Brin de Réglisse
Do we really need another lavender scent? Apparently, according to Jean-Claude Ellena, the house-perfumer of Hermes, the answer is yes. His latest addition to the Hermèssences line is centered around the note of lavender. "To create it, he felt he needed a little help and turned to his colleagues at an independent perfume lab in Grasse. He asked them to slice natural lavender into 50 distinct groups of molecules, sniffed them all, discarded five and reassembled it." (LA Times)
In his interview for the above mentnioned publication, Ellena said: "My lavender had a much purer, cleaner smell," he says, comparing it with the natural scent. "Then I had to find something to dress it up that would be a little unusual. I chose a touch of licorice”.
Brin de Réglisse is not necessarily a dry lavender as seems to be the consensus in most media mentioning the scent. Rather, it plays up the richness of lavender, which can be more easily found with the absolute or concrete distillation: herbaceous yet sweet, green yet smooth – Brin de Réglisse renders a velvety gourmand lavender, likened to a lavender-flavoured chocolate. The licorice note, apparent right from the start is reminiscent of tarragon, with it’s off-beat, awkwardly green sweetness, which seamlessly complements the lavender paste. It is further deepened by deep cocoa and dark coumarin sweetness with a gourmand intensity that is more vanillic than hay-like. And than, after less than two hours of wear, it practically disappears… So unfortunately, while I find the concept of Brin de Réglisse just as surprising and original as Vetiver Tonka (a vetiver that stands out among the over-populated crowd of scents of that theme), Vetiver Tonka remains my favourite Hermèssence for both its originality and lasting power.