Perfume Directory

Samsara (1989)
by Guerlain


Samsara information

Year of Launch1989
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 550 votes)

People and companies

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

Oviatt Show all reviews
United States
The is what Shambhala must smell like (provided there is a Guerlain boutique on the premises). This is one of the great classics of the House of Guerlain, as important as Shalimar, Mitsouko, et al. Perhaps the last truly great perfume to come from that house and was at once completely new and original yet classically Guerlain at the same time. Being a Guerlain, of course there is vanilla, benzoin, tonka bean and orris, with an amazing jasmine note dead in the center of things. However, it is the heady overdose of Mysore sandalwood that makes this the beauty that it is. I first bought it for my wife, then fiancee, from a duty free shop when it first came out and I have been keeping her in it ever since. Some call this an overblown powerhouse scent typical of the late 80s, but this is strong, not just because it can be (Poison, I am looking at you) but because the very heavens themselves cannot contain all of the wonderful notes that make up Samsara. The marketing and everything about the creative concept is perfectly in sync with the scent itself, aligned with its parent, the greatest French perfume house of all time, and the era in which it was born.
30th June, 2015

However Words are Unable for SAMSARA Magneficence But I would say It is A Veneration to ROMANTIC LOVE!One of My All favorite time for a HIGH CLASS Lady.In my Opinion It is the Uniqueness That makes it Unforgettable. Classic, Rich,Mysterious,Masterpiece,Dreamy, Spicy,Luxurious,Alluring and Ultra Feminine.

This GUERLAIN Wonder is a Oriental Fragrance with precious Woods Undertones that give it an Air of Sharp Passion.A heart of Jasmine and Rose is complemented by Fresh Green notes of Bergamot,Lemon and Peach as with This Unique Blend surely You get Plenty Compliments when You wear it.

This Real Fragrance reminder My MOTHER. It is best reserved for SPECIAL EVENINGS and Cold Weather. Definitely it is not for a Young Girl I would recommend this perfume only to a CLASSY&RICH Lady who wants radiate at Special Occasions and Capture The Attention any Gentleman.


Longevity?Extraordinary On my skin.


SAMSARA Absolutely Deserves 9/10
13th June, 2015
Samsara is a mystery, a seductive erotic, people will react... You have to know how too wear, and it is greedy it needs to be the dignitary scent, can't mix&much with any other items. If it is your second skin, like mine, you are lucky and your love will be long and sensual.
Yes, the most beautiful fragrance I know..
06th April, 2015
A combination of sandalwood and jasmine and one of the last "notable" Guerlain, the first to be "marketed" to an ever increasing competitive sales audience.

Guerlain used an overdose of sandalwood, thirty per cent, according to Roja Dove. Turin calls is "sandalwood jasmine" and gives it four stars, despite his admitting it was "so bad" when it premiered, "sweet, complicated and loud" in its attempt to win a niche in the successful oriental market of Opium and Cinnabar. Turin notes the "praline and coconut" effect.

Top notes: Peach, Lemon, Bergamot, Tarragon
Heart notes: Jasmine, Orris, Ylang, Rose, Narcissus, Violet, Carnation
Base notes: Amber, Vanilla, Sandalwood, Coumarin, Musk, Benzoin

My reaction: Harsh floral mothballs, ugly a sin. A true horror. It may have come a century after Guerlain's world-shattering Jicky, but it smells truly awful to my nose.

31st October, 2014
So, I'm a guy and I bought some of this recently...the current edt formula. I have never received so many compliments when I'm out and about as when I've had this on. At first I was hesitant in purchasing this b/c it's a women's fragrance, but then I figured, what the hell? It smelled really good on me when I sprayed it on at the counter. I chose the eau de toilette b/c of the top note clarity. To me, this is not an office perfume, not even for the ladies. I've only worn this in the evenings and only apply two spritzes. It definitely has a rich, warm, spiciness and evokes images far off lands. Using too much, however, I see it conjuring up images of your grandmother's best friend on Sunday morning.
05th July, 2014
Genre: Woody Oriental

Samsara coulda’ been a contender. Having long since established the genre benchmark in Shalimar, the house of Guerlain apparently felt compelled to compete in the Opium-fueled spicy oriental sweepstakes of the 1980s. In the bid to outdo Opium, Cinnabar, and Coco, Guerlain employed what has to be the loudest synthetic woody note I’ve ever smelled. Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez identify it as Polysantol, but whatever its name, it manages not only to smell like an industrial petrochemical, but to do so at a crushing volume. The grievously misguided IFRA should be banning stuff like this, rather than hobbling the art of perfumery by regulating hydroxycitronellal and oakmoss.

All the more pity, since besides the monstrous pseudo-wood, Samsara gets everything right. The spice blend is beguiling, the amber is perfectly balanced between sweetness and animal warmth, and the floral notes blend into a bouquet that’s sensuous without being oppressively heady. If ever there was case for constructive reformulation, surely this is it. I’d love to smell the result were someone to take the Samsara formula and remove perhaps 75% of its synthetic wood. As it stands, I find Samsara harder to stomach than its heavyweight predecessors from Yves St. Laurent, Lauder, and Chanel.
02nd July, 2014

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