Guerlain Shalimar

Guerlain Shalimar

3.9

428 reviews

69% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.2

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 4.2

Price: $$$

INGREDIENTS

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on 9/22/2017 6:20:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Relaxed, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

Hands down and without hesitation, Shalimar is THE paramount of perfumes; the single greatest fragrance ever created.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.



on 7/21/2017 11:58:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Curly, Coarse

Eyes: Black

I have no idea how to review something like Shalimar. It isn't the kind of thing you can tiptoe around, because it's a pretty well-covered topic and anything you say about it is probably out there somewhere, lurking in a pesky corner of the Internet waiting to be read by anyone who digs it up. But, BUT BUT BUT, I can't just pass up the opportunity to wax lyrical about one of my new loves. Shalimar. I will probably sound like a perfume idiot; I will probably make purfume non-idiots laugh. Probably out loud, rolling on the floor, yadda yadda yadda. But who cares. It's Shalimar we're talking about. So here I go.

When I first heard about Shalimar, I thought it fitted me to the core - musky, a little bit oriental, kind-of-slightly balsamic, with a trail of gourmand vanilla following after it. Well-rounded, too - and vintage. And as I'd been looking for a perfume to wear (for life, not just occasionally - I live in Paris and people here tend to pick a scent and wear it until they're inside their coffins - and probably even then, too) I thought I'd consider Shalimar. I smelled it at the shop and thought, "Hmm...a bit old lady. A bit acidic, a bit too spicy, a bit too warm..." And then I left it for a while, lingering on my forearm. Then I sniffed it again. And again. And again and again and again and again and then I bought the biggest bottle they had. I jumped into the pool of Shalimar and drowned straight away. I drowned and went to heaven.
Shalimar, from a total non-pro, non-expert, non-fancy-schmancy perspective, is one of those perfumes you have to wait to appreciate. It starts off with a very acidic citrus hit (that's the bergamot) and then a subtle spice overtone emerges like an image fade-in. Just subtly - slightly aromatic, warm and yet not stifling, a bit leathery, kind of smoky, and elegant. It lingers and makes way for a little burst of chilli. Then, as it fades and makes way for the dry-down (which, I'll mention now before I forget, lasts all day and much of the night), a beautiful bouquet of vanilla chimes in and blends with the rest of the notes. It's the kind of scent a beautiful woman with a glorious silk scarf might have - mysterious but open, warm but aloof, gentle but not saccharine, kind but not gushing.
On a pyramidal scale, I'd say that the top note is bergamot (citrussy, leaning towards fresh-floral but still hitting oriental), the mid note is spice ( a little aniseedy, piquant, pepperish with a warm glow of tonka, kind of like a very expertly baked fruit cake, but not as sweet), and the bottom notes are vanilla and a second, purer tincture of tonka (powdery but clear, warm, fresh, techically not gourmand but certainly approaching it).

To wind up this rambling jibber, I'll just say that Shalimar is the most beautiful fragrance I have ever worn or smelled. Provided Guerlain continue to make the stuff (please do, Guerlain! Pretty please) I think I can safely say that I will wear it happily for the rest of my life. It isn't old ladyish, and it isn't acidic. What it is, to me, is a beautiful vintage scent with a plethora of complex tones, and to appreciate it fully, you have to wait and listen and allow it to transport you on a journey from the beginning of the story to the end.

9 of 9 people found this helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Green

I consider many classic perfumes a work of art that anyone can wear, and I have a lot of respect for women who refuse to wear what is trendy in perfumes. Many people who give Shalimar a bad review will go on to give a perfume that smells like cotton candy in a dumpster (on fire) five stars. While we all have a different sense of smell, I can't help but laugh at that. There are perfumes that belong on sixteen year old girls, and perfumes that belong on grown women. Shalimar is the latter. I've never met a woman wearing it who wasn't pulled together, confident, chic, and accomplished.

16 of 20 people found this helpful.


Age: 36-43

Skin: Normal, Deep Dark, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

So this perfume is very unique in its self. As others have said, its either you love it or hate it. its no between. It's grown and sophisticated. It's not typical .its actually very womanly. So if you like Thierry Muglers Angel or Alien perfume than you will really enjoy this. This is like old school Tubu perfume. But if you opt for something a little more sweeter than run far away from this perfume. This perfume is very strong when 1st sprayed on but it does settle and it lingers. It reminds of old Hollywood glam with big sunglasses. This not for the childish, but for the woman who knows how to make an entrance.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.


on 1/17/2017 6:16:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Blue

I've smelled this once sprayed on a paper strip in a store and went HELL NO. Then I read about it online and went back. I was so fascinated by its history that I was ready to brave a round of perfume-induced headache for it. This time, I sprayed it on my arm, put my sleeve back down, and waited for 20 minutes. This resulted in me having an out of body experience in the middle of a fish market on an otherwise unremarkable Friday afternoon.

Flowery dramatic language aside, this is astounding. I've never before smelled a perfume that was such an incredible mix of cheerful elegance and pure sophistication and was still positively dripping with sex. I managed to continuously talk myself out of buying it (the price is absolutely ridiculous, although not that higher than what I'll usually pay every couple of years for my perfumes - 73 euros for 30ml of eau de parfum) for about two months before caving. I now own this and I get a fresh round of delighted giggles every time I put it on. I don't know anything about perfume notes, so in total layman's terms: this goes on with a burst of sweet spicy lemon and then kinda evens out into vanilla/caramel/smoky leather, but that lemon continues to hang around and keeps all that heavy sweet scents from getting cloying. I'm especially happy that this comes without that raspy sour headache kick that heavy old-fashioned perfumes usually have for me.

If I return back to flowery poetic language: to me, this is writhing around on gorgeous hardwood floors of a beautiful oak-panelled library, dressed in silk and making out with a gorgeous person, while sunlight streams over us through the windows. Absolutely over-the-top ridiculously glorious. It makes me feel like a film star. The bottle is beautiful, even the box is beautiful, so I keep it in the box, it's better to keep perfumes out of the light anyway. This was worth every cent and I'll absolutely buy it again.

EDIT: I'd like to add two things. For one, this is a proper old-fashioned perfume with multiple notes. It's crucial you try it sprayed on your own skin before deciding to purchase; users report a variety of different experiences, because it depends on your own skin chemistry and your own nose which notes will be the most prominent on you. And it is a very strong scent, so you'll either love it or hate it; I think it's impossible to be just 'meh' about it. Secondly, if your frangrance taste tends towards clean, citrusy, soapy scents, don't even bother with Shalimar. You won't like it. A reviewer on NSTPerfumes wrote that it comes from a time when a 'sexy' scent was more closely associated with filth than with freshly showered skin. Obviously, as a perfume Shalimar doesn't smell actually filthy, but it is a very prominent, very particular scent, and impossible to ignore. It's not coy or fresh; it's opulent. I've had my own bottle at home for about a month now, and while I stand by everything I wrote above and still adore the scent of it as much as I did the first time I smelled it properly, it's now clear that it's really not a perfume for everybody. Make sure you try it and do not, I repeat, do not blind-buy this.

12 of 12 people found this helpful.


on 5/19/2017 9:50:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Dry, Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Green

The first time I smelled Shalimar I was in high school. I was in love. I never smelled something so heavenly. I saved up my after school job paychecks and bought my first bottle. I have loved this ever since. I wear it on special occasions or when I need a feminine pick me up. because it is expensive but worth every penny. A true oriental. I love the amber notes and complexity. It lasts a long time and so does the memory.
I had an old boyfriend that I haven't seen in 30 plus years and he remembered I wore Shalimar after all this time. He loves it. I was the only person he has ever known who wears it. (I wasn't wearing it at the time). It is sophisticated, sultry, and feminine. If you don't like orientals you won't like it. It's like opera you like it or you don't.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.


on 12/13/2015 5:56:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Very Dry, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Straight, Coarse

Eyes: Hazel

I've tried Shalimar many times before and always hated it. I don't know if it has to do with my age, but now I absolutely adore it.

I was reintroduced to Shalimar after receiving it as part of a Guerlain sample pack. There was something about the smell of Shalimar that had me going back to sniff my arm over and over. I knew it was a good match for me when I received compliments at work, or questions of 'what are you wearing? Is that a new shampoo? I gotta know what that is' from co-workers, both men and women.

Plenty has been said here on Shalimar, both good and bad and I'm not sure what I can truly add to the reviews here.

My advice with wearing this would be not to over do it. It has a long life when wearing and although it might be a bit faint as the day goes on, it improves with the day.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.


on 10/25/2016 6:09:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

I bought this online 90ml for 59.50 euros compared with 130 in the shops, The bottle is very beautiful but it´s not a perfume for the faint hearted as it is not a perfume for anyone under 35. Definatly for an older woman who likes a strong lasting perfume for the cold winter months. Im´, nearly 51 and it´s getting cold so it´s perfect for me. It reminds me a bit of Chanel no 5 or Van Cleef and Arpels First. It´s not at all sweet or floral but is a pefume with a lot of personality.Very Oriental smelling so may not be everyone´s cup of tea. Goes on quite strong but tones down as the day goes on. Is the kind of perfume that has great staying power and can be smelt on clothes or jackets days later. You either love it or hate it. I´m kind of in the middle with this one. Very expensive if you don´t get a discount but online you can find some great deals .

3 of 5 people found this helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Dry, Medium, Warm

Hair: Brown, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I saw Guerlain Shalimar Eau de Cologne as Walmart for $21 a couple weeks ago, but decided not to buy it because every time I tried the parfum, the smoky note would dominate and I never got to enjoy the majestic, ethereal quality that so many others have come to fall in love with.

But the other night I couldn't sleep, and something told me to get back up and go to Walmart (this particular location is about 30 minutes away- yes, I know I'm crazy!), and see if they still have anymore of the Shalimar Eau de Colognes on clearance.

So I did, and I got the very last one. It must have been a tiny form of Divine Providence.

As soon as I got back in my car I immediately opened the box and sprayed some on my arm. I still felt a bit overwhelmed by the smoky note, though thankfully less so than with the parfum.

I was disappointed and didn't know what on earth would possess me to make such a rash decision to drive so far in the rain, and so late at night for a perfume I couldn't love.

But then...

About 30 minutes went by, and the smoky note started to dissipate, which I was grateful for. Who wants to smell like burning cedar? Certainly not me, thanks.

As the minutes ticked by, something about the scent became like a magnet; I couldn't stop sniffing my arm. About an hour or so later I fell back asleep, only to have the sweet scent of (cabbage patch dolls? what is that cute smell??!) awaken me from a dream and made me smile.

I get it now. It's stunning. There's no other word to describe it, and now I'm ready to get the parfum. I'm officially in love with Guerlain. Next I'll try L'Heure Bleue.

9 of 9 people found this helpful.


Age: 25-29

Skin: Oily, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Red, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

Exquisite, instantly recognizable and a delight.
I loved it ever since the first time I tried it and now I think it's must-have regardless of age. And just a little bit of it goes a long way.
I understand how some might find this a more "mature" perfume, but that's really not the case.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.


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