Scent Sample Sunday: Shalimar Hair Perfume

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?

Thunking Thursday!

 

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It’s Thunking Thursday! This week, I thunked a decant of Guerlain’s Jicky eau de toilette which I’ve had for a couple of years. I got busy trying so many other things that I had sort of forgotten about it, then fell in love with it again over the holidays. The EDT is just delightful. It opens with several different citrus notes, which give it a sparkle that Jicky’s other formats don’t have, lovely as they are. The lavender note is light and refreshing, the vanilla is a mousse instead of a custard.

Jicky is considered the first “modern” perfume because of its innovative use of synthetic molecules at its creation in 1889. Guerlain perfumer Thierry Wasser has tweaked its formula over the years to make good use of today’s synthetics and accommodate IFRA standards. It is truly unisex, and I encourage you to try it if you haven’t!

What have you thunked so far in January 2019? I’m counting up readers’ “thunk points”, so feel free to brag in the comments!

May Muguet Marathon: Guerlain Muguet 2016

May Muguet Marathon: Guerlain Muguet 2016

Deep breath. I am not an experienced perfumista and I’m not sure I can do justice to this new Guerlain, but I will do my best. The new Guerlain Muguet 2016 is an entirely new eau de toilette by Guerlain’s in-house perfumer, Thierry Wasser. It builds on the tradition, begun in 2006, of Guerlain releasing its 1998 formulation of Guerlain Muguet every year in a different limited edition bottle on May 1, the day when traditionally the French present bunches of lilies of the valley to friends and loved ones as a “porte-bonheur”, a good luck token or “bringer of happiness.” So to start, I defer to “Monsieur Guerlain”, the longtime blogger and Guerlain aficonado, to describe Guerlain’s tradition: Muguet.

As you can see, the limited edition bottles are all beautiful, including this most recent one, which is a crystal bottle encased in silver-plated filigree, designed by the Parisian jewelers Ambre & Louise and influenced by the Art Nouveau master Alphonse Mucha. I saw the actual bottle at Neiman Marcus on May 1 this year, which I visited for the express purpose of trying this new Muguet. Continue reading