Shalimar Parfum Initial by Thierry Wasser for Guerlain 2011

Hello there APJ Family,

In 2011 there was an enormous flurry of excitement, Guerlain and relatively new comer to the reins of their fragrance division Theirry Wasser, decided to reinvent with a sideways flanker the most famous of the houses fragrances; Shalimar. Flankers are a tricky problem for frag houses, too close and why bother, too far and WTF has this got to do with the original. I understand that it is better to have a pre-existing fan base, brand recognition, history and visual cue to spur your product forwards into the stratosphere of over 1300 new releases from brands big enough to have registered their launches on BaseNotes in 2012. Still it’s a tricky concept.

Shalimar Parfum Initial by Guerlain 2011

ShalimarParfumInitial FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, orange, green notes
Heart: Rose, jasmine, iris, vetiver, patchouli
Base: Vanilla, white musk, tonka bean, caramel

One of the Fragrantica commenters 100mlEDT says: Entirely representing the outer trappings of the original and giving it rose coloured glasses. I thought this a masterly summation and am quite jealous that I didn’t think of it myself. A softer, younger, lighter and ultimately more wearable version, in today’s fragrant world, than its older, more full-on sister. I would also recommend Shalimar Parfum Initial by Guerlain for those who like the idea of being a Shalimar woman, with all the history and structure that is implied, but who really don’t like the fragrance.

After the first hour I think you could even wear Shalimar Parfum Initial in close work proximity, it is not a sillage or scent bubble monster and wears very close on my skin, just the occasional waft as I move or if I stick my head down my top. It stays at this almost fragrant stage though for hours and I loose all traces of it somewhere 5-7 hours, depending on the day. If I wear Shalimar Parfum Initial by Guerlain at night I can sometimes still get a faint whiff next morning.

ShalimarParfumInitial art8ambyPhoto Stolen art8amby

Further reading BoisDeJasmin and 1000Fragrances
CheapSmells has a 60ml Gift Set with lotion and bag around $80
SurrenderToChance starts at $4/ml

How do you think this flanker rated? Did you read the further readings? Who do you agree with more, BoisDeJasmin or 1000Fragrances? I loved both the arguments and they have left me thinking hard about expectations and the global fragrance market. You?

Whichever way you swing I hope you do it in the company of people you love, or at least fragrances you love,
Till tomorrow,
Portia xx

24 comments on “Shalimar Parfum Initial by Thierry Wasser for Guerlain 2011

  1. lucasai says:

    My Mum loves it and I like it too. To us both it’s much better than the original Shalimar

  2. annina says:

    I spritzed this when it first came out, expecting not to like it. I thought I was smug, ha – another pink flanker! But with my nose glued to my wrist, I promptly bought a mini. I think it’s lovely – it respects its older sister Shalimar, but doesn’t try to be her. It may steal her accessories, but never her clothing. It has some depth and sophistication, It’s not a silly teenager.

  3. This is one of my favorite “prequel” flankers. It is so obviously related to Shalimar yet completely identifiable. I get lots and lots of iris in it–but in a warm tone with Guerlain twist.

  4. Tatiana says:

    Thanks for reminding me why I still read your blog and Bois de Jasmine and stopped reading 1000 Fragrances. LOL. I tried this once while sprinting thru Sephora, but didn’t give it a second thought. Given the list of notes, I should love the original Shalimar, but for some reason it doesn’t sit well on my skin.

  5. ladyjicky says:

    Nuh, give me the original and even so – its changed 🙁

    • Oh yes it’s changed. I reckon this time next year it will be even more unrecognisable sadly. Pretty much everything in it will have to be changed with the new regulations. I will be buying a Parfum in Paris.
      Portia xx

  6. laniersmith says:

    Oh this one sound like something my niece might enjoy for her birthday in April. What do you think Portia …good for a 18 year old college girl?

    • Hey Lanier,
      How fashion forward is she? I would think it most suitable and the bottle is gorgeous, unless she is a massive fruity patchouli fan and then Coco Noir perhaps? If my niece was turning 18 I would probably give her something like Neela Vermeire’s Bombay Bling.
      Portia xx

  7. ladyjicky says:

    Portia – when you get to Paris you Must go to the Guerlain flagship shop on the Champs Elysee – its wonderful !

    Then you Must go to the Annick Goutal shop in the Place Vendome – Divine!

    Try a looky see at Lutens but …. find the little gem called Rosine at the Jardin du Palais Royal too! All about the rose girlfriend!

  8. killerrabbit says:

    While I like Shalimar I prefer Parfum Initial but I do find the ad quite irritating. What does a very young adult (who looks like a teenager) writhing on a sofa mean to me as a perfume purchaser? Big fail as their target audience shouldn’t be preteen but instead young women.

  9. Undina says:

    While the original Shalimar still doesn’t work for me, Parfum Initial I can wear – I just don’t want too: it’s not too interesting for me.

  10. parfumalley says:

    I love the powdery notes in this Portia! The change is great- I much prefer this to the original because i find the bergamot comes out a lot 🙂

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