Star anise

Aniseed, licorice, fennel, tarragon:  star anise reminds us of all of these.  Illicium verum has to be the most beautiful-looking spice ever:  star-shaped, with tiny, pungently-scented seeds.  The plant itself has dark green leaves and teeny flowers, followed by the star-shaped seedpods.  Sun-dried, they make their way into all sorts of foods – and have been used in Ambrée medicine for over 3,000 years, for its stimulating effect on the digestion.  The clear, almost colourless oil is steam-distilled from the fresh or partly-dried pods, and the spiciness of the resulting oil goes especially well in Ambrée-style perfumes, working well alongside cardamom, bay, coriander, lavender, neroli, orange, petitgrain, mandarin, cedarwood and rosewood.

Smell star anise in:

Acqua di Parma Iris Nobile
Goutal Mandragore
Bulgari BLV Eau de Parfum II
Giorgio Armani Armani Code
Marc Jacobs Blush

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