Perfume Directory

Shalimar (1925)
by Guerlain


Shalimar information

Year of Launch1925
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 1118 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerJacques Guerlain
PackagingRaymond Guerlain
Parent CompanyLVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton
Parent Company at launchGuerlain

About Shalimar

Meaning 'Temple of Love' in Sanskrit, Shalimar is an oriental fragrance with notes of bergamot and vanilla.
Jacques Guerlain was inspired to create Shalimar by the story of Indian Emperor, Shah Jahan, who created a beautiful garden (called Shalimar) to please his queen.

Shalimar fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of Shalimar

My family is mostly show people and jazz musicians, and when I was little there were often colorful characters hanging around, HOW colorful I didn't find out until later.

One of them was an older English lady named Mae, who had a white poodle. Apparently she was the madam in a high-end brothel. Sometimes we'd go to Mae's apartment, which had the most extraordinary smell of years and years of Shalimar permeating every surface + unwashed dog. That was my first Guerlain experience. (The second was a Pekingese that smelled of Mitsouko. True - not trying to be funny.)

So it took a very long time before I could really consider Shalimar on its own merits, and even then, its skanky facet was off-putting to me, because I kept smelling unwashed dog! In retrospect, Mae's poodle may not have been that dirty, and it might have just been her vintage Shalimar. I really never thought I'd become a Shalimar person, even though I have lots of history with the other vintage Guerlain greats.

The Ode a la Vanille (Mexique) ended up being my gateway drug, because the vanilla in that version is so smoky and dense and wonderful that I could stick with it, and now I've learned to love even the skank of Shalimar proper.

I do continue to prefer that limited edition, yet I've come to own and love the EDC, as well, because that version also features a very smoky vanilla, and ends up wearing as mostly that. Plus it's often available inexpensively in the drugstore! Coming around to Shalimar has actually had a fantastic effect on my perfume spending habits, for while I still find new things that I like, when I ask myself, "but would you be likely to NOT wear Shalimar to wear this instead?" it's just a no.

27th August, 2015
I ordered a bottle of this over the internet, and thought it must have been a knock-off because it smelled so terrible on me. I gave it away, but have since tried it again at a department store to make sure it wasn't just a bad bottle, and it wasn't. There is something in the opening that reacts badly with my skin. After about 30 minutes it calms down, but still doesn't smell great. I had a bottle of Shalimar back in the early 80s and did not have a problem, so I am thinking it is something they have added to the newer formulations. The newer version is truly terrible on me and I cannot pick out anything on the pyramid that normally reacts that way with my skin. My friend asked me please not to stand too close...
07th July, 2015

I absolutely love this fragrance and definitely it is in my top 10 of all great fragrances for ladies.It is a classically timeless rich floral fragrance.A sensual and provocative fragrance that oozes femininity. Masterpiece,Seductive,Warm,Magnetic, Artistic,Rich and Feminine

The opening is classic floral with a citrusy note,which harmonizes with the note of Rose,Jasmine and Patchouli.A base of Incense, Vanilla,Sandalwood and Leather brings an air of Sensuality as it is warm and full of depth. The dry down is wonderful.

You wear it when you are going somewhere very SPECIAL and you want to make a Great impression.This fragrance might be best for AUTUMN/WINTER seasons.excellent for perfect lady. Anyway in my mind it is an intoxicating bosom smell,it is just phenomenal and a definite must have.


Longevity?Great on my skin.


13th June, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
This is an intriguing opening indeed, a surprisingly dark bergamot with rose and - on my skin - an early opopanax burst - denoting shadowy freshness with incense. The floral drydown with iris, jasmine and a whiff of a gently smoky leather.
In the second half the very guerlainesque vanilla grown stronger, full but elegant and never overbearing.

This is fairly unique composition, beautifully balanced, well blended and firmly structured. Classic, especially older version,whose drydown have a gentle powderiness added and are richer and darker. Yet the newer versions - they are no full reformulations to me - are less powdery and lighter, but still delightful.

I get strong sillage, excellent projection and eight hours of longevity.

A grand classic and well worth it, even the recent versions: 4.25/5.
31st May, 2015
Shalimar EdP opens with a astringent citrus accord of bergamot and lemon and then moves into a lovely vanilla scent.

When the incense arrives and melds with the vanilla the scent does become quite alluring.

Though as it evolves you begin to smell leather and civet which also mix's in with the incense in a unpleasant way. At this stage it starts to smell acrid like mothballs or bug spray.

The scent is complex and has many facets of development with floral notes adding to the above notes.

I like some elements of the fragrance like the vanilla and incense. But what kills my interest is the dated mothball/bugspray like accord coming from the civet and incense.
07th May, 2015
I quite like this. However if I have to speak my mind free from the pressure of knowing that it is sort of a perfume legend and all, I would rate this as one of the old perfumes. It's nice but could be better, or, it smells somewhat dated to my nose and I wouldn't want to wear this too often. My aunt used to wear this, this alone, -who owned only this.-25 years ago also didn't help me too much shake the perception of Shalima being OLD.

If I am over 55, I wouldn't want to use it since I am sure this scent will add more age. I think anybody who is still young can try this one without feeling too self-conscious. She will stand out smelling gorgeous and above all, special.
It is just my personal opinion, but I believe that scents can make the wearer seem aged/dated since the famous and old perfumes have popular smell of the era which everybody can associate with those period.It seems especially true those era are closely put together. Whenever I smell of Estee Lauder Beautiful, the wearer is almost always over 35. Really powdery one like Chanel No.5 or Soapy one like White linen is frequently worn by 50+ yo ladies. Anybody sticking to wearing Thierry Mugler's Angel can be seen 30+. The more broadly popular the scents were, the worse the effect, I reckon since mass of people recognize them. but, less known scents that were created a century ago, still can smell very fresh due to rarity.
02nd April, 2015

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