Thursday 10 September 2020

ENVIDE by Karen Timson

The release of a second collection of fragrances brings with it double the amount of nerves that are experienced with the first one. Not only are you thinking about the response to the latest release, you’re also banking on it continuing the success of the original ones. As businesses grow so to do the demands for newness and originality, and this is where a solid scented inspiration is paramount. Karen Timson is no stranger to seeking out the unusual and, with her latest duo of Grecian inspired perfumes, once again weaves storytelling into scent. It’s time for you to discover the violet-imbued Envide.

When Karen Timson launched her company in February 2019 it came from a deep love of fragrance, and the scents that had always surrounded her. She had always felt a deep connection to both natural and manmade aromas but, as is often the way with “late blooming” perfumers, she chose a completely different career. Nursing became Karen’s direction and it would only be because of fate that she finally switched to perfumery. After being made redundant, and also trying a few other careers, she took the plunge and studied with John Stephen at The Cotswold Perfumery.

Karen’s first collection took Arthurian legend as its inspiration and saw the release of Pendragon and Hermia. The first was a wonderful retelling of the classic fougere style of fragrance whilst the second gave us more of a fruited wood combination. When these originally launched they were separated into the traditional male and female category but, along with the latest duo, have now been rechristened as unisex. The new fragrances take us to Greece, and in particular to the Gods and Goddesses. Hera is named after the Queen of Olympus, who famously received orange blossoms from Zeus, but it’s Envide that has seduced me.

The fragrance is built around violets and takes the story of Evadne as its inspiration. A daughter of Poseidon, she gave birth to Apollon’s child and left him in a patch of violets where he was fed honey by the bees. Now, violets have come to be thought of as a feminine scent but they were actually a mainstay of male perfumery for many years. Napoleon was a great advocate and, through Envide, Karen is hoping to reintroduce this fabulous ingredient to a new audience. The name Envide is a clever combination of Evadne and “envied” because Karen hopes that “wearing it will make you the envy of your friends.”

Envide opens with notes of bergamot and galbanum, which gives you an arrestingly green citrus quality at the beginning, before the first wave of violet comes through. It has the traditional powdery nuances but, because of that opening, retains an “in-situ” wildness rather than a tied posy affair. The floral is given a boost with a touch of rose but, very quickly, a peppered cedarwood seems to come through which adds an evocatively arid dryness to the scent. The fragrance is given weight thanks to a delicate amber accord that hints at sun-warmed skin against a whisper of honey, but the lingering aromas of violet and cedarwood definitely give an androgynous quality that is delicious.

Envide is available from the Karen Timson website at priced at £39 for 50ml. A 1ml sample is also available free of charge, you only have to pay the postage. [Sample provided by Karen Timson]


  1. It sounds fabulous Stephan. I love your history behind it too. I'm sure that Dr Hinge would adore it as she tinkles the keys :)

    1. Hello Barry, I'm glad that you liked it, and I can definitely imagine Evadne wearing it in Stackton Tressell. Best, Stephan