The bottle is gorgeous. Guerlain knows how to present a perfume.
This version is the closest to what I could wear as it is much lighter than Shalimar and Shalimar Parfum Initial. It doesn't fall flat and smell dated like the original Shalimar (I know it's a cult perfume but I find it smells like a dusty room which has not been entered since the year 1900, a bit suffocating and even rancid). L'eau opens with some green, citrusy notes but they fade away quickly. What's left is a sweet talcum with a bit of citrus. It evokes nostalgia as per the ancestors of it, however still it has some airiness. I can see this smelling gorgeous on some 18, 19 years old mademoiselles. It's younger, fresher than the other mentioned versions. However it might be just a tad too sweet for me. On my skin the sweet accord is dominant. 4 hours later only I get a whiff once in a while but it's mostly gone. I think it has medium sillage in the beginning. I'd wear it when I am in the mood but in Spring and Autumn. For summer a bit heavy in my opinion.
NOTE: Si Sensuelle is the same fragrance but in limited edition frosted bottle with fluffy neck tie.
Maybe my nose was playing tricks on me, but this smells a lot like Chanel, Coco Mademoiselle on me at first. I'll try it again in different weather (it was very hot today). The dry down is still very much like Shalimar. The sillage and lasting power was about average on my clothes and skin. It is a nice scent, but it smelt too familiar to me to consider buying a full bottle.
Okay, this is for both Parfum Initial and PI L'Eau. I tested PI L'eau on my hand and PI on my forearm, so I could distinguish them, but also detect the combination. Here's my assessment: You will be driving along and put your arm up to your nose, and you will scream to nobody in particular "holy, do I smell gorgeous!!" PI is definitely related to Shalimar but has none of the smoke. The first blast is fruity, girly meh, but the drydown after an hour is guerlinade beauty with a tiny bit of good musk, fruit and floral. It's a lighter version of the Shalimar drydown but no skank here. (Shalimar can turn to skank on me.) The PI L'Eau starts out an unidentifiable green. I know other reviewers have said it's like AA Pamplelune, but I didn't detect that in the top. It's light and green, and it too is meh to begin with. And here too the drydown is the best. it's delicate with a really good musk and a hint of the AA Pamp drydown.
And the bonus here is that not only is each scent fine in its own right, but they also complement each other. So, unable to decide, I purchased both (gotta love the 20X points and redemptions at Shoppers...), and yes, I did have to say out loud how good I smelled on the way home.
UPDATE*** Okay, so fresh from a shower and a new spray of PIL, I'm amending my impression of it. It's really a lot like Shalimar Light with something a bit greener and without the screaming lemon. There's also a faint cedar-ness in the final dry down that I'm not fond of, but you really have to get up close to smell it. Otherwise, it's a light version of Shalimar, no smoke, a bit more green. Still worthwhile, but honestly, no match for it's older more volutptuous sister Shalimar...
This is a softer version of Shalimar Parfum Initial, which itself was a softer version of Shalimar. The main difference I notice is the iris note which is prominent. It is definitely a softer scent for everyday wear. I think Guerlain is targeting the younger crowd with this scent.
This new Shalimar Parfum Initial L'Eau smells similar to Shalimar Parfum Initial. The main differences are: L'Eau is brighter, fresher and the leathery note is downed down.
I prefer the L'Eau version.