Real Girl Lifestyle

Not Your Grandma’s Vanilla

Posted on: June 21, 2011

Consider me a vanillaphile. Sheer vanilla love. And it’s easy to see why – over and over, fragrance studies mention vanilla as one of the most universally appealing scents. Depending on ancillary notes, vanilla-based perfumes can skew sweet or musky, innocent or sexy, sugary or floral. That little vanilla bean is just versatilely delicious.

Like any aficionado – or junkie, take your pick – I have brand-hopped far and wide to find my fixes. Laura Mercier’s Vanile Gourmande, Kiehl’s Vanilla Essence Oil, and the siren call of the Lavanila line  have all captured my attention and my wallet. But the creativity and modernity of Jo Malone’s Vanilla & Anise Cologne  might just blow them all out of the fragrance-infused water.

Should you see a woman walking down the streets of New York City smelling her wrists, go ahead and assume it’s me. I just can’t stop. The musky vanilla sweetness is still there, but tempered by the anise it becomes cleaner, fresher, and more complicated. Far from smelling like licorice, Jo Malone’s anise notes cut some of the sweetness and bring vanilla into the 21st Century. If Shalimar was the vanilla of the 1980s, then Jo Malone’s Vanilla & Anise has updated it for today’s woman – at once fresh and young but with the maturity of complex complimentary notes.

A scrolling gaze down the list of Jo Malone’s colognes piques my interest even further. Lime Basil & Mandarin, Nectarine Blossom & Honey, White Jasmine & Mint, Blue Agava & Cacao, Nutmeg & Ginger, to name a few, sound like they may reinvent the very notion of perfumery. If nothing else, they give a fragrance hound entirely new pairings to consider – and nothing is more modern than innovation.


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June 2011
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