Scent Sense – Violet

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”

 –  Mark Twain

The violet is a delicate 5 petal shaped flower often described as the virtuous and dainty one of the flower kingdoms. Signifying modesty, humility, and faithfulness. Folklore suggests that the violet reflects a love that is delicate. Early tradition shows that the violet was the flower used to champion Valentine’s Day. However, in current times it has been replaced by the rose!

The word ‘violet’ comes from the Latin name ‘viola’, meaning wayside. Boasting their colours of purple, pink, white and yellow on the edge of many roadsides. A symbol of ancient Athens and reported to be Napoleon Bonaparte’s favourite flower. The violet had been declared as the state flower of New Jersey, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Rhode Island.

The Victoria and Parma Violets are mainly used to make perfumes. Evoking an earthy and powdery scent when referring to the flower and green, metallic and aqueous for the leaves. Today a synthetic violet is largely used in oriental spicy, fougere and fresh floral compositions.

Violets are in fact edible; applied as pretty decoration in salads, desserts, and cocktails. The Greek and Chinese use violets in cough syrups to ease congestion and violet tea offers large doses of vitamin A and C. Violets were often associated with death and funerals for the Romans and Greeks. They were routinely scattered around tombs, and, as symbols of innocence and modesty, children’s graves were regularly blanketed with violets.

A beautiful legacy of the violet flower is that they are still considered a symbol of good luck for women, and dreaming of violets is said to indicate impending success and achievement.

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