Recently I read that the FDA recommends that people over 40 avoid consuming more than 2 oz of black licorice a day to avoid the risk of heart arrhythmia and other nasties. Really. Now they're after my licorice. As though it's not enough that chocolate gives me heartburn.
To quench some of the cravings I turn to perfume, and there's little that compares with Réglisse Noire by 1000 Flowers, a small indie line by perfumer Jessica Buchanan. Combining her Grasse training in modern perfumery with her studies of aromatherapy and natural perfumery, Canadian Buchanan offers us a remarkable and outstanding fragrance. Réglisse Noire takes both star anise and licorice and combines them into a very rich and satisfying representation of this rich black treat.
There's a delicate balance in Reglisse Noire between what could have been a heavy and thick base and the herbal core that keeps the fragrance from sinking into the earthy patchoulified trap. The result is like an exquisite truffle from a master chocolatier who uses pepper and other spices that enliven the chocolaty goodness.
Reglisee Noire has a good chance of appealing to gourmand and spice lovers of both genders. It's not too heavy and not too sweet, making a truly wearable fragrance and not just an experiment in licorice. The minty herbal part smells almost lavender-like, which the husband found somewhat objectionable but I like very much-- it's like a much-improved richer and more interesting take on the idea of Brin Reglisse (Hermess), with a more substantial sillage, a sense of humor and a staying power of about 6 hours.
Notes: White pepper, Ozone, Mint, Shiso leaf, Star anise, Ginger, Licorice, Cocoa, Patchouli, Vanilla, Vetiver, Musk.
Réglisse Noire by 1000 Flowers ($35, 15ml EDT splash) is available from 1000flowers.ca .
Photo: Epilogue by Edward Weston.