Caron Eau de Reglisse : Perfume Review

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Eau_de_reglisse

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

The licorice colors the 2006 limited edition fragrance from Caron Eau de Réglisse. The lovers of Caron’s complex and dark compositions would be disappointed were they to seek the same intrigue in Eau de Réglisse. It offers neither the richness of Tabac Blond, nor the sensuality of Narcisse Noir. However, sparkling and fresh like a sip of Pernod, Eau de Réglisse accomplishes what the best of summer fragrances do—it makes one forget about the heat and humidity. …

The summer releases over the past couple of years have employed the anise notes quite successfully, despite the fact that being more frequently employed in functional products, they have a questionable status in fine perfumery. By way of example, Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Anisia Bella and L’Artisan Fou d’Absinthe allow anise to shine, demonstrating its wonderfully refreshing qualities. The same icy sweetness unfolds in the top notes of Eau de Réglisse, thus making the initial sensation very appealing.

Sometimes the terms licorice and anise are used interchangeably, particularly since in medicinal and food preparations, licorice tends to be flavored with anise oil or synthetic anethole; however its own fragrance is not related to aniseed. Although dominated by the vivid spiciness of anise in the top notes, the main leitmotif in Eau de Réglisse is provided by the true licorice, the caramelized rootiness of which compliments the spicy clarity of aniseed.

The chill evident upon the fist inhale fades gently, thus allowing licorice to take the center stage and to form the woody body of the composition. The herbal touches painted over the heart lend a pleasing bracing effect, thus lightening the sweet embrace of licorice.  I admit that given my expectations of Caron, I was a bit disappointed by its linear structure and lack of complexity. However, as a summer fragrance, Eau de Réglisse is quite lovely, and in fact, I would reach for it even after the warm months are over.

Eau de Réglisse includes notes of aniseed, licorice essence, green mandarin, verbena, nutmeg, ginger, patchouli, vanilla and musk. Available at Saks5thAvenue, Caron boutiques, Escentual and Les Senteurs.

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25 Comments

  • portlandia: Well, it sounds better than it did the first time I heard it but I will reserve judgement. It does sound nice and summery though. I adore the scents of plants with anise/licorice notes, but I am afraid it will be too sweet in a perfume. June 5, 2006 at 12:17am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: D, I would not call Eau de Reglisse sweet. The citrus and herbal notes dispel most of the sweetness that licorice has. June 5, 2006 at 12:38am Reply

  • biagio: i was totally disappointed at smelling this ,it smells so cheap and totally unlike the usual caron creations June 5, 2006 at 5:49am Reply

  • Nick: I am interested in your comment that anise has a questionable status in fine perfumery. I am thinking of the equisite anise note in L’heure Bleure for example. June 5, 2006 at 7:11am Reply

  • Nick: My spelling above. Terrible! June 5, 2006 at 7:12am Reply

  • Marina: I ordered a sample of this at Les Senteurs, although I know with 86% certainty that I will not like it. Anise/licorice are usually my enemies in perfume (and in food, actually) 🙂 Still, I am very curious to try Eau de Reglisse, thank you very much for the review! June 5, 2006 at 8:42am Reply

  • Judith: Well, I do like anise, licorice–and Pernod–so this is worth a sniff for me. But, as you said, it’s not what one expects from Caron *sigh*. June 5, 2006 at 9:02am Reply

  • Cait: What a coincidence that I decided to write about this one last night, too. I found it to evoke lollipop even more than licorice, especially in the opening when verbena and mandarin are so strong. June 5, 2006 at 11:17am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Biagio, I agree that it is very different from the usual Caron creations. However, I liked it as a summer fragrance. June 5, 2006 at 12:09pm Reply

  • Robin: V, very curious what you thought of the packaging, which looks so terrible in the picture on escentual? June 5, 2006 at 12:20pm Reply

  • Madelyn Etkind: Hello Dear Victoria,
    I received (finally ) my small ‘sample ‘ bottle of FM’s luscious Musc Ravageur ! Along with a generous amount of spray samples ! Gracias Erasmo — Mon Dieu – c’est sensationelle ! Vic, it is very unusual – a lovely potion of the sweet tempered with lavender and musk — so I think. I think it will very well do for “when tge lights are low “, I did not expect to like it as much – but I love it . I just received it from Fedex one hour ago. This is a soecial occasion scent ! What do you thibk of it ?
    I’m off to Montreal , Quebec tomorrow to visit my friend Lea (AG_ Eau Du Ciel. ce Soir Ou Jamais et Chance ) for her !
    Love,
    Madelyn E June 5, 2006 at 12:28pm Reply

  • Victoriasown: I am curious about this one too, although I don’t care for anise. Funny even though you are forwarned, you have to smell for yourself anyway. :O) June 5, 2006 at 1:21pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Nick, anise oil and anethole are excellent maskers for unpleasant odours, especially in combination with sweet orange oil. When it started to be used extensively to mask the harsh smell of hydrogen sulfide in depilatories and various other preparations, it began to lose its status. For a long time, I could not stand anise, because much of cold medications in Ukraine were flavoured with it. Hardly a pleasant association! June 5, 2006 at 1:58pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Nick, no worries! 🙂 June 5, 2006 at 1:59pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Marina, could it be the association with “mixtura”? 🙂 June 5, 2006 at 1:59pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Judith, I grew to like both anise and licorice after I tried Sambucca. Last year I made a strawberry-Sambucca sorbet, and that was such a treat that I am regretting letting the strawberry season go by this year without making some more. In our parts, it tends to be short. June 5, 2006 at 2:01pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Cait, I did not find it to be that sweet, but it definitely has a caramelized licorice touch. June 5, 2006 at 2:02pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, it is a tall slender bottle with a wooden cap. Not particularly outstanding in any way, but not terrible either. The label looks a bit cheap though. June 5, 2006 at 2:03pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Madelyn, I am glad to hear that you are enjoying Musc Ravageur. I recently repurchased some as well. It is definitely among my top favourites. Have a wonderful trip to Montreal! Sounds like you have something exciting planned. 🙂 June 5, 2006 at 2:05pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: V, I am exactly the same way. Must be my academic training not to trust any data without checking it first. 🙂 June 5, 2006 at 2:06pm Reply

  • Ina: Thanks, V.! So, is it any similar to Etro Anice? June 5, 2006 at 3:15pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Ina, Etro is heavier on anise. Eau de Reglisse is definitely licorice. June 5, 2006 at 5:02pm Reply

  • Katie: I dunno that this particular fragrance would be a good fit for me, but I have a sudden and uncontrollable craving for licorice tea right now! It is interesting to me that sometimes people feel that anise and licorice are readily exchangable terms, but I wonder if this also does not have something to do with cooking experiences? It is much easier to get ahold of anise for cooking than licorice, and in fact many recipies for “licorice” flavored desserts don’t even bother suggesting anything for use other than anise and/or anise extract. Perhaps everyone is so used to the substitution that they accept it? June 7, 2006 at 7:49pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Katie, the reason is because most licorice products are flavoured with anise. I do not know how that started, but now it is the convention. Hence, the association. The only similarity between anise and licorice is sweetness. June 9, 2006 at 11:42am Reply

  • Fiorella: I agree, Eau De Reglisse is a bit different then other Caron fragrances however, it is a wonderfully daring scent. Modern, hip and a definite delight. We should embrace this change and enjoy the sweet scent, which I think is wonderful for a joyous occasion every now and then.Upon speaking with a store associate, i hear it is actually in limited quantity – we should embrace the Reglisse as a landmark in Caron’s timeless frangrances. July 21, 2006 at 12:28pm Reply

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