Wonderful authentic, dry, rich burst of Lavender in the opening, full of unmistakable quality... followed by a juicy liquorice note. Very well made.
Brin de Réglisse is Jean-Claude Ellena's take on Lavender, and for this he chose Liquorice - another note which has some olfactive similarities to the herb (he also managed a similar choice of combination with Vétiver Tonka). It's dry, almost caramel like quality pairs with the deep lavender to give a very rich, authentic feel... like standing in a lavender field in summer eating liquorice. The hay is also a wonderful choice here, which really evokes the natural and dry, herbal feel of this fragrance.
I also suspect there may be other notes at play here such as immortelle, with a dry, burnt-sugar and herbal feel, or maybe a hint of vanilla and orange blossom. Either way, Brin de Réglisse has one of the best lavender and liquorice notes in any perfume I've tried. It's transparent, as is Ellena's style. But, much like Vétiver Tonka, although I do like the combination... there are better interpretations of lavender and liquorice in other perfumes out there. Dior's Eau Noire comes to mind, which smells much more authentic than this (it's also a lavender liquorice combo). Overall I do really like this one, I just wished it gave me a little more.
Quiet lavender meets fleeting licorice
An innovative and attractive combination of savory and aromatic elements, Brin de Réglisse juxtaposes a grassy hay-like lavender base with dynamic top notes of black licorice. Despite the name, the main ingredient here is the lavender which has been modified to become very clean and smooth, containing none of lavender’s distinct herbal or medicinal aspects. Although beautiful as a stylized representation of the natural note, the lavender in Brin de Réglisse has been so excessively tamed and civilized that most of its character is gone, making it too anonymous and transparent to create a truly lasting impression, especially as it meets little constructive opposition from its licorice counterpart. While delicious and very natural-smelling, the licorice note is present, literally, for only a few minutes and dissolves far too quickly, leaving the lavender alone and overly docile with its natural teeth and claws removed.
While Brin de Réglisse is undeniably elegant and conceptually intriguing, it is also too soft-spoken and insubstantial, especially as a very expensive and exclusive Hermèssence fragrance. It performs like an eau de cologne and would be far more at home in the excellent (and significantly cheaper) Hermès cologne selection, relaunched in a pale violet bottle and renamed "Eau de Lavande Stylisée". Given its unsatisfactory performance and unjustifiable price point for what it is, I have to rate Brin de Réglisse below four stars. While I enjoy the fragrance and find it both very pleasant and easy to wear, I’m slightly bothered with the way it whimsically tries to trade character and substance for intangible hints, suggestions, and mannerism.
I must disclose that I love licorice and always have since I was a little boy.
This makes Brin de Reglisse easy for me to like because it is very close to the way a stick of licorice smells.
It is light, with the lavender merging with the collective notes to provide the illusion of Bassets Spanish style hard licorice. The type I used to buy from a local corner shop 35 years ago.
It is not sweet or cloying, it is masculine and formal. Inoffensive and subtle.
It is not anything like Lolita Lempicka's offerings, which are stronger and smell synthetic in comparison.
So if you like the way licorice used to smell and are partial to very well made scent then I recommend you try Brin de Reglisse. Spray part of it on clothes to extend the drydown.
I spray once for each side of the neck with part of each spray landing on my shirt collar. Perfect. I don't ever want to run out of it.
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From the Hermessence line, Brin de Reglisse is one that sounds the most compact and simple. But this one works because that the simplicity here is centered around too biggest notes, lavender and anis. If Caron Pour Un Homme works like a dance of lavender and vanilla, this one changes lavender`s pair and put it to be conducted by the spicy and dark aroma of anis. The note gets very close of something which is dark-sugary and bitter at the same time, and it works very well combined with the aromatic aroma of lavender, that stripped down of the caramelic and medicinal tones provides a more herbal, green aspect to the note. One curiosity about Brin de Reglisse is that, before the launching, Hermes used a similar formula to give Hermes George V to person which were invited to the reopening of their french George V Store. George V is the opposite twin of Brin de Reglisse, with the lavender more in focus than the anise and showing a more fresh aroma, almost tea-like, with a discreet caramelic note. Both interesting fragrances, but in the end i prefer George V for the relaxed aura it exhales.
I knew something was special about this on on my skin so I tried it a few times. I found that I liked it more and more.
First application: dry lavender. didn't go anywhere, set it aside to tyr again
Second application: dry lavender and citrus with licorice, something seems to be creeping up
Third application: a licorice note that transcends the dry lavender note into a green herbal puff of dry and spicy vanilla that is pleasant and lingers making this a lavender gourmand
If you believe in heaven, this is the key....