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Making Violet Water: Part Two (In Which We Discuss Failure)

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April 20, 2015 by kristin

Yeah, so that didn’t work. To make violet water that smells or tastes of violets, one needs viola odorata, which is ever-so-slightly different in appearance from viola odorless-and-useless, the variety that pops up prodigiously in my backyard.

I steeped one batch in boiling water and one batch in cheap vodka. Both solutions produced an attractively lavender liquid that smelled like nothingness and failure. 

So I went to Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab and bought several imps (small sample vials) of violet perfume instead. I was poised to love the one called “Marie” (supposedly inspired by Marie Antoinette’s signature perfume, and I admit to a big ❤️ for Marie Antoinette), but discovered the tea rose note gave me a migraine. The ultimate winner was Nocturne, a sleepy soft violet scent. 

That is not to say I’ve given up entirely on the idea of making violet water myself. Everywhere I go lately, I spot violets in the wild, and I always check the stems for the telltale “hairs” that will indicate I’ve found the elusive viola odorata. Alas, so far, even my grandmother’s yard has only viola pretty-but-otherwise-infuriating. And doesn’t it just seem like a grandmother’s yard ought to have all the violets?

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About Kristin

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Historical fiction writer and reader. Procrastinator. Sewist. Slytherin. Fan of red lipstick, rock 'n' roll, and everything vintage.

Current Work-in-Progress

The Boy in the Red Dress

When her drag queen best friend is accused of murdering a socialite, a Jazz Age Veronica Mars searches for the real killer in the seedy underbelly and glittering upper crust of 1931 New Orleans.


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