Shalimar EdC by Guerlain 1925

Hiya Perfumistas,

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.

Shalimar EdC by Guerlain 1925

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.

Photo Stolen Shopping

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.

Portia xx

22 thoughts on “Shalimar EdC by Guerlain 1925

  1. My Shalimar story is more about my evil-scent twin Tam, but I do get to be the enabler in it. 😉 Tam approached me about a year and a half ago to help her find a new signature fragrance, as her mom had gifted her current fragrance to her SIL for Christmas, knowing it was “hers.” (Weird. I still don’t quite get why someone would do that.)

    Anyhoo, because of my bad influence she now has a lovely selection of about five perfumes she rotates through, but it turns out that she has LOVED Shalimar for years, but didn’t feel confident enough to pull it off – not helped, of course, by the comments of several idiotic SA’s who told her it was “old lady.” Grrrrr. So I had the pleasure of assuring her that for us perfumistas Shalimar is one of the all-time greats. It’s fun to let someone know that they already have fabulous taste and to trust themselves.


    • What IS it with SA’s? Some of them are morons. But when you find a good one, Oh My!
      I’m so glad your bud finally got to wear her dream.
      Oh, and how funny that someone would buy a family member your Signature. The world is constantly providing What The…? moments. But this was destiny, baby perfumista is born.
      He He,
      Welcome back Dionne.
      Portia xx


  2. Hi Portia, another great review. I am almost embarrased to confess that although I have a few Guerlain’s I have not yet tried Shalimar in any of it’s incarnations… I do have ‘Initial’ but haven’t opened it as I want to try the original EDP first. I must remedy this. ~S♥~


  3. Ohhhhh,my ….Shalimar,of course you know,izzz PERFECT,especially ‘those moments’…always vintage,of course….smooches……


  4. Oh….wow! You know Shalimar is my all time favourite perfume. Only story I have is buying a sneaky duty free bottle at Heathrow. I don’t exactly know how I managed to afford that trip, I had financially been running on empty and had a whole $200 to my name when I flew out – not sure how they let me in the country! But my Gran was turning 93 and I was desperate to celebrate with her. The money stretched, holiday pay came in thankfully, and after 3 weeks I found myself at Heathrow duty free almost in tears looking at Shalimar knowing that it was beyond reach – but I decided to give the credit card one more try and volia! The payment went through!! Bliss! The bottle has been empty for ages now but I’ve still kept it as it has special memories of a wonderful holiday.


  5. I really liked following your story and almost want to try Shalimar again… Almost 🙂 I still hope one day I’ll grow up and like Shalimar. But so far it wasn’t my perfume.


    • I get it Undina,
      If everyone liked only 1 perfume there’d be a bunch of people out of work.
      I have 2 X vintage Parfums (1970s and a 1950s from what I can gather) I X EdC (1970-80s) 1 X EdT and 1 X EdP (2000’s) and they all smell quite different. Same stuff, different emphasis.
      If you ever come to Oz we can have a Shalimar-a-thon. Maybe one will be your friend,
      Portia xx


  6. Shalimar is one of my all time favourites – old lady or not! I have a bottle that I bought duty free nearly 20 years ago and in my opinion it is still terrific
    Your imagery is fantastic – I could smell it while I read!!!!


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