anethole VS anise alcohol VS (star)anise oil VS fennel oil

gido

Well-known member
May 31, 2008
what is your opinion on this? i want to get one of these, but i am not sure which one and i can't smell them before i buy. what are the differences? which ones do you like and why? please help me out a bit here. what should i NOT get?

am i missing other options in this direction that i should know about?
 

janmeut

Well-known member
Aug 11, 2006
Anethole is the main component in anise oil, real anise oil from pimpinella anisum is about 95% anethole and staranise oil from ilicium verum is about 85-90% anethole. Sweet fennel oil usualy contains slightly less anethole, 70-90%. All these oils and the pure aromachemical have (of course!) an alike fragrance. The EO of staranise is usualy the cheapest, sold in lots of stores, so I would start there.

Realise that a lot of oil sold as "anise oil" is actualy star anise oil. I once received a MSDS from star anise oil that made clear that the product was not an essential oil, but anethole!

Anisic acid is a typical trace element in anise oils, it is not a typical anise like fragrance, just one component of it.
 

gido

Well-known member
May 31, 2008
thanks jan.
what are the differences in smell properties of these? at the moment i am looking for a rather fresh and not all too sweet anise/fennel type note. i can imagine the oil of star anise might smells a tad too sweet for my purpose.
 

Nymphaea

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2009
I personally prefer to use fennel over anise seed (Pimpinella anisum), and anise seed over star anise (Illucium verum) and (you guessed it,) star anise over anethole because of the buffering/secondary components in naturally-derived products; it is so easy to overdo it with these scents.

Fennel has a fresher, greener top note than anise seed, which smells very rich and heavy, exactly like licorice. Star anise is much sharper, more metallic smelling, and, while it has very useful medicinal properties, it is less pleasant than the other two.
 

janmeut

Well-known member
Aug 11, 2006
For an anisic note I prefer basisl oil, it smells more like anise to me than the anise oils. Of course I usualy mix with other fragrances including estragon oil, toscanol and fennel oil.

For a liquorice note I prefer anethol, it is fresher and sharper than the anise and fennel essential oils.

All anise compounds mentioned are both sweet and fresh tmho. The difference is that the fennel and anise seed oil have more green aspects than the star anise and the anethol, which can be good or bad, depending on your intention.
 

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