A Week of Violets, Part I: Caron Aimez-Moi

Today kicks off A Week of Violets, a joint blog project at Redolent of Spices and Scent of the Day.  We’re each reviewing three violet scents this week, so be sure to go read their reviews today, and then check back later in the week for more reviews.   First up here: Caron Aimez-Moi.

In general, I haven’t been a big fan of Caron scents so far.  It’s true that I’ve largely limited my Caron testing to the currently-available fare, without resorting to the vintage ebay finds that make up most of my vintage experience, so I’ve never smelled, say, Narcisse Noir or Tabac Blond as they were before the current round of Richard Fraysse reformulations.  Those classic Caron scents are fairly rare and sometimes available, but at long-lost-love prices.  It’s true that, with a few exceptions, I haven’t been all that impressed with the current Caron offerings.

Aimez-Moi is one of the exceptions.  Two years ago, I was trolling along looking for recommendations for violet scents, and ran across a review of Aimez-Moi by Robin at Now Smell This.  It would eventually become clear to me that Robin’s tastes and mine share a very small area of overlap, but I didn’t know that at the time, and her description of Aimez-Moi as “deep, cool and mysterious” pulled me in.  Shortly after that, a sample became available to me via swap – and I was hooked.

The scent opens with a dry, almost nail-polish-y overlay, which is more noticeable on fabric than on skin, and which might be a bergamot note beginning to go off.  It doesn’t matter, because very quickly, AM blooms into an anise-violet accord which is both sweet and pungent.  If you think of candy at all – you may – you’ll think of those odd, old-fashioned British candies called Liquorice Allsorts, which are bits of stiff, chewy licorice, tougher and less sweet than the American stuff, encased in thick, chalky-tasting pink, orange, or green candy coating. 

Shortly after that, a pleasant rose note appears, staying to hang out with the anise and violet for at least an hour or two, while gradually a dry, powdery vanilla-heliotrope accord surfaces under that.  It actually reminds me a good deal of Apres l’Ondee, if Al’O were less misty and ephemeral.  Aimez-Moi becomes cheerful and friendly, a sort of perky, quirky yet wholesome ingenue version of Apres l’Ondee’s ethereal, wispy poetry-writing maiden.  Think Emma Woodhouse, from the Jane Austen novel, and you’ve got a pretty good idea.  She’s known some sadness in her life, but generally things go her way, and since all she really wants is to make all the people in her life happy, she’s optimistic and rather naive.

The first time I wore Aimez-Moi, I thoroughly enjoyed it, only realizing toward the end of the four-hour ride that I wished that I’d known of it when I was young and optimistic myself.  I thought it was the perfect scent for falling in love – and then the moment that thought occurred to me, I became terribly sad that I was no longer that young, optimistic, in-love person.

Heliotrope tends to make me unaccountably wistful. 

The second time I wore Aimez-Moi, and every time since then, the entire experience was cheerful.  No sadness – which after all had more to do with my life than with this scent – at all. 

 If Apres l’Ondee is a silk chiffon scarf in lavender and silver, Aimez-Moi is a fluffy, girly sweater in mauve and pale silvery purple, cuddly as a basketful of blue-eyed kittens.  It is a fairly quiet scent, and not very sweet beyond the brief initial blast of weirdness.  It’s also good for what I like to call a “handkerchief scent,” one that’s feminine and unobtrusive enough for spritzing your linen handkerchief before tucking it into your purse.  If you just said to yourself, “Tucking a what into my what?” then it’s possible that Aimez-Moi may not be for you.  But, of course, I might be wrong, and who am I to say that biker chicks in black leather who carry wallets chained to their belt loops might not love it? 

Notes for Aimez-Moi, which was composed by Dominique Ropion (Dominique, will you marry me? I’d at least like to thank you for Carnal Flower, Alien, Ysatis, Jungle L’Elephant, Safari and Une Fleur de Cassie, as well as Aimez-Moi) and released in 1996:   Top notes include bergamot, star anise, mint, and violet.  Middle notes are jasmine, iris, magnolia, vanilla, peach, rose.  Basenotes are musk, amber, woody notes and heliotrope.  What I mostly smell, as I mentioned, is anise, violet, rose, vanilla and heliotrope. 

I bought a small 1-ounce bottle for about $17 at one of the discounters, and I’ve been very happy with it.  I was lucky enough to discover one of the pretty, original-release bottles; it looks like an ornate Victorian cushion with tassels on each corner, interpreted in cut glass.  I don’t care much for the standard Caron bottles, and have been known to call them “butt-ugly,” but who cares about ugly bottles when the scent inside them is so pretty?

A few more reviews for your consideration: Robin at Now Smell This, Bois de Jasmin, Marina at Perfume-Smellin’ Things .  Tania Sanchez, in Perfumes: The Guide, says of Aimez-Moi (****)  that it “begins with a pretty fresh violet and ends in sweet powdery vanilla, and has a humor and cheer largely missing from Caron’s current lineup of feminines.”

Images of Aimez-Moi ad and bottle from Fragrantica.  Image of Liquorice Allsorts from Wikimedia Commons.

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20 thoughts on “A Week of Violets, Part I: Caron Aimez-Moi”

  1. LOL at “Tucking a what into my what?” I admit I’ve never done that, but I like the idea of it — I wonder if spritzing a Kleenex would work. 🙂

    I don’t think I have a single violet scent in my collection; I’ve decided I need a bottle of SSS Voile de Violette.

    1. E – Ix-nay on spritzing the Eenex-klay. Doesn’t work, you just get soggy tissues.

      I have a sample of VdV that I must get out… when the “signature scent challenge” is over.

  2. Heliotrope makes me wistful, too! But Aimez-Moi has been one of my favorites for years. I have one of the lovely old bottles, too. Great review,
    Masha

  3. Great review! I love the similies (scarfs, sweaters and kittens) and the literary allusions.

    I am a handkerchief (well, kleenex) sprayer! I have a sheet in my make-up bag that wafts EL Private Collection (I have yet to try it on skin) and it cheers me instantly.

    Liquorice all-sorts and powdery heliotrope leads me to think my husband may like this. He leans in the gourmande direction. I may have to give Aimez-Moi a try.

    I can’t make up my mind if the name “Aimez-Moi” implies begging for love or demanding it…guess I’ll have to sniff and see!

    1. Thanks, JE – you never know what certain fragrances are going to make you think of… (kittens indeed!)

      I do very badly with Lauder scents – something in the base – but PC was nice for a couple of hours at least. I do love green florals! Since you are getting on so well with Le Temps d’une Fete, you must too.

      Well, you’ll have to see if your husband likes AM… what else does he like?

      1. He doesn’t really care for fragrance, so when he says he likes a perfume, he’s not fooling around.

        He likes Attrape-Coeur (more on that later this week!), Gabriel’s Aunt Bohem, Smell Bent Horny Little Devil and the dry down of Amaranthine.

      2. Ah. So at least when you get a positive comment, you know he’s not just being nice! The CEO is always complimentary of my girly stuff – the more floofy, floral, just-plain-pretty it is, the better he likes it.

        Can’t wait to read your AC review – I love the stuff, and have managed to scare up two small decants. (CANNOT believe they discontinued it. Shame on Guerlain.) Amaranthigh is really lovely, too. (Didn’t try Horny Little Devil – that musk Smell Bent uses is pretty raunchy, I think.)

  4. I love Aimez-Moi. It’s really beautiful and unique, but never quite ‘me,’ if you know what I mean. Several years ago, I had my sister try it and, oh my, it was perfect for her. This has become her signature scent.

    Thanks for the review – well done!

    1. J, I know what you mean – there are certain scents I admire, which I think are wonderful, but which seem to wear me instead of settling down on my skin.

      How nice of you to pass on AM to your sister!

  5. I first smelled Aimez-Moi at the Caron boutique in New York, loved it and was even considering purchasing a bottle. However, in about 15 minutes everything I loved about it faded away, leaving a vague sweet smell on my wrist. Sigh. I was very disappointed to learn it did not come in an EDP or extrait – if so, they would have had themselves a sale.

    1. Awwww, Patty, what a bummer. I have “scent-eating” skin, but there are certain notes that stick around on me, and whatever they’re associated with tends to stick around too – in this case, the vanilla/heliotrope stays like glue and keeps the anise and florals with it. Four hours is a looooong-lasting edt on me, and I’m glad. (There are certain edps that don’t last that long on my skin.)

  6. It’s funny about scent loves. Aimez-Moi is filled with notes I don’t particularly like. And–thinking about your very apt description–I don’t own a handkerchief or purse and would never wear fluffy girly sweater. But somehow it works for me–I love it. (Must have succumbed to the name!)

      1. No, never.

        Well …. hardly ever (apologies to Messrs Gilbert & Sullivan). A silk chiffon scarf seems much more my style; but who’s to say I might not spot one some day that I liked.

      2. Gilbert & Sullivan rock!

        Good to leave a potential mental space for girly sweaters or chiffon scarves… I try not to say never, but I can safely say I’ve ruled out leather trousers and corsets.

        Well, maybe corsets-as-outerwear.

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