Hi Crew, Shalimar seems to have been part of my life forever. That Guerlain released it nearly 100 years ago in 1925 and won the Paris World Fair design award for the bottle was a particularly auspicious start.
Mum and a couple of her girlfriends were Shalimar wearers. It was the scent of daytime and coffee catch up hugs in my early years. Funnily, when I was working as a squirt bitch I made Mum start wearing Samsara so she’d stand out in her crowd. When I started properly down the fragrant rabbit hole it was a big surprise that Shalimar was such a revered scent. Going back and revisiting it was a revelation. It seems to hold the highest place in my heart, nose and brain. Seriously weird that I became such a collector when my favourite perfume has been with me all along.
In the years of collecting I have amassed a Shalimar specific collection. From EdC to extrait, a bunch of the flankers and many vintages. It became a bit of an obsession for a while because every version has its own personality. They have all aged, been cared for and kept differently. Each year, as much as they try for consistency, the batch is every so slightly different. The year specific naturals included react to each other. The regulation, reinterpretation, quality, weather and available synthetics have all given each year of Shalimar a “vintage” much like wine or whiskey. Sometimes the changes are imperceptible till the perfume is 10 or more years old.
Sometimes people ask me which I love more but it’s not really like that. I tend to wear a few of them more than others though for various reasons. I have a small set that remain out of boxes and at hand in a Guerlain box behind my desk. It holds a bunch of unboxed Guerlain beauties and gets quite a bit of action. Impossible to tell what they all are but I know you’ll have fun trying.
Shalimar EdT by Guerlain: Current
Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Blossoms, Bergamot
Heart: Iris, Jasmine, Rose
Base: Vanilla, Balsamic notes, Tonka bean
Above is my new bottle of Shalimar EdT. It’s a tester bottle bought for sweet nothing from FragranceNet. For favourites that I know will get used to their dregs I don’t need boxes or packaging, just the bottle and juice. This will stay out and get its share of use with my current other Shalimars; EdC and Sha-Lemur.
So I know that a new bottle will smell different. No oxygenation yet. It does seem though that there is a marked difference between this bottle and my last.
That opening swirl of lemon sorbet has been cut down to a rumble. Also the whole fragrance seems cleaner and less animalic. A floral reinvention, more sparkle and less depth. I’m not complaining. It still smells beautiful. It just isn’t as thick or rich. To be honest it smells like a fresh flanker or an Eau Fraiche for summer.
The longevity is still good but not as long lasting as the older formulations, or even the current EdC in the older bottle. Also, I feel this modern version leans more modern traditional feminine.
I think it’s the most day to day wearable of my Shalimar pillar scent collection. Less an event in itself and more a comfortable, longtime travelling buddy.
Have you tried the latest Shalimar EdT?
It sounds like this current version lacks some of its old personality but is more wearable day to day.
You and Shalimar are such a great match.
You’ve hit the nail on the head. It DOES lack a little off its huge personality. This is definitely the chill version.
HA! I’m glad we are such a good match. I love to war Shalimar so much.
Funny, I can’t remember if you wear it?
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I love it from a distance. Never felt at home in it.
Have you tried any of the modern flankers? They might be more accessible for you Tara?
I did have the Madagascar one but passed it on. I don’t think Shalimar is a fit me and that’s okay.
SHA-LEMUR!! Holy grail of Shalimars!
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I haven’t tried the EDT. I have some vintage and a tiny bottle of parfum, but my main Shalimar is a bottle of the EDC. I remember my first tiny sample of Shalimar – did not like it at all! It took a lot of perfume testing before my nose could develop an appreciation.
I’m wondering if this modern version might be a lot easier for people to click with. It seems more approachable.
I will have to buy one of the new EDT’s. Fragrancenet is also my friend!! Love a cheap tester bottle. I had one of the older Shalimar EDT’s and stupidly swapped it. What was I thinking? The older one was very citrusy in the topnotes and nicely complex.
I have so many versions of Shalimar. It’s my great love, too, along with the fabulously skanky Dana Tabu. My favorite Shalimar will always be my 1960’s vintage parfum, but the lighter newer versions are much better for wearing around other people. I love the new Shalimar Philtre, very cosy and yummy, and longlasting.
Finally, I’m drooling over your Shalimar box. That’s a true Holy Grail cache of Shalimar fabulousness!
OOOOHHH! That Philtre looks lovely. thanks for the heads up.
Dana Tabu! Do you ever use the shower gel, another FragNet steal!
Rickyrebarco I’m jealous of your vintage perfume.
There’s another gorgeous in depth take on Shalimar, on Kafkaesque’s blog.
I’ve loved Shalimar since I was 22. We used to go cross border shopping to the states-they always had better stuff than we did. And so I’d buy EDC for maybe $6.00 CDN. Amazing, isn’t it-a beautiful perfume in a beautiful bottle, affordable and available. Ok I digressed. My vintage EDC is so lemony at the start and so leathery at the end. I thought it might be watered down, because of the price but no-it’s a fantastic quality fragrance. I have an EDP which I love, might be 15 years old. And I have some new perfume which is gorgeous.
I’m sorry the new bottle has lost some oomph, Portia. Maybe it is being made more accessible to find favour with a new audience. Or maybe it will respond well to a bit of ageing. I hope you enjoy it, at any rate, and I’m glad you have such a beautiful signature scent.
Shopping for perfume is such an event already yet a cross border trip makes it seem uber glam. Plus you were getting stuff for real prices, todays inflated prices are outrageous.
Yreah, that EdC is the bomb. Still very affordable.
Naah, don’t be sorry. Every iteration has merit. This will be a perfect spritz & go version. If I want the old skanky version I have plenty of that too. Especially good for cleaning day. Makes even the most humdrum repetitive things feel special.
Shalimar is one of those perfumes I have always liked but never owned. I am very ignorant of most of the formats, though I once had a decant of a vintage version which I loved to the last drop, and some of the Light? flanker.
They mostly share a common lemon gelato opening and warm leathery, vanilla heavy amber base. The flankers all give differing levels of each piece, like the volume is up or muted. If you ever find a flanker that fits you, buy a few because they only ever last around 2 years before the DC.
Shalimar doesn’t work for me, but I keep trying. I’m still thinking of getting a baccarat extrait bottle for my collection. Maybe this year.
I need to find and revisit my Shalimar samples – I should have a couple of formulations. But I agree with Tara: Shalimar is soooo you!
I think the new version might suit someone for whom the original vintages may be too thick and feel like it’s wearing you.
I’d be very interested to hear how it wears on and for you.
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