Perfume Directory

Shalimar (1925)
by Guerlain

Shalimar information

Year of Launch1925
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 1114 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerJacques Guerlain
PackagingRaymond Guerlain

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

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
I began wearing Shalimar after spending a lot of time around one of my friends who wore it every day. I thought she was so feminine and classy, and that's the way it makes me feel. I believe it is the vanilla and opoponax that got me addicted to it. I'm so glad that my husband also LOVES this perfume. To me, it is as classic as Chanel No. 5, which I'm actually not that fond of.
17th February, 2015
I'm going to assume the notes on this site are quite incomplete because I don't see anise, black pepper, or cinnamon listed and all three have a presence in this fragrance. The top is bergamot with pepper and anise, a bit too spicy for my taste but very well-blended leading straight into the heart of it which is slightly flowery, slightly powdery, slightly spicy and slightly creamy. This middle lasts quite a while and there's a hint of incense, smokiness, and leather throughout but as with any well-blended Guerlain you'll only catch some of these facets some of the time throughout the day. This is so well-done that I can't get enough of that scent despite the fact that I find it too spicy for me. The incense gets a bit stronger as the middle drags slowly along but it never really dominates on me. Coming to the end phase of the fragrance, many hours later, a touch of dryness or leatheriness remains but there's a lot of creaminess and a touch of spiciness acting as dominant notes. It almost smells like warm milk with a bit of cinnamon and just a touch of vanilla. I would eat something that smells like this. The Guerlinade is most certainly there too. Overall I love the smell of it and though a man could get away with wearing it in extreme moderation I don't think i'll be wearing it often just because of how uncomfortable I am smelling anise or pepper all day. It's no wonder this great fragrance is a classic of perfumery!
17th January, 2015
I'm told that what I'm smelling here is a recent EdP.

Shalimar is usually instantly recognizable; a cavalcade of notes that somehow manage to synchronize perfectly. But versions of this scent tend to vary quite a bit, and in this particular one there’s a medicinal, metallic effect that cuts through the standard citrus to meet with a powdery vanilla, producing what I'd describe as redolent of effervescent candy. It reminds me a little bit of sherbet lemons—the same candied sweetness that walks a fine line between sour and sugary, only here the sour notes are rendered in a more industrial, disinfectant style.

What’s strange about this version, though, is that it doesn’t bear much of a connection to the Shalimar that I’m more familiar with—that civet-y, marzipan-style scent that’s top loaded with crisp citrus notes. This version is gaunt by comparison, and seems to veer more towards clinical sterility than confection. I don’t dislike it (I actually don’t like Shalimar very much, so this might even be a step-up for me), but I’m not entirely clear what its aiming for or how this version wandered so far away from the original fragrance.
28th December, 2014
Old formulation: My mother had a sample in the late 80s/early 90s, and I remember loving it, the opulent spicy fragrance which I associated to winter and warm coats.

New formulation: I recently tested it at a department store. It does smell quite differently, still with the same inspiration, but the new version is a worthy fragrance in its own way. If I could, I would own both formulations.

The new formulation started with a combination that reminded me of the older Shalimar, spicy, warm, almost oily (in a good way), only not as round. Maybe a bit more angular and less oily.

As it dries, it becomes very different from the older one. The woods and sandal came to the front and in my opinion created a sour phase which previously did not exist. I quite appreciate this phase. Then amber and incense too, it becomes a little less sour and rounder, but still quite different from the older Shalimar, woodier, airier and not as oily. After a while the sour disappears and it is woods, amber, incense and a few spices in a rounded, warm, more "behaved" version of the older one.

Still a dense perfume, but different. As I said, I actually like both.
01st November, 2014

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