Close your eyes and think of aniseed… Or maybe tarragon… Licorice, even… The herb fennel can be used to add a herbaceous, soft, aromatic spiciness to fragrances. (Fennel is of course familiar to most of us as a food – but did you know it’s also used in creating absinthe, the no-longer-banned-but-it-still-makes-you-dance-on-tabletops French alcoholic drink?)
The seeds left behind when the pretty yellow umbelliferous (umbrella-like) flowers have faded are used in steam-distillation of the fennel essential oil. (Those seeds are also chewed, in countries like Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, to freshen the breath.)
Actually, fennel produces TWO types of oil: bitter fennel, and sweet fennel, which can be used as top notes OR heart notes, blending well with lavender, rose, geranium, basil, lemon, rosemary, violet leaf and sandalwood.
Savvy perfumers know exactly which to use to get their desired effect…
Smell fennel in:
Elizabeth Arden Green Tea
L.Villores Piper Negrum