Perfume Directory

Samsara (1989)
by Guerlain

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Samsara information

Year of Launch1989
GenderFeminine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 580 votes)

People and companies

HouseGuerlain
PerfumerJean Paul Guerlain
PackagingRobert Granai
Parent CompanyLVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton
Parent Company at launchGuerlain

About Samsara

Samsara is a Sanskrit word signifying "the cycle of birth and rebirth", and is the path to nirvana. The scent is a woody-floral oriental.

Samsara fragrance notes

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

Reviews of Samsara

rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
The Vintage Parfum:
The ylang-ylang hit me from the start, but soon the jasmine clamours for my attention, and it is this jasmine that comes to the fore. It forms the core note for most of the duration of this development.

The drydown adds a lovely sandalwood, which blends in very smoothly with the jasmine. A white floral undertone adds discrete sweetness, which later is affirmed by the addition of iris and whiffs of violet.

The base is a bit sweeter still, owing to a very soft tonka being added in, but the whole is never thick or cloying in my skin.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and nine hours of longevity, but for the last four hours it is very close to my skin.

A gorgeous spring scent of sublime beauty, exuding elegance and refinement, but a touch too linear at times. It is crafted of natural ingredients of the highest quality. 3.75/5.
14th November, 2016
Stardate 20161102:

Sandalwood, Ylang and Jasmine.
All versions are good. Older is better as it has real Mysore but new one will do too.
Everyone should have this.

Forget the fragrance wheel. This is the real oriental.

03rd November, 2016
This is a review of the current EDP, which I quite like. I am nearing the bottom of my 1991 EDT bottle (so sad!), and decided to order a new version for comparison purposes - today's EDP is very reasonably priced, so it wasn't a huge risk. And it was a good decision, because it's lovely.

It isn't fair to essay a direct comparison between vintge EDT and current EDP (not exactly apples and oranges, maybe Winesap vs. Red Delicious?), but I can at least report that Samsara's DNA is intact. The EDP is still sandalwood and spice, sensuous and enveloping. Longevity is a few hours less than the vintage EDT, but still respectable - and the drydown is lovely.
20th August, 2016 (last edited: 21st August, 2016)
Heresy, I know, but the current offering is very, very nice. I think I prefer it. My last bottle of Samsara was purchased about twenty years ago and when I finished it I said I wouldn't buy another (too much Sandalwood, too cloying)
Now there's a re-think, Samsara goes on the wish list.
At a time when my beloved Chanels are attenuated and largely ornamental the House of Guerlain is looking good.
18th July, 2016
I have a ridiculously large perfume collection and this is definitely my most favourite one! Applied properly, it is lovely but would be overpowering if too much was sprayed on.

It had to have been launched earlier in Europe because I purchased my first bottle when we were on vacation in Bermuda, the fall of 1988. We were shopping in Hamilton and the unique bottle caught my eye. After trying some on, I was hooked. Every so often I find a perfume I like so much, that I find it to be delicious. Samsara is like the yummiest dessert one could ever find. It is sensual, seductive and very sexy.

I've only ever been able to find the EDT in department stores, so the next time I need more, I'll be purchasing my next bottle on line so I can get the EDP. I can say that the EDT lasts quite a bit longer than my other EDT fragrances but I love this one so much, that I want it to last as long as possible.

I highly recommend this perfume but you must try it first to be sure it's right for you. Put some on to the inside of your wrist and wait at least 20 minutes to see how it works on you. Everyone has their own unique body chemistry and what smells fantastic on me, may not be the same for someone else!

Samsara is 2 thumbs way, way, WAY up 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

12th May, 2016
This review is for the EDP formulation. As one would expect, Samsara is very sandalwoody, lightly sweet, lightly floral, and a bit powdery. It is so soft, so feminine...I really cannot think of words sufficient to describe how sexy is this parfum. I cannot imagine men wearing this because it is so very feminine, although I am sure some probably do.

Perhaps the most amazing thing about Samsara is that there is no Mysore sandalwood oil in it at all, but the synthetics used completely fool one's sense of smell. JP Guerlain created Samsara in the late 1980s, post the collapse of Mysore sandalwood after the tree had become very seriously endangered. I read that it took JP Guelain five LONG years to perfect this parfum and that his reason for creating it was to seduce a certain English woman he knew. Well, all I can say is that she must have been seduced as intended! My goodness this smells heavenly....

Honestly, this smells so heavenly, so uber feminine that you just have to try it for yourself. I apply it liberally. The projection is not huge in my opinion as it wears somewhat close to one's skin, but the projection it does have says "come hither, my love...." :) Sillage is nice, and longevity is moderate+. If I apply it at night before going to bed, I can still smell it on myself in the morning six or so hours later, albeit faintly. It lingers on my clothes and on my desk top and smells divine.

It is no secret that Guerlain is my favourite house. I love Samsara and have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone who is interested in sandalwood as a dominant note. If you want to seduce a man, I think Samsara would do the trick. So soft, so indescribably feminine...try it!

Fragrance: 10/10

Projection: 7/10

Sillage: 7/10

Longevity: 8.5/10
18th April, 2016

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