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  1. #1
    Basenotes Institution pluran's Avatar
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    Default Jicky-Shalimar Myth: Animalics

    -
    Guerlain perfumer Thierry Wasser from an interview with Persolaise -


    "On going through Guerlain’s old formulae books

    He found a few surprises when delving into the brand’s history. For instance, he was astonished to discover that Jicky
    contains a substantial quantity of bitter almond oil.(As an aside, he says there isn’t a great deal of truth to the story that Shalimar is just Jicky plus a dose of ethyl vanillin. For one thing, he says, the animalic notes in the two scents are quite different: Jicky uses civet; Shalimar uses castoreum)..."

    https://persolaise.com/2013/01/notes-on-meeting-with-thierry-wasser.html




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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Jicky-Shalimar Myth: Animalics

    Interesting interview (Wasser always is). Thanks for posting it.

    I have no idea what bitter almond oil smells like—something to investigate further.

    I would say that the statement “Jicky uses civet; Shalimar uses castoreum” aligns with my perception of the animalic qualities of these scents. What is your view?

  3. #3
    Dependent saminlondon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jicky-Shalimar Myth: Animalics

    I do find that statement hard to believe. I think Persolaise must have got the wrong end of the stick somehow.

    Wasser himself talked about the civet in Shalimar to Monsieur Guerlain:
    'Thierry Wasser explains that if Shalimar were made with old-fashioned bergamot oil, prohibited as an allergenic, it would smell so different from the current version that people probably wouldn't like it and would demand a refund. "The original is much less animalic than the version we have today, because the civet is rounded by the raw bergamot," he says. "But it's much more leathery, because it has birch tar, which today has been turned into birch water by IFRA. And it's much muskier than today's. Now, the musk has disappeared."'

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Jicky-Shalimar Myth: Animalics

    Wasser is being quite inconsistent then. I wonder if it a matter of proportion, saminlondon? But I will still say that I don’t perceive civet in my vintage Shalimar. Now, Jicky...oh yes.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Jicky-Shalimar Myth: Animalics

    Thank you for posting. Did find worthy data and info in this article about a few classics by the house personally (and likely quite a few of us here) do really enjoy.
    Currently wearing: 1881 Amber by Cerruti

  6. #6

    Default Re: Jicky-Shalimar Myth: Animalics

    Thank you for posting, pluran.
    Currently wearing: Zen for Men by Shiseido

  7. #7

    Default Re: Jicky-Shalimar Myth: Animalics

    Quote Originally Posted by saminlondon View Post
    I do find that statement hard to believe. I think Persolaise must have got the wrong end of the stick somehow.

    Wasser himself talked about the civet in Shalimar to Monsieur Guerlain:
    'Thierry Wasser explains that if Shalimar were made with old-fashioned bergamot oil, prohibited as an allergenic, it would smell so different from the current version that people probably wouldn't like it and would demand a refund. "The original is much less animalic than the version we have today, because the civet is rounded by the raw bergamot," he says. "But it's much more leathery, because it has birch tar, which today has been turned into birch water by IFRA. And it's much muskier than today's. Now, the musk has disappeared."'
    Interesting!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Jicky-Shalimar Myth: Animalics

    Quote Originally Posted by saminlondon View Post
    I do find that statement hard to believe. I think Persolaise must have got the wrong end of the stick somehow.

    Wasser himself talked about the civet in Shalimar to Monsieur Guerlain:
    'Thierry Wasser explains that if Shalimar were made with old-fashioned bergamot oil, prohibited as an allergenic, it would smell so different from the current version that people probably wouldn't like it and would demand a refund. "The original is much less animalic than the version we have today, because the civet is rounded by the raw bergamot," he says. "But it's much more leathery, because it has birch tar, which today has been turned into birch water by IFRA. And it's much muskier than today's. Now, the musk has disappeared."'
    I said the same thing in the original thread this was posted. Wasser can say what he wants and maybe he's purposely leaving information out, but there's no way you can smell Shalimar and say it doesn't have a civet accord in it. These guys often say stuff that isn't true for marketing effect.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Jicky-Shalimar Myth: Animalics

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldWineMemories View Post
    I said the same thing in the original thread this was posted. Wasser can say what he wants and maybe he's purposely leaving information out, but there's no way you can smell Shalimar and say it doesn't have a civet accord in it. These guys often say stuff that isn't true for marketing effect.
    An accord and the actual material itself aren't one and the same.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Jicky-Shalimar Myth: Animalics

    Quote Originally Posted by Brooks Otterlake View Post
    An accord and the actual material itself aren't one and the same.
    Yes thank you for that enlightening observation. My point is you can absolutely say Shalimar doesn't contain civet ,because no Guerlain fragrances contain civet anymore, but that doesn't mean Shalimar doesn't have civet in it when you smell it. It irrelevant anyways since Wesser is talking about old formulations. I think he's just not being truthful, or leaving out key information such as this formulation isn't actually what is in Shalimar.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Jicky-Shalimar Myth: Animalics

    I don't see what motivation Wasser would have for lying.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Jicky-Shalimar Myth: Animalics

    Quote Originally Posted by Brooks Otterlake View Post
    I don't see what motivation Wasser would have for lying.
    Which in no way invalidates the claim. I have no idea what his motivation for lying is, but since I'm not a cop I don't need to know why just that he is. The proof is in the pudding.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Jicky-Shalimar Myth: Animalics

    Motive matters if you're going to accuse someone of lying.

    Wasser would know the details of the original formulation of these fragrances better than anyone on this forum. Unless there's some clear motivation for him to be dishonest--and, by all accounts, Wasser is a pretty humble fellow, honest about his struggles with keeping the Guerlain classics alive today--I'm inclined to take him at his word and discount the subjective assessments of Basenoters.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Jicky-Shalimar Myth: Animalics

    Quote Originally Posted by Brooks Otterlake View Post
    I'm afraid I don't understand.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Jicky-Shalimar Myth: Animalics

    I don't think Shalimar IS Jickey with ethyl vanillin, just that Jacques Guerlain discovered inspiration for creating Shalimar FROM spilling ethyl vanillin in a flask of Jicky. Subtle difference there.
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Jicky-Shalimar Myth: Animalics

    Quote Originally Posted by grayspoole View Post
    Wasser is being quite inconsistent then. I wonder if it a matter of proportion, saminlondon?
    That's how I read Wasser's statements: not as disingenuous or flaky, but rather that the dominant animalic of each fragrance is different. It certainly seems more likely than Wasser either spreading falsehoods out of some supposed ulterior motive or just making it up as he goes along.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Jicky-Shalimar Myth: Animalics

    I have never gotten animal from Shalimar and I have worn since the 80s. I never knew there were animalist notes I must not have paid attention? Always smooth soft oriental warm almost cosy.

    Jicky I have the parfum and PDT versions from last century well the 90s. People talk about the lavender etc but on me, I get pure animal civet always turns animalistic very quickly.

    The almond is a surprise as it has never came out on my skin.
    DONNA

  18. #18
    Dependent saminlondon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jicky-Shalimar Myth: Animalics

    Quote Originally Posted by PStoller View Post
    That's how I read Wasser's statements: not as disingenuous or flaky, but rather that the dominant animalic of each fragrance is different. It certainly seems more likely than Wasser either spreading falsehoods out of some supposed ulterior motive or just making it up as he goes along.
    I think that's right: it's a question of emphasis or balance. And for different concentrations the balance would change in any case - let alone different vintages. Civet is there on Guerlain's own note pyramid (or versions that I've seen).

    I do wonder if the amount has crept up in recent decades, perhaps to mask or smooth over other ingredients that are no longer usable?

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Jicky-Shalimar Myth: Animalics

    Quote Originally Posted by donna255 View Post
    I have never gotten animal from Shalimar and I have worn since the 80s. I never knew there were animalist notes I must not have paid attention? Always smooth soft oriental warm almost cosy.

    Jicky I have the parfum and PDT versions from last century well the 90s. People talk about the lavender etc but on me, I get pure animal civet always turns animalistic very quickly.

    The almond is a surprise as it has never came out on my skin.
    Donna255, I think we have similar experiences with these classic perfumes. I’ve never thought about almonds in Jicky either. I think it might be fun to investigate bitter almond oil. Eden can provide samples:

    https://www.edenbotanicals.com/almond-bitter.html

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Jicky-Shalimar Myth: Animalics

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldWineMemories View Post
    there's no way you can smell Shalimar and say it doesn't have a civet accord in it.
    And yet, I do not.

    Attachment 127035

    Sensory perception is such a complex affair, with many different associations and ideas influencing what we smell.

    How would you describe the civet accord that you are clearly perceiving in Shalimar? Could you compare it to your experience of civet notes in another perfume? (Asking because I truly do want to learn more about this, not trying to be a PITA...)

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Jicky-Shalimar Myth: Animalics

    Quote Originally Posted by grayspoole View Post
    And yet, I do not.
    Nor do I.
    Granted, I have never smelled the parfum, but I do own vintage examples of the EDC, the EDT, and the PDT (all dating to the 1980s).




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