Victory Vs are a British "sweet", or "medicine", with a strong liquorice flavour. They have been around for 150 years. They were not rationed during World War Two and were very popular when other sweets were rationed.
I know Victory Vs were used in the 1950s and 1960s to hide the smell of tobacco, cannabis or alcohol on the breath. They may have been used as "breath fresheners" for a very long time.