Licorice and Anise Perfume Notes

Elisa’s guide to fragrances with licorice and anise notes.

In my day, bringing black licorice candy to school would win you no friends on the playground. Count me among the nine out of ten kids who found the taste of Good & Plenty absolutely repulsive. We looked at the one boy who wanted all the black jelly beans with horror.

licorice perfume

Perhaps, as with coffee and hard liquor, we appreciate these tastes extra much as adults because their appreciation came hard-earned. I still don’t buy and eat black licorice, but I’ve come to enjoy the taste of licorice in other forms – licorice tea, roasted fennel, Italian sausage, and so on. And as it happens, I adore the scent of licorice in perfume.

As Victoria notes, real licorice roots (Glycyrrhiza Glabra) are intensely sweet – the herbal, peppery, slightly bitter taste we associate with licorice candy is actually due to anethole, a flavoring agent derived from phenylpropene. Anethole occurs naturally in anise, fennel, and a number of other plants; the closely related isomer estragole occurs in tarragon and basil (explaining why some varieties of basil have a strong anisic odor). In perfumery, the distinction between licorice and anise often blurs, with the classical interpretations of the former being slightly darker and warmer.

Lolita Lempicka brought licorice notes to the mainstream. The eponymous women’s perfume combines anise with sprightly, sweet green violet notes and a cherry-almond-heliotrope twist reminiscent of LouLou. Lolita Lempicka au Masculin, also by Annick Menardo (who seems to have a penchant for the material), takes a fougère structure (lavender and coumarin) and crosses it with a post-Angel gourmand: the femme version plus aftershave. Like Angel, the Lolita Lempicka brand releases regular flankers; I’m also fond of the Midnight Couture edition, which puts the original under a black light, intensifying the licorice note with resinous benzoin and myrrh.

If a perfume has “reglisse” in the name, you can bet it’s going to feature licorice prominently. 1000 Flowers Reglisse Noire opens with an intense black pepper top note, moving into a textbook licorice accord and ending (hours later) with an exquisite patchouli-vanilla drydown. Caron Eau de Reglisse is similar to Reglisse Noire, but lighter-weight and with the delicious addition of lemon and coffee, giving it a morning/cologne feel befitting the “eau” in the name.

Kerosene Black Vines clearly makes reference to the black version of Red Vines licorice, but it’s not a straight licorice scent; instead, it plays up the spicy quality of anise with a surprising hot cinnamon note (think Red Hots); in combination with fruity notes of fig and fir, this produces an olfactory illusion of spiced apples.

Other perfumes use anise as a subtle accent in composition. Parfums de Nicolai Kiss Me Tender, a fragrance inspired by anise flavored Guerlain L’Heure Bleue, is a plush, fluffy floral-vanilla-musk with hints of almond and star anise. In Huitieme Art Myrrhiad, the licorice facet of myrrh is played up and set against creamy vanilla; the result smells like a root beer float with incense on the side. Another strange gourmand, Parfumerie Generale Aomassai smells like caramel and hazelnut from arm’s length and vetiver and hay up close, joined by part-herbal, part-sweet licorice in the middle.

Licorice also plays well with leather. Serge Lutens Boxeuses is a dusky, plummy leather with woods and just a hint of anise. The more austere and boldly anisic Commes des Garcons Black butches up licorice with lots of smoky birch tar. Also on the masculine side, Dior Eau Noire is like a dark, spicy aftershave – it smells of rooty, unsweetened licorice, lavender, and dried herbs.

Do you have a favorite perfume with a licorice or anise note?

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

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110 Comments

  • Aisha: I was the one kid on the playground who loved licorice. A lot. My 12-year-old son really doesn’t like licorice, so he gives me all the black jelly beans come Easter. 🙂

    When I would rather wear than eat licorice/anise, I’m a Lolita Lempicka nut. It’s the fragrance I wear when I feel a cold coming on because it soothes me as much as the licorice tea I drink when I have a sore throat. Kiss Me Tender sounds like a fragrance I might enjoy as well. March 16, 2015 at 9:00am Reply

    • Elisa: I bet you would Aisha! I tried Kiss Me Tender a couple of months ago and fell promptly in love. March 16, 2015 at 9:27am Reply

  • Annikky: I love licorice, both to eat and smell. And I adore tarragon.

    This is a great round-up (sometimes I forget about perfumes even if I like them…), I think Eau Noire is my favourite of them all. The licorice-lavender combination just works so well. I also enjoy a gentler version of the same theme, Brin de Réglisse. March 16, 2015 at 9:02am Reply

    • Elisa: Eau Noire is a nice one because it’s so dry, since licorice is usually treated in gourmand settings. Brin de Reglisse is one I haven’t tried yet! March 16, 2015 at 9:28am Reply

  • Faye: A nice anise-centric fragrance is ‘Mat Very Male’ by Masaki Matsushima. Even though it’s marketed as a cologne ‘for men’, I love wearing it. March 16, 2015 at 9:07am Reply

    • Elisa: Ooh, that’s one I haven’t even heard of! I personally wear the Lolita Lempicka for men more than the I do the one for women. March 16, 2015 at 9:29am Reply

  • Phyllis Iervello: Like Aisha, I have been a fan of black licorice all my life while everyone else I knew always liked red licorice but not black. Also, this enabled me to get all the black jelly beans as well. I like Lolita Lempicka a lot as well, although I have not worn it in quite a while. However, after reading your post, I will be wearing it tomorrow! March 16, 2015 at 9:13am Reply

    • Elisa: I’m glad someone was around who liked the black jellybeans so they didn’t all go to waste! Enjoy your LL tomorrow. 🙂 March 16, 2015 at 9:30am Reply

  • Neva: Hi, I was not a fan of licorice candy when I was young, but I later in the 80-ies I loved Stimorol chewing gum (the original, not the sugarfree, or some other later variation). That was the taste of fresh licorice and I always bought the mega package back then. The perfume that smells very much like licorice to me is Etra Etro and I bought it because it felt completely different and special. I suppose the effect of licorice is acchieved with varoius spices like cardamom and coriander… March 16, 2015 at 9:57am Reply

    • Elisa: That may be so — cardamom and licorice are often paired together. March 16, 2015 at 11:35am Reply

    • bregje: Oooh<my mom always had that chewinggum!
      Thank you for reminding me;i can taste it right now.Strange how memories work… March 16, 2015 at 7:07pm Reply

  • Carlisle: Love Lolita Lempicka and also Etro Anice, which may be too obvious for inclusion here! 🙂 March 16, 2015 at 10:11am Reply

    • Austenfan: I love Anice, such a great summer fragrance! March 16, 2015 at 10:41am Reply

    • Elisa: Oh, not too obvious! I just wasn’t able to get my hands on every licorice perfume out there! 🙂 March 16, 2015 at 11:34am Reply

  • Sabine: Carner’s El Born is the ultimate liquorice allsorts fragrance for me. I like it, but wouldn’t want to smell of it the whole day. And of course, it’s the one Carner scent that lasts forever on me. March 16, 2015 at 10:19am Reply

    • Elisa: Another one I hadn’t heard of! You all are teaching ME about licorice perfumes! March 16, 2015 at 11:35am Reply

  • Patricia: I can’t imagine eating Good ‘n Plenty, but I like Lolita Lempicka very much and think I would like the other fragrances you describe where licorice/anise is a supporting player.

    Your decription of PG Aomassai sounds especially tempting with its notes of caramel, hay, and vetiver! Can’t wait to get home to see if I have a sample lurking somewhere to try. March 16, 2015 at 10:28am Reply

    • Elisa: Aomassai is really interesting! Especially in the top notes — it has a surprising dissonance. March 16, 2015 at 11:36am Reply

  • Aurora: A very original article Elisa. Those are not run of the mill notes either.

    I adore the very prominent pastis note in Aimez-Moi by Caron.
    It then dries down to a more conventional powdery violet (although that too is beautiful) but while it lasts the pastis manages to make me intoxicated.
    Do you know it Elisa? March 16, 2015 at 10:29am Reply

    • Elisa: I have heard of Aimez-Moi but have never tried it. I think licorice and violet are natural allies though — violet plays a big part in Lolita Lempicka. March 16, 2015 at 11:37am Reply

  • Austenfan: I love licorice both to smell and to eat. In Holland salty licorice is one of the most popular sweets but I’ve realised it’s a version of licorice that is less appreciated elsewhere.

    My anise/licorice favourites include: Etro Anice, Anisia Bella, HdP 1725 (Casanova), Lolita Lempicka. I never picked up on the anise in Kiss me Tender even though it has been a favourite of mine since it came out.
    I really ought to get my act together and try some Hermessences. Lavender and anise are 2 of my favourite fragrance notes.

    Great topic, Elisa and fun article, thanks! March 16, 2015 at 11:11am Reply

    • Elisa: Thank you! I do think the anise in Kiss Me Tender is pretty subtle. It’s even more subtle in Boxeuses. I forgot to include Un Bois Vanille — another Lutens with a licorice note. March 16, 2015 at 11:42am Reply

  • spe: I like black licorice. Please be careful ingesting it too frequently – it can cause hypokalemia / low potassium. Most perfumes with strong licorice don’t appeal to me. Just a touch is perfect (l’heure bleue). March 16, 2015 at 11:15am Reply

    • Elisa: Good trivia about licorice! I’d never heard that. March 16, 2015 at 11:44am Reply

    • Mals86: This is only true for natural licorice. Actually, in the US the active ingredients are normally removed from licorice-flavored candies (those black jelly beans are okay for kids), and only the natural stuff carries the warning label.

      It may be different outside the US. March 16, 2015 at 1:27pm Reply

    • bregje: But it’s also very good against stomach-infectons 😉 March 16, 2015 at 7:09pm Reply

  • Mals86: GIMME ALL YOUR BLACK JELLY BEANS. NAO. (But you can keep the fennel.)

    🙂

    I enjoy the original Lolita Lempicka, though I don’t own any. I keep looking for an inexpensive mini (such a cute bottle!) and will get one someday. Kiss Me Tender is really wonderful, and I would probably dig a decant of that one as well. March 16, 2015 at 11:41am Reply

    • Elisa: Ha! Another black jellybean lover! They’re all coming out of the woodwork.

      I actually don’t own any of the original LL right now either, but I do have bottles of the masculine one and the Midnight Couture flanker. It’s funny that the men’s bottle is SO UGLY when the women’s ones are so fabulous. March 16, 2015 at 11:43am Reply

      • Mals86: Yeah, that bottle for the men’s is… well. (I don’t get on with the men’s – it does that shaving-cream thing I don’t like on myself, though I’d probably dig it on husband/sons.)

        More licorice trivia: part of the orc makeup in the LOTR movie saga consisted of the orcs swishing licorice-water around in their mouths so the insides wouldn’t look pink and human-like. March 16, 2015 at 1:30pm Reply

        • Elisa: Yeah, it’s definitely a fougere, even if it’s a quite sweet fougere. It reminds me a little bit of Le Male.

          Now THAT’S some good licorice trivia! March 16, 2015 at 1:32pm Reply

  • The Scented Salon: Licorice is an acquired taste in both candy and perfume. I’ve had a harder time with the latter. I tried Reglisse Noire and found it too much while Myrrhiad is a little more palatable. There is some kind of mystery in this note. March 16, 2015 at 11:50am Reply

    • Elisa: Reglisse Noire is for licorice lovers only! It’s pretty intense at first. March 16, 2015 at 12:16pm Reply

  • Sandra: I like the candy, the one I love is in a box with Panda and usually I find it at Trader Joes
    I also love the drink Sambuca

    As far as perfume – I don’t have any.

    Testing a sample of Italian Leather today- and it smells like my Dad. I smell tobacco and there is no tobacco note listed. His favorite candy was black licorice as well. March 16, 2015 at 12:00pm Reply

    • Elisa: I used to love Australian red licorice but sadly I can’t eat it anymore since it’s full of wheat. Good thing I can still smell licorice!

      Leather and tobacco: one of my favorite combos! March 16, 2015 at 12:17pm Reply

  • Theresa: a few years ago some scientific study indicated that one of men’s favorite scents was Good and Plenty. So, theoretically, those who wear these licorice-highlighted scents should be attractive to those theoretical men out there! All i have to say is that I have a bottle of LL and have never noticed the licorice component. Maybe I”ll have to get some proper black licorice candy and eat it while I spray the scent! March 16, 2015 at 12:14pm Reply

    • Elisa: I remember reading that licorice is considered one of the sexiest scents on men, too. Must be why I passed off my Eau Noire mini to my husband! March 16, 2015 at 12:18pm Reply

  • Cornelia Blimber: I like to eat salted licorice (zoute drop) as most Dutch people do. And I love Ouzo in the summer. But in perfume? no, I don’t think so. Maybe I am the only one to dislike Lolita Lempicka: I don’t like the perfume and I don’t like the bottle (grrumph).
    I love L’Heure Bleue, and I regret that the anice is less in the current version, though. It had the right context in L’Heure Bleue. March 16, 2015 at 12:24pm Reply

    • Cornelia Blimber: Sexy?! maybe I must consider a bottle of that Etro…. March 16, 2015 at 12:25pm Reply

    • Elisa: I think you *are* the first person that I’ve heard say they don’t like the Lempicka bottle! 🙂 I’ll admit the stem is a little awkward to press and I always think I’m going to break it. I love how it looks though.

      Apres l’Ondee, of course, has a licorice note too. March 16, 2015 at 12:39pm Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: Oh yes, you are right. Après l’Ondée is one of my favourites, how could I forget that one. March 16, 2015 at 1:34pm Reply

        • Cornelia Blimber: Frankly, I hate that kind of bottle, I want a solid bottle, without bows or paintings or tralala. Something like the Guerlain bottles, or the Chanels, or Dior l’Homme, or the Lutens bottles, that’s what I love. March 16, 2015 at 1:43pm Reply

          • Elisa: I especially love the old Diptyque bottles — they feel so solid. Lutens bottles are attractive but too easy to knock over. March 16, 2015 at 1:45pm Reply

            • Cornelia Blimber: The bottle of The Different Company are beautiful as well. March 16, 2015 at 2:10pm Reply

            • Victoria: I love the square thin bottles like By Kilian or Van Cleef’s exclusive line bottles. Too bad I don’t like VCA perfumes that much. March 16, 2015 at 3:01pm Reply

              • Elisa: Those are some of my favorites too! March 16, 2015 at 3:56pm Reply

              • Austenfan: None in that line? March 16, 2015 at 4:47pm Reply

                • Elisa: I rather like Rose Velours and California Reverie. March 16, 2015 at 4:50pm Reply

          • Austenfan: Although I hate frills generally I adore the Lolita Lempicka bottle a lot. It fits the fragrance so well too.
            Generally I like the solid bottles the best. And I adore the TDC estagnons, such a great way to store perfume. March 16, 2015 at 4:51pm Reply

      • Petunia: Second Apres l’Ondee! I would never have found this scent without Victoria’s wonderful review. March 16, 2015 at 5:54pm Reply

    • bregje: Hi Cornelia,i was going to say the same thing!Although i’m more of a soft and sweet kinda girl(kokindjes en salmiakdaalders,mmm).
      I don’t know if licorice is different in the US.Or if we dutch people are genetically designed to like the taste 😉 .
      I love apres l’ondee too and there’s anise in Jean Paul Gaultier.
      It’s quite a long time since i tried Lolita Lempicka,so maybe i’ll try it again soon. I don’t hate the bottle but i’m also not attracted to it.I like chanel bottles and lalique March 16, 2015 at 5:56pm Reply

  • Marissa: Another favorite anise perfume of mine is Black Vines by Kerosene! Highly recommend for all black licorice lovers — a striking and very intense mix of anise, licorice, fig and ivy. March 16, 2015 at 1:00pm Reply

    • Elisa: I mentioned Black Vines above — I agree that it’s QUITE spicy and intense! March 16, 2015 at 1:03pm Reply

      • Marissa: Ah, I apologize — somehow my eyes skipped over that paragraph! I found it shocking and simultaneously addictive, and definitely pick up on that spiced apple dimension! However, I can’t make up my mind as to whether or not I want to wear it on my body… although I still enjoy the smell… Would you wear it? March 16, 2015 at 1:24pm Reply

        • Elisa: We had the same reaction — it IS rather shocking! I found it fascinating but I’m not sure I’ll ever wear it again, to be honest! March 16, 2015 at 1:25pm Reply

  • Nancy A.: One way or another anise plays a role in my life. I, too love fennel and one of these days I will take the time to caramelize it, inhale and enjoy! Then there’s Pastis and when Lempicka’s anise fragrance entered the market I was all for it especially the packaging, which is a collectible. And Guerlain — what more is there to say, it speaks for itself. March 16, 2015 at 1:01pm Reply

    • Elisa: Thinly sliced and roasted fennel is absolutely delicious. I haven’t made it in a while — will have to pick up a couple of fennel bulbs next time I shop! March 16, 2015 at 1:04pm Reply

  • Nancy A.: One way or another anise plays a role in my life. I, too love fennel and one of these days I will take the time to caramelize it, inhale and enjoy! Then there’s Pastis and when Lempicka’s anise fragrance entered the market I was all for it especially the packaging, which is a collectible. And Guerlain — what more is there to say, it speaks for itself. March 16, 2015 at 1:01pm Reply

  • Susan Minnicks: Years ago at Extraordinary Desserts in San Diego I found a bottle of Fenouil by Bernard Loiseau. I thought it was for personal use, and was spritzing myself, but the clerk told me it was a room freshener.
    Whatever. I still have a tiny bit left and still love it.
    (I believe he was French chef) March 16, 2015 at 1:10pm Reply

    • Elisa: Why not? I often use perfume as room spray. 🙂 March 16, 2015 at 1:20pm Reply

  • Maggie: Hilde Soliani’s ‘Saaliiisssiimo’ – it has notes of liquorice, saffron and rice. To me the liquorice is the most prominent – I love it. March 16, 2015 at 2:44pm Reply

    • Elisa: Ooh, yum — I love a rice note in perfume! March 16, 2015 at 2:45pm Reply

  • Caroline: I think a flanker of Play by Givenchy has got an anise note in it ( It is the white flanker, the now discontinued Eau de Toilette ) and Very Irrestible always had an anise note to it, at least according to my nose). March 16, 2015 at 3:04pm Reply

    • Elisa: I just looked it up and you’re right — Very Irrestible EDT has a star anise note. March 16, 2015 at 3:58pm Reply

  • Karen: I’m another fan of Panda licorice – love it so much! When Lolita Lempica was new, I had a bottle and also loved it – Will have to give it a try again, although right now it seems like it might work better in cooler weather?? Also a fennel fan – will have to get some soon. Great post, thanks for the food and fume inspirations! March 16, 2015 at 3:22pm Reply

    • Elisa: I associate LL with spring and/or fall — one of those nice transition scents, plus I love violet and licorice when it rains. March 16, 2015 at 3:57pm Reply

  • limegreen: What a fun and informative “perfume note” — thanks! I love licorice root tea and Thai anise basil. My favorite anise note is in Malle’s Marius et Jeannette home fragrance, but don’t have a favorite perfume with licorice or anise. March 16, 2015 at 4:08pm Reply

    • Elisa: I’ll have to smell that next time I’m at a Malle counter. Their home fragrances are so nice (though splurge-y) March 16, 2015 at 4:29pm Reply

    • Figuier: I have the rubber mat of that scent, it’s great – keeps the car smelling beautiful aniseed-fresh! I love licorice – salty or sweet, natural or heartily synthetic. Fennel – raw, finely sliced with parsley & parmesan, or roasted in the oven. I like Anisia Bella, and the faint note of aniseed in Apres L’Ondee. Now I can’t wait to try out the other scents you mentioned 🙂 March 17, 2015 at 6:03pm Reply

  • Ann: Totally interesting article! I never thought about the anise note in L’heure Bleue… need to parse that out next I wear it. Funnily enough, I am munching on a fennel, apple, beet salad as I skim the blogs… I love licorice flavor in savory food. March 16, 2015 at 4:30pm Reply

    • Elisa: What perfect timing for your salad! I like using chopped fennel instead of or in addition to celery as an additional aromatic component in soups. March 16, 2015 at 4:36pm Reply

  • Mary K: I like black jelly beans and Good & Plenty candy, but not plain black licorice. I do like licorice & anise as notes in perfume. The one I really like is Omnia Onice, which also has a celery note, although, I don’t believe it’s listed as being there, but I can detect it. And oddly, it smells really nice to me. March 16, 2015 at 5:27pm Reply

    • Elisa: I get a bit of a celery note in Aomassai too, actually — a facet of the vetiver I think. March 16, 2015 at 6:24pm Reply

  • Alicia: Lolita Lempicka is my favorite gourmand, and the vintage L’Heure Bleue my most intimate love. I am not an enthusiast of either licorice candy or anise in any beverage or food, but in some fragrances I adore them both. March 16, 2015 at 5:56pm Reply

    • Elisa: You’re like me! I was surprised to discover how much I love licorice notes in perfume. March 16, 2015 at 6:25pm Reply

  • Petunia: Great article Elise! I own Kiss Me Tender and never noticed the anise. I’m going to smell it right now. 🙂 March 16, 2015 at 5:57pm Reply

    • Elisa: Thank you Petunia! March 16, 2015 at 6:25pm Reply

  • mj: I love the smell of licorice, and my favorite licorice scent is Brin de Reglisse from the Hermessence range. The mix of lavander and licorice is wonderful, especially for summer March 16, 2015 at 6:10pm Reply

    • Elisa: Another one that pairs lavender and anise is Dior Eau Noire. They play nice together! March 16, 2015 at 6:26pm Reply

  • Agata: My favorite perfume with an anise note is Loulou Blue Cacharel March 16, 2015 at 6:14pm Reply

    • Elisa: Oh, I’ve never tried that flanker! I’m a huge fan of the original LouLou though. March 16, 2015 at 6:27pm Reply

  • Loric: i adore Vanilla & Anise by Jo Malone. It is such a wonderful combination of both scents. Surprisingly long lasting for a Jo Malone fragrance, Vanilla & Anise is worth a try! March 16, 2015 at 9:14pm Reply

    • Elisa: I smelled that one years ago but am due for a re-sniff… March 17, 2015 at 9:34am Reply

  • Ingeborg: I love the darkest licorice, but have to stay away from the real thing most of the time since I am very sensitive to the active ingredients in licorice root. I have to say the Dutch, Danes and Finns make very good licorice, and I am always surprised to hear of people who dislike it.

    I find fennel and anise very good too, and Atelier Cologne Sous le Toit de Paris has a fennel note which lasts for a long time. March 16, 2015 at 9:43pm Reply

    • Elisa: I think it must be partly cultural — chocolate might be more of an acquired taste but there’s a lot of cultural pressure to like it here! March 17, 2015 at 9:35am Reply

  • Andy: I am reminded how I love the slight tinge of cool anise in the top notes of Mistral Patchouli. And now, with anise and licorice on the brain, I’m itching to go spray on some Lolita Lempicka before bed (I have trouble wearing that one during the day). Now I’m extra excited, as I happen to be awaiting a sample of Brin de Reglisse coming in the mail soon. March 16, 2015 at 9:58pm Reply

    • Elisa: Lolita L. does make a good bedtime scent! Hope it gave you sweet dreams. March 17, 2015 at 9:37am Reply

  • Jackie: Great post, Elisa! Delicious! My mouth is literally watering as I remember the first alcohol I could actually bear the taste of, which I discovered while visiting England as a young woman… i won’t say how many years ago: Pernod and Black (black current juice). I have no idea whether that’s still a concoction they drink.

    Also – the taste of real salty Dutch licorice. There was a little shop here in Vancouver for years called Dutch Girl Chocolates; she sold a variety of licorice, which she always made everyone try. I loved it. The saltier the better! The blacker the better. (The woman, who, sadly, closed up shop recently, was famous for showing up to parties in the neighbourhood with her chocolate fountain — very popular).

    I love LL (though also not a big fan of that bottle — it makes a certain impression before you have a chance to smell it; I think i prefer a “neutral” bottle, like the Chanel’s, which let the fragrances speak for themselves…I mean, I do like a pretty bottle, but sometimes I think they prejudice my impressions more than I realize), though I’m now dying to try LL Midnight Couture, which I’d never heard of, which sounds like it might be more a black salty licorice than a crisp anise, as well as some of the others mentioned here. Thanks Elisa and everyone else for all the great ideas here! 🙂 March 17, 2015 at 12:49am Reply

    • Elisa: Thank you Jackie! It’s funny — I love licorice in perfume and I REALLY love black currant — but that drink sounds disgusting! Haha.

      Midnight Couture isn’t quite salty, but it’s definitely darker than the original and worth a try. March 17, 2015 at 9:38am Reply

      • Jackie: Haha, Elisa! In my memory, it’s not disgusting at all! Served ice cold (a gorgeous plum-black colour), it’s absolutely delicious! The tartness of the black currant with the syrupy-licorcy Pernod — mmm! Mouth watering! Though that is an ancient taste memory probably influenced by happy times associated with it, and my tastes in alcoholic beverages have become somewhat more refined since then 😉 — A P&B might be well be disgusting now! March 17, 2015 at 1:34pm Reply

        • Elisa: Maybe I could try it by adding a touch each of Pernod and Cassis to champagne 🙂 March 17, 2015 at 1:37pm Reply

          • Jackie: Yum!! March 17, 2015 at 2:17pm Reply

  • Jackie: I mean black _currant_, not “current”! 🙂 March 17, 2015 at 12:52am Reply

  • Connie: Osafume and Brin de Reglisse are others March 17, 2015 at 6:40am Reply

  • Barbara: L’Artisan Parfumeur Mechant Loupe sends me. I really can’t get enough. March 17, 2015 at 11:19am Reply

    • Jackie: Great recommendations from knowledgable people! I must get a sample of the L’Artisan Mechant Loupe I keep seeing so many intriguing comments about on this blog! I’ve added that and the Hermes one to my impossibly long must-try list. March 17, 2015 at 1:55pm Reply

  • Bela: I’m a bit puzzled by this distinction between liquorice and anise since there is none. Liquorice doesn’t smell or taste of anise. It is *because* it only tastes a bit sweet – nothing remarkable – that it’s usually flavoured with aniseed. Some people prefer to call the smell/taste ‘anise’, others ‘liquorice’, but there is no difference between the two – like the spelling of liquorice/licorice. March 17, 2015 at 11:40am Reply

    • Elisa: “In perfumery, the distinction between licorice and anise often blurs.” No disagreement here. They’re used basically interchangeably in perfume, though sometimes it’s listed in the notes as “anise” if the perfumer is playing up the spice notes as opposed to trying to create a gourmand accord like the candy. (I wouldn’t say anise seeds and licorice candy taste exactly the same.) March 17, 2015 at 11:46am Reply

  • AndreaR: Lovely favorites: Last week we had roses. This week have licorice. Now may we please have tuberose? March 17, 2015 at 7:49pm Reply

    • Elisa: I love tuberose too! (Though lately, only in small doses…) March 17, 2015 at 7:58pm Reply

      • AndreaR: I absolutely agree and so I wear just a little spritz of Tubereuse Criminal or a little spritz of Carnal Flower 🙂 March 18, 2015 at 3:16pm Reply

        • Elisa: I love both of those! Sadly I have no Carnal Flower at the moment… *sob* March 18, 2015 at 3:19pm Reply

  • erry: My favourite anise fragrance is “minyak telon”. It is a traditional Indonesian mixture of cajuput oil and anise seed or fennel oil and coconut oil. It is minty, camphorous yet sweet and comforting at the same time. Usually used for babies and children, we associate the smell of “minyak telon” with warmth and comfort. I have a small bottle of this oil in my bag and in the drawer of my work station. March 17, 2015 at 10:18pm Reply

    • Elisa: Oh this sounds so interesting! I love the combination of mint and coconut. March 18, 2015 at 3:19pm Reply

  • Ruta: Aimez Moi, for sure March 18, 2015 at 9:56am Reply

  • marlene: Yes,a shout out for Jo Malone’s Vanilla and Anise as a licorice scented perfume. Could be a unisex scent since it is not sweet. I hated licorice candy as a young child,but now I look forward to the Christmas treat cookie-pizzelles with their great anise flavor. March 19, 2015 at 12:36am Reply

  • Sarah: I so appreciate this posting! My Spanish boyfriend makes a dessert called rosquillas, which is essentially an anise flavored doughnut. It’s especially popular in Spain around Easter, but he makes them year-round and has quite a following because they are so good. We traveled to Spain together in January and I wanted bring a fragrance that would later remind me of the trip. Ultimately, I picked Jo Malone’s Vanilla and Anise. He loves it and each time I wear it, I am transported back to Spain with him by my side. March 19, 2015 at 12:21pm Reply

    • Elisa: I grew up on the Mexican border and there was a kind of dessert tamale with anise that was popular around the holidays. Of course, as a kid, I was having none of that. 🙂 March 19, 2015 at 12:31pm Reply

  • Jo: Thanks for the article! I’ve recently come to the conclusion that licorice/anise and I are meant to be life partners. I was never a fan of licorice sweets, but in perfumery it’s all up in my collection – Jo Malone Vanilla & Anise and 1000 Flowers Reglisse Noire are two of my favourite scents. Another, sadly hard to find now, that I love is the Aqua Allegoria Laurier Reglisse. Really need to test out Black Vines! March 22, 2015 at 5:32am Reply

    • Elisa: The Guerlain sounds fabulous! Wish I’d had a chance to try it. March 22, 2015 at 10:56am Reply

  • Lynn Morgan: How odd- I have loved L’heure Bleu since I was twelve or thirteen years old, and I have never been aware of a licorice note, and I really hate licorice! I always smell a softy, powdery iris and sandalwood that makes me think of nostalgia- it’s a vintage clothes and tea dance kind of scent for me. Have they changed in recently?

    I think some of the artisanal perfumers of the Goth scene have experimented with evoking the licorice/herbal scent of absinthe in their perfumes: Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, Opus Oils, and the House of Na come to mind. Absinthe, the notorious, infamous (and until recently, widely banned) libation of the dark side of the Belle Epoque (a favorite of Van Gogh, Oscar Wilde and Toulouse Lautrec) is much romanticized by those of us of darker aesthetics and sensibilities, sometimes attributed with aphrodisiac or hallucinogenic effects, but I can tell you from experience that it mostly tastes like nasty cough medicine! (Nyquil or Vick’s 44 to be specific). But, as a subtle note in a perfume oil, it works well with dance floor sweat and clove cigarettes. April 12, 2015 at 9:48pm Reply

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