UPDATE Nov 2014: I have to eat my words here, the Lavender Licorice Lament has turned into a Lovesong in the meantime. A new (rave) review is very much in order. Until then, please know that I know now that you should never say never… :)
I have found an Hermessence I don’t like.
I didn’t think that would ever happen and I’m not sure why it did.
Lavender and licorice – nothing wrong with those notes, is there? I like lavender (Kiki, A Taste Of Heaven) and I like licorice (Réglisse Noire, Un Bois Vanille), I love Jean-Claude Ellena – so what went wrong? Let’s see…
“I wanted to create an intense, dry lavender, like you would smell in the south of France in June or July… Then I had to find something to dress it up that would be a little unusual. I chose a touch of licorice.”
– Jean-Claude Ellena
Brin de Reglisse was created in 2007 by Jean-Claude Ellena and includes notes of lavender, licorice, orange blossom and hay.
On paper this is perfect. The notes list reads just lovely, Ellena’s own words sound inviting.
The actual perfume on me smells horrible.
Dry, harsh, sharp, poky sprigs of lavender in formaldhyde, desperately trying to cover something unpleasant underneath. The licorice in here comes out very thick and dense on me, not sweet but strangely treacly and like molasses.
After a few minutes the initial wave of unpleasantness calms and the perfume gets easier to wear for me. By now the licorice is more distant and softer, some hay, but very faint and far away is noticeable and the lavender lingers on until the very end.
True to form this is the longest-lasting Hermessence I have ever encountered. I think once we dislike something, the tiniest molecule of it re-triggers the entire unpleasant scent memory and therefore evokes the impression of “unscrubbability” and stays in our noses (or brains rather) for the longest time.
Brin de Reglisse is the ninth Hermessence I have tried (only Paprika Brasil is missing) and I’m sorry to say, it is not for me.
Loving lavender and licorice leads to lamenting lost opportunities.