SHALIMAR PHILTRE DE PARFUM by GUERLAIN (2020)

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.

13 Comments

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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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