As some of you already know Jacques Guerlain created Shalimar in 1925, inspired by the legendary love story between Mughal Indian Emperor Shah Jahan and his lowly born wife Mumtaz Mahal. He loved her so much that when she died he nearly bankrupted his empire by building the Taj Mahal as her tomb, when he started work on a matching black granite edifice on the opposite shore of the river in Agra his sons imprisoned him and kept him incarcerated till his death. Having been twice to the Taj Mahal, the second time spontaneously bursting into tears as it came into view and having to take a seat while my BFF Kath photographed, I think Shalimar a fitting tribute to a love that tore a family, a man’s mind and nearly an empire apart when it was done. I have loved it since my Mum and her friends wore it when I was a child.
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
Today I decided it was time to have an opening ceremony for my incredible Vintage Shalimar EdC find, pre 1990’s but after the bar code was introduced because there is a b/c at the bottom and some Arabic writing there too. Anyone? Still in the lovely shiny embossed gold with matte navy and white box.
Oh boy! OH BOY! It goes on with a rush and susurrus of vanilla that took me so completely by surprise that I missed the entrance of the citrus which all of a sudden appeared and became nearly the sole focus; with vanilla still in the background.
About 15 minutes of these lovely citrus notes and then they are overtaken by the base, there seems to be no stopover in the floral department at all, like it’s been quickly and quietly swept under the carpet. Now it’s back to the incredible woodsy inedible vanilla with unpickable stuff lurking around trying to get noticed but being crushed under the jeweled bootlet of vanilla and wood.
Quite a different experience to my vintage or current parfum or my current EdP , still Shalimar but bolder in some ways and less pronounced in others. Even its staying power is quite good at 2 hours so far and no sign of diminution. I am at around 2 hours starting to get a light leather though, newish leather but soft, curling around the vanilla and giving it a fresh depth. I am reading my book and coming back to type every so often when new facets of the fragrance manifest, what a lovely way to spend a winter afternoon.
Interesting, at about 2.5 hours there is a definite floral intrusion over the top of all else and through it, now that the flowers have decided to make their presence known properly it seems they were there all along but just happy to bide their time filling the fragrance out softly. The extremely powdery iris and soft jasmine/rose accords. I am in heaven.
At just over 3 hours I am left with a sweet, woody, maybe patchouli I can’t quite read it because my Shalimar EdC has become so whispery quiet, still there but I have lost the ability to parse its notes. That was so good, so perfect, I think this is my favourite Shalimar incarnation that I own. It has been a satisfying ride and I am replete.
We are at around 4.5 hours and I just got a citrus and vanilla waft as I turned the page of my book. Still there still humming along. EdC! 4.5 hours! Ridiculously wonderful. Thank you Guerlain.
Thanks for coming along on my fragrant mental wanderings, that you do makes me happy. I hope it brings you joy as well.
On the Perfume Posse today my mate David Watson and I have done a LIVE VIDEO SNIFF. So gay it hurts. Go see.
Do you have a Shalimar story to share, I love them.