The origins of Parma violet perfume

Parma Violet is a popular and distinctive fragrance in the world of perfumery. Known for their sweet and powdery scent, Parma violets have captivated fragrance enthusiasts for decades. But where does the name “Parma Violet” come from? In this article, we explore the origins of this beloved fragrance and delve into the history behind its name.

The Fragrance of Parma Violets

The scent of Parma Violet is instantly recognizable and often described as nostalgic and romantic. It is a delicate and powdery fragrance that evokes images of blooming violets in spring. The sweet and floral notes of Parma Violet create an aura of elegance and femininity, making it a popular choice for perfumes, body lotions and scented candles.

The distinctive scent of Parma violet is due to its main aromatic compound, ionone. Ionone is a chemical compound found in a variety of flowers, including violets. It has the unique ability to capture the essence of violet flowers and replicate their scent. Perfumers carefully extract and isolate ionone to create the iconic scent of Parma Violet.

The birthplace of the Parma violet

The name “Parma violets” comes from the city of Parma in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. Parma has a long tradition of growing violets, and the city’s favorable climate and rich soil provide ideal conditions for these delicate flowers to thrive. The cultivation of violets in Parma dates back to the 19th century, when they were grown primarily for their ornamental value.

It was during this time that the unique fragrance of Parma violets caught the attention of perfumers. They were captivated by the sweet and powdery scent, and soon Parma violets became a sought-after ingredient in the perfume industry. The popularity of Parma violets as a fragrance led to the establishment of violet farms in Parma, dedicated to growing and harvesting violets for their aromatic properties.

Parma violets in perfumery

The enchanting scent of Parma violets found its way into the world of perfumery at the beginning of the 20th century. Perfumers recognized the allure of this delicate scent and began incorporating it into their creations. Parma violet became a popular note in floral compositions, adding a touch of sweetness and nostalgia to perfumes.
One of the most iconic Parma violet perfumes is Guerlain’s Apres L’Ondee, introduced in 1906. Created by Jacques Guerlain, this fragrance is a masterpiece that beautifully blends the powdery scent of Parma violets with other floral and woody notes. “Apres L’Ondee paved the way for the use of Parma violet in perfumery and solidified its status as an essential fragrance ingredient.

Modern interpretations and variations

Over the years, Parma violet has continued to inspire perfumers, resulting in modern interpretations and variations of this classic fragrance. Today, you can find a wide range of perfumes that use Parma violet as a prominent note or as part of a more complex composition.

Contemporary perfumers often explore different facets of Parma violet, pairing it with other flowers or combining it with modern ingredients to create unique olfactory experiences. Some fragrances highlight the sweet and powdery nature of Parma violet, while others emphasize its green and leafy aspects. The versatility of Parma violet allows perfumers to create diverse and captivating fragrances to suit different tastes.
Finally, the name “Parma Violet” comes from the city of Parma, Italy, where the captivating scent of the fragrance was first recognized and cultivated. Parma Violet has become synonymous with a delicate and powdery scent that captures the essence of the blooming violet. Their presence in perfumery has endured over the years, and they continue to inspire perfumers to create enchanting fragrances that evoke femininity, nostalgia and elegance.


Where does the name Parma violets come from?

The name “Parma violets” comes from the city of Parma in Italy, which is famous for its production of violets.

Are Parma violets related to the flower?

No, Parma violets are not directly related to the flower. They are a type of small, round, purple-colored sweets that are flavored with violet extract.

Who invented Parma violets?

Parma violets were first produced by the British confectionery company J. Swizzels Matlow in the 1940s.

What do Parma violets taste like?

Parma violets have a distinctive floral flavor with a hint of sweetness. Some people describe the taste as similar to violet flowers or perfumes.

Are Parma violets popular outside of the UK?

Parma violets are primarily popular in the United Kingdom, where they have been enjoyed for many years. They are less well-known and less commonly found in other countries.