Shalimar is one of the most famous perfumes of French house Guerlain and one of my all time favorites. If you want to be clinical about it, the perfume was created in 1925 by Jacques Guerlain, in time when the “scent of Orient” began spreading through Western Europe. It touched everything, from fashion, art, music…to perfumes. Jacques Guerlain was experimenting with a brand new substance, synthetic vanilla (etylvanilin) and mixed it with different perfume basis. He was happy with the results but when he mixed vanilla and Jicky…magic happened. The spirit of Shalimar was freed from the bottle.

Perfume and its name haven’t stopped intriguing our senses and imagination; its effect breaks social taboos. Respectable ladies of the time shouldn’t consummate cigarettes, dance tango… and wear Shalimar. They of course did all that in secrecy. There isn’t a force strong enough to stop the passion and erotic yearning for life embodied in Shalimar, whose name in Sanskrit means “temple of love.” Legendary garden where Emperor Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal celebrated their love. After Mumtaz’s death, inconsolable emperor built Taj Mahal in honor of his favorite wife. Like Taj Mahal, Shalimar is a monument and part of perfume history. It is the first oriental perfume history knows. But that is not the most important thing…because the story of Shalimar has no beginning or end. It is a story of the essence of human desire, the sweet moments of bliss unknown to history but older than time.

It could have been created in ancient Egypt where its lush, intoxicating nature would spark forbidden love between Cleopatra and Marc Antony. Homeland of Shalimar could have been mysterious and magical Arabia because it told more than 1001 tales. I can easily imagine Madame Pompadour wearing it and knocking the entire Louis XV’s court of their feet with her beauty, charm and seductive silage.  I can even see, with my inner vision, a beautiful creature inhabiting Earth thousands of years from now, smelling like Shalimar and through synthetic explosion in its highly developed brain soaking freely all the beauty of being on this planet and tasting its sensual fruits skillfully captured in a small bottle of perfume. As poet John Keats said: “A thing of beauty is a joy for ever, Its loveliness increases, it will never pass into nothingness.” If that is the case, isn’t it beautiful?

[Fragrance notes] top notes: bergamot, lemon, tangerine; middle notes: iris, jasmine, rose; base notes: vanilla, leather, patchouli, musk, opoponaks, frankincense, civet.

[Fragrance group] oriental spicy. My favorite scent group. It is no wonder that one of my personal all time favorites is from the same group and its review can be found HERE. More on Shalimar on Guerlain official site, and you can test it in Jasmin and SEPHORA shops.

Perfume creator Jacques Guerlain.

[Perfume profiling] introverted 20% extroverted 80% rational 20% emotional 80%

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