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.