eyeliner on a cat

eyeliner on a cat
beauty, scent & style scrutinized for pleasure

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Modern soliflores [not your grandmother's perfume]: Discovering Ayala Moriel's Viola

Canadian perfumer Ayala Sender of Ayala Moriel natural fragrances is brand new to me. I'm currently in the process of making the rounds to try work from several independent perfumers that I'm long overdue to try. I received a lovely little box of screw-cap glass sample vials from Ayala a few days ago, and gave each one a cursory sniff. There wasn't a disappointing one in the bunch.

Viola perfume

The first vial I grabbed and dabbed was Viola, a violet soliflore from the Language of Flowers collection. It starts with a green and humid note (presumably the effect of ylang ylang and violet leaf together) tinged with rose, which soon gives way to gentle spices. It starts to become reminiscent of a carnation encased in a glass display, with granules of raw sugar stuck to the condensation on the inside. The touches of spice (that don't seem to be listed in the notes-- clove and nutmeg perhaps?) is the olfactory twine that binds this blend together. Never giving up the floral ghost, Viola slowly morphs into a true powderiness that will undoubtedly have powder fans (like myself) clamoring for more. At this point, it feels more like a violet soliflore in the classical sense, but the natural ingredients and the breathtaking skill employed to blend them takes Viola out of the realm of the dusty Victorian violets of yore and elevates it. This is a modern interpretation, replete with the cool chill of iris and just a hint of sweetness. Like many natural fragrances of quality, Viola is fleeting, but this is a small price to pay for the couple hours of addictive bliss to be gleaned from wearing it. This is exactly the kind of perfume I want to see and smell more of.

notes: orris root, Turkish rose otto, tonka bean, vanilla absolute, violet leaf, ylang ylang extra

I have several more samples from my inaugural Ayala Moriel order that I just received, and I plan on reviewing them soon. This is just the beginning of my relationship with Ayala's perfumes, the first of which struck me dumb, rendering me wordless and very emotional. Now that I've recovered my voice, I definitely plan to use it.

the lovely Ayala Sender

[my sample was purchased by me for my own collection. I highly recommend this Sample Pack where you can choose 6 samples for $40, and they arrive in screw-cap glass vials-- my favorite kind-- 1 full ml each. Ayala also makes chocolate bars and truffles, tea, candles... all sorts of wonderful stuff!]

[photo credit: AyalaMoriel.com]

13 comments:

  1. I am glad to see you posting again! So happy that you're doing better.

    I absolutely cannot wait to try Ayala's fragrances. Viola sounds splendid. I wonder how her chocolate is!

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  2. Thanks Jo! She makes these insane-looking truffles, I'm eyeing the White Potion ones- they have tuberose essence in them! (NOM)

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  3. You make everything sound so amazing! There goes another on the ever growing list of wants. I also love how simple and beautiful those little vials are.

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  4. Viola was one of my favourites during the last Aussie summer... I get around the fleeting nature of many beautiful botanicals such as this, by applying to my undergarments, hems, shawls, hair.
    I'm currently adoring Ayala's brilliantly constructed and very delightful 'Charisma'.

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  5. Viola sounds enchanting, Carrie. I enjoy powder in fragrances, too -- it can really add a touch of vintage glamour to a perfume.

    I tried some of Ayala's samples when I first got into collecting perfumes and my favorite was Finjan, a coffee-and-cardamom fragrance -- yummy, delightful and markedly different from most of the coffee-inspired fragrances out there.

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  6. Viola sounds like it was made for you!

    I love your descriptions, Carrie. The image of a sugared carnation just delights me. Carnation are one of my most favorite flowers.

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  7. Liz- thank you! Ayala is even in your home country. :)

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  8. Margi- I need to try Charisma. I had the hardest time deciding which samples to choose, I literally wanted to try everything!

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  9. Suzanne: I think Finjan sounds wonderful, it's on my list to try. I have yet to find a coffee-based scent that I love, but I keep trying because I love the idea of it.

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  10. Joanne- Thanks! I love how it's Violet, but only after about 30 minutes. Before then, it's a touch of carnation, it's a real shapeshifter, and I love that. I also have her InCarnation, which is VERY carnation, the exact way you want a carnation perfume to smell. It's gorgeous!

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  11. Hope your migraine has jumped ship.. Another one for the list. After reading this, I went into the garden and picked some fresh violets.

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  12. Sharryn, I'm so jealous that you have fresh violets to pick! Enjoy them!

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  13. This one sounds like a perfume I will like. I'm putting it on my "to try" list.
    On a separate note I want to mention that I was always attracted to this brand's bottles.

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