Jo Malone Vanilla & Anise: Perfume Review
Let me start with a question: before the creation of the aqueous pastel wonder that is Vanille Galante, has there existed a transparent vanilla perfume? I went through the list of oh so many vanillas, and couldn't come up with another name, except for the new Jo Malone fragrance. Perhaps it is simply the first of some more (hopefully not a thousand) scents, which surely have been launched by the sheer, watery beauty of the last Hermenessence. "Transparent vanilla" is a genre I apparently enjoy.
It is especially in the first stage that Vanilla & Anise seems to have been inspired by Jean-Claude Ellena's take on vanille. Something in the citrusy-spicy-fresh accord in the top notes has almost a melon-like effect, to me. A spicy melon effect, to be exact. The Malone creation is somewhat sharper then the Hermessence, and, despite "Vanilla" in the name, seemingly more unisex, at first anyway.
As it develops, the scent acquires more substance. Vanilla, tuberose and frangipani in the heart of the composition gives it a certian creaminess, a hint of flesh under the gauzy veil of top notes. Still, this tropical-sounding mix is not what I'd call voluptuous. The spicy characteristic from the start of the fragrance returns in the base, with cloves, and so does the sharp-dry unisex feel, with vetiver. This is an interesting scent, refreshing yet vaguely gourmand, at times obviously feminine, at other times almost masculine. There is something off-kilter in it, as if the balance of freshness and sweetness, of creaminess and spiciness haven't been gotten quite right, but oddly, this slight, quirky imperfection of the blend is what I enjoy about it.
Available wherever Jo Malone products are sold, $55.00-$100.00.
Image source, jomalone.com