I love the smell of real vanilla extract/absolute and of the other dreamy components that complement it and can extend it into amber - benzoin, tonka bean, labdanum...So Shalimar has been a funny thing for me, because it's arguably THE definitive complex vanilla scent, yet what some have referred to as its skank becomes the overwhelming smell of a wet dog on my skin. I'm not averse to smelling weird, but I guess I'm not up for that particular weird! Coming to trust and enjoy Thierry Wasser's work for Guerlain, I bought this one blind hoping that I just needed a little different take on the fragrance for it to become a favorite. Indeed! I've since ordered four more bottles since it's a limited edition and now the closest thing I have to a signature scent.
The citrus in the opening is beautiful - I understand that it's bergamot, yet my nose sometimes reads it as a little lime-y, too; maybe I just associate limes with Mexico. The signature wet dog accord does indeed show up, yet in this formula I realize that it's actually rose in combination with something animalic - roses can have a sulfurous aspect. All gets overtaken by a vanilla that's more in the dulce de leche direction than the vanilla in the original. I really loved the burnt caramel-y drydown of the original Dior Addict, and the way it radiated off of warm skin; the vanilla in this Ode isn't nearly as burnt as that, yet it's sure magic with body heat. I was brave/foolish/impatient and initially tried it on - one quick spray - outside in 95 degree weather. Modestly applied, it's just glorious in the heat, a case of reveling in it instead of countering it.
03rd May, 2014 (last edited: 06th October, 2014)
Beautiful Shalimar for those of us who react badly to the cinnamon in the original.
This softer version is an absolute delight.
Still Shalimar but creamier, a bit veiled.