Scent Sample Sunday: Shalimar Hair Perfume

I’ll be the first to admit that I struggled a bit with Shalimar when I ramped up my interest in fragrance and perfumes. It hadn’t previously been part of my repertoire or my late mother’s — her perfume classic of choice was Chanel No. 5But as I read more and more about perfume, so many writers and commenters waxed eloquent about Shalimar that I kept trying it when I was at any department store fragrance counter, where it was readily available in either eau de toilette or eau de parfum. Nope. It just didn’t click with me. I recognized its quality and its legendary status but it was too heavy, too sweet, too strong, too old-fashioned. Every single time.

Then I found Shalimar Eau de Cologne on sale for $24.99 at CVS, read the Fragrantica reviews of the eau de cologne on my smartphone and thought, what the hell — let’s do this. So I did. I loved it! The eau de cologne of Shalimar is just yummy without being sweet. I get the vanilla, I get the smoke, I get the cedar, I get the leather. Shalimar EDC is luscious but light. Classic but not stuffy. I know, I know, it’s like Shalimar with training wheels, but nevertheless, I rejoiced at finally getting a glimpse of what all the fuss was about.

In 2016, Guerlain launched a “brume cheveux”, or hair mist, version of Shalimar, created by Thierry Wasser. You can still find it online (I got mine at Beauty Encounter) for very reasonable prices. Since our weather has suddenly turned very hot and muggy this week, I thought I would take it out and try it, as hair perfume seems like an excellent solution if one wants to wear a richer fragrance but not feel overwhelmed (or overwhelm others) in the heat. It is like a light Shalimar flanker, with notes that include citrus opening top notes such as bergamot, grapefruit and lemon; freesia, jasmine and rose among the heart notes; and base notes of musk, iris and vanilla. These are the same notes as Wasser’s 2015 Shalimar Cologne, not to be confused with the eau de cologne; and the liquid in the bottle is the same pale pink as Shalimar Cologne.

Shalimar Hair Mist

I’m very pleased with this pretty hair perfume! It goes on lightly but I keep getting nice wafts of fragrance whenever I turn my head. I would say that, after the initial bright citrusy opening, mostly what I smell are the vanilla, iris, and freesia, a very lovely combination. No wood, no leather, no resin or incense, no animalic notes, but still very recognizable as “Shalimar”. The hair mist softens into a powdery floral, and it lasts well.

I’m happy to see the success in recent years of various “hair mists” and that one can now find classics like Chanel No. 5 and Shalimar in this format. They wear very easily and make it possible for more people to enjoy and get acquainted with these classics. I think this hair mist would combine beautifully with whichever version of Shalimar the wearer prefers, whether the heavier, richer formulations or the lighter ones.

Do you have a favorite Shalimar? Which one(s) and why?

10 thoughts on “Scent Sample Sunday: Shalimar Hair Perfume

  1. My Shalimar range includes an older EDC, the flanker Ode a la Vanille/Mexique, a small decant of vintage EDP and a mini of Shalimar Light. I too did not enjoy Shalimar until I found the EDC. I wish I had a bottle of Light. The hair perfume sounds really nice- I have short hair but still sometimes spray into it!

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  2. I haven’t tried the hair perfume. I usually spray a bit of perfume over my head and then brush my hair.
    I’ve got Shalimar EDP and Shalimar Souffle EDP. I love them both,so couldn’t really tell you which I prefer.

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  3. Hey OH,
    I’m a complete Shalimar tragic and have most of the flankers and offshoots as well. My Mum and some of her girlfriends wore it so the scent has been part of my life forever.
    Having virtually no hair I have passed up the opportunity for hair mist but I love the idea and finding new places to wear perfume is a big win for everyone.
    Portia xx

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    • Hi Portia! Which one is your favorite, or is that too hard? What do you think of the most recent flankers? I tried Souffle de Lumiere, thought it was very pretty but it didn’t make a huge impression. At the time, I was much more focused on buying a red bottle of Chanel No. 5 L’Eau!

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      • Oh easy, my favourite was the last bottle that looked like batwings in the Shalimar EdP. Just before they changed to this new pedestal bottle. It really felt like it was MY Shalimar. Went through a couple of the 50ml. Bought a whole bunch of them on sale at one point and then sold all but one off, now I’m bummed that I’m out of it. Such is life, eh?

        THOSE RED BOTTLES! I’m sad I didn’t grab one but was so bummed they didn’t do red extract except in 200ml.
        Portia xx

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Until I read this your post, I would have told you that I don’t like Shalimar – even though I keep trying it (as well as Mitsouko and Chanel No 5) hoping for a different result ;). But now I’ll say cautiously that I didn’t like those versions that I tried (probably EdP and EdT). It’s interesting that EdC is so much different that you liked it. Maybe one day I’ll try it and also change my mind?

    In general, I’d love to fall in love with any of the versions that come in that traditional bottle: it’s so beautiful!

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  5. Sounds like all kinds of wonderful. Lovely to pair with the cologne. Imagine walking along a sunlit path in your favourite park with a spring in your step and swishing your hair. You’d be the Pied Piper perfumista.

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