To say that the Feuille de Reglisse is original is truly an understatement. I would venture to say that it must be worn by a true fragrance connoisseur, for it is ineffably unique. Feuille de Reglisse translates to "licorice leaf" and lends itself to interpretation since licorice is actually a root, not a leaf. (I vaguely remember Mr. Chabert referencing this point and wish I had had a tape recorder with me!) That fact is only the tip of the iceberg. This fragrance is truly a study in dichotomy, a study that only true fragrance lovers can appreciate.
The leaf of a licorice plant would be subtly suggestive of the root, with a softer, more transparent scent. And that is exactly what this fragrance manages to pull off. The strong top notes of heliotrope and anise boldly announce the fragrance for the first five minutes of wear, however this sharp opening bears little resemblance to the heart and base of the fragrance. Herein lies the dichotomy. Very few fragrances have such a drastically different opening and heart. After proudly wearing Feuille de Reglisse for nearly a week, I have realized an interesting routine with it. Immediately following first spritz I avoid sniffing at all. Rather, I wait for the subtle, soft and soothing heart to emerge and wash over me like a warm blanket. It never fails. Delicate muguet and sweet orange flower bring forth the transparent and soft qualities of this fragrance. This stage is the one that I favor and I find it beautifully soft and slightly powdery. The base notes of sweetly spicy ginger, nutmeg, cardamom and earthy cedarwood substantially ground Feuille de Reglisse. Although the combination of notes alone could inspire fear in the hearts of those who loathe spicy scents, the spice of Feuille de Reglisse is deceptively subtle. It is remarkably well-blended, true to the company's mission. Finally, it is suitable for every day wear.
I predict this fragrance will not take the fragrance community by storm but rather will slowly sneak up on unsuspecting perfumistas looking for a soft, subtle and truly different scent that is destined to be a star. The contrast between notes, the distinct progression of scent from top to bottom, the company's commitment to the art of perfumery and the uniqueness of this fragrance catapult it into a very prestigious category - celebrated niche.
Feuille de Reglisse is available at www.aedes.com, Takashimaya and other exclusive retailers. A 3.4 oz. bottle retails for $145.
Photo of bottle, courtesy aedes. Licorice plant courtesy of nccam.nih.gov.