Black Anise is a scent that knows a good time. The kind of fragrance that follows you through the night, a sultry scent companion from first sip to shades drawn. From Auckland to Tokyo, we celebrated the launch of our newest fragrance with friends of the brand (new and old!)

Reuniting for the first time in nearly four years, our founder Frances Shoemack, and master perfumer Isaac Sinclair, came together in Tokyo for the Black Anise launch and reflected on the creation process, a journey very different from those that came before it.

“As in any creative pursuit, there comes a time when you find yourself wanting to push the boundaries, to see if you can play right at the edges and surprise everyone. Naturals have an (often misguided) reputation for being simple, subtle and organic smelling.”, explains Sinclair.

This creative play drove the creation of Black Anise. Isaac explains further, “While every ingredient in Black Anise is natural, the very deliberate selection of dense, powerful notes such as tobacco and star anise and their pairing with a rich fruit accord of cherry and cassis makes for a dynamic, long-lasting and distinctive scent.”

Frances and Isaac approach scent-making as a collaborative effort playing off each other’s input and inspiration. They were both looking to shift expectations as to what a natural can be when planning Black Anise.

Frances says, “Black Anise is our boldest challenge to natural conventions yet. It will appeal to anyone attracted to the non-toxic ingredient palette but looking for a scent profile that is rich, strong and, dare I say it, sexy. I truly think Black Anise will shift expectations of those who’ve decided against a natural perfume, I’d challenge them not to be seduced by this moody rich scent.”

Our latest scent, Black Anise, will take natural scent nay-sayers by surprise. It’s dark and even a bit unexpected, just like our favourite creative Ed Verner, a world-renowned chef known for his culinary innovation and effortlessly cool confidence in breaking all the rules.

An intimate evening at Ed’s restaurant, Boxer, an experimental bar that takes cues from Japanese minimalism, was more than befitting of Black Anise’s arrival. Abel toasted handcrafted Black Anise inspired cocktails with dear friends of the brand, creatives and industry leaders.

Across the ocean, in the high-end Marunouchi district of Tokyo, Black Anise launched at the always on-trend Nose Shop, Japan’s first boutique for niche fragrances. Featuring unique scents from around the world, Black Anise, with its distinct scent profile, has found home.

Tokyo photos by Mito Shimpei
Auckland photos by Jono Parker