As predicted by me, we had our endlessly cold Spinter of Discontent through most of April into last week; then we went from rainy fricking 50 degrees to sunny fricking 90, thus transitioning directly from heat to A/C. Which is okay because everything outside is coated in the green stuff — whatever trees or other flora are busy pollinating all over everything and making eyes itch and skin crawl.
Oddly, this is perfect weather for anise, representing the brief window of time each year I think: huh, that smells really nice. Maybe this year I’ll come to love it all summer like normal people do. Etro Anice is a great, easy anise scent, although I wouldn’t say no to a bottle of Caron Eau de Reglisse, which I googled and is cheaper than dirt online — how about $35 for a 3.3 at perfume.com? And now I kind of want the Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Laurier Reglisse, although I still haven’t seen it at any huge discount anywhere, have you?
Of these I find the Etro (rosewood, anise, bergamot, caraway, iris, jasmine, dill, amber, musk and vanilla) the most linear and evocative of pure anise in spite of that impressive list of notes. It also starts off the sweetest, although the drydown is delicately pretty with a hint of musk, and it’s light enough you can reapply. The Caron is slightly more nuanced (aniseed, licorice, green mandarin, verbena, nutmeg, ginger, patchouli, vanilla, musk) in terms of composition — I love the mild spiciness — although it’s still relatively straightforward, and if you had to boil it down to a one-word description it’d still be anise. I find it quite refreshing and entirely missing the standard Caron base, in case you’re wondering.
The same herbal/anise combination is used to slightly different effect in what I think is the least sweet of these, AA Laurier Reglisse (Bay Leaf, Licorice, Amber, Violet, Bergamot, Orange Blossom.) The bay leaf and bergamot lend an herbal/citrus twist more traditionally associated with cologne, and the florals are muted. If I could wave my wand and make one of these appear I’d probably take the Guerlain, but seeing that $35 Caron online, my finger’s hovering over the Purchase button.
I don’t think I ever smelled the Guerlain AA Anisia Bella, which is supposed to be quite nice (it’s discontinued but easily found by Googling, and cheap.) If anyone’d like to weigh in on that, go ahead.
Finally, I resniffed Lolita Lempicka regular and Au Masculin for the umpteenth time today and … huh. I just can’t get behind them. Maybe it’s too hot outside, or I’m too sneezy, or something. I am still unable to appreciate their genius; they never seem right for any season on my skin. I don’t want that licorice smell in the winter, and then they’re too heavy for the heat. But I know lots of people are wild for them, so I guess I’ll try again in the fall. In the meantime, feel free to name any of your favorite anise scents, or (conversely) voice your opinion as to why licorice should be confined to jelly beans rather than unleashed in a fragrance.