Perfume Directory

Sheherazade (1983)
by Jean Desprez


Sheherazade information

Year of Launch1983
Average Rating
(based on 16 votes)

People and companies

HouseJean Desprez
PackagingPierre Dinand
Parent CompanyPerfumania Holdings > Parlux
Parent Company at launchJean Desprez

About Sheherazade

Sheherazade is a feminine perfume by Jean Desprez. The scent was launched in 1983 and the bottle was designed by Pierre Dinand

Reviews of Sheherazade

Desprez’ Scheherezade, originally formulated in 1939 and re-orchestrated in 1983, begins with a rich, dark, plummy rose, one with real depth. It is slightly sweetened with cassia, jasmine and ylang, but the dry orris note centers this fruity floral combo and keeps it well balanced.

The impression of a subdued, yet sensual, dryness pervades the experience. Here is a fruity floral oriental that is above all subtle, restrained and by today’s standards, unisex.

I have to laugh at the 39 notes in the re-formulation, as compared to a sober 12 in the original. Whenever a perfumer decides to pile on so many notes, I consider it both egotistical (look at me!) and a waste of natural oils. The human nose can recognize and orchestrate between six and a dozen notes at any one time. No wonder the re-formulation failed. It was trying too hard and probably overwhelming its audience.

The original Scheherezade is a true find. Masterfully blended and reassuringly beautiful. Tres expensive – do sample before you invest – but certainly worth the experience.

First Edit: On living with this a few days, I am reminded very much of K de Krizia with its unique take on the fruity floral genre and on Magie Noire, which it resembles greatly as well. Very similar.
18th July, 2017 (last edited: 22nd August, 2017)
I found and wore one bottle in the 80s. It was beautiful. It haunted me for years. Sheherazade was reformulated in 1983 off of the original 1939 version. It was short lived --discontinued late 80s.

Top notes: aldehydes, orange, chamomile, blackcurrant, bergamot, geranium, pepper berries, nutmeg, cloves and rosewood
Middle notes: mimosa, coriander, tarragon, daisy, lily of the valley, hyacinth, gardenia, rose, orange blossom, carnation, ylang-ylang, jasmine, orris and cassis
Base notes: patchouli, wormwood, labdanum, tonka, incense, leather, civet, ambergris, pine nuts, vanilla, sandalwood, musk, vetiver, oakmoss, opoponax and benzoin

Its softer and has less of an edge than the family member Bal a Versailles. Its very feminine where Bal can lean unisex. I recently obtained a rare PDT 3.3 tall splash bottle fairly intact. Top notes of the pepper berries and rosewood grab your attention until the warm deep base begins to warm the scent with the powdery vanillic opopponax enveloping the heart notes. It is a full, complex kitchen sink fragrance like Bal a Versailles. Opulent, plush and gorgeous. It is one of those rare perfumes that star Chypre and twist into Oriental in the mid -drydown.

Im glad to meet her again. Sheherazade also layers well with Bal Cologne.
03rd March, 2017
I wore this perfume when I got married in 1986. It is a sublimely feminine fragrance.
01st July, 2012
I have an unmarked sample, so it may be an EDT. The opening is a kind of sweet waxy note that for some reason I associate with the 70's. It may be an aldehyde/carnation thing. I don't experience this as sultry...a bit stodgy I feel. A tweak of citrus is in the mix, or is it rosewood? Rosewood has that kind high sharpness as well. Then moss plus vanilla. It's a murky ol' thing. Carnation powder.
02nd August, 2010
I wore this one in the mid to late 80's. I first bought it in Harrods in 1983 just after it was launched, and then re-bought it in Coral Gables, Florida (at a perfume shop on Miracle Mile) in 1989. I loved it. It was both chypre and powdery, making it very, very distinctive and terribly elegant. The bottle was exquisite, too.

So I have to ask: "Why, oh why, was Sheherazade discontinued?"

Please bring it back!!
05th July, 2010
A soapy aldehydic slap in the face followed by a soothing fresh chypre accord (citrus, labdanum, moss--but none too noticeable individually) and a spicy carnation heart. The drydown is a powdery oriental vanilla. Quite invigorating, lovely, and unique!

Here's what The Perfumed Court has to say:

"Sheherazade Parfum by jean Desprez is a stunningly sultry fragrance classified as an aldehydic chypre that is impossible to find. Top notes ofAldehydic, Bergamont, and Rosewood Middle notes of Rose, Carnation, Jasmin, Ylang Ylang, Orris, and Cassia. Base notes of with notes of.... Vanilla, Sandalwood, Benzoin and Opoponax creating a powdery sweet sensation"
12th April, 2010

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