I prefer the Chanel No 5 model. Maintain the mothership, the scent that made the house, then once in a while make a modernized version ( Prèmiere, L’Eau) to tweak it for the times) – but always rest the onus on the original. Preferably as untouched as possible.

There are so many editions and flankers of the untouchable Shalimar that it can be mind-boggling trying to keep track of them – Souffle this; Vanille that – but perhaps predictably, I prefer it in vintage (whatever that means now). Even recentish colognes and edts are very nice, though : this is a scent I never seem to completely tire of, nor ever have any of in the house because if I do I just spray it with abandon and use it all up : I adore it.

One bottle I do have of Shalimar in my bedroom is Parfum Initial – which D found me for 5 dollars at a Zushi favourite junkyard. The top accord always irritates me, but I spray it on my pyjamas and then later top up with some Héritage for a generally voluptuous effect, or on a piece of cream coloured mink that rests on the top of my main perfume cabinet as I like the warm smell of it upstairs when I get home.

I prefer this new fluffy, cozy version of Shalimar, Philtre De Parfum ; comforting , more baby-powdery, with a touch of lavender taken from Mon Guerlain – easy, ambery- quite cute ; well-equilibrated : solace in this frightening and turbulent period we are currently living through. It’s perhaps a bit fey for me – less leather, patchouli, opoponax and vetiver ( and thus more girly) than the best vintages, but still a nice vanillic, modernistic compromise that should do quite well. I would wear it (I think: I need to go back and try it again to be sure; it might be too deluded). Personally, I am still hoping that at some point on my rounds in old antique shops I will come across an original again, waiting for me expectantly and quietly resplendent in its purple, velvet box.


Filed under Flowers

13 responses to “SHALIMAR PHILTRE DE PARFUM by GUERLAIN (2020)

  1. Robin

    “Personally, I am still hoping that at some point on my rounds in old antique shops I will come across an original again, waiting for me expectantly and quietly resplendent in its purple, velvet box.”

    Until that day comes I would even settle for a dream like that. I can see it, feel the rush of adrenalin and dopamine.

    Vintage Shalimar in any concentration is best, but I’ve liked quite a number of newer formulations and even (eew, I don’t like this word) flankers. And this may be sacrilegious, but when I’m in the mood for something Shalimaresque but cozier, fluffier, velvetier, I’ll wear it with a powdery, suede-y iris. Penhaligon’s Iris Prima gets the job done.

    • YES. I love that idea! The Penhaligons was a little too……..reserved but very high quality iris. I can imagine them being really lovely together. I would also wear this, as I said, and want to try it on skin properly for longer, but

      • Robin

        Exactly about the Penhaligon’s. A bit reserved, but good good iris.

        I don’t really think it’s a crime, actually, cuz Shalimar does have great orris in vintage and leather, too, and bergamot of course, so Iris Prima dovetails without adding anything downright foreign to Shalimar.

        I can’t believe I blithely sailed through the seventies and eighties dousing myself with Guerlain extraits without a thought of hoarding them. If I could go back . . .

      • Me too… a toddler screaming out for extrait of Parure

      • Robin

        ACK. We did it again. I was thinking of Parure specifically! Hen’s-teeth rarity now. Oh, that scent. That bottle.

      • That is very strange! You literally transmitted it to me, because obviously that wouldn’t have been my first selection (even if the extrait of that is incREDible as you know – a plumminness never found elsewhere – unique).

  2. Shalimar is on the top of my comfort fragrances list. It is just so sublime and cocooning to me, it just feels like a warm embrace. I rarely investigate flankers, just because I usually enjoy the originals so much, with the exception of O de Lancome Intense, which is an amazing scent and should have rightfully been released under its own moniker.
    I just do not like the fact that theses companies are just releasing flankers to capitalize off the success of the original. Just put in the effort and release a wonderful scent that stands on its own, that is the way it used to be done.

    • O my god you always reveal hidden treasures I wasn’t aware of. That Lancôme sounds divine : I adore the original. How was it different?

      Re this new version, I can see how it could bridge the gap between the original – which would probably just smell too old – and the younger contemporary consumer. And this does actually smell of Shalimar.

      • O Intense de Lancome is rich and complex fruity chypre floral. It is so glorious and complex, it really should have been released as a soloist, not a flanker. It came out in the mid 80’s, so it has some shoulder pads and big hair, but it is still elegant and polished. I will have to send you some.

      • Wow. I would seriously love that. You have so many seriously obscure vintage perfumes it staggers the imagination. It is you who should be doing the Art And Olfaction thing on Thursday!

      • I do have quite the collection of rarities.
        I am so flattered by your lovely words, but truthfully you are far more interesting than I when it comes to explaining and reviewing fragrances. I tend to just speak in memories and images, whereas you flesh out the scents and explain the notes contained within. I am looking forward to the talk on Thursday, it will be a delight to hear you.

      • Oh lawn I will be a gibbering wreck : glad you will be there for moral support !

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