Borsari Violetta Di Parma


85 reviews

77% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.9

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.9

Price: $$


on 4/22/2015 9:23:00 AM

Age: Unknown

Skin: Normal, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I've become a violet lover, and Borsari (launched 1870) is probably my favorite of my several "soliflore" violet perfumes (although all named "Violet" really contain many other notes). I'm wearing Borsari now. Every so often, I crave violet -- and then mmmm -- it just smells so good! It not only lifts my mood, it also puts me in another space and time.

Other "pure" violets that I own and love are Molinard Violetta EDT (launched1860), Tocca Violette EDP, Yardley April Violets, Violettes du Toulouse by Berdoues (from 1936), and Bourbon French Violet. I also own & really like Jo Malone Wisteria and Violet. (Tried Gucci Generous Violet -- didn't like it at all -- smelled harsh & bitter & rather medicinal IMHO)

I can't describe Borsari's scent, compared to other violet perfumes -- I'll leave that to the many violet experts here. I've never experienced a Choward's violet candy, which they're so often compared to. But to me, Borsari EDP smells the most violet-y, the richest, strongest, and best -- Molinard EDT being a close second favorite, scent-wise -- a very pure and pretty violet scent..

For more complex violets, I also own & love Balenciaga Paris, the more woody & rustic "violet chypre" Tom Ford Violet Blonde, and also Guerlain Insolence EDP (a sweeter fruitier violet). And then there are other many multiflorals which contain a violet note, such as Marc Jacobs Daisy, but that don't really major in violet.

Violet smells "cool" to me -- reserved & set apart -- shadowy -- it's really like no other floral. I'm a history buff, and the scent actually smells as historical as it is. To my nose, it smells vintage -- composed and quiet, independent, a bit regal, quietly confident. I picture strong heroines from British classics -- and period dramas. When Judy Garland turned out the gas lights in "Meet Me In St Louis" (set in 1904), she told Tom Drake, "the boy next door", in reply to his compliment, the name of her violet perfume. Violet perfumes have been around for 150 years.

Borsari's original formula launched in 1870 (maybe famous historical figures wore it?), and here is its surprising note list, per

Top Notes - Iris
Heart Notes - Hyacinth, Jasmine, Lily, Violet
Base Notes - Vanilla, Cedarwood

An Eau de Parfum, the strength and longevity are very good. My 3.4oz bottle was very reasonably priced. My only problem is my sprayer is terrible -- it almost seems jammed every time I use it -- and then it finally sprays. I'm afraid it will cease functioning altogether before my 3.4oz bottle is empty. But if that happens, it's inexpensive enough to just order another online.

on 4/6/2015 1:00:00 AM

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

State-of-the art violet, pure and simple. Cool and clear. Greened-up enough to make it non-cloying.

I know violet is supposed to be an innocent childish note, but since I only encountered violet perfume as an adult (and have never encountered actual violets that had any scent), I don't experience it that way. For some reason, in spite of its sweetness, it has an almost perverse quality to me--like Grimm's fairy tales. VdP presents this aspect very well. It's the scent of a pretty little beast that might bite you if you touched it.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 3/7/2014 5:33:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Medium, Cool

Hair: Silver, Straight, Coarse

Eyes: Green

Borsari VIOLETTA DI PARMA is a gorgeous fragrance. It is basically a violet "soliflore" fragrance, meaning that one flower is really all it's about, even though that violet note is quietly supported by silvery, rooty orris; purply hyacinth and heliotrope; a clovery sweet hay, subtle green notes, cedar and an intriguingly tarry soupcon of vetiver. Its very beauty is its restraint and subtlety. The muguet fillip at top is extremely subdued, so a man can wear it, too. Light, evanescent/transparent, introspective, nostalgic, this is not a candied violet, smelling like a CHOWARD'S lozenge or Liddle Kiddles hair; it never gets quite that sweet; the supporting notes give it a more silvestral, country aura. The scent of true forest violets has never been captured via the traditional enfleurage process; so perfumers have recreated it as a "fantasy note", woven of jasmin and the important perfume synthetics called Ionones. This is called an eau de parfum, even though the sillage and tenacity is delicate indeed... more akin to a "veil" : after two hours, it will be all but gone from the skin. This version of VIOLETTA DI PARMA was released in 1970, the nose being Ludovico Borsari of an old Italian perfuming family; the scent is reportedly based upon an earlier formula first released in 1870. Let's face it, at this price point, you are not going to get Jean Patou JOY. Rather, this is a charming, soothing "tous les jours" fragrance that will put your head in a gorgeous, tender space. Little girls will adore it, too. It must be appreciated for what it is, and it does that thing wonderfully. The thistle-tinted, tasselled squeeze bulb atomiseur makes for a delightfully retro touch. Highly recommended.

on 1/29/2014 10:40:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brown, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Green

I am a HUGE fan of violet perfumes that smell like Chowards violet candies in the purple tin foil. I purchased this last year hoping to get something like that and it was far from the smell I wanted. It smells like horrible! There is nothing candy like or sweet about it, the smell is vile! I am obsessed with violet perfumes and this is purely FLOWER-ish smell nothing sweet, nothing powdery, it reeks! If you are into the whole JUST flower smell, you may like this but if you are looking for sweet, powdery, marie-antoinette, whimsical , heaven smell , this is a complete waste of money.

on 3/23/2011 1:10:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

N.B.--I have what may be an older bottle. The juice is green, the cap is a gold ball, and the box has a strolling lady in a long, pink dress.

The violet note itself is incredibly fine. It is impossibly deep and velvety--real-smelling, yet deeper and more violetty than the local violets (here in New England). Must be the scent of Parma violets. I wish there was more of this violet here. The violet note has been worked into a "setting" of other floral notes and a vanilla-musk base. Nonetheless the overall effect feels just right. Since violet notes have a way of winking on and off (due to ionone's effect of "short-circuiting" the nose), the other notes keep the scent from disappearing altogether when the violets wink off.

It's a bit funky at first. The vanilla and musk seem to warm up before the florals, along with what might be a bit of not-so-clean jasmine. It's the kind of thing that seems too old-fashioned at first, then grows on you in a big way.

The scent stays close to the skin overall, and the light sillage has a lovely way of gently undulating throughout the day. Impressively, this lasts all day and into the next.

It does not smell sugary. It is neither like violet baby cologne nor baby powder (though it is very powdery). It is not green, either. It is ladylike, yet not matronly; flirty, yet not girlish; simple, yet satisfying.

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

on 12/3/2008 2:20:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

OH MY GOODNESS! I find this scent graceful and modest yet powerful and enrapturing. Works well with my body chemistry that seems to make many scents too sweet and cloying. VdP stays calm and smooth on me. It is my HG for sure. No musty powder, no sharpness, just olfactory bliss. I also love the history of this scent...To me the notes are in perfect balance. Notes (from basenotes) VIOLET, ROSE, MUGUET, ORRIS, JASMINE, HELIOTROPE, HYACINTH, VETIVER, MUSK, VANILLA.

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Other, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Violets and not much more. Just pretty and sweet almost candy-ish without being cloying. Long lasting and classic. Not too expensive either.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 9/21/2008 3:04:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

Why am I getting a banana type smell- like a slightly under ripe greenish banana thing going on ? This is a disappointment for me! So definitely too 'green' for me ! More violets please !!!!!!!

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 8/30/2008 6:43:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Normal, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

This is my favorite violet scent. It is also one of the cheapest ones you can get here in Italy.
Neither too powdery nor excessively sweet, this is a soft violet scent that stays close to the skin, yet lasts for hours.
I am not sure about the notes in this fragrance, but I can smell a little musk and some hyacinth - which probably gives it that greenness other reviewers have mentioned before.
A beautiful fragrance indeed that can be worn all year round.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 6/18/2008 9:31:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Oily, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

I just received a sample of this yesterday. Not only is the lasting power close to zero, it quickly turns to a musty attic smell...faint, but nonetheless detectable. In fact, I just saw a friend to whom I'm very attracted and felt quite ugly in his presence as a result. I had been excited to try this fragrance but sorry to say..its not worth another try!

Next time I want to smell beautiful, I will turn to Lipstick Rose.

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