Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Liquorice Perfumes

Liquorice, yum! Even yummier in perfumes! This post was originally a 'Kitchen Smells' post but you really need not go to any cooking effort to experience Liquorice. Just buy a pack and bite into the chewy yumminess. Or get the real liquorice roots. I am pretty sure you can get them at the tea stores like T2 or any health food stores. The root of liquorice is extremely sweet, sweeter than pure sugar but has that 'liquorice flavour' to it.
Interestingly, liquorice, fennel and anise (not star anise, star anise and anise/anissed are totally different) all have the same flavour though they are derived from totally different plants. The common chemical they have is called Anethole which gives the spices their characteristic aroma. The notes of Liquorice, Fennel and Anise are indeed used interchangeably in perfumes for the liquorice effect, absinthe effect, Ouzo effect and so on.
Avon - Christian Lacroix Absynthe: anise, artemisia, orchid, freesia, intensive woody accords, myrrh and musk.
Having not tasted Absinthe (the alcoholic drink with artemesia, fennel, anise and herbs) and one day hoping to do so, in my mind Absynthe is this sweet, green, boozy anisic drink that blows anyone away. Avon's Absynthe is a perfume-y absynthe. Not quite literally Absynthe but a nice rendition to the drink that is actually wearable. Not so green or spicy as Absynthe should be, but it is sweet in a licorice kind of way. The sweetness disappears into a light woody musk base leaving behind the smell of mild licorice. If this perfume had stayed on me for more than an hour, I would have loved it. Unfortunately it doesn't last but in its short life on my skin, it is quite enjoyable.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Absinthe (Bewitching Brews, General Catalogue)
Fall under the spell of our Green Fairy! An intoxicating blend containing wormwood essence, light mints, cardamom, anise, hyssop, and the barest hint of lemon.
Yes! This is how Absinthe according to my imagination should smell/taste! First sniff, green anise hits my nose, powerful and pungent. There are mild but detectable hints of wormwood (Artemesia, which gives an aromatic green edge to the drink). There is something that smells like 'rubber' in it, not off-putting but kind of interesting (like Bvlgari Black?). It maybe the medicinal quality of licorice combined with mentholated mint. I also get traces of cough syrup-ish smell that doesn't last very long. The dry down is all mentholated liquorice, sweet but spiked with herbalness, a bit of booze and lot of anisic liquorice-y goodness! Eventhough it is a literal liquorice-absynthe scent it is quite amusing. It sits well on my skin, like a perfume instead of smelling like Darrel Lee store. 

Haus Of Gloi Licorice Chew (From Halloween, Candy Bowl, Limited Edition)
Reviewed here
I was expecting a lot of liquorice but it doesn't really satisfy my lust for liquorice. It smells like the the base of Vice (my absolute favourite) with teeny tiny bit of liquorice. It is a nice perfume, warm and sweet but the liquorice doesn't really shine.

Bvlgari Jasmine Noir: Such nice combination of jasmine and woods on velvety base of almonds and a little bit of liquorice. Liquorice is mild and in the background but my skin makes it a little more prominent than it actually is. Everything is well blended. The white florals are not screechy, the woods are soft and the perfume has the right amount of warmth. It is not too dark but has enough depth to keep it interesting. It is pillowy soft, delicate and very feminine.

Lolita Lempica: I don't think the list would be complete without mentioning this. Lolita Lempica is epitome of liquorice used in popular perfumes. I think it is a standout from all sweet scents in the way Liquorice is incorporated as the sweet note to make it appealing to the playfulness of sweet perfume lovers but maintaining the feminine, elegant side. All I can smell is sweet liquorice on a powdery floral base. I don't have the pretty bottle but I have a 'dupe' oil from Hayward Enterprises that does smell like the real thing but somewhat not so elegant and rounded.

Ayala Moriel Black Licorice: The bestest liquorice perfume I have ever smelt! Wow, it is sweet, a bit spicy, deep and dark version of the candy. The sweetness is all from honey and the spice I smell is pepper. Liquorice more like the real root than processed candy. It is rich and balsamic with mild rose in the background giving it a bit of a 'candied and spiced rose petals' effect to it. But it doesn't let the rose takeover. It is all about Liquorice, sweet and spicy, just heavenly. Perfection!

Raw Material - Acetanisole: I bought it from The Perfumer's Apprentice website because I wanted to play with liquorice note in my DIY experiments. I also have Anisic Aldehyde which also smells like liquorice with lots of sweet mimosa. Acetanisole has the anisic note without any floral elements. It comes in powder form and can easily be diluted with and is completely soluble in Di Propylene Glycol (DPG). Just as the powder dissolves the reaction is endothermic (draws in all the heat), feels so cold. It forms a clear solution. It is very potent and just a tiny drop can give the desired liquorice/anisic effect to the perfume. It can only be used up to 5% (see here for safety) Being so potent, even 5% can be a bit much in the perfumes. The combination I have tried has Acetanisole (with little bit Anisic Aldehyde), Acetophenone (for almond effect, used in the teenist amount) with sandalwood and vanilla base blends. I can't say it smelt the best but it did feature liquorice and almonds.

For liquorice scented candles, look no further than Edgar Allan Poe by Paddywax. Other perfumes that have a nice liquorice that I don't own but have experienced are Diesel Loverdose, Jo Malone Vanilla and Anise Cologne, La Petite Robe Noir 2, J. Del Paso In Black, of which I think owning a bottle of Loverdose is well worth it.

10 comments:

  1. I love liquorice, as both a lolly and a scent. You've just reminded me that I should look into indie oils again, I've been too caught up in mainstream releases for too long.

    Love Lolita and Loverdose and own both. Was that Christian Lacroix from Avon? I remember something really similar but it went really sour on my skin, like off smelling.

    BTW Linden Leaves has a liquorice room spray that's very true-to-life. I maaaaay have spritzed it on myself all high school.Insolence from Guerlain is another anise favourite. OH! And my current super favourite Jeux de Peau by Serge Lutens has liquorice listed as a note, but it is quite mixed in with the almond/doughy notes. Yum!

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    1. So, can I expect an indie perfume haul from you soon?! ;)
      Christian Lacroix is from Avon. It gets rave reviews for being a nice fragrance for the price. I thought it was nice-ish. Sad to hear it turned sour on you. Oh Michaela, I googled Linden Leaves and wow! There are so many yummy smelling things!
      Jeux de Peau sounds wonderful! I love anything with almonds :) I'll have to test it at Mecca Cosmetica next time.

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  2. I am unsure about liquorice as a scent but I love to eat it, Australian varieties are my personal favourite :)

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    1. I love Aussie Liquorice too! It has me hooked :) In perfumes, it is a nice twist on sweet scents!

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  3. Ugh, even the thought of liquorice turns my stomach! It's so interesting how liquorice is one of those totally polarizing scents/tastes, people seem to either love or loathe it.

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    1. Oh no! I can't imagine you wearing any of those perfumes! But I can understand that liquorice is not to everyone's liking. It can be a bit two sweet/spicy and strong. You are right, it is one of those love it or hate it things :)
      x

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  4. I honestly could only go as far as eating licorice, I don't think I could deal with smelling it on me though! haha I've also tagged you with the "Tell Me About Yourself" Award! Check out the details on my blog post here if you like :) http://beautybehindtheimperfections.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/tell-me-about-yourself-award-7-random.html

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    1. Thanks so much for the tag! I am about to check it out :) x

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  5. I love Lolita Lempicka, one of my all time faves <3 Jasmine Noir sounds lovely I might try sniff it next time I'm out :)

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    1. I need a real bottle of Lolita Lempika! I am sure you'll love Jasmine Noir, it is such a creamy floral :)

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