This summer, when I did my big reorganization of samples I sorted my samples by scent families. On the whole I found this a practical way to organize them as I had easy overview of all perfumes of a certain kind. But there were certain notes that somehow did not naturally lend themselves into this way of classifications, especially iris- or violet-centric perfumes ended up scattered into different boxes; Bois de Violette in the Woods box, Sonoma Scent Studio Lieu de Reves among the powdery orientals, Lipstick Rose among the roses, you get the picture. I had to scurry through ll the boxes in order to locate the one violet scent I was craving. Finally, there was this one pivotal scent, near impossible to classify by family, that led med to move all violets into a box of their own, and that scent was Keiko Mechieris Genie des Bois.
Genie des Bois seems to be usually classified as a ”wood” when looking through the Internet, but there is a lot more to it. To me, it’s a spice-oriental-gourmand-wood violet, equally heavy in all directions. Tania Sanchez even finds greens in it, but that does not show up on my skin.
During the first 10 minutes after application I get lovely warm spices such as saffron, cardamom and black pepper. I LOVE this opening. Then there is an awkward phase of soapy violets, cross-bred with ginger bread dough and a type of green and pink erasers we had at school when I was a kid. These were very basic, public school, type of erasers, not intentionally perfumed but with a certain putty-ish smell to them. And, of course, where there are erasers there is always the eternal classroom white noise-scent of pencil shavings, somewhere in the background. This phase is not my favorite, but what’s coming is worth waiting for.
After a while the Genie moves into violet dessert territory as the benzoin starts kicking in, accompanied by the boozy-vanillic tonka beans. This makes me think of a very special dessert, not one that has ever been created, as I know of, but still very clear in my mind. I think of a piece of violet fondant, either white or purple in color, of the portion size of a regular soap. It looks like it’s made of smooth marzipan, but instead of almonds it’s subtly flavored with cedar oil and saffron. Saffron is a tricky spice to use while cooking, once you can taste it, you’ve added to much (if you’re not making Lussekatter, in that case you can’t add too much). In this dessert there is just a tiny trace, adding a touch of roundness and luxury. (And I’m not sure how to mask the color of the saffron, but I’m sure that can be worked out).
In all, Genie des Bois is a good winter violet scent. It’s very rich, and if you’re not planning to reapply it every 15 minutes to get the intro again and again, you should go lightly on it, as that piece of fondant can grow into proportions similar to the massive purple sofa in the picture. But when worn softly, it’s beautiful.
Official notes (according to libertineparfumerie) : violet, violet leaves, precious woods, benzoin, rosewood, musk, tonka bean and cocoa bean
Image: Tankar i text