Guerlain Samsara

Guerlain Samsara
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3.9

217 reviews

64% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.9

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.9

Price: $$$

INGREDIENTS



Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

Top Notes: Green Notes, Peach, Bergamot, Lemon.

Heart Notes: Iris, Violet, Orris Root, Jasmine, Rose, Narcissus.

Base Notes: Iris, Sandalwood, Tonka Bean, Amber, Musk, Vanilla.

This review is for the EDP formulation. As one would expect, Samsara is very sandalwoody, lightly sweet, lightly floral, and a bit powdery. It is so soft, so feminine...I really cannot think of words sufficient to describe how sexy is this parfum. I cannot imagine men wearing this because it is so very feminine, although I am sure some probably do. J-P Guerlain really outdid himself with this creation. The man is a genius.

Perhaps the most amazing thing about Samsara is that there is no Mysore sandalwood oil in it at all (some claim that it originally did contain real Mysore Sandalwood, but it seems highly unlikely to me), but the synthetics used completely fool one's sense of smell. J-P Guerlain created Samsara in 1989, post the collapse of Mysore sandalwood, i.e. after the tree had become very seriously endangered. I read that it took J-P Guelain five LONG years to perfect this parfum and that his reason for creating it allegedly was to seduce a certain English woman he knew. Well, all I can say is that she must have been seduced as intended! My goodness this smells heavenly....

Honestly, this smells so heavenly, so uber feminine that you just have to try it for yourself. I apply it liberally. The projection is not huge in my opinion as it wears somewhat close to one's skin, but the projection it does have says "come hither, my love...." :) Sillage is nice, and longevity is moderate+. If I apply it at night before going to bed, I can still smell it on myself in the morning six or so hours later, albeit faintly. It lingers on my clothes and on my desk top and smells divine.

It is no secret that Guerlain is my favourite house. I love Samsara and have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone who is interested in sandalwood as a dominant note. If you want to seduce a man, try it whilst wearing Samsara as I think it would do the trick. So soft, so indescribably feminine...try it! This is classic perfumery at its finest. Everyone should have Samsara, L'Heure Bleue, and Mitsouko in his/her collection. No house makes fragrances like these any more. To put the proverbial cherry on the cake,, these Guerlains are accessibly priced, too. Remember these classic creations the next time you count your life's blessings. : )

Fragrance: 10/10

Projection: 7/10

Sillage: 7/10

Longevity: 8.5/10

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.



on 3/19/2016 11:50:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Other, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

AMAZING. Just amazing. I'm talking about the vintage version, haven't tried the modern version. It has the richest, creamiest sandalwood with vanilla. It is one of my absolute favorites. For those saying they don't like it - you MUST try the vintage and you have to let it dry down to really appreciate it. It opens very sharp. I hated it at first but kept trying and developed the appreciation for it. Hard to top this one!

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.


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on 10/7/2015 1:32:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

I bought a decant from S2C. Not for me. It calls to mind something (cheaper) my mother used to wear, but I can't recall what exactly.
It was too aged for my taste. And I don't mean 'older folks', I mean older fragrance styles. I don't like this rendition of sandalwood.
On paper I should've loved it. Just goes to show...

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.


on 9/25/2015 4:35:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Agree with Eve33 below in that it reminds me of expensive suntan lotion, with a slight plastic note. I have a manufacturers sample of vintage EdP. When I dab just a tiny bit, I get the sensation of a Chanel fragrance, not a Guerlain. That is to say, the aldehydes and ylang ylang come to the forefront in a Chanel -ish fashion ( I am thinking Chanel 5 or 22). When I wear A much larger dab, I get the very nice sandalwood in the foreground with supporting florals. They switch places.

There is no guerlainade to add weight and gravitas that I associate with Mitsouko, Chamade, LHB, Vol du Nuit or even Nahema. (So, no ripe pollination, moist green powder or the vanillin dark undercurrent). The sandalwood is vivid, yet translucent, kind of a forerunner to today's headspace created fragrances that seem vivid yet weightless to me. I am not sure if this makes sense, but Chanel coromandel (not an oriental either) in terms of the opacity and weight of the scent, IMO is more like what I would expect from (perhaps a masculine) Guerlain. After a hot shower (no soap on the forearm where I tested this), the sandalwood impression has increased in Samsara and the florals have receded. This makes me like it better, but it also accelerates the fade.

In sum, IMO:
Samsara - vintage EdP - vivid translucent sandalwood, the ylang ylang IMO referencing high end department store and Chanel 5. Slightly feminine leaning, but a man who doesn't mind floral could wear this. Floral sweetness, not gourmand.
Coromandel - Sandalwood in theory, but enriched with emphasis on cedar and patchouli and Amber. IMO definitely unisex for people today, but if you avoid some wood because your skin amplifies cedar to evoke pencil shavings and hamster cage, then NOT for you. I apparently love pencil shavings and cedar, and don't have negative hamster associations. Dry down is a bit rich dark chocolate patchouli gourmand, not hippie dirty patchouli.
Avon Persian wood (1956)- ideally, if your bottle is in rare peak condition, this is straight sandalwood shot with leather nuances and arguably the most unisex straight unsweetened sandalwood around with no oriental or green chypric overtones . (I was convinced to try to find it due to the praise from I smell therefore I am blogspot) I am convinced most people who denigrate PW have no idea that they are testing from a skunky turned bottle. Light color is not always as indication that this has not turned. The safest bet is to get new dead stock still in the box, but that is still no guarantee. I bought probably five bottles before I understood this. IMO, if this smells musty chypric in the SLIGHTEST it's skunked. Most PW bottles are in bad condition due to the habit of displaying Avon exposed to sunlight and heat for decades. I smell therefore I am blogspot incidentally also described Avon Occur as more animalic raunch than SL MKK. I have not found an intact bottle of Occur Yet. . .all the bottles I have seem nondescript dated chypre. Then again, I may not be able to handle more raunch than MKK. In far dry down, PW has some incense.
Body shop sandalwood oil - warm, powdery dry down, a touch hippie (I never had hippie leanings, so I merely surmise) but not a patchouli bombshell at all. A bit sweeter than I would like. I am not fond of powder.
Pacifica sandalwood - sweet vanilla and sandalwood. For something available at Whole foods grocery in enormous bottles and cute rollerballs, it would be a nice gateway to sandalwood. In theory, I am fond of the Pacifica lineup, but in actuality, I would probably gift them to kids who want a young fresh easy scent. The entire Pacifica line comes out very sweet on my skin.

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.


on 9/19/2015 9:30:00 AM

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Curly, Fine

Eyes: Blue

Wore this beautiful fragrance back in the 90's. Always got compliments. Stopped wearing it for other new perfumes and kind of forgot about it. Fast forward to last week..I had a patient who came in to office (I'm in healthcare) and she smelled absolutely amazing! I asked her what she was wearing and she said, " Samsara, the only perfume I ever wear". I decided then it was time for a reconciliation. I ordered a bottle yesterday and am anxiously awaiting it's intoxicating arrival. I don't think I will be surpassing this luscious fragrance anymore. Just smelling it on another person made me happy and uplifted. I hope it has the same affect when I wear it.

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.


on 8/24/2015 10:27:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Oily, Fair-Medium, Cool

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Blue

Find vintage if you can. This is a mysterious and beautiful perfume. If you love sandalwood and something a little oriental, this is right up your alley. The current formulation isn't as amazing as the older ones, but this is a breathtaking fragrance.

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.


on 7/21/2015 2:34:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Oily, Olive, Warm

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

Aahhhhh.....Sensual and deeply heavenly....With my body chemistry Samsara smells very deep, creamy, vanilla-ish, and almost coconutty....it reminds me of a very expensive suntan oil. I find it works well in hot weather....Bought it before traveling to hot hot climate and my male friend was driven mad by it.....so much so that he bought me another bottle! The Eau de Parfum is definitely more beautifully enticing than the Eau de Toilette, but that is great too.

10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.


on 6/6/2015 6:38:00 AM

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Normal, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Red, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

My first ever encounter with this fragrance was 2000, when I started working in a nursing home. A senior nurse happen to be passing me on the way in through the front door of the nursing home when I caught a whiff of this fragrance, all that I remember is I had to buy that fragrance..
And so i did purchase the Eau de Parfum with matching body lotion from Boots the Chemist, i used it all up in 2008 and it still smelt so good after all that time. I most recently bought the same from John Lewis and was so disappointed .
I spent 96 on a 100ml Eau de parfum spray but unlike the samsara I bought 2000 which I could smell on my clothes the following day and which lasted through out the day and night on my skin, I drown myself in my newer version and I am lucky if it lasts 30 minutes..
This 2015 version of Samsara Eau de Parfum is definitely weaker in comparison to the samsara i purchased 10 years ago ...

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.


Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Red, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I've been trying to figure out the name of this fragrance since I was a kid. It reminds me of rich people. I don't know how else to describe it but sandalwood heaven. It's not over the top. It's not a typical 80's scent to me, it's somewhat sophisticated. I think it's a love/hate kind of perfume. I effin' love it. The end.

7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.


Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I've worn this scent as my "signature" since 1989. It's still my favorite. I get complimented on it all the time. Love!!!

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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