Recently, I had an opportunity to do an extended test of Jo Malone's Vanilla & Anise Cologne ($55 or $100, depending on size). Diana Foerster, Jo Malone representative at Neiman Marcus at Tysons Galleria, kindly gave me some samples. The fragrance had surprised me in the store. Although spicy fragrances are not my cup of tea, I found this one really intriguing and more mellow than I had expected. Although I liked it, I got help with this review since I don't think I'm the best judge of spicy scents. Read on.
Here's what Jo Malone has to say about Vanilla & Anise.
Vanilla & Anise transports you to the floral landscape of Madagascar and captures the fleeting moment of the blossoming rare vanilla orchid. The fragile cream and white flowers found on the vanilla vine are a precious discovery: only one or two appear in the morning, and seemingly vanish by late afternoon.
I shared the samples with work friend and spicy fragrance lover, Anna B. I figured she would be a better judge of Vanilla & Anise than I could be. Here's what Anna B. had to say.
"I totally LOVE this fragrance. The simplicity of just two top notes means that it is clean and uncomplicated without necessarily smelling like laundry. The smell is subtle (read: won't offend your friends and coworkers), yet it lingers in a very pleasant way. It's not one that you spray on and then it disappears 10 minutes later, never to be smelled again for the remainder of the day." That's good, given Jo's description of fleeting orchid blooms!
"Some words I would use to describe the scent: comforting, cozy, sensual, toned-down spicy (thanks to the mellowing affect of the vanilla), dark floral (not spring flowers floral), feminine with a hint of masculine, mysterious, exotic, and sexy. The interesting part is, I'm not a big fan of vanilla and even less enthused about anise, yet I am so attracted to this smell. If I were not me, I'd want to hug me right now!"
Now that's an endorsement! Thank you, Anna B., for your help with Jo Malone's Vanilla & Anise Cologne. We are both grateful to Diana for the samples! I've been shopping with Diana for years - she is my Jo Malone stand-in. If you are a DC local and are interested in learning more about Jo Malone fragrances, she's your expert.
Vanilla & Anise is available wherever Jo Malone fragrances are sold, including Jo Malone's Web site, Neiman Marcus, Saks, and Nordstrom.