Vivacious by Hiram Green

Notes: Bergamot, Violet, Carnation, Orris and Amber


I’ve long been drawn to violet scents. Along with roses, they evoke that vintage glamour I so admire. However, I usually have issues with the violet perfumes I try. They are either too sweet or too powdery, too green or too metallic. Their characters strike me as being quite child-like or rather staid. Maybe I am unduly fussy (well there’s no ‘maybe’ about it) but I couldn’t seem to find the right violet for me.

Therefore I was understandably excited at the thought of a forthcoming violet done the Hiram Green way. I knew this indie perfumer would bring something unique to the genre, as he has done with all of his fragrances.


Hiram describes Vivacious as a ‘violet-themed’ fragrance and it is indeed that. He riffs off the central idea of a traditional violet perfume but expands it with gauzy layers of carnation and orris. In doing so, he transforms it into something much more interesting than a violet soliflore.

The first time I tried Vivacious I got a lot of carnation; a note we rarely see in perfumes these days. This spicy floral aroma is full-bodied with the clove-like scent of eugenol. The subsequent times I’ve tried it on my inner forearm, I’ve got something considerably more nuanced.

After a joyful opening of parma violets and sparkling bergamot, it settles down into what I imagine as a purple-hued haze.. There is powder but nowhere near an overwhelming amount. It’s just enough to add a delicate aura of prettiness. The proportions of violet, orris and carnation are beautifully balanced.

Its character is supremely graceful. I thought it might be a boudoir fragrance but no. I’d put Vivacious in the category of what I think of as ‘ballet slipper perfumes’. Those that are less about vintage cosmetics and more about satin, tulle and crushed rosin. There is a distinctly romantic, nostalgic air about it but this never veers into melancholia. 

The base is a gentle glowing amber with the texture of suede. This makes for a fittingly smooth finish.

While it wears in a sheer manner, this Eau de Parfum lacks neither presence nor longevity.

In short, Vivacious is Hiram Green’s most complex and accomplished fragrance to date – and my new favourite violet-centric scent.

It is full of buoyancy and flair. Its wistful yet hopeful attitude expressed in a poised, glorious, grand jeté.





Do you already have a favourite violet perfume? Do you like the sound of Vivacious?









Filed under Perfume Reviews

26 responses to “Vivacious by Hiram Green

  1. Asali

    I know what you mean about violets. I do have a Caron aimez moi by Ropion, which I’ve thought of as a violet ( with anise) centric perfume, however looking it up I see people having other ideas about the dominant notes in this composition. Après l’ondee, of course, which I love… insolence as well. They all have quite a lot of iris too, but that seems to be the way with violet perfumes anyway, probably because the ionones are close in character.
    I was looking forward to hear what you had to say about this one, it sounds beautiful, but not like a lemming. Fortunately 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. NOOOO. Not listening. I can’t hear you.
    Hiram Green is amazing. Violet thrills me in all its forms. Give me the powder, the prim, the porcelain please. Even give it to me gussied up with roses or amber.
    NOW you offer me a velvety violet with crisp carnation?
    WOW! Sounds amazing Tara.
    Portia xx

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ooh, this sounds delightful, and I quite agree with you about violet being a tricky note. Love the sub category of ‘ballet slipper’ perfumes. I guess Iris Prima is that for iris, not least thanks to its marketing.

    My favourite violet-containing perfumes are L’Attrape-Coeur and Kenzo Flower Oriental (name is approximate).


  4. This sounds amazing Tara! I’ve been curious and tempted to order a sample and now I will. Violets, carnation, orris, powdery, Hiram Green creation!
    Thanks for the review!


  5. Hamamelis

    Lovely review about a lovely fragrance. I bought a sample, soon to follow by a full bottle, no doubt. It is beautiful, comforting, uplifting and all we need to sniff our way out of you know what! I think Hiram might be my favourite perfumer, of the male ones definitely. I love violet, I have a Goutal violet somewhere, nice, and I love it in Misia. But they don’t come close to Vivacious imho!


    • Oh how wonderful. The whole line is very special.

      I never got round to trying the Goutal Violet. I imagine it’s lovely. The violet in Misia is also nicely done but a tad sweet for me.


  6. Oh! oh! oh!
    I love your comparison of Vivacious and ballet slippers!
    It’s another amazing perfume by Hiram.

    As for violets, apart from Apres l’Ondee I also like Violet Shot from Olfactive Studio.


  7. Lovely review Tara. It is a quite beautiful fragrance. The more I wear it the more complex it becomes, and yet is so easy to wear. And slightly off topic I have to say the sprayers that Hiram uses are second to none. I asked him about them and he spared no expense. They spray beautifully, too notch, no different to a Chanel. And yes, a good spray does make the perfume smell better!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah really interesting. I do think the sprayer makes a difference. The same way samples can be different to spraying from a full bottle.


    • amymhollywood

      The Hiram Green sprayers are excellent! I wish I loved Vivacious more than I do. Somehow on me it goes a bit . . . thick is the only word that I can think of to describe it. It’s the orris, which I often love, but here doesn’t sit well on me. That said, I’ve changed my mind about perfumes before and might again!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Actually, I don’t have a favorite violet perfume, and none come to mind when I think of them. Vivaciuos sounds great though. 🙂 And I will definitely find a violet perfume for me, violets will always make me think of my grandmother (her favorite scent).

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Beautiful review, Tara. I love reading about perfumes that you love.

    I thought that I didn’t have favorite violet perfumes (I’m not sure I’ve ever smelled real flowers), but it’s not true: I love both, sadly discontinued, violets from Tom Ford – Black Violet and Violet Blond.

    For me Vivacious is mostly about carnations, which isn’t bad since I like that note. I have a partial bottle on the way to me now, so I’ll have a chance to see if over time I’ll start getting more of other notes.


    • That’s a lovely compliment, thank you!

      I remember trying Violet Blonde but not Black Violet.

      I wonder if the carnation will be toned down when you spray when your partial bottle. I was really surprised when it was the stand-out note the first time I tried it.


  10. Pingback: New Release: Vivacious – Hiram Green | The Scented Hound

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