I have written before about my experience of anise/licorice notes and all the personal associations they hold for me. And though I've dabbled in many perfumes featuring licorice -- and found many of them toothsome -- until I now I hadn't really felt as though I'd found the perfect one.
Eau de Réglisse by Caron is a good example of a near miss. Some time ago, I ordered it from the Perfumed Court as part of a Caron "pick five" sample pack (which included Aimez-Moi, Le Troisième Homme, Violette Précieuse, and that old standby Nuit de Noel). I found Eau de Réglisse's old-fashioned lemon-drop freshness enormously attractive-- but I still felt disappointed, largely because the licorice promised by its name seems more of a whisper than a fully-voiced statement. I wore it and took pleasure in it, but I can't deny the tinge of regret I felt... as pale as the tinge of licorice in the midst of all that lemon.
1000 Flowers' Réglisse Noire, on the other hand, is a licorice perfume, not a-perfume with-licorice-in-it*. Of this, there is no doubt. Here is black licorice at its most glistening and regal-- elevated like a luscious jet obelisk upon a pedestal of spice. The way that it soars belies its solidity and attests to its perfect construction; it has too much verve to be anything but vertical. In the 'great minds think alike' category, both JoanElaine and Natalie of APB gifted me with nearly-simultaneous samples of this dusky bit of heaven. Each lady deserves 1000 flowers of thanks delivered to their doorsteps via winged celestial messenger!
In every way, Eau de Réglisse pales in comparison to Réglisse Noire. It's less tenacious, definite, distinct-- but then, it's less licorice. In a competition for best limoncello perfume, it would do pretty well for itself. But here, there's no contest: Réglisse Noire forever!
*Turn of phrase stolen from my spouse, who has this intricate theory that there are 'Bruce Willis' movies (Die Hard, The Last Boy Scout) and movies-with-Bruce-Willis-in-them (Moonrise Kingdom; Unbreakable). Within each subset, there are pluses and minuses, hits and sleepers, triumphs and turkeys. Then there is Hudson Hawk, which is just plain stupid.
Scent Elements: Mandarin, basil, lemon verbena, licorice, patchouli, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla, musk (Eau de Réglisse); white pepper, ozone, mint, shiso leaf, star anise, ginger, licorice, cocoa, patchouli, cedarwood, vanilla, vetiver (Réglisse Noire)