The Shalimar similarity is alarming. I have, in the past, taken to wearing Shalimar, but always sense I am wearing history - both in a good and a bad way. Paul & Joe Bleu could almost be a re-issue of Shalimar with the history taken away. A Shalimar for the modern world. No time related concerns, no old lady overtones, just a great fragrance. It seems obvious to me that Bourdon was thinking of Shalimar when he made this, but it in no way seems like a rip off, a copy cat, or an imposter. It seems delightfully original and unusual. I don't know how that can be, but it's how it seems to me. Dare I say, I prefer this to the Guerlain great one assumes it is modelled on!
I tested this fragrance about a year ago and found I was haunted by it. I tested it a few more times, not sure. Then I finally brought home the bottle. I like the Coriander, Cardamon, and Ylang Ylang. This lasts and lasts. The whole spicy "mess" sits on a slightly airy/slightly oud-y base. It's a delcious swirl of comfort...but I find the modern airiness a bit unsettling. I'll be honest and admit the very first perfume I bought for myself 20 years ago was indeed Shalimar. I feel this needs to go one shade or two darker to be truly magnetic. It's somewhat cheerful! I find in effect it reminds me of Kenzo Flower Oriental (violet and oud).
This is a must-try for lovers of 'Shalimar', as it is an obvious homage. Where it differs, though, is in its relevance; 'Bleu' has a totally modern character, with a predominantly vanillic drydown, fruity zest, and a fairly accessible, not-too-civety, yet-still-"animal" sensuality.
And while I cannot wear 'Shalimar', as I find it too conspicuous and overplayed, I could feel quite lovely and 'special' in 'Bleu'.
I'd imagine it would be perfect for intimate occasions, and romantic evenings.
23rd January, 2010 (last edited: 12th February, 2010)
I bought this purely based on the notes--I like so many of them. I was disappointed, however, in the fragrance, which is very similar to Shalimar. Lesson learned--always try a fragrance before buying!