I bought this perfume after reading what others said about it, and I love it! It's such an elegant fragrance, it smells amazing! The first time I wore it I wad afraid it was going to stay peppery (that's how it first smelt on me!) but after a little while it smelled like real vanilla and musk, with a tiny hint of orangey fragrance. I am so glad I bought it! I'll admit it's not cheap at $75 NZD for 50ml, but totally worth it. I mainly use it if I'm going out somewhere special. I am in love with this fragrance and will be buying it again and again!
This is not a review of modern Shalimar. For that, I would defer to lipgloss junkies review below. This is a review of vintage Shalimar EdC, clock disk bottle, metal screw cap, perhaps from the 1980s (I don't know if they phased out the screw cap clock disc bottle in the 1980s or 1990s) and a review of Shalimar Parfum de toilette (probably 1980s) wave bottle, atomizer, that I have decanted for personal use (PdT was engineered in spray form for maximum sillage and convenience of use). (Sillage has an excellent review of vintage below). Pdt is consistently well reviewed; reasonably priced and readily available. Since I dislike sillage and spray, I disable the bottles and decant the contents. (I also own PdT in Mitsouko and Chamade which are excellent).
I had a clearly faulty, vague recollection of Shalimar EdP as being overly powdery and quintessentially 'oriental' when I tried it years ago. The oriental is not my genre of first choice, notwithstanding my foray into S. lutens orientals. I mistakenly pigeonholed Shalimar into a mental olfactory cubbyhole with original YSL opium (which I recall as tinged with spices) or Malles Musc Ravageur, which I find too sharp in the nose at opening (like my experience of Noire Epices) and an overly powdery dry down. I also recalled some years ago trying Guerlain EDP LHB which I thought was too powdery and retro back then. I am a recent die hard convert to vintage fragrance, particularly Guerlain and Caron, but NOT of EdP or EdT formulations.
Shalimar EdC, is a revelation. Perhaps the top notes in my particular bottle have muted, but my juice isn't dis colored and it has decent lasting power. It opens in a gentle citrus fashion. I have a skin chemistry that turns some citrus candied and artificial (Goutals Eau de Hadrian) but that isn't an issue here. Then there is a soft, subtle but rich mellow base, think Guerlainade, but gentle subtle powderiness from iris/orris root and the warmth of amber and 'oriental' ingredients. There is a light leatheriness to it, but I have to think about the characteristics, nothing leaps out. I can imagine a flapper splashing this on, or, for a different scent, mood and fragrance, dabbing caron Tabac Blond, a much deeper darker leather, which is a totally different animal.
Where is the powerhouse amber oriental heaped with laudanum, benzoin etc? , I used to wear a lot of Serge Lutens, such as Chergui, Ambre Sultan, MKK, Bois et ___ (fruit, violette, shiseido original feminitie de Bois), Borneo, Fumerie Turque. I wore Lagerfeld for men original etc. I used to wear Malle musc Ravageur, as I mentioned above, and arguably all of these more modern fragrances are relatively overwrought in comparison. A friend was wearing Shalimar EDP the other night, and it too was heavy on the vanilla, amber, and powder, enough so it felt sweet and thick.
Then I recalled that I read on Perfume Shrine.com that Guerlain added an overdose of adulterated, synthetic ethyl vanillin to Jicky, formerly considered a men's cologne, to come up with Shalimar. assuming my memory is correct, there is my revelation. Also the bergamot in Shalimar comprises 30% and Guerlain Bergamot was considered particularly rounded, fruity, smooth with a bit of camphor or cedar? (The site. MonsieurGuerlain also has some interesting facts about Guerlain Bergamot). I am thinking that based on some of this info, I should now put habit rouge vintage EDC (apparently a less lemony, more leathery Shalimar of sorts) on my list to acquire.
This is understated, elegant, restrained (as in Not overblown), but casual, can wear with jeans as easily as going out. My PdT which is new dead/old stock, is not dissimilar once I butchered the bottles atomizer and decanted it in its entirety into a dabber for my personal use. (I did the same with Chamade). I don't think it's that much fuller and more aggressive than EdC, so long as it's dabbed with restrain.
A single spray produces up to three times the amount of perfume and leaves a wake of scent. I should state, if it's not obvious already, I am an under applier of scent; and prefer dabbing extrait.
I've only been using it for two days so I know my opinion on this perfume will still mature in some time, but Id like to give my impressions as a newbie in the Shalimar allure.
Well, I am obsessed. It's a riddle! Yes, this perfume is a riddle, a charade, for it's multiple! It has so many facets to it that I have spent two days sniffing it and just trying to make a mental list of all its different qualities. On my skin what is preponderant is the sweet of it, and maybe it's the vanilla that I'm talking about because people say it's got a lot of it. But it's such a different way to use it! It's a vanilla from another era really, for the vanilla we have in the perfumes nowadays are really differently used. Shalimar's vanilla has a salty side to it ( I'm afraid that's exactly what I mean to say, salty).
And the spicy goodies it delivers, combined with the vanilla makes me feel like Im a ginger cookie, but in a good way, hahhahaha. Yes, I feel like I smell like some gingerbread cookie made with golden syrup.
I also get a baby powder very distantly, which quite puzzles me really for it's such an extreme to go from spicy to that.
I Know all I'm saying is not what people want to hear about a perfume, for people look for words like "sexy" or "flowery" for their perfumes, but although I used none of them, this is one of the best perfumes I have ever encountered. It's exotic, bewildering, enchanting and comforting.
After having said all this, let's see what other experiences Shalimar beholds for my discovery, I know that's a trip I'm eager to take!
Nothing cheers me up more than Shalimar, it is luxurious and decadent and my absolute most favourite scent ever. I wish the bottle was still the vintage (or extrait) version. Guerlain has an obsession with modernising that annoys me sometimes - I suppose you must keep up with the times but there are many of us out there who prefer the decadent over the sleek.
I tried this at the store one day in a bid to see what this classic fragrance did for me. At first it has a medicinal smell and I thought to myself "why would anyone want this as a fragrance?". After about 30 minutes it dries down to a velvety, rich, delicious smell that lingers a long time on the skin. I will go back I think, to actually buy.
This is for the Eau de Cologne concentration:
I'm wearing this today and am absolutely in love. I decided to go with the cheaper 'lighter' Shalimar to start with as I'd tested the edt and edp in store and detected a sharpness. I know, I know, I'm a chicken. But I wanted something that I could wear to the office and not offend my coworkers with (I have a coworker that HATES Mitsouko, so I'm Guerlain-shy at the office already!)
This is so gorgeous...I'm not even sure what I can say that hasn't already been said. The opening is a bright, sweet citrus with the traditional "Guerlinade" accord that can be a turn off for some (personally, I love it). I *do* get hints of civet, which just makes this scent have more depth.
I'm about 5 hours in and it's a warm smoky vanilla with some musk, benzoin, and opoponax to smooth it out. Those resins really give it a richness and a timelessness that I adore. I don't get any hints of patch with this one (which I was eagerly looking for, as I love patchouli), but that's ok because the smooth composition of this is just perfect as far as I'm concerned.
Right now I'm in smoky powdery rich vanilla heaven. Now I'm considering checking out both the edt and edp on my skin again, to see if they are also worth owning. But considering how inexpensive, rich, and longlasting this edc is, I'd say this one was worth starting with. :D
This is a true classic, it's been around for nearly a century. In the past fragrances were much bolder than what is popular today. Initially this scent hits with a clove like incense note which quickly dissipates to a lingering powder note with a hint of vanilla. Staying power is excellent on this, even after 7 or 8 hours it's still there. The bottle is just beautiful, not something one would stash away in a cabinet.
This is one of my signature scents. When I first apply it it in EDP, it doesn't smell that great. But if I wait 15-20 minutes, wow! It changes. It's this beautiful powdery amber vanilla that smells amazing! It really lasts too. What a classic! I have it in EDP, EDT, EDC, and the parfum! This is a great scent!
Typical example of a fragrance that you need to let grow on you before you can fully appreciate it! Fist time I tried this... a very strong, very dirty, almost bitter vanillic leather aroma hit me and I found it quite pungent and almost overbearing. But after a few days, and other applications... I really had to agree with everyone here in that this is quite an elegantly made, beautifully blended, sophisticated fragrance, and I can see why many call this a masterpiece. There is not much more to add to what others have said, but I would say to first time users please give it a few tries on your skin and leave it the time it needs to fully appreciate it. Trust me, if you do this you will be rewarded, but be patient and you will see why so many people call this a masterpiece.
I love vanilla, and was excited to try this after reading all the fuss about what a classic it is. But honestly... ugh! How does anyone smell vanilla in this? To me it smells exactly like baby powder... but ten times as potent. As a reviewer below noted, it does "settle down" after some time, but it's still way too strong (and I used only one spritz), and smells very little like how I expected it to. More old and powdery than gourmand and sexy.