My colleague and fellow founding writer at CaFleureBon, Ida Meister, found many places where we have similar enthusiasms. One of them is the song “Start Wearing Purple” by Gogol Bordello. She has been known to sing it to me when we see each other. When I received my sample of Hiram Green Vivacious I started vocalizing in my head to “start wearing purple”. Because we both love the song, I expected to see her use it in her review, which you can read here. She chose to go a different way. Which means I’m going to torture it as much as anything that I ever use.
When it comes to florals in perfumery two of my favorite are the purple ones, iris and violet. Iris has been a staple of perfumery. Violet has been used much less. Many of my favorite perfumes I own are centered around violet. Hiram Green decided to make violet the keynote of Vivacious along with an assist from iris.
Mr. Green has become one of the most remarkable perfumers working with an all-natural palette. He has coaxed extraordinary depths from his creations. Vivacious is no different. This is a gorgeously deep purple perfume.
A sparkling bergamot sets the stage for the violet. One of the things I enjoy most about violet is a kind of candied effect it carries. There are violet flavored candies covered in crystalline sugar. This is how the violet first appears. Carnation provides some pushback with its clove-like spicy profile. That clove at the heart of carnation; this is where a natural perfumer must understand their materials. Mr. Green uses the spice within the flower to re-define the violet from candied to something less sweet. When orris joins in it is its rooty carrot-like version. There is still the powdery iris you know but it is that tuberous scent which predominates. Again it is the subtle powder of the flower matched to the rhizome in precise concentration that creates the balance at the heart of Vivacious. This is where Gogol Bordello reaches full volume in my head. A comforting amber adds a shimmer of warmth over the final hours.
Vivacious has 10-12 hour longevity and moderate sillage.
Vivacious is another magnificent floral from Mr. Green. Every time I think he can’t outdo his previous perfumes he proves me wrong. The tagline he has provided for Vivacious is “zing your life”. I am changing it to “sing your life”, you know the tune by now.
Disclosure: this review is based on a sample provided by Hiram Green.