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Jo Malone Vanilla & Anise Eau de Cologne

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4 Reviews

Brand: Jo Malone / Type: Fragrance / Concentration: Eau de Cologne / Gender: for men

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    4 Reviews
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    • More +
      03.04.2013 15:19
      Very helpful



      A stunningly beautiful cologne by Jo Malone - but certainly not unisex!

      While Jo Malone likes to shout about her fragrances being unisex I find myself in complete disagreement most of the time as while her colognes don't have the prettiness of other perfumes, I do think the majority have a distinctly feminine edge which would put off any of the men I know - the main man in my life, Mark, scoffed when I mentioned the fact that a previous Jo Malone fragrance could be worn by either sex, commenting that Pear & Freesia suited me far better than it would suit him. And I have to agree...

      Vanilla & Anise is another one which in my opinion is suitable mainly for us women, despite the fact that the vanilla has been beefed up compared to that that you usually find in perfumes. By this I mean it lacks the intense level of sweetness that can usually be found in fragrances which use vanilla as their base, and while Vanilla & Anise remains a beautifully sweet perfume there are other, spicier, fragrances swirling around to give it a chic scent, rather than the usual candied vanilla notes which tend to appeal mainly to younger perfume wearers.

      It's completely 'vanilla', and there's absolutely no getting away from it - the only respite coming at the very beginning of the perfume's life when it's actually such a harsh fragrance that I can barely smell anything over the generalised smell of 'decent perfume' for the first five minutes. Once this has settled down the vanilla starts to creep through, slowly at first but building up in intensity pretty rapidly until you feel that you're enveloped in a cloud of sweetness. It's tempered ever so slightly by a distinct and easily identifiable blend of liquorice and cinnamon, but these are done almost TOO well and to me come through as stand alone notes rather than being a part of the Star Anise which is lauded as such a large chunk of this cologne. The cinnamon is a stunning addition; my two absolute favourite fragrances are vanilla and cinnamon, but not usually together as even the best perfumiers struggle to blend the two with any degree of competency in my opinion. I'm actually amazed by the strong vanilla/cinnamon combination and think both fragrances hold their own beautifully, mingling perfectly with one another while still standing out as natural individual notes.

      Thanks to the ever-present vanilla it's hard to pin down at what points the different notes take over, this isn't one of those perfumes that you can neatly compartmentalise as having a top, heart and base simply because the notes come through in a much less defined manner. The robust vanilla gives it a pretty cake-like fragrance for the duration of the perfume, and to my nose the various different fragrances simply add to this and create wonderfully sweet pockets of 'cakeiness'. For example, I've been wearing Vanilla & Anise for four hours today and currently smell of Christmas cake as it's developed a lightly floral tone which mixes with a subtle chocolate fragrance (as well as the general sweet spiciness of the perfume) to give me this specific cake aroma. The end of the perfume is a delicious sugary cupcake, simply because at this point in time every other note has disappeared and I'm left with a soft-yet-rich vanilla which has been sweetened to within an inch of its life - it's vaguely reminiscent of one of the 'Cupcake' scents from Yankee Candle, only obviously much nicer and designed to be worn as a personal fragrance rather than a home scent!

      Having glanced at the Jo Malone website I can confirm that the notes given are all very much apparent in the fragrance; not strictly in the 'correct' order as given on the website, but they're certainly there. Aniseed, liquorice and clove are the notes which supposedly made up the Star Anise but still I can't particularly smell this fragrance as a whole despite being able to pick out all three pretty clearly at the beginning of my journey with Vanilla & Anise - I'd actually suggest a name change for this cologne, calling it instead Vanilla Spice as this seems to suit the fragrance far better. Next up Jo Malone tells us we should be smelling of purple orchid, cinnamon, candy and dark chocolate - to be honest I hadn't identified the floral as orchid but knew it was certainly one of the more delicate floral notes, the candy tone doesn't come through for me with this batch of fragrances but later on bursts out quite strongly to encourage the cupcake scent I mentioned earlier.

      It's the tail end of the perfume which amazes me if I'm honest, as while the vanilla remains the most vibrant fragrance it twists itself into other notes which I wasn't aware of until I checked the website - but now I know they're there I can definitely pick them out. Custard creams! Who would even THINK to look for this in a perfume, especially an upper class perfume such as those created by Jo Malone - but it's there! It doesn't give the cologne a biscuity fragrance in the slightest (thankfully) but now I can detect a certain vanilla custard aroma in the final hour or so of the fragrance, which adds oomph and an added element of richness to the perfume just as it's beginning to die off.

      As far as wearability goes, I find Vanilla & Anise to be one of the more feminine of the Jo Malone range of fragrances and therefore it's definitely my favourite. It's not the strongest fragrance I've ever used, but the intense sweetness mixed with the more subtle (but still pretty in-yer-face) spices makes it seem headier than it actually is. It lingers for around seven hours on my skin, but this is obviously subjective as perfume lasts for different time periods on different people - personally I'm glad for the longevity of Vanilla & Anise as I adore the heavy vanilla fragrance and am pleased it sticks around for so many hours, some would get bored with the constant vanilla I'm sure but for me it just makes the perfume perfectly tailored to my love of this scent. Another aspect which is ideal for me is the fact that the fragrance travels with me, but never becomes overpowering to the people in my space - I've recently stopped wearing an Armani fragrance which was slowly choking the life out of my partner and children, and an YSL perfume is going to go the same way now I've realised people on the other side of Birmingham are sniffing the air and saying 'what's that smell?' whenever I spray it on. This one, however, is more personal and I'm confident that when people smell my fragrance they're being treated to a waft of sweetness rather than suffering a vanilla induced headache when I come near.

      I'm going to happily recommend Vanilla & Anise to anyone who favours a sweet and sweetly spiced perfume. Obviously the elephant in the room when declaring this one recommendable is the fact that it's such a heavily vanilla fragrance - if you don't like vanilla then walk away now, you'll hate this. For the rest of us, however, it's a wonderful lesson in how vanilla in fragrance should be done - with passion, ingenuity and a large dose of femininity.

      I always find myself a little bit shocked when I see the prices of Jo Malone products; this is no exception with a 100ml bottle costing an incredible £78, and the 30ml size being a little more affordable at a shade under £40. In terms of quality it's certainly worth the money, but I can't help thinking that I could boost my perfume collection with three 'lesser-brand' bottles for the price of the large Jo Malone offering - I'm sure I'll purchase this again at some point (or more likely add it to a birthday or Christmas list!) but right now I can't justify using such a large chunk of my hard earned cash on such a relatively simple bottle of perfume. It still comes highly recommended though, I just wish it had a smaller price tag!


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      • More +
        25.06.2011 12:59
        Very helpful
        1 Comment



        Jo Malone: Vanilla and Anise, Eau de Cologne

        Love is... when your husband comes home with a Jo Malone gift bag as a present for you just because!! My hubbie knows I like Jo Malone as there is one of her stores close to his work in London so the other month he brought home one of her lovely gift bags, all wrapped up with her signature black ribbon just waiting for me to open and be happy.

        I use a number of Jo Malone products that he has actually bought me as presents over the years. Her bath oil is one of my favourite beauty products and the baths I take with them are always luxurious and cleansing. I have a number of her perfumes too in trial sizes that I got last Christmas but I had not tried this fragrance before now.

        For those os you that are not familiar with her products, she produces a range of luxury bath oils, colognes, perfumes etc with some weirs and wonderful smells to them that you cannot find in any other store. She has a number high end stores in London, as well as outlets in various airports and also sells her products via the internet at www.jomalone.co.uk.

        Her products are expensive but very good and for a treat or a special occasion I think they make the perfect gift. The present that my hubbie chose for me was the Vanilla and anise eau de Cologne. I love vanilla smelling lotions so it was a good choice on his part and I was interested to test just how this one smelt.

        This is what the website says about her fragrances. "Every Jo Malone scent has a unique story and originality all of its own. Based on an experience, each fragrance tantalises and challenges the senses, you're sure to find the inspirations behind them both intriguing and inviting. Although every scent is truly individual and can be enjoyed when worn on its own, each fragrance is also designed to be worn with another, a concept captured through the unique Jo Malone philosophy of Fragrance Combining."

        I absolutely adored this smell, it's almost good enough to eat! According to her website it is described as, " a fresh and modern cologne which blends the delicate scent of vanilla orchid with vanilla bourbon and envelops the skin with an aromatic richness that truly blooms with the warmth of the body." This is a very strong fragrance as I find most of her fragrances are. The vanilla is definitely the strongest scent coming from the bottle and it's really warm and quite sweet. I find this is a really nice evening scent although I do wear it in the day too if I am going out somewhere nice.

        Again, the bottle is one of my favourite parts of the perfume too. It is a glass bottle with her signature black and cream label on the front. I think the bottles look really nice and expensive and are really nice looking on my bedroom side table. The fragrances are not cheap but they really do last a long time as they are so rich you only need to apply a little amount at a time. For a 30ml bottle you will pay £34 and a 100ml bottle is £68 but for a present they are a very nice surprise.


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        • More +
          22.05.2011 19:39



          For special occasions.

          Vanilla & Anise reminds me of a sweet summer in the sun. Spray in the morning and your nostrils are in for a treat. I feel that this is one of the nicest smells of the Jo Malone range, with its distinguishable smell compared to Pomegranate & Noir. The Vanilla is very pungent but also very sensitive when you walk in the wind.

          As much as they are expensive, at £34 for a small bottle and £68 for a 100 ml bottle, they are still worth the price. The scent is very delicate, with a very feminine touch of it. The Vanilla is rather overpowering however, but depends on what you like.
          The problem is, it is very expensive for such a short time of a scent. Unlike other colognes, such as Tom Ford or Ralph Lauren, the scent doesn't last. You need to spray more and more for the smell to stay. With the expense of this, it becomes an expensive product to have.

          However, it is a very distinguishable scent which stands out from the rest. Jo Malone is a very elite brand of cologne and to have it, is a status symbol


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          21.03.2011 23:26
          Very helpful




          Jo Malone is a London based company. Jo Malone herself, started her career giving facials and word of mouth regarding a specific bath oil, led to her opening various boutiques. The Jo Malone product range includes bath and body treats, fragrance, gifts and home ware products.

          *~*Jo Malone & Fragrance*~*

          The Jo Malone fragrances are marketed as colognes. They can be used individually or with a recommended scent to create something completely new. Jo Malone offers 6 different fragrance families including citrus, light floral, spicy, fruity, woody and floral. The choice of scents available is extensive with offerings such as Nectarine Blossom & Honey, Vintage Gardenia and Sweet Lime & Cedar.

          *~*Vanilla & Anise*~*

          This cologne offers a fresh and modern blend of vanilla orchid and vanilla bouron a the ultimate warm, sensual and sweet aroma. The aromatic vanilla orchid is from Madagascar and its rarity is said to allow a modern take on the tradiitional vanilla scent. As with the other Jo Malone scents, you can mix and match to create a Bespoke Scent. Vanilla and Anise was recommended to top the White Jasmine and Mint scent. There are endless possibilities but it is recommended trying out Fresh Grapefruit or Warm 154 as a topping to this scent.


          Simply but elegantly housed within a tall or wide glass bottle (depending on volume), the cologne is slightly tinted. The bottle is thick and transparent and is simply adorned with a silver lid and cream coloured label.


          Vanilla and Anise has been created using distinct fragrance notes. The notes transform in sets offering a progressive scent on the skin.

          *Top notes - star anise
          *Heart notes - purple vanilla orchid
          *Base notes - vanilla bourbon

          *~*Availability and Price*~*

          Vanilla and Anise is available through www.jomalone.co.uk or in one of her Boutiques. This one comes in at £34.00/30ml and £68.00/100ml. This collection also includes :

          *Bath Oil - 250ml £38.00
          *Body Creme - 175ml £48.00
          *Home Candle - 200g £38.00

          *~*My Thoughts*~*

          If you have read my previous Jo Malone review, you will know that I received some beautifully presented perfume samples during a trip to the Jo Malone boutique in Glasgow. My sister was making a purchase at the time and I never reject free samples! In my little bag, I received a few of the White Jasmine and Mint and also some of the Vanilla and Anise.

          *~*Initial Impressions*~*

          Well, I was very happy to receive this particular scent as vanilla is one of my feel good and indulgent fragrance notes! It doesn't always work though so I was interested to see if Jo Malone could carry off a natural sweetness with the vanilla or if it would be artificial and cloying. The bottles are all the same with a classy and upmarket design but plain!

          *~*Cupcake Heaven*~*

          Spritzing a small amount of this cologne onto my wrist and neck, I was taken aback by the strength of the actual scent. Its powerful opening brought such pleasures as it settled down to a sumptuous level. Star anise is a fragrance note I have met before and I feel Jo Malone has captured it in its finest form. Enveloping me in a heady concoction which screams spice with smooth hints of a delicate, sweet floral, this is highly addictive to my nose. Its ample spiciness is a true treat that gradually settles down to reveal a generous heart.

          The heart of this scent took me by surprise. The vanilla orchid is light, creamy and offers little floral accents as it developes confidently on my skin. The sweetness present during the heart is very natural and if I didn't know better, I would assume it was laced with some sandalwood and a touch of amber. It is very much base like as far as note combinations go so it was wonderful to appreciate this blend for the heart. Lasting a good 3-4hours before the treats really began with the base of this scent.

          I noticed the spicy star anise rearing its head as the base became apparent. It was less concentrated but still there adding a sensual and spicy kick to the vanilla. Vanilla bourbon doesn't fail to provide a strong and very sweet aroma. The base, in my opinion, was more prominent that the heart which is surprising. Its aroma wouldn't be out of place in a bakery as I felt warmed and enchanted by a generous freshly baked cupcake aroma which is certainly a pleasant treat! This gorgeous aroma remains consistent on my skin for a good 3-4hours before fading away like the cupcakes I usually make!

          *~*Bespoke Scents*~*

          As I said in my previous review, I think it is amazing how much thought has been put into the recommendations for mixing and matching scents. I used this one with the White Jasmine and Mint as a base and considering these are the only two scents I have, I felt it only right to turn the tables and use the Vanilla and Anise as the base!

          Spritzing on a tiny amount of White Jasmine and Mint, the sweet and spicy aroma of Vanilla and Anise shines through. What the topping scent does is lighten it up ever so slightly. Delicate minty traces catch my nose giving the impression of making up the mix for my cupcakes and adding just a touch of mint essences. It is almost like a peppermint trace releasing into the air as my cupcakes bake..highly appealing!


          The sensual and warming nature of this scent pushes me to recommend for evening wear. Using a lighter scent on top will allow it to suit day time so it really is versatile. If you like sweet aromas then certainly this is one for you.

          *~*Recommendation and Conclusion*~*

          Wow what a scent..when wearing this, I am constantly feeling all warm and cosy as its strength catches my senses and covers them in sweet and spicy indulgence! It is quite a heavy scent but developes beautifully and lasts so long on my skin. This is such a beautiful scent which suits me perfectly and I cannot do anything but recommend this to you all. You won't be disappointed as the quality shines through from the moment I spray til the very second the scent leaves my skin.

          Thanks for reading x


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