The notes are: aniseed,orange blossom,almond,cardamon,ylang-ylang, jasmine, iris, mimosa, cedarwood, patchouli, vanilla and sandalwood. I have added the notes to make a point later.
Opens with a heavy note of salty almonds and a very subtle whiff of aniseed. The aniseed is less like licorice and more like green, bitter anise. But, again it's very subtle. The usual strong licorice note is diluted by a third note raising it's head, vanilla. It's a faint smell of powdery vanilla, but not the "Gurlinade" that is the signature of the houses many fragrances. It's not too sweet to be a gouramand!
Twenty minutes in, I think I can smell some iris in the powdery, vanilla accord. I don't smell any cardamon, ylang-ylang, jasmine or mimosa. All I smell is the almonds and vanilla!and those notes are dropping by the minute
A full thirty minutes in, the perfumes's sillage has dropped drastically. I smell just a skin scent. If I pressure my nose, I might be getting a little sandalwood and the powdered vanilla dry down that remains. Guerlain calls this a full bodied perfumed, so, where is it? Look at all the notes in this fragrance back at the top and I get hardly any of those.
The bottom line is , I could not recommend this perfume because it lacks any interest. Especially at $215!
Edit: I believe I had become immune to Shanghi after sniffing it so long and it has been confirmed by a second party that the sillage is still strong and so must be the longevity which is going on 8 hours. After bringing this to my attention, I started noticing whiffs of Shanghi every now and then. It's actually quite nice in it's own way.
I still don't understand how Guerlain could claim the notes above and not be able to get a whiff of more than half of them?