In The Studio: Violet Crown

For the Love of All Things Violet

My grandmother loved violet scented soap and toiletries. My earliest memories were of her special soaps, which in the 1960s were special indeed. This classic scent is deeply rooted in my memory, so naturally the Amaravati Perfume House must have a violet perfume. And naturally it should pay homage to the Violet Crown of Texas, Austin. 

Downtown Austin Violet Crown

The History of the Violet Crown

The term “Violet Crown” has historical roots extending beyond Austin, Texas, and has been used in various contexts throughout history.

The earliest known use of the term “Violet Crown” (Greek: Ιοστεφάνουσα) is attributed to the ancient Greek poet Pindar, who referred to Athens as “the violet-crowned city.” This epithet was inspired by the city’s association with the violet flower and its renowned beauty and cultural significance. Also in ancient Greece, Mount Hymettus near Athens was known for its violets and the distinctive purple hue of the sky at twilight. The mountain and its surroundings contributed to the “violet crown” imagery associated with the city.

The term has been used by various poets and writers over the centuries to evoke a sense of beauty, elegance, and cultural richness. It often symbolizes a city’s natural beauty and artistic heritage.

These historical examples highlight the enduring appeal and evocative power of the “Violet Crown” as a symbol of natural beauty and cultural significance.

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the phrase “Violet Crown” was used to describe Austin, Texas, due to the stunning violet and purple hues seen in the city’s sky at sunset. This usage has persisted, contributing to the city’s cultural identity and being embraced by local businesses and landmarks.

 

 

Candied Violets or Hill Country Vibes

 

Aside from the ancient method of enfleurage, there is only one way to capture the smell of violets from natural ingredients: extracting the waxes of orris root. Violets themselves are too delicate to steam distill for an essential oil.

Violet perfumes and flavored products are created by blending special isolates called ionones. Violet candies like Choward’s and violet syrups are easy to find, so if you want good examples of the taste and smell of violet, go ahead and try a few. This is one of the best ways to train your nose to recognize this soft, powdery, slightly soapy note.

However, my concept for Violet Crown was far removed from soap! My vision was to capture the essence of the Texas Hill Country—grass, trees, hilltop vistas—and mix it all with a little bit of the Yellow Rose of Texas.

Representing ATX

Austin is renowned as the Live Music Capital of the World, and its quirky cultural scene—spanning music, arts, film, food, politics, UT football, conservation, and science—perfectly embodies the motto “Keep Austin Weird.”

In my clinic, I witness the hippie influence on people of all ages every week, and it never fails to delight me! From a 6-year-old sporting a flower power sundress and peace sign sneakers to a 20-year-old in hip hugger bell bottoms, and a Gen X man with long locks and an embroidered tunic—the diversity is endless. Few places bring together cowboys, chip designers, and kindred spirits from all walks of life to dine, dance, and enjoy the local natural springs side by side.

Austin is undergoing rapid urban development and a boom in tech industries, but amidst these changes, the city’s commitment to nature conservancy remains steadfast. The Violet Crown Trail is a testament to this commitment, and I’m fortunate to be located on property protected by water conservation easement, managed alongside the Trail.

Surrounded by the scents of the Hill Country every day, Violet Crown seeks to capture that imaginary essence with notes of cannabis and rosha grass, roses, ho wood, and other aromatic woods, complemented by linden blossom. To achieve a rich, well-developed violet profile, I blend aged orris root with natural isolates of alpha- and beta-ionone.

In Austin, the blend of nature, cultural diversity, and creative spirit inspires me daily, shaping both my work and my appreciation for this dynamic city.

The Granny Tree and Cottage. The cottage is almost completed, though the Perfumery is already in operation. 

Amaravati Perfumery in the Cottage

Cedar beams, cedar mulch, limestone, Live Oak, native grasses, weeds – sensory aids for the imagination. 

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