Perfume Directory

Shem-el-Nessim (1906)
by Grossmith


Shem-el-Nessim information

Year of Launch1906
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 37 votes)

People and companies


About Shem-el-Nessim

Arabic for 'smelling the breeze'

Florentine iris, known for its rarity and expense is truly at the heart of this fragrance.  Originally created in 1906, this rich, luxurious fragrance typifies the Edwardian era with its warm floral powdery character.

Shem-el-Nessim fragrance notes

Reviews of Shem-el-Nessim

*copied from my own review at Twisted Lily, dated Feb. 9th, ‘19*

As you well know, vintage Guerlain L’Heure Bleue is, without question, my absolute and ultimate ideal fragrance, true as steel. My appetite for all others is squashed with the smallest mention of it. My starry, scented universe, wholly contained in a Baccarat. I’ve made my fragrance runaround, in the quest to find another Holy Grail. While there are some good ones out there, to be sure, those too, have suffered the “woes of reformulation”, to quote one trusted blogger. And yet, when all is said and done, I feel nothing on this earth can ever come close to my dearly beloved, long lost Bleue.

Grossmith’s Shem-el-Nessim is a convincing L’HB-Habanita hybrid, that triumphs in capturing the intense, electric feeling of antique, paranormal authenticity. While no other fragrance can make me internally scream so emotionally as L’HB, “Shem”, a properly reissued classic pre-dating L’HB, is a fantastic option, for those of us who haven’t found much luck scouring the eBay vintages department. What’s left for me now, but to lay my weary mind on the head-spinning price point, and purchase my beckoning, haunted otherworld.

P.S. The Grossmith bottle, with its ridges and clear tabbed cap, regal and elegant in its design, is hugged by fuzzy lining on the inside of a sleek Royal Blue box contained within an outer box with an equally elegant and regal label. My Shem, by Grossmith London, was so worth the long wait!
25th February, 2019
This is the fraternal twin to L'Heure Bleue. Evidently, the original Shem came first, along with L'Origan (if this matters). Regardless, they are all very closely related in form and style, and if you love one, you will probably be interested in taking her sisters for a waltz or two around the Edwardian ballroom, as well. The Grossmith is a slightly more airy and herbal take on L'Heure, and I find its additional geranium notes rather lovely. It is not as heavy and sweet as the Guerlain, substituting a sophisticated, almost stellar radiance for L'Heure's velvety marshmallow warmth. Roja Dove and Luca Turin both love Shem-el-Nessim (if you care), and I do, too, although I would wish for an increase in its projection and lasting power, especially at this particular price point.
15th September, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Floral-to-vanilla complexity

A beautiful neroli-bergamot freshness combines with delightful geranium-jasmine floral additions in this traditional but very well blended opening. In the drydown a nice rose and ylang-ylang merge into a base of white musk, patchouli and a nice cedar-vanilla base. There is colourful development on my skin over time, with high-quality components and good silage and projection. I get about five hours of longevity. In all is classicity this is delicious, especuially on a nice spring day.

23rd October, 2013
There’s no denying that this and L’Heure Bleue spring from the same gene pool – they both have the same melancholy sweet subtlety born of the heliotrope-sandal notes that are their foundation. This is great for reveries, introspective days when its quiet sophistication will prompt the mind to slip away to an ever-so-tempting elsewhere. One of those scents that play with time, stretching the mental experience of it to a lovely stasis. Lovely twinkly, powdery fadeout.
23rd July, 2012
I'm rubbish at detailed reviews, but this reminds me of L'Heure Bleue, minus a heavy play-doh note I didn't like in LB, and with amped up florals. Great stuff and full bottle worthy (oh if I could afford it all, I would!)
22nd November, 2011
redrose Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Absolute gorgeousness, seduction in a bottle. The opening florals envelope you with soft luxury, and I felt as though I were stepping into the most beautifully scented bath I could possibly imagine. The sultan's favourite, being prepared and anointed before being led into the boudoir! And as the scent unfolded, the cedar, sandalwood and soft musks support the rose and iris without overpowering them. Many other floral and oriental notes are in there, too: it would take numerous wearings to be able to name them all, if it were even possible. And I'm not sure I'd want to. Shem el Nessim is all just too romantic and dreamy and perfect for me to wish to analyze it too much. I leave that to the scientists. I'll just let myself be carried along in its spell.
I agree with Grossmith that it embodies the spirit of the Edwardian era, when feminity was celebrated. I can't really see this as unisex, although if any men are brave enough to wear it, they'll get plenty of attention.
For me, its longevity varies. I first tried in summer, when the dry air combined with my own pale, dry skin to evaporate this beautiful perfume after only three hours. Now, though, it's autumn, and the air is more humid, and almost six hours after dabbing it on it's still strong.
The final drydown is so similar to the original, much-lamented L'Heure Bleue that they could almost be mistaken for each other. There is nothing sharp or modern here, and if you're strictly a 21st century, minimalist perfumista, you probably won't go for Shem el Nessim. But if you love the unabashed fullness and richness of classic and vintage perfumes, do give this a try.
I love it and would buy a FB today if only it were not so expensive. But ... luxury and authenticity don't come cheap, and with Christmas not too far away, I'll be leaving strong hints for Santa.
13th November, 2011

Add your review of Shem-el-Nessim

You need to be logged in to add a review

Shop for Shem-el-Nessim products online

Search for on eBay


End Date: Friday May-3-2019 9:03:33 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $339.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list


End Date: Friday May-3-2019 9:03:34 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $229.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

SHEM-EL-NESSIM GROSSMITH in Glass Spray Atomizer, 10 ML / 0.34 fl.oz EDP

End Date: Monday May-6-2019 0:08:28 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $37.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list


End Date: Monday May-20-2019 23:30:28 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $229.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Member images of Shem-el-Nessim

There are no member images of Shem-el-Nessim yet. Why not be the first?

You need to log in or register to upload images

Private Notes

You need to be logged in (or register here) to use Private Notes.