedarwood. Within the citrus, bergamot, orange, mandarin, grapefruit, lime. And let’s not forget among others, patchouli, vetiver, basil, coriander.
The absolute is a concentrated extract and can be difficult to evaluate. Sniffed direct from the bottle, it does not have the appealing aromas one would expect if one is used to other extracts of the same nature such as jasmine or rose. The subtleties of violet absolute are best experienced in a dilution or indeed blended with other essential oils which will bring out and enhance its exotic notes.
Below are a few suggestions
Add to a 10 ml bottle of jojoba. Put 2 drops on temples and massage.
Or just make up the blend of essential oils and sniff from the bottle as required
Calm & rest before sleep
A few drops by the bed
The following 2 blends have not been designed with any particular ailment in mind. They are possible combinations using violet leaf to create beautiful aromas one could potentially wear as a perfume.
These can be added to a body oil - 1% dilution or 30 drops/100 ml. Or to some perfumer’s alcohol
The blends will improve with time and will mature as time goes by.
They will also offer a different spectrum or aromas when applied onto the skin and you will be able to enjoy every floral note as the perfume ages and blends with your skin.
Fresh & Green
Flowery and Sweet