Essential Oil of Anise Star Origin: China The aroma is intensely sweet and is described as licorice-like, and although Anise oils are used to flavor or scent licorice products they have nothing in common with pure licorice root or extract. Experts describe the flavors of the two materials as widely different. Star Anise comes from the fruit of a native Southeastern Asian tree, Illicum Verum. Both wild and cultivated trees are used. It is commonly distilled in Vietnam.