Perfume Directory

Shalimar Ode à la Vanille : Sur la Route de Madagascar (2012)
by Guerlain


Shalimar Ode à la Vanille : Sur la Route de Madagascar information

Year of Launch2012
AvailabilityIn Production / Limited Edition
Average Rating
(based on 27 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerThierry Wasser
Parent CompanyLVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton

About Shalimar Ode à la Vanille : Sur la Route de Madagascar

Shalimar Ode à la Vanille : Sur la Route de Madagascar is a feminine perfume by Guerlain. The scent was launched in 2012 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Thierry Wasser

Shalimar Ode à la Vanille : Sur la Route de Madagascar fragrance notes

Reviews of Shalimar Ode à la Vanille : Sur la Route de Madagascar

rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
The top notes are a bright citrus mix - lemon, mandarin, whiffs of a sweet and ripe orange as well as bergamot - and a woodsy undertone, which shows up as a cedarwood at times. Nice!

Soon a floral triad develops once one heads into the drydown, with a lovely and slightly green jasmine arising, which is mixed with an iris that is well-made. This iris is elegant and lacks any significant powderiness on me initially. A bit later a slightly spicy side is evident, which is a combination of a crispness stemming from a patchouli impression and an opoponax that adds additional depth and complexity. There is a restrained rose blossom joining in a bit later on; a light and somewhat nonspecific floral that never develops any remarkable features on me. A touch of earthiness form a discreet vetiver signals the transition into the later stages.

The base starts off by intensifying the spicy components by means of a musky civet note, with touches of incense traceable at times. This is a gentle incense without much of a ceremonious of medicinal nature. Subsequently a very soft Nappa leather softens this moments of harshness; it is a leather that lacks any smoky characteristics. Sweetness is more a part of the latter note, and this sweetness is strengthened by some tonka. This tonka/vanilla (Madagascar!) is never prominent or strong but blends in rather seamlessly with the other notes. A very light woodsiness - a quite bland sandalwood impression mainly - hovers hesitantly in the background. In the final hours the iris is the main residual note surviving from the earlier stages of the development, and now just a modicum of a light and unfussy powderiness makes an appearance.

I get moderate sillage, good projection and an impressive twelve hours of longevity on my skin.

Whilst the vanilla is not really playing the dominant rôle one might expect from the name of this scent for cooler spring days, there is sufficient variety go keep one entertained throughout the duration of this olfactory voyage. The interplay between the floral, the sweet and the spicy works quite well, and makes up for the occasional generic component of this creation. The performance is nothing to be ashamed of. Overall 3.25/5.
05th April, 2020
I had the chance to test Shalimar EDP (current version), Shalimar Souffle de Parfum and buy a 70s vintage version Shalimar, the first version of Ode à la Vanille, sur la Route de Madagascar and sur la Route du Mexique.

The current Shalimar EDP was a bit disappointing. A lot of bergamot with some cardamom and then a powdery rose (almost itchy). Then it settles down finally but doesn't give a good sillage. What's funny is that it smells different if you smell it one cm away from another spot.

Shalimar from the 70s is so much better. Both softer and spicier, with an amber, cashmere feel. You get the bergamot and the rose, but nothing is too strong.

Souffle de parfum shouldn't be compared. This is not Shalimar, don't expect Shalimar. There are some common notes, especially if you wear vintage Shalimar on the other wrist. But it's very good on its own! A wonderful floral with some spices and a gourmand dry-down. I'm happy I randomly got a sample of this and I hope I'll get a full bottle. Sillage could be better, though.

The original Ode à la Vanille opens in a very bitter way. It's balsamic. Then it goes towards a powdery bergamot. The acid vanilla comes later. It's a bit sweeter than the vintage Shalimar but quite similar in the dry down. It also has more fruit.

Sur la Route de Madagascar shares a lot of notes as well, but it's more floral than fruity. It's more animalistic. Dirtier in a very sexy way. It has more vanilla than the others as well.

Sur la Route du Mexique opens with more pepper. It's something between rhum and gin, with spices. It might have a more itchy, synthetic feel for me.

Note that the three bottles are exactly the same. You've got to keep the boxes to differentiate them.

The opening of all those Shalimar, except for souffle de parfum, is the biggest difference. The more they dry, the most similar they get.
01st August, 2017
The opening blast of bergamot is thankfully not as sharp as in the modern Shalimar EDP, & the scent quickly becomes a little leathery, with the richness of opoponax resin humming along beneath. Fifteen minutes in, the best part of this fragrance begins to show itself: a gorgeously satisfying, smoky, not-too-sweet vanilla, joined further on by a wisp of incense. It reminds me of the much-missed PDT version of Shalimar that I owned in the 90s, & I find myself huffing my arm in blissful longing. This stage lasts & projects for a good long while until, around four hours in, it all softens down into a woody vanilla base & becomes a skin scent. Seven hours in it's almost gone.
I could kick myself for waiting so long to try this one as it's so hard to find now. I can only keep praying to the Perfume Gods that it might return in some form, someday...
02nd December, 2016
The Madagascar version of Ode a la Vanille has been on my try list for a very long time and I was fortunate enough to track down a sample of it. I’ll be making comparisons to the original Shalimar here(not the original 2010 Ode a la Vanille). Madagascar is classified as a woody oriental fragrances. At the opening I got the familiar bergamot opening although not quite as intense and sharp as the original. Noticeably, there was a bit of citrus and lemon notes that contrasted the bergamot which softened up the opening. The opening toned down rather quickly allowing for the rich iris florals in the middle of the scent to present itself along with the vanilla note that is already starting to peak out. Soon after at the base, the vanilla began to intensify taking center stage and quickly dominating the other notes that become present in the scent. Aside from the vanilla, other prominent notes that were noticeable in this scent as well as in the original included leather, balsamic notes from the opoponax, smokey incense, and wood notes. Even though the notes were mentioned in both, many of these notes weren’t nearly pronounced in Madagascar which had an effect on the drydown. The drydown maintained a strong presence of vanilla with both a smokey and woody tinge to it. It’s also worth mentioning that the drydown wasn’t as animalistic as compared to the original. Longevity and silage were decent with 8 hours in longevity while silage was moderate for the first few hours before staying closer to the skin. Cooler weather conditions would be ideal when wearing this as it could be a little overbearing in warmer weather. As for my thoughts on it, I enjoyed this one a lot. I think Ode a la Vanille Madagascar is much more approachable than the original especially if one struggles with the opening and its slight animalistic feel at the base. It has both a comforting and sensual feel to it that just doesn’t disappoint. Sadly this has been discontinued for quite some time and its very difficult to find now. Due to its scarcity, I don’t expect to acquire a bottle of this fragrance but if an opportunity presents itself then I may reconsider.
04th September, 2016
While I enjoy the fragrance, it gave me an immediate headache.......when that subsided after 2 hours, I actually smelled like a cake cooking in the oven.......while these smells are nice, I dont particularly want to smell like a cake , if I'm honest.
I bought it off Ebay and its going back on there asap. Its not horrible, but it isnt going to work for me.
15th December, 2014

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