Post by Portia
Hiya Frag Fiends,
Shalimar has been my enduring fragrant love. Since it was the fragrance of my Mum for years and some of her friends continued to wear it right through our childhood. Then working a couple of summers at the fragrance counter in a suburban mall, Carlingford Grace Bros. and getting to know a slew of fragrances it still held sway as the most beautiful of them all. Even now after being down the fragrant worm hole for years I still come back to Shalimar regularly and every time I do I quietly ask myself why I ever needed to stray from its billowing extravagance.
Shalimar by Guerlain 1925: Back To My Favourite
Shalimar by Jacques Guerlain
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Citruses, mandarin orange, cedar, lemon, bergamot
Heart: Iris, rose, vetiver, jasmine, patchouli
Base: Civet, musk, tonka bean, opoponax, leather, incense, vanilla, sandalwood
All I knew of Shalimar through my childhood was that it smelled incredible: its sweet, lemon ice-creamy vanilla over a hefty dollop of animal warmth, woodsy incense and plush leathers was so alluring and engulfing.
Named for the Shalimar gardens of Lahore (and Kapurthala’s homage) but the back story is of the love of Shah Jahan for a princess from the Persian nobility who he fell in love with, married and made her his favourite queen, after she died giving birth to their 14th child he nearly bankrupted his kingdom building the Taj Mahal as her crypt. The second time I was at the Taj Mahal the whole experience was so overwhelming that I needed to sit on the steps leading into the park and have a little moment. Yes, I was wearing Shalimar.
Above is a picture of my Shalimar collection. Only the bottles of open boxes are shown, quite a few remain unopened because they are doubles, I have decants or they are discontinued and having/holding/looking at them is as good as smelling them. One of my parfums is not parfum at all (maybe EdC?) and another smells like it has been stretched with perfumers alcohol. The rosebud bottle is still sealed as are the 16oz watchface bottle and the little parfum on the navy box. The batwing bottle that is 1/3 full is my 4th bottle of EdT over the years, I really want to buy one of the newest but feel naughty as I have 2 backups bought at extremely reasonable prices when buying this one. What is interesting is that though the Shalimars are all different, they are so similar that if you’re wearing them for pleasure rather than parsing and blogging they are all pretty much one. No matter what era though the lemon ice-creamy fizz with the vanilla and an animal growl fits me like a glove. My number one.
What is your number one?