Thursday 28 May 2020


It’s easy to forget the more traditional forms of fragrance when we’re constantly bombarded with the latest and the loudest ground-breaking perfumes. You read about “new” ingredients, different ways of wearing scent, but sometimes a return to a simpler time is actually what’s needed. We’ve become so accustomed to the “volume” of a perfume that to wear something subtle can be a terrifying thought, but it’s worth the risk. A scent that delicately sits closely to the skin, and that almost becomes a part of you, is a wonderful experience, and that is exactly what you get from Violette Eau de Cologne by Galimard.

The fashion for using colognes is something that has died out in many countries, mainly because people just forgot how to use them. However, in France the tradition is just as strong as ever and shows no signs of disappearing. If you go into any of their supermarkets then you will find a shelf of Eau de Colognes. These refreshing fragrances are liberally splashed into the hand and vigorously rubbed onto the body after showering. In the same way that you use a toner on your face, the idea is that it helps to close the pores and scents the body.

This French tradition is continued by the three perfume houses that you find in Grasse, which many still see as the spiritual home of fragrance. Fragonard, Galimard, and Molinard all create these citrus, floral, and woody scents because they are still demanded by both the locals and the tourists that flock to the area. Available in both canisters and sprays, so that you splash or spritz to your hearts content, the great thing about colognes is that they allow you to accentuate, or add, a note to your favourite perfume. This is where Violette Eau de Cologne by Galimard comes in.

The company was founded in 1747 by Jean de Galimard, who was a glove maker. He settled in Grasse because it was the centre of the leather industry but eventually moved on to creating scents for King Louis XV and his court. Even though Galimard was successful, it became one of many family-owned perfumeries that were consigned to history. However, in 1946 the company was revived by his descendent, Gaston Fontmichel, and the chemist Joseph Roux. Galimard is now solely owned by the Roux family but, alongside an extensive range of perfumes, they kept their original Eau de Cologne collection.

The company’s Violette fragrance is one that is fantastic worn alone, but is also excellent for adding an animalic undertone to any perfume. It opens with a muted citrus and a sparkling aldehydic whisper but very quickly focuses in on the star floral. The violet accord is a wonderful combination of the traditional powdery aroma but is wrapped around darker touches of jasmine to push that sensual quality. It also draws on a mimosa quality that, in conjunction with a vetiver note and sweetened musk in the base, creates a unisex floral that is perfect as a spritz or a splash.

Violette Eau de Cologne is available from the Galimard website at priced at €17 for 100ml or €32 for 500ml. The bottle pictured is available separately.

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