I ate licorice for the very first time in my life, when I was pregnant. Before that time, you could have chased me with the stuff: black, chewy and a strange combination of salty-sweet – ugh. But then, all of a sudden I found myself craving it.
Licorice in perfume? Well there are not too many fragrances out there featuring the note, at least not many where it is used prominently.
There is Eau de Réglisse by Caron, Brin de Réglisse by Hermès (part of the exclusive Hermessences line) also comes to mind, although it is one of the two that are still missing in my Hermessences exploration.
There is another gourmand perfume using licorice as a main note, even in the name – Réglisse Noire.
Réglisse Noire is the first creation of Jessica September Buchanan, a Canadian perfumer trained in Grasse, who founded her own perfume house, 1000 Flowers.
When my 15ml bottle arrived from France on a Thursday, I started wearing it immediately and didn’t stop for the entire weekend. That is not often the case in the life of a perfume blogger. (Le Parfum de Thérèse was another such “I can’t let you go!” perfume, which is good company for Réglisse Noire.)
The most fascinating thing about Réglisse Noire is its lightness. With notes like this, this gourmand could have turned out heavy and cloying. Instead it is airy, fluffy, not overly sweet but still delicious.
Réglisse Noire opens spicy and fresh. The ozone note along with pepper act like a gust of wind blowing through. The ingenious use of mint and shiso give a green and fresh twist to the underlying sweet notes of cocoa, licorice and vanilla. Ginger and anise spice things up, and the drydown is perfectly balanced between sweet and scrumptious and dry and woody.
Réglisse Noire is a perfect gourmand for me. Not overly foody, but immensely comfortable. Its greatest achievement though, is that it is like no other, it is very unique.
I have nothing like it in my collection. It is not the fifteenth interpretation of the same theme, but fills an empty place in my perfume closet.
This being Jessica Buchanan’s first perfume, I am very impressed and curious to try what else she has done and will do in the future.
There is one other perfume at the moment called Fleur N°1 and another one coming soon, Narcotic Flower, obviously both floral creations.
The packaging Réglisse Noire comes in is beautiful and thoughtful as well, something I take note of. It is important to “dress” a beautiful scent appropriately. I only wish the small size came with an atomizer too, since it needs to be sprayed for good sillage, not dabbed.
That is how perfume should be.