Guerlain Samsara

Guerlain Samsara
Delicious!Samsara

3.9

222 reviews

64% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.9

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.9

Price: $$$

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on 11/27/2017 9:24:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Green

My mom purchased the 30ml 1989 Extrait Parfum of this for me and I treasure it. First let me say personally I own this and an edp that’s not “vintage” and this smells better and is more to my taste. What I like about this is it’s softer than the edp. In the edp the ylang ylang is very screechy and the sandalwood note is very strong on the dry down it’s fine and I love it. It wasn’t until I recieved the Extrait that I realized how absolutely beautiful this fragrance is. With the parfume the sandalwood note is so good mixed with the ylang ylang it comes off delicate. But what I love best is the Jasmine in this is so beautiful. When I read the story that this was created for a woman who liked sandalwood and Jasmine I wondered why the ylang ylang was so prominent.

But this it’s just perfect, balanced! The Jasmine smells so exotic and the vanilla, Orris, iris, bring it together so well. I do not smell peach at all not in this nor the edp. The vanilla and Tonka I smell and I’ve really grown to adore Tonka thanks to this fragrance and a few other Guerlains I own. This to me is a treasure that I wish I could wear on the daily, but I know for me this is for very special days. A little drop on my pulse points, neck, and chest are all that I need. Sillage is moderate and that’s just fine with me. Longevity is amazingly long over 8 hours without a doubt. I love this with the cool weather I think it really shines during the colder months. Though this is so good I would wear a dab or 2 on a nice summer evening.

I’m so grateful to own this as it’s one of my favorite Guerlains besides Shalimar and Shalimar Parfum Initial. For me I will also invest in a 90’s edp because you can tell that the sandalwood in this is just insanely gorgeous. I love that this has real Mysore in this you can tell the difference of synthetic verse the real thing at least I can and I by no means have a sophisticated nose.

This will last me my whole life I think and then I will pass this down to one of my nieces whichever loves and appreciates fragrance. I could go on and on about all the things I love about this fragrance but I will say this if you can get your hands on the Extrait it’s totally worth it especially if you love Samsara to begin with. I also adore the bottle to me it’s just so pretty. I’m so happy with this it’s my first “vintage” bottle of perfume and I will treasure it. It’s like having a little piece of history. Love!

6 of 6 people found this helpful.



on 8/21/2017 8:25:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Fine

Eyes: Green

This review is for the extrait, which I was lucky to score on eBay. I had avoided Samsara for years despite being a Guerlain collector (in a minor way, you understand). And I fully admit it: it was because I am a terrible snob. Anything post-1980 I regard with suspicion, especially if it's a big seller. I also turn my nose up at Guerlain's recent foray into high-end commercialism and overproduction, which I think is damaging their brand. In short, I'm snooty and hard-to-please.

But I was missing out all these years. This is a crowd-pleaser for a reason. It starts with a huge bang of jasmine and then comes that lengthy and delirious sandalwood dry-down with just the right amount of powderiness. The extrait stays close to the skin, as expected. Chanel's Bois des Iles is one of my all-time desert island fragrances, so I don't know why I never considered that I might enjoy Samsara, since it's very similar, minus the aldehydes. It's fantastic stuff: intimate and deeply comforting. Sometimes it's great to be wrong.

5 of 6 people found this helpful.


on 9/15/2016 4:04:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

This review is for the vintage versions (circa 1989 to 1993) before the formula was adjusted to a point where it started smelling a bit "different". It is indescribably amazing. I have been wearing this in the fall for over 20 years and I never cease to get compliments every single time. No other fragrance has ever elicited such a positive response from both men and other women for that matter. As one former boyfriend described it "it leaves this essence on your pillow or anywhere you have been that is intoxicating, and I cannot stop being reminded of you". Bam, I will never cease in buying as many of the old versions of this fragrance as possible. The best.

in Sanskrit, Samsara means the eternal cycle of life. It is an imaginary place, sacred and mysterious, where Orient and Occident meet. Samsara is the symbol of harmony, of absolute osmosis between a woman and her perfume. It is a spiritual voyage leading to serenity and inner contemplation. The bottle, in the sacred red of the Orient, echoes the figure of a Khmer dancer in the Musée Guimet in Paris, her hands folded in a gesture of offering, expressing plenitude and femininity. The stopper evokes the eye of Buddha. A tantalizing floral-oriental perfume, Samsara is a harmonious blend of all-natural essences, including jasmine, ylang ylang, sandalwood and tonka bean.

Notes: bergamot, jasmine sambac, narcissus, rose, ylang-ylang, iris, sandalwood, tonka bean, vanilla.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.


on 5/15/2017 2:53:00 PM

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Dry, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

I am giving this scent 5 lippies because it smells so wonderful for a lot of hours. I am not a big lemon fan in fragrance but this one is so well blended it is barely noticeable as a main ingredient. I almost left off one lippie because of the after scent on my clothes the next day, but it is not so bad as to reduce my rating. I have never tried the old version of this scent so I cannot remark as some have. This is not my favorite perfume from Guerlain but it a keeper and I am glad I have it. I have the EDP version and I am loving it.


on 8/23/2016 7:58:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Red, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

there's....just.....nothing....like Samsara...
in edt or edp version....
nothing



10/10

4 of 5 people found this helpful.


on 11/8/2016 9:05:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

Original version: One of the best oriental woody fragrances ever created, jasmin, bergamont, ylang-ylang, amber, sandalwood, unforgettable!
My last bottle, September 2013: vanilla, vanilla,vanilla, again and again vanilla! Cheapened, synthetic version of the original formula. I ended up using it as an air-freshener. 89 euros for 50ml of that thing????!!!! Never again!

6 of 7 people found this 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 of 3 people found this helpful.


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

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Olive, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

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.

4 of 7 people found this helpful.


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...

2 of 2 people found this helpful.


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 of 3 people found this helpful.


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