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
Bulgari BLV Eau de Parfum II
David & Victoria Beckham Instinct
Giorgio Armani Armani Code
Lolita Lempicka Lolita Lempicka
Marc Jacobs Blush