Perfume Directory

Shocking (1937)
by Elsa Schiaparelli

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Shocking information

Year of Launch1937
GenderFeminine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 65 votes)

People and companies

HouseElsa Schiaparelli
PerfumerJean Carles
PackagingLéonore Fini
Parent CompanyTod's

About Shocking

Shocking is a feminine perfume by Elsa Schiaparelli. The scent was launched in 1937 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Jean Carles. The bottle was designed by Léonore Fini

Shocking fragrance notes

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

Reviews of Shocking

This review is for the 1997 version.

This is rich, honeyed florals, like "a voluptuous, heavy silk gown" as one reviewer put it. In the initial phase, the sweetness is tempered by fruit & herbs with bergamot & tarragon, but these soon step aside to give centre stage to a narcissus that positively drips with honey. This might be cloying for some, especially in an enclosed space, & those who find honey in perfume to smell like pee would probably find it repellent. But I love it! Two hours in, there are glimmers of a more crisp, chypre base, but the sweetness remains present throughout. I guess there isn't any civet in this version, as I get nothing animalic here. The projection is strong for the first three hours, & it hums along softly for a good seven hours before fading.
I didn't expect to like this, but it's just the kind of big, sweet floral that I adore; a very pleasant surprise!
02nd December, 2016
Like a kiss on the cheek.definately a head turner for sure.one of those timeless perfumes that have such a fascinating character.a special perfume for special woman with the right skin chemistry. everything speaks of confidence,of sophistication of intrigue and intense emotion.honey and jasmine with a burst of animalistic musky sensuality.to teenages girls this scent is their grandmothers vanity.Heady,Musky,Sexy,Sophisticated, Masterpiece,Powerful,Deep,Confident,Decadent, Classic,Nostalgia in a bottle.

Drama begins a resplendent bouquet of aldehyde with tarragon and honey to bewitching effect can be overwhelming.the exquisite floral heart tapestry yields then to the timeless sophistication of jasmine,ylang ylang and narcissus.an animalic accord with sheer sensuality of musk civet,amber and sandalwood makes you feel very sexy,strong ad alluring.i imagine a fearless woman of charm and true beauty of character wearing this timeless masterpiece.

Sillage?Monster.

Longevity?Good on my skin.

7.75/10
02nd August, 2016
"Da Bomb" of civit fragrances

I've wanted to test for years; with such a notorious reputation, who could resist? I dabbed it on several hours ago, knowing that I had no plans to leave the house so would not have to worry about smelling like raw sex while walking through the grocery store or similar.

I don't know the age of my sample, but if the amount of musk and civit in the base is any indicator, it's vintage.

The opening was surprisingly light and soft; a bit green, a little tart. Within a few minutes, the floral notes (jasmine was most prominant to my nose) began to appear. They were lovely! Not too sweet, very smooth. I didn't notice honey but maybe the honey accord is what makes these florals so soft.

The basenotes began to unfold very quickly on my skin. Civit and musk front and center within an hour of application. Those two notes plus sandalwood are the main players here. The floral notes are still present but are upstaged by this very deep base.

I love it! This is old-school sexiness that still feels contemporary in its earthiness.

Best as a special-occasion fragrance. Very strong sillage and I don't doubt that I'll still catch whiffs of this twelve hours from now, it's that potent.

Pros: Sultry, animalic, dark
Cons: Too intense for some noses"

21st September, 2013
(B)old aldehydic floral

Smells like old piss right out of the gate, with dormant aldehydes bubbling through to the surface. I'm pretty sure my vintage sample has lost some quality over the years. The chypre base is intact, deep forest floor-green and a touch animalic. The honey glazed floral element however is noticeably muted.

I'm disappointed. Schiaperelli Shocking has been lauded by certain quarters as superior to Chanel's iconic No.5. I'm afraid I don't share the sentiment even with all the blanks filled in. As bold as it is, it stills smells perfumey in the classical floral style, unlike No.5's more avant garde position. Don't get me wrong, it IS good. But No.5 is in a different class altogether. History is indeed written by the winner.

Pros: Ballsy
Cons: Somewhat dated"

17th September, 2013
Shockingly teenaged girl who smells like a mouthful of bubble gum--granted, a 16 year old with a taste for fragrances a bit more pricey and classic than her peers, but still a fragrance for a kid. In my opinion, not suitable for a grown woman. I was excited to try this in my first sample package I ever ordered. I'd done research on classic scents and found Shocking among the ones I wanted to try. I tend to like classic scents (pre-1960 or so), and apparently, scents more on the masculine side, or at least not on the girly side. Out of a half dozen scents new to me I ordered in my sample package, this was the only one I absolutely could not stand the smell of. It reminds me of some sickeningly sweet yet aldehydy atrocity I would have worn in high school. My man, whose tastes in fragrance are more or less diametrically opposed to mine, said it turned him on because it reminded him of getting laid in high school. If you like classic scents but tend not to like sweet scents, you'll want to try this, but you may hate it as I did. For reference, my absolute favorite scents are No. 5, Cuir de Russie, Arpege, L'Heure Bleue, Shalimar, Le de Givenchy, and Acqua di Parma.
13th January, 2013
SHOCKING – Schiaparelli – 1935 [floral fougere]

One of the most original scents I have ever encountered. At first I am taken back to the oil used by Caswell Massey for their discontinued Chrysanthemum potpourri – dark fall scents, the smoke of burning leaves mixed with their sweetness. The dry down is akin to wildflower honey with every so often a whiff of tobacco.

One of the few masculine scents based on florals that is eminently wearable.

Top Notes: Hyacinth, Ylang Ylang, Narcissus, Tarragon
Middle Notes: Rose, Jasmine, Muguet, Carnation, Honey
Base Notes: Sandalwood, Patchouli, Amber, Musk, Civet, Oakmoss, Vanilla, Vetiver, Ambergris


01st May, 2012 (last edited: 22nd March, 2013)

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