Total Reviews: 221
I’m so glad I have this beauty in my stable finally! I’ve flirted with Shalimar for a long time, and really wanted to get it, and then by some major luck I was able to pick up a nice big bottle for an astonishingly good price, so I went for it. But really, what more can I say about this that hasn’t been said before? It’s a beautiful scent and I can understand why so many people love it. The sillage and longevity of this is amazing – I could still smell this after eight hours, and it’s one of those scents that seems to bloom if you get a bit warm. This is one of the few perfumes I have that has elicited an unprompted “oh, you smell nice!” from my husband. Normally I have to shove my arm under his nose and ask him to smell it before I’ll get a comment. Reading through the reviews, I’m amazed at how this perfume reacts with different people – some get leather, some get incense, some get spice, some get lemon. Each time I wear this, it is different. The first time I wore it, it was all soft powder with a touch of citrus. The next time, I got a big burst of citrus at the start, with a hint of leather, before it mellowed into a beautiful, soft, creamy powdery vanilla. The time after that, it was all powder and cream and vanilla, straight away. Shalimar smells sexy and very, very classy but at the same time, there is also something very comforting and approachable about it. It’s like you’re at a fancy party, and you see a stunningly beautiful, beautifully dressed, elegant woman – at first glance, she appears aloof, and you’re not sure if you should approach her. So you stay away, and instead she approaches you and flings her arms around you and greets you like a long-lost friend, and she’s so warm and friendly and welcoming that you wonder why you stayed away. I love it.
Beautifully put together, it opens with caramel and musk. Flowery notes come in after. This fragrance is /strong/. But it's a little bit of an acquired taste, and not for me. It's all at once too sweet for me, while also not leathery enough.
Top notes attractive notes with the freshness of the citrus flavor (especially the notes of Bergamot). The colors from the floral notes give the overall scent of perfume a special, full of smooth continuous drainage with the presence of iris, jasmine and roses. Creamy soft vanilla seductive, combined with the scent of iris hard to resist, all around flavor and aroma of a food pharmaceutical warm tonka bean, all blended into a unified whole top from which no language can describe.
Queen of the oriental flavor, fragrance Shalimar is a feminine, attractive and timeless for perfume. Perfume scent sexy and smooth screen with sweet vanilla flavor warm embrace of incense and amber. Elegance and persistence, the seductive appeal of Shalimar contained.
Timeless oriental fragrance full of charm and mystery for the girls. Beautiful bottle design and meaningful. Exotic fluidity is also the strength of fragrance.
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Love the Big Pithy-bittered Citrus blast Habit Rouge-like.
Ambivalent to the rest as it is essentially a scent that, for me, creates accords, indeed visions, of the Hair Spray and Vinyl, all of my 60's childhood. Bug Spray comes to mind, mirrored by others, all true.
I have more of a fascination with Accords created by Leaded Gasoline and Rubber.
In structure it resembles Habit Rouge.
Habit Rouge I could wear every day.
Shalimar I wish no man or woman to wear, as I have had enough of it.
Wear Emeraude , Cabochard instead.
14th June, 2016 (last edited: 22nd June, 2016)
This 1950s Shalimar Eau de Cologne is a nice, sweet vanilla and tonka perfume, stronger than my 1980s Habit Rouge Eau de Cologne, but bearing a strong resemblance.
Sharp bergamot and powder on the opening, a little soapy. Rose and jasmine full in your face, drying beautifully through amber and creamy sandalwood. Tonka, opopanax and leather underneath.
The first 20 minutes are gorgeous - I have my nose to my wrist every 60 seconds so as to not miss a turn in the development.
Although the opopanax powder is quite heady at first - I found it be an acquired taste, actually - it is soon balanced by the incense spice. Later, it settles down into that lovely soft, warm vanilla and tonka base, kept from becoming too sweet by a little leather to dry it.
Definitely a grown-up fragrance with the option of sharing - would love to smell it on a musky male, interesting with a touch deep in a beard, I think.
One of my top 5 favourite feminine fragrances and the first I ever bought blind...
What can I say about Shalimar? I think it is a milestone of perfumery. A classic. I am a Guerlain addict and I love the big 3 (L'Heure Bleue, Mitsouko and Shalimar). I always have an EDP working of those three. I love Shalimar but was first not going to wear it because I associated it with both my mother and sister who wore it. I thought it would be too much for me but it is wonderful. This dark, sweet and smoky scent is wonderful on me and can definitely be worn by a man. 3 sprays will do it; one on the chest and one in each crook of the elbow is enough. Best to apply about an hour before leaving the house as the opening is quite strong and can be alarming with the high dose of bergamot.
The beauty of Shalimar for me is the development of all the notes that come together in the final drydown.
I think that the citrus blast of bergamot with a bit of cedar in the opening leads beautifully into the heart of jasmine, iris and a deep rose scent that is unbelievably rich. The creme brulee vanilla drydown is stunningly displayed on skin for the remainder of the day and I love it at the end of the day when I take my T shirt off and can still smell the Guerlinade and perhaps a bit of civet to make it interesting and personal.
The use of oppoponax and tonka bean are pure genius and make the base absolutely unforgettable.
Everyone must try this just to sample a bit of the brilliance of Guerlain.
This seems like a refined sweeter version of the civet heavy Jicky which is my number one favorite scent of all time.
Good God, what have they done to this once beautiful perfume? This concoction is an abomination of its former self. I had an older bottle for years that I would always return to, received a new one for a present that is so different it is nearly unrecognisable. The cloyingly sickly sweet smell of vanilla off the new formulation is downright offensive, I actually had to wash it off and I have never had to do that before with perfume. What was once one of my favourite scents is now dead and buried. Don't bother buying this, just get a couple of vanilla pods and rub them around your neck, job done.
A lemony, powder-sugared confection. That is how the gourmand quality hits me. Like those little lemon cookies at Easter time covered in powdered sugar. So yeah, this is very powdery. My mom always wore the very powdery Chantilly and this is also very powdery in a similar way. If you associate powdery perfumes with mothers and grandmas, then this will be one of those.
The dry down is where Shalimar really wins me over. It settles into a warmer, more vanilla scent (yet still powdery). I can't get enough of it then. At this point, it doesn't project as much, making it more of a personal indulgence of nostalgia. Not one you're going to wear out to blast the party and club scene with.
My family is mostly show people and jazz musicians, and when I was little there were often colorful characters hanging around, HOW colorful I didn't find out until later.
One of them was an older English lady named Mae, who had a white poodle. Apparently she was the madam in a high-end brothel. Sometimes we'd go to Mae's apartment, which had the most extraordinary smell of years and years of Shalimar permeating every surface + unwashed dog. That was my first Guerlain experience. (The second was a Pekingese that smelled of Mitsouko. True - not trying to be funny.)
So it took a very long time before I could really consider Shalimar on its own merits, and even then, its skanky facet was off-putting to me, because I kept smelling unwashed dog! In retrospect, Mae's poodle may not have been that dirty, and it might have just been her vintage Shalimar. I really never thought I'd become a Shalimar person, even though I have lots of history with the other vintage Guerlain greats.
The Ode a la Vanille (Mexique) ended up being my gateway drug, because the vanilla in that version is so smoky and dense and wonderful that I could stick with it, and now I've learned to love even the skank of Shalimar proper.
I do continue to prefer that limited edition, yet I've come to own and love the EDC, as well, because that version also features a very smoky vanilla, and ends up wearing as mostly that. Plus it's often available inexpensively in the drugstore! Coming around to Shalimar has actually had a fantastic effect on my perfume spending habits, for while I still find new things that I like, when I ask myself, "but would you be likely to NOT wear Shalimar to wear this instead?" it's just a no.
I ordered a bottle of this over the internet, and thought it must have been a knock-off because it smelled so terrible on me. I gave it away, but have since tried it again at a department store to make sure it wasn't just a bad bottle, and it wasn't. There is something in the opening that reacts badly with my skin. After about 30 minutes it calms down, but still doesn't smell great. I had a bottle of Shalimar back in the early 80s and did not have a problem, so I am thinking it is something they have added to the newer formulations. The newer version is truly terrible on me and I cannot pick out anything on the pyramid that normally reacts that way with my skin. My friend asked me please not to stand too close...
I absolutely love this fragrance and definitely it is in my top 10 of all great fragrances for ladies.It is a classically timeless rich floral fragrance.A sensual and provocative fragrance that oozes femininity. Masterpiece,Seductive,Warm,Magnetic, Artistic,Rich and Feminine
The opening is classic floral with a citrusy note,which harmonizes with the note of Rose,Jasmine and Patchouli.A base of Incense, Vanilla,Sandalwood and Leather brings an air of Sensuality as it is warm and full of depth. The dry down is wonderful.
You wear it when you are going somewhere very SPECIAL and you want to make a Great impression.This fragrance might be best for AUTUMN/WINTER seasons.excellent for perfect lady. Anyway in my mind it is an intoxicating bosom smell,it is just phenomenal and a definite must have.
Longevity?Great on my skin.
THANK YOU GUERLAIN
This is an intriguing opening indeed, a surprisingly dark bergamot with rose and - on my skin - an early opopanax burst - denoting shadowy freshness with incense. The floral drydown with iris, jasmine and a whiff of a gently smoky leather.
In the second half the very guerlainesque vanilla grown stronger, full but elegant and never overbearing.
This is fairly unique composition, beautifully balanced, well blended and firmly structured. Classic, especially older version,whose drydown have a gentle powderiness added and are richer and darker. Yet the newer versions - they are no full reformulations to me - are less powdery and lighter, but still delightful.
I get strong sillage, excellent projection and eight hours of longevity.
A grand classic and well worth it, even the recent versions: 4.25/5.
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Shalimar EdP opens with a astringent citrus accord of bergamot and lemon and then moves into a lovely vanilla scent.
When the incense arrives and melds with the vanilla the scent does become quite alluring.
Though as it evolves you begin to smell leather and civet which also mix's in with the incense in a unpleasant way. At this stage it starts to smell acrid like mothballs or bug spray.
The scent is complex and has many facets of development with floral notes adding to the above notes.
I like some elements of the fragrance like the vanilla and incense. But what kills my interest is the dated mothball/bugspray like accord coming from the civet and incense.
I quite like this. However if I have to speak my mind free from the pressure of knowing that it is sort of a perfume legend and all, I would rate this as one of the old perfumes. It's nice but could be better, or, it smells somewhat dated to my nose and I wouldn't want to wear this too often. My aunt used to wear this, this alone, -who owned only this.-25 years ago also didn't help me too much shake the perception of Shalima being OLD.
If I am over 55, I wouldn't want to use it since I am sure this scent will add more age. I think anybody who is still young can try this one without feeling too self-conscious. She will stand out smelling gorgeous and above all, special.
It is just my personal opinion, but I believe that scents can make the wearer seem aged/dated since the famous and old perfumes have popular smell of the era which everybody can associate with those period.It seems especially true those era are closely put together. Whenever I smell of Estee Lauder Beautiful, the wearer is almost always over 35. Really powdery one like Chanel No.5 or Soapy one like White linen is frequently worn by 50+ yo ladies. Anybody sticking to wearing Thierry Mugler's Angel can be seen 30+. The more broadly popular the scents were, the worse the effect, I reckon since mass of people recognize them. but, less known scents that were created a century ago, still can smell very fresh due to rarity.
I began wearing Shalimar after spending a lot of time around one of my friends who wore it every day. I thought she was so feminine and classy, and that's the way it makes me feel. I believe it is the vanilla and opoponax that got me addicted to it. I'm so glad that my husband also LOVES this perfume. To me, it is as classic as Chanel No. 5, which I'm actually not that fond of.
I'm going to assume the notes on this site are quite incomplete because I don't see anise, black pepper, or cinnamon listed and all three have a presence in this fragrance. The top is bergamot with pepper and anise, a bit too spicy for my taste but very well-blended leading straight into the heart of it which is slightly flowery, slightly powdery, slightly spicy and slightly creamy. This middle lasts quite a while and there's a hint of incense, smokiness, and leather throughout but as with any well-blended Guerlain you'll only catch some of these facets some of the time throughout the day. This is so well-done that I can't get enough of that scent despite the fact that I find it too spicy for me. The incense gets a bit stronger as the middle drags slowly along but it never really dominates on me. Coming to the end phase of the fragrance, many hours later, a touch of dryness or leatheriness remains but there's a lot of creaminess and a touch of spiciness acting as dominant notes. It almost smells like warm milk with a bit of cinnamon and just a touch of vanilla. I would eat something that smells like this. The Guerlinade is most certainly there too. Overall I love the smell of it and though a man could get away with wearing it in extreme moderation I don't think i'll be wearing it often just because of how uncomfortable I am smelling anise or pepper all day. It's no wonder this great fragrance is a classic of perfumery!
I'm told that what I'm smelling here is a recent EdP.
Shalimar is usually instantly recognizable; a cavalcade of notes that somehow manage to synchronize perfectly. But versions of this scent tend to vary quite a bit, and in this particular one there’s a medicinal, metallic effect that cuts through the standard citrus to meet with a powdery vanilla, producing what I'd describe as redolent of effervescent candy. It reminds me a little bit of sherbet lemons—the same candied sweetness that walks a fine line between sour and sugary, only here the sour notes are rendered in a more industrial, disinfectant style.
What’s strange about this version, though, is that it doesn’t bear much of a connection to the Shalimar that I’m more familiar with—that civet-y, marzipan-style scent that’s top loaded with crisp citrus notes. This version is gaunt by comparison, and seems to veer more towards clinical sterility than confection. I don’t dislike it (I actually don’t like Shalimar very much, so this might even be a step-up for me), but I’m not entirely clear what its aiming for or how this version wandered so far away from the original fragrance.
Old formulation: My mother had a sample in the late 80s/early 90s, and I remember loving it, the opulent spicy fragrance which I associated to winter and warm coats.
New formulation: I recently tested it at a department store. It does smell quite differently, still with the same inspiration, but the new version is a worthy fragrance in its own way. If I could, I would own both formulations.
The new formulation started with a combination that reminded me of the older Shalimar, spicy, warm, almost oily (in a good way), only not as round. Maybe a bit more angular and less oily.
As it dries, it becomes very different from the older one. The woods and sandal came to the front and in my opinion created a sour phase which previously did not exist. I quite appreciate this phase. Then amber and incense too, it becomes a little less sour and rounder, but still quite different from the older Shalimar, woodier, airier and not as oily. After a while the sour disappears and it is woods, amber, incense and a few spices in a rounded, warm, more "behaved" version of the older one.
Still a dense perfume, but different. As I said, I actually like both.
I own the EDC from Walmart. When i first sprayed it on, i smell a plastic shower curtain smell. This changed over time to a strong powdery orange creamcicle smell mixed with vanilla and maybe some sweaty keys out of someones sweaty pocket?!
Gotta try it again later.
K, tried it again and now.....I really like it...no plastic shower curtain or sweaty pocket scent at all. Strange how ones nose picks up different things each time. One thing i did differently this time was shake the bottle a little before applying....don't know if that mattered or not? This time i pick up more citrusy smells....which i adore by the way, but is that bergamot in the mix making it smell kind of like an orangy lemon? Oh, and vanilla, which i like, but i really, really would like to be able to pick out the leather note...which right now i am having allot of trouble doing...i would wear something with mainly just that note if i could just smell it. So far, love it tho...powdery lemony orange vanilla...thats what i pick out.
22nd July, 2014 (last edited: 09th August, 2014)
I don’t have much to add to the discussion where this classic is concerned. All I care to do is draw attention to the brilliant treatment of opopanax. Much has been said regarding the unique quality of Guerlain’s vanilla, displayed most prominently in Shalimar and Jicky, but for me the enigmatic, spicy-sweet, resinous quality of opopanax is equally responsible for Shalimar’s allure. The interplay of vanilla and opopanax established in Shalimar’s base notes still resonates in compositions as recent as Diptyque’s Eau Lente and Nicolaï’s Maharadjah, but I have yet to experience an interpretation that trumps the original’s exquisite balance. I wonder if it’s even possible to fully comprehend the oriental fragrance genre without becoming familiar with Guerlain’s enduring paragon.
Shalimar is unequivocally the most cloyingly sweet, baroque perfume on the market today. Some old fragrances become classic standards that are timeless. Others survive by being "a name" in popular culture. The overwhelmingly sickening sweet synthetic vanilla and talcum powder of Shalimar that projects and punches EVERYBODY within 20 feet of the wearer (literally) is actually indecent and offensive. Goes beyond a statement. Beyond boldness. Beyond good taste. I can't think of another fragrance that is so overpowering that I'd have to tell someone I can't stand to be near them. Long after escaping the vicinity of a Shalimar cloud, it's all you can smell. Your battered olfactory senses causing a headache and thoughts of "does this meal smell like Shalimar?" or "have they cleaned this restroom with Shalimar?" and so on. The domineering pervasiveness is actually rude then.
Ah, the ur-Oriental. Sitting down to write a review of Shalimar kind of feels like looking up at the top of Mount Everest and wondering how the hell even to begin the ascent. It seems to cover (in one single bottle) a lot of the themes and notes people go looking for in separate perfumes - you want vanilla, it's the textbook example, you want smoke and incense, well you got that too, you want amber, it is the mother of all modern ambers, you want animalics and leather, ditto. If you also happen to be the type of person who is interested in freaky notes, like baby diaper, burning tires, tar, and slightly rancid butter, then, why yes, Shalimar also has you covered.
It's not an easy perfume to love right off the bat. Don't get me wrong, Shalimar is easy to love, but the actual falling in love bit is not immediate. It took me ten days of wearing it before I could even tolerate it, let alone love it, but I got there and in end, it clicked for me, and that was it. Pure love. The everlasting kind. Whenever I see someone saying, oh I just don't get Shalimar, or oh Shalimar hates my skin, you know what I am thinking? You're just not trying hard enough. Put your back into it. If you can't commit a week or ten days out of your life to understanding Shalimar, then not only are you cheating yourself out of experiencing one of the best perfumes ever made, you are also missing the opportunity to "get" most orientals that came after Shalimar.
For, once you unlock Shalimar, you start to see that Serge Lutens' Ambre Sultan is just a snapshot of a portion of Shalimar (principally the amber and herbes de provence) blown up 150% and turned sideways. Etro's Shaal Nur is an abbreviated essay on the incense and opoponax in Shalimar. Mono di Orio's excellent Vanille is a modern take on the woodsy vanilla of Shalimar. You can spot echoes of Shalimar in Chypre Palatin (vanilla and animalics), Fate Woman (bergamot and powder) and Bulgari Black (vanilla, rubber, smoke). Whether perfumers are aware of it or not, most of today's grand orientals refer at least in part back to the ur-Mother Oriental herself.
Forgive my wittering on. For all of that, Shalimar smells absolutely wonderful, grand, lush, smoky, sexy, comforting, and warm. The opening, as I've mentioned, is jarring to the nth degree, especially if you're not used to it. I don't know whether it's the particularly stinky grade of Bergamot that Guerlain use, or the way it clashes with the vanilla, but the top notes smell curdled and rancid, like when you pour lemonade into cream. The vanilla itself smells tarry and burned, like rubber tires piled high and set on fire. Somehow, somewhere underneath all of that, there appears a slightly horrifying note of soiled diapers, or at least baby powder that has been caked into the creases of a baby's bottom. It smells sort of unclean, and is pungent enough to singe your nose hairs off.
Here's the odd thing - after you get used to Shalimar, you start to actively crave the weird opening. When you begin to go "Mmmmmmm" rather than holding your breath, this is a sign that you've crossed the line. Welcome! It's like a Shibboleth for hard-core fans of Shalimar - we're all over here at the other side of the line, and everyone else is pressing their noses to the glass, shaking their heads and saying, "I think you have Stockholm Syndrome"
After the "horrific" first half hour (for which you may want to refrain from sniffing your wrists if you are smelling it for the first time), it is an easy ride from there on in. Sweet, smoky vanilla poured on top of a long, golden, powdery amber, with accents of leather, smoking resins, and animalic musks. It has this neat trick of smelling comforting/familiar and yet ultra-sexual at the same time. It lasts all day and, in my humble opinion, is just fantastic in whatever concentration and vintage you wear. Yes, the vintage parfum is the deepest and smokiest, but we can't always be wearing that (for reasons of finances as well as time and place), so it's good to know that Shalimar is still recognizably the same Shalimar in the weakest EDC as it is in the parfum - thinner, yes, but still, you wouldn't mistake her for anybody else. For me, it is true love, and a top five perfume forever. It is like my second skin.
Rich, somptuous, baroque chypre masterpiece. There's pretty everything in it, a comprehensive symphony or perfumery basics. Splendid talcum-powdered drydown, gentle as a lady asleep. Not much to chat about this!
04th April, 2014 (last edited: 26th April, 2014)
Love the history.....love Guerlain....don't love or even like Shalimar. Instead of smelling sultry and seductive, I smell like an old ashtray. The smoky notes just overwhelm on me.
As many others have already said, shalimar is a classic, perhaps the most classic of them all, and equaly a work od a genius perfumer. For me is smells more msculine than feminine, what is no surprise after Prada pour Homme Intense, Eau Sauvage Parfum, Burberry Brti for Men, Tom ford noir and many scents in the same oriental veil. Shalimar seems a blueprint for so many scents we all know and that's why I cannot perceive Shalimar as dated, old fashion and even less, praise God, old lady-grandma-ish. No need to go through the notes, it has been done very well indeed by some Basenoters. I just think everybody really keen on fragrances should try Shalimar. It is beautiful, it is an art form, it is perfection. I feel very fortunate to own an EDP bottle of this relic and yet so present, uptodate scent that is Guerlain Shalimar.
Shalimar is a scent I'd been avoiding. Somehow, it had 'old lady' tones in my mind. However, I've been progressing in my journey, I've discarded the idea that a scent fits with a particular age group. Yes, some scents are classic and have been worn for many years by people and so you may know an older woman whose been wearing Shalimar for 5 decades, however, that doesn't define the character of the scent.
In the case of Shalimar, it's been around for so long because it is that good. I've been wearing the current EDT with great pleasure. It's a scent that envelopes me like a fur coat, in fact, a bit like fur that remains on the leather which has been sueded and worn soft. This scent is warm, familiar and full of smooth vanilla laden leather. I recently acquired a bottle of the vintage EdC and find that it is creamier still. It's got the typical feel of Guerlain, a powdery feel, but I don't feel like that is as strong as in some of the Guerlains, it is more creamy than powdery to my nose.
This is a wonderful scent for most any occasion, though I suspect it will perform less well in a hot and humid climate. It is a powerful scent to my nose, not something that the wall-flower would want and I believe a man could easily wear it as well.
02nd January, 2014 (last edited: 05th September, 2014)
I've tried to enjoy Shalimar for its smell. And its history. And its importance. And its benchmark status. But no. I'm afraid I think Shalimar smells gross. That's not to say it isn't important and possibly a great perfume. But I still think it smells gross.
Lately, I've been sampling the EDT, which is heavy on the baby powder and talc, fuzzy with lavender and a weird plasticky musk that smells like a diaper, as well as a realistic musk that smells like baby poo. And there's vanilla, too.
I prefer the EDT because it focuses on the powdery aspects, letting the poopy diaper fade into a powdery spiced vanilla, which is the smell for most of the day.
I've also tried the extrait, which highlights the poopy diaper musks and is just terrifying.
Oh well, I've given Shalimar MANY chances, and I get why people love it, but I just don't want to walk around smelling like a poopy diaper sprinkled with vanilla and cinnamon in a cloud of baby powder. Maybe I'm losing snob points, but I'm fine with that...
Typical example of a fragrance that you need to let grow on you before you can fully appreciate it! Fist time I tried this... a very strong, very dirty, almost bitter vanillic leather aroma hit me and I found it quite pungent and almost overbearing. But after a few days, and other applications... I really had to agree with everyone here in that this is quite an elegantly made, beautifully blended, sophisticated fragrance, and I can see why many call this a masterpiece. There is not much more to add to what others have said, but I would say to first time users please give it a few tries on your skin and leave it the time it needs to fully appreciate it. Trust me, if you do this you will be rewarded, but be patient and you will see why so many people call this a masterpiece.
to be honest, I buy Shalimar only for the gorgeous bottle at first. I dont sniff it, just get this pretty flacon. how bad Guerlain could be?
real badass. the opening is not my favourite part (at fact, the least. its rather offensive), but the rest, especially the dry down is something to die for. the vanilla and incense is really prominent (but the seller said, "its woody spicy". never trust a seller women. especially when they already tried to sell a BOSS Bottled) usually I detest vetiver, but on this one its controlled beautifully, ended with strong Vanilla that just perfect. it have strong projection and stays for really long time. the bad side is, like most Guerlain is on the banal opening. if you survived the first minutes, a very beautiful scent awaits you
Pros: projection, longevity