My personal preference is Shalimar Parfum.
I recently spent some time in Las Vegas and was fortunate enough to make quite a few stops in the Guerlain boutique at Bellagio and Venetian.
Long story short: I can't get enough of Jicky (EdT) and MdM. They are similar yet wonderfully different.
Because of my new love I've read the stories of Guerlain and the birth of Shalimar: take Jicky and add vanillin get Shalimar.
I have somewhat avoided Shalimar because I had smelled it years and years ago and recall not liking it but I am wondering if I am depriving myself of knowing a sibling of my dear Jicky. I also see Shalimar being heavily discounted and I am tempted to make a cheap blind buy.
For those in the know, would it follow that I will like Shalimar better now that I have found the joys of Jicky and MdM? And of course if so, what strength should I try?
My personal preference is Shalimar Parfum.
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Well...... I love Jicky and Shalimar so I am guessing I would love M de Monsieur. Therefore... on that , I am saying you will probably love Shalimar too.
I found ( this is my personal opinion only ,on my skin ) I found Shalimar most like Jicky in the EDT but the EDT tends to be very sharp and it doesn't have much longevity .
Also , I tried and disliked Shalimar years ago ,like yourself but I do love the new formulation. It's less sweet perhaps especially in the EDP ?
I suggest trying the parfum extrait and certainly every other version so you may choose which you love most. Good luck .
Last edited by Mimi Gardenia; 19th December 2009 at 04:29 AM.
Get the parfum extrait, but get it soon, who knows what the next reformulation will turn it into.
It's most likely that you will love Shalimar, if you already like Jicky and MdM.
The story about the birth of Shalimar is quite a myth, but Shalimar is more than Jicky plus extra vanilla. Shalimar's strong ethyl vanillin (deep and buttery-black), the floral heart (jasmine and rose), the labdanum and opoponax (smoky-balsamic), the iris (powder) and it's huge amount of bergamot (jumping-spiking) make for quite a different experience than the much fresher Provençal-herb delight of Jicky. But if you have fallen for the latter's earthy-sweet base, it's possible you'll be fond of Shalimar too, just be prepared for a totally different adventure. Maybe you should try the EdT first, it's woodier and less "wild" than the more concentrated versions.
I like vintage edc and longevity is not a problem. Too much civit in the edp for me, but you might like it. I really enjoy the current edt as well. I've never tried the parfum.
I offer you perfume,
More for its pleasure than for yours;
You perfume perfume.
--Anonymous Ancient Greek Love Lyric
I love all three - but I can see after many years of wearing Shalimar, how different it is. I am going to go out on a limb and say you might not like Shalimar, just because you like Jicky and Mouchoir de Monsieur.
Shalimar is sweet. And powdery. It has a resinous, animalic quality to it that immediately apparent when you spray it on.
Try this: Sample Habit Rouge. If you like HR, then most definitely I think you will like Shalimar. I think they are the brother/sister team in the Guerlain line up.
Or try Shalimar Legere (Light) first. Much more lemony, less civet - almost gourmand. But light and less powdery.
Last edited by mikeperez23; 19th December 2009 at 02:52 PM.
Yes, Shalimar has a similar bone structure but is dressed up in layers until it feels like an oriental.
I adore Jicky but I am lukewarm about Shalimar. I can recognize it as a great composition, but it just does not connect with me on an emotional level. That being said, Shalimar can be had very inexpensively (I've seen it on clearance at Walgreen's for 5 or 10 dollars). Buying it blind would not be a terrible risk at that price. You may love it as others here do, or you may respect it enough to want to keep it in your collection for reference. If you did not love it, I would assume that you could swap it easily enough because so many others do.
I love Jicky in all its formulations, but I can't say the same about Shalimar. The EDT smells like baby wipes on me. What works well is the EDP or extrait, both of which are significantly more leathery in the top notes, and the drydowns are much more resinous.
Thanks for all of the great responses. I guess the answer to my question is "maybe".
I should mention that I do have a sample of Madini's OLIVE FLOWERS and quite a few people of MUA swear that it pretty much smells just like Shalimar. It certainly lacks the "freshness" of Jicky that Mr. G mentions but I do like it. How much it smells like Shalimar I do not know.
To me, part of the genius of Jicky and MdM are the ability to smell so rich and full yet to actually be very light in wear.In my climate that is a gift. It sounds like Shalimar may be a little more heavy but testing will be the only way to know.
It looks like I have some sniffing to do.
Fingers crossed it isn't too much like Habit Rouge as Mike suggests because HR actually makes me physically ill. Well almost. Again, I tested it years and years ago and I tried it more than once...but it was stomach turning stuff! It didn't smell like an open sewer or anything but that was just the reaction I had. The manager at the Guerlain Boutique kept asking me to try it for it's "freshness". I kept declining. LOL.
I think that while HR and Shalimar share some similarities HR is much more difficult to appreciate than Shalimar. I also don't believe that Jicky, MdM and Shalimar smell too much alike. The myth of Shalimar = Jicky + ethyl vanillin is untrue, although Jicky + vanillin might have inspired Jacques Guerlain to create Shalimar. Both Jicky and MdM are much fresher than Shalimar which is resinous and powdery, incidentally also the aspects that link it to HR. I think that only with respect to the civet present your liking of Jicky/MdM is an indication of how much you will like Shalimar.
Looking to swap/buy/receive for free () the following samples/decants:
Indult Tihota & Rêve en Cuir
Chant d'Aromes extrait
Vetiver pour Elle (5ml decant)
Versace The Dreamer 50ml (1.7oz) BNIB
"The Sunshine bores the daylights outta me!"
When I first bought Shalimar I had already been on BN for about a year-and-a-half. I purposely avoided sampling Guerlain fragrances (both masculine and feminine) because I had heard so many wildly different comments about the line I felt like I needed to take some time to explore scents that I could easily get ahold of and learn more about fragrances. When I was ready to smell Shalimar I PM'd Mr. Guerlain and asked his opinion about which formula I should try, etc. I finally decided to buy an Eau de Cologne (in the gold 1980-90 box) from my local Walgreens pharmacy that looked like it'd been gathering dust for 10 plus years. I brought it home, took a shower, got dressed and then finally sat down and sprayed some on. I hated it. I mean I almost washed it off. I kept thinking, 'Oh so this, is what everyone's always talking about when they speak about powdery, old-lady fragrances!' [no offense to the old ladies of Basenotes] I tried it every day, for about a week or so - each time, I disliked it but somehow...something else was happening. I was becoming a bit familiar with the Guerlinade and one day I paid attention to the dry down: It smelled...well, it smelled like NOTHING I'd ever smelled before. I researched it here and there on the internet. I learned that Shalimar made a revolutionary use of the vanilla note back when it was created...which surprised me because vanilla is NOT the first thing I thought of when I smelled it. So, the next day, of course my nose honed in on the vanilla...ahh! What a wonderful, subtle vanilla it has. Almost like that old book smell, you smell in old book stores or libraries. And all of a sudden, something clicked, and I found that I couldn't go to sleep unless I put on my nightly spray of Shalimar. I was smitten. Just like that. Moral of the story: test, test, test. Magical things can (and do) happen with repeated wearings of Guerlain fragrances. They are not called 'classics' for nothing.
Oh Mike, I loved your story, it was touching to read! I was first horrified when you wrote that you followed my suggestion and then hated it, but smiled when I read the rest.
I'm like you, Mike, my first few trials of the Guerlains are often like that, "oh-no-newer", and then ending up being addicted to it. I guess one's brain has to "learn" the scent before it can appreciate it. (The downside of this: Your taste grows utterly idiosyncratic so that you stop noticing how wild and how strong you smell!)
That said, the first time I tried Shalimar, it was in my mother-in-law's bathroom LOL, it thought, gosh this is extraordinary, magic! But I also remember the first time I tried Metallica, I thought never-ever, it smells like suntan lotion, and then ending up getting totally hooked on it's spicy carnation and bright vanilla.
The only Guerlain that I have consistently had in my wardrobe over the years has been Vetiver. I am so glad to have been able to spend so much time with Guerlain now and to have grown to appreciate them. But that was a journey even now. The only reason I kept revisiting Jicky is because my SO smelled it on me and and raved about it. I didn't particularly like it. But thru multiple tries it finally clicked. Once that love dawned Guerlain appreciation grew.
Perhaps I need to try Habit Rouge again. I must say having learned of the inclusion of oud in the EdP version, my curiosity has been stirred.
the stories about dumping vaniline de synthese into jicky are true--I have this from actual members of the guerlain family--but they added much more to get to shalimar--notably opoponax and many other things they will not divulge: My three favorite parfumes of all time are these three, with Shalimar on top: You might not wear it--but you'll love it. Buy the eau de toilette and use it on your linens, or buy the parfum and layer a tiny dab of it on your base of Jicky or MdM.(it's better with MdM) What it has that the other two don't are unabashedly feminine--and hugely seductive qualities that attract men. By perfumery standards, shalimar is "the oldest trick in the book." it also has a huge dose of grandma--so beware.
Perhaps if I went straight for the Shalimar and skipped my Jicky-MdM journey, I would have been immediately struck by its huge dose of grandma! (great turn of phrase btw)
But ole grams might have been sent to the home, because I didn't get the association at all. I've only tried the Edp version and it is wonderful. Having said that and as you point out, loving the way it smells and wanting to smell that way are two different things.
I really like the idea of layering with Jicky and MdM. Thanks for the tip.
For the record, I do not find Jicky similar to Shalimar, except maybe deep in the base. But I do recommend Shalimar. I have a vintage EDC and I adore it. I am not intimately familiar with the other concentrations, particularly the extrait. I can say I did not enjoy the modern EDP much when I sampled it.
"It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing; it's what you're doing when you're doing what you look like you're doing."
You all know how devoted I am to Guerlain fragrances, but I cannot abide Jicky or Muchoir de Monsieur. Shalimar however, is wonderful stuff. It is the civet in the other two that ruin it for me.
I don´t like Shalimar too much...to be accurate - I don´t like it on myself, if some other person wears it, I´m ok with that...
Last edited by mrclmind; 14th December 2010 at 08:21 PM.
Only like Mouchoir de Monsieur of the three.
As it happens, I know many people who hold the last name of Guerlain, and I know many people who are considered the greatest noses of the last century. What I didn't know, was that responding to these threads leads readers to respond with catty remarks that could be interpreted as downright insulting. I spent some time last night reacting to several discussions involving fragrances i've worn for years and know by heart, in all of their formulations and versions. Having had the privilege of working directly with some of the perfumers, I feel my observations are valid and of interest, and I give them freely. How surprised I was this morning to find my e-mail in box crammed with people reacting with viciousness and disdain. I greatly enjoy basenotes but i'm afraid this will be my last comment on the discussions panel as being insulted is not at all what i had in mind in freely offering insights gained over 30 years of involvement with the some of the most brilliant perfumers of our time. I'm not an internet junkie, have no facebook page, and, silly me, didn't realize that putting anything "out there" subjects one to jeers. But do believe that Vaniline de Synthese, upon being first delivered to the Guerlain atelier, was unceremoniously dumped into a flask of Jicky, as it was told directly to me, by a Guerlain, "Pour voir ce que ca donne." It was on this unexpected gesture that Shalimar was built: What gave the inspiration--not the actual final composition. And that, Monsieur, will be my final comment: To any and all readers ready to throw stones, start NOW.