Of all the classic fragrances that hail from the Roaring '20s, Guerlain Shalimar and Chanel Bois des Iles are probably the only ones I reach for and would repurchase if I ever ran out, even though I don't wear them daily.
It actually took me a long time to "get" Shalimar, because the cool astringency of the bergamot, the powderiness of the incense, the animalic leather, and the smoky amber-vanilla tones felt like an olfactory clash to me for many years. But I've since learnt to apreciate its originality and complexity.
This to me is the scent equivalent of a "dark smoky eye". It's sultry, sexy, and just a little dirty. I personally like wearing this off-context on casual days, with comfy clothes and red lips.
How can any serious perfume collector not own a bottle?
Shalimar is so womanly and elegant. It is a meticulously groomed white Persian cat lounging on a maroon satin pillow. Luxurious, mysterious, beautiful and soft, quiet and endlessly alluring in that subtle come hither way.
The only perfume by which men make positive comments about my perfume. And some of them even know it's Shalimar!
An original that not too many women wear - and I'm thankful for that.
I have heard of Shalimar for years but never smelt it or bought a bottle until recently.
It is beautiful and long lasting. Smells to me of Baby powder with a touch of Musk which I like. Definitely one of my favourites.
Ok, so I had to come back and edit my original review. After putting this on, and letting it settle on my skin, it was pure heaven! It started off as a not so great first impression...but over time, turned into a vanilla powerdy heaven! Shalimar, I'm sorry I didn't give you time to mature on my skin before I wrote the previous review on you. But you changed my mind. What a wonderful scent! I could still smell it on me the next morning!
First off, those who call this "old lady powder" don't have a clue. It's not for people who love to smell like fruit salad or sugar frosting. You don't need to insult the perfume or women just because you don't get the scent. What are you even saying? It's not sexy? How can an older woman not be sexy? How can leather, civet and sandalwood, musk, patchouli and jasmine NOT be sexy?
It's a classic fragrance that is so complex, creamy and gorgeous, I just cannot get enough. The lemon pledge comments are out in left field to me.
There's bergamot and citrus at first which dries down to a powdery and sexy leather. It's to die for I think I can safely say this is my signature, I've loved it since I was very young but it hasn't always been my favourite. It's taken time to fully appreciate this scent. Once you see what other fragrances there are the chose from, nothing beats Shalimar. If you want gormand you have vanilla, if you love freshness you have the citrus, if you like powder there's the iris. It's full rounded perfection. <3
I don't know why I thought I wanted to try this but I'm sorry I did. It smelled good in the store on the test strip. So I bought it and sprayed it on the way home. It was fine for maybe 10 seconds but quickly changed into a very powdery scent. Hours later it's still powdery. Definitely not my thing, YMMV.
Shalimar is one of the most significant fragrances of my lifetime, and I've been through several bottles, including refills of the refillable bottle I used to have. I still have it, in all formulations, and this is one where I think every formulation has been wonderful, even the cologne.
I first sniffed Shalimar in my sophomore year at college -- the girl across the hall said it was her favorite -- but I didn't like it then. I thought it was too "high", light, and sweet -- too dainty & candyish, sort of. I liked them more full-bodied and thought Shalimar stayed too much in the high register (although I'm a big vanilla lover, I've never been much for lemon & citrus).
Fast forward to my first year out of college, my first job -- and one of my coworkers made Shalimar Eau de Cologne (disc bottle) her signature and wore it to work every day. Well, I fell in love with the stuff on her -- she smelled like Heaven! She bought those big disc-shaped cologne bottles and poured them into a spray bottle. Our office was perfumed with Shalimar on a daily basis.
I desperately wanted to wear Shalimar too -- and I bought a bottle -- but I only wore it away from work, when I knew I wouldn't see her -- because it was HER scent. I dared not wear it to work also, or anywhere around her during our "off" hours. It would have been extremely rude of me and would have probably broken her heart.
Even though she wore cologne formulation, it really was quite strong, and sometimes first thing in the morning, it was too (embarrasingly) strong -- yet in a good way -- because no denying it was a wonderful, awesome, fantastic perfume. I think all of us on staff loved the scent; nobody ever complained.
As a matter of fact, one of the bosses' wives came through one day, swooshed past me, and left a gorgeous poof of Shalimar in her wake. It made me wonder if her husband had raved about the coworker's Shalimar to her at home and caused her to go out & buy a bottle -- or if he had actually loved it so much on our coworker that he had bought his wife a bottle.
I do not understand criticisms of this perfume -- that little twist of incense is just a little twist, to offset the sweetness of the lemon & vanilla, and I think it's very subtle and what makes the scent so gorgeous. I love it completely and will always have it in my collection.
A boyfriend once said to me, "Don't ever change perfumes" while I was wearing Shalimar. Later it became my wedding fragrance. What a stunning Masterpiece of a perfume Shalimar has been through the decades -- and continues to be. It has truly stood the test of time as few other perfumes have.
I am rating the modern formulation here since I never manage to win an old sample on ebay ( but I live in hope! :) ) The bottle is prima, and what's in it started with a blast of musk ( read dust ) and settled into a stale vanilla mixed with soda baking powder. The End. If I get hold of a vintage I will update, but so far it's not worth the time I could take describing how disappointing that was.
Shalimar evokes such pleasurable memories for me. And it's scent is so deliciously decadently devious. Guerlain designed this perfume to be that way. It is a woman's scent. It is for those who know they are a woman, when they want to be a woman and when they luxuriate in being the woman they are. Because it is a perfume that brings to mind the human body as a pleasurable thing mixed with sweetness. You see, it's dry down won't attack you with any sick sweet cloying floral scent or overpowering muskiness either, but rather, entice you with a suspicious mixture of naughty and nice. It belongs to a faraway time, perhaps in a Sultan's tent, mesmerized by the fragrances adorned on bodies, of incense lightly burning somewhere in the night.
It was created in 1921 by Guerlain. Jacques Guerlain was inspired by Mumtaz Mahal, the woman for whom the Taj Mahal was built. She was so favored, that her husband built for her the Garden of Shalimar in Pakistan. They say the meaning of "Shalimar" is a mystery, but it is of Persian origin. In Sanskrit it means "Temple of Love". Jacques Guerlain felt Shalimar to be an aphrodisiac.
I always knew it to be a vanilla, powdery scent. It contains vanilla, bergamot, jasmine, lemon, rose, iris, incense, opopanax, and tonka bean. Top note is bergamot. Middle notes are iris and opopanax. Base note is vanilla.
It is a sexy smell that you can layer on with its accompanying lotions or creams. It's considered an Oriental with a headiness of musk that does bring others to their knees. wondering how such a thing happened to them. It was said back then that a lady didn't do three things: "smoke, dance the Tango and wear Shalimar". So for those that think of Shalimar as an old lady's perfume, think again. There really is no such animal. There are only scents that bring out one's own beauty and confidence when mixed correctly with the wearer's pheromones.
Shalimar was one of my first perfumes as a young woman and I'll always delight in wearing it. It makes me feel special when I do. Wearing Shalimar reminds me of whom I am and who I want to be at the moment. It gives me a smile to wear, with the confidence to wear nothing else. It just has that ability. Jacques Guerlain knew what he was doing when he created Shalimar with the new scent of vanillin.
Lemon cookies! This smells like vanilla lemon cookies would smell. I absolutely adore this scent. Love the dry down its warm and wears close to skin. It smells fantastic! If you are not looking for a classy timeless scent that has been worn by many generations for a reason, then look else where.