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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

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

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10 Comments:

Blogger Flora said...

Sounds good to me! Most of the Jo Malones agree with me except that weird agave thing, I will give this a try.

1:06 AM EST  
Blogger flittersniffer said...

I love Vanille Galante and this one! So I must be a transparent vanilla fan too... : - )

6:23 AM EST  
Blogger Marina Geigert said...

Donna,
I liked the agave thing, apparently the post-Malone creations of 'Jo Malone' are more to my taste.

6:36 AM EST  
Blogger Marina Geigert said...

Flittersniffer,
Welcome, fellow fan! :-)

6:36 AM EST  
Blogger Cynthia said...

Ooh... I adore Vanille Galante, so I'll have to give this one a sniff - it will be the first Jo Malone to actually inspire a sniffing trip from me. Okay, I'm planning a trip to the Galleria to take advantage of Nordies Clinque bonus anyway, but I'll at least stop at the NM Jo Malone counter instead of blithely passing it by on my way to the Guerlain counter.

10:22 AM EST  
Blogger lovethescents said...

I love Vanilla & Anise. It hits all the right spots for me: bright and refreshing, then calm and soothing. Thanks for a great review!

2:11 PM EST  
Blogger elle said...

I have a sample of this en route to me right now and am looking even more forward to trying it after reading this. "Quirky imperfection" - that's something I always think is appealing in scents.

4:39 PM EST  
Anonymous organic cosmetic brushes said...

Sounds great...mild and refreshing and not too heavy.

11:42 PM EST  
Blogger Ducks said...

And now this is a total must-try. You'll laugh -- my partner wears Vanille Galante, beautifully. It's surprisingly masculine on him and yet retains its weird fragility. He wears his Hermessences as mood elevators: this morning he spritzed himself with it before going out to berate his students for their incredibly awful test results.

12:54 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great review. I tried this Jo Malone last week. I really enjoyed how this perfume changed its story completely every few minutes. Each unique vignette bright and clearly articulated. The slide show was over for me in about 15 minutes, after that it was my father-in-laws fantastic anise biscotti laced with plenty of vanilla, light and yummy.

7:26 PM EST  

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