Saturday Question: Best Perfume Names?




Hello Fellow Fumies,

At APJ we have a Saturday Question. Everyone gets to chime in with an answer, chat with other responders and it’s a fun event each week. Taking sides never means taking offence and everyone keeps it respectful and light, even though we can sometimes trawl the depths.

The idea is you’ll see it on the weekend or chime in through the week. Hopefully you will come back regularly and see if anyone has responded to your comment and you can reply to them. The aim is to generate real conversation and connection even though we are scattered around the globe.

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Shalimar Cologne EdT by Thierry Wasser for Guerlain 2015


Post by Erica Golding


Hello my fragranced loves! Today, I’m pondering the latest flanker of one of the world’s most timeless, enduring, beloved perfumes. Shalimar has a new spinoff, and she’s lovely. However, the name is a bit misleading….

Shalimar Cologne: Eau de Toilette by Guerlain 2015

 Shalimar Cologne EdT by Thierry Wasser

Shalimar Cologne Guerlain FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, lemon, lim, grapefruit
Heart: Freesia, rose, jasmine
Base: Vanilla, orris, white musk

Yes, you read that right! This is not Eau de Cologne strength classic Shalimar; rather, it is an Eau de Toilette strength perfume that represents the emerging secondary definition of the word Cologne: A fresh, bright, inviting, lighthearted fragrance. Don’t let the term cologne fool you into thinking that this scent is a subtle, dilute concentration. Two sprays, and I’d be willing to wager that this beast is Eau de Parfum or even Extrait – it’s intense!

Shalimar Cologne opens with a shimmering lemon bergamot effervescence. The lemon is much more prominent in the first few minutes than any other Shalimar I’ve experienced. Frankincense lends her mysterious resonant signature, a woody incense cloak as familiar as a favorite silk scarf. Innocent white musk purrs at the base. As the scent wears on, the fresher citrus notes fade and the laundry musk really takes over, smooth yet loud.

Shalimar Garden Park, Lahore Pakistan PinterestPinterest

On my skin, this scent has much more in common with the aroma of classic Shalimar than, say, Parfum Initial or Souffle. It’s still its own creation, but definitely recognizable as Shalimar. I’m not really sensing vanilla or any animalic musk, and the impression is lifted and clean with a whitewashed hazy roundness.

Personally, I like this more than Souffle, but not quite as much as Parfum Initial. I had trouble finding a brick-and-mortar retailer, so my bottle came from Strawberrynet. It was so hard to find that I wonder if this ship has sunk before it’s even had a chance to sail. Why name a new fragrance in such a confusing fashion? Even experienced perfume lovers see this at a glance and immediately assume it’s classic Shalimar in the EdC concentration. Shalimar Cologne is NOT cologne strength – my goodness, I said it already but this fragrance is very concentrated and intense!

India Daily LifeFTPhoto

Guerlain counters the world over have Shalimar Cologne EdT, go grab a free spritz

How do you feel about this little variant? Do you think it’s doomed by its confusing marketing? Are you curious or are you sick to death of flankers?

Until next time, let perfume help you appreciate life’s little pleasures.


Shalimar by Guerlain: Back To My Favourite


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

Shalimar Guerlain Ad FragranticaPhoto 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.

Shalimar Guerlain Collectionj 2015

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.

Further reading: Erica Golding at APJ and Portia on EdC at APJ
FragranceNet has EdT $49/90ml before Coupon
Surrender To Chance has EdP samples from $3/ml

What is your number one?
Portia xx

Shalimar + Mountain Adventure Photo Essay


Post by Portia


Hey there Perfume Peeps,

Today was so wonderful. One of the guys (Jean-Luc) that comes to my Tuesday Trivia has recently started an Art Shop in the mountains near Sydney. They are called the Blue Mountains because something in the eucalyptus trees shimmers blue through the air and thus the mountains look blue from afar, it’s lovely if you have them in your view. Another of the boys from Tuesday Trivia (Leo) is a motorbike rider and we have been chatting for a while about going on a bike excursion to Katoomba to see Jean-Luc. Today was the day.

It started out lovely in the sun, warm and toasty. Figuring it would stay that way I eschewed the thermals, wet weather gear, beany and puffer jacket under my riding kit. BAD IDEA! As soon as we got 20 minutes along the highway, freezing, stinging rain and the strongest winds I’ve ever ridden in. OMG! So freaking cold. It was incredibly exhilarating though and I was kept on constant alert, it was like a ride at a fairground except I was the one who had to be in control of the bike.

Anyway, we get to the top and have the most wonderful coffee before Jean-Luc opens the store. It’s a very modern artists place, mainly catering to spray paint artists who have covered the walls of the store with murals and the back alley has been given to artists from all over the world to paint, each wall a different and magical scene. It’s astounding the intricate detail they are able to bring with a spray can.

Blue Mountains Aug 2015 #1

Blue Mountains Aug 2015 #2

Blue Mountains Aug 2015 #3

Blue Mountains Aug 2015 #4After looking at the murals in the area we popped across the road to the funkiest food place ever. The Yellow Deli. An ex-hippy hang if ever there was one. It seems to be a cross between rural, historical, hysterical and home improvements. Every piece lovingly hand rendered, something happening everywhere you turn and all seemingly with little rhyme or reason: eclectic and fun. We were ushered upstairs by a friendly waiter who thought we were a band (super cool US!!) and spent a few minutes just drinking in the ambiance. I had been told what to order and I dutifully did. I think it was called a Darling Rose Sandwich. OMG! Disgusting. Ha Ha Ha ha!! It was too much super salty ham, some onion with tomato chutney and tomato sauce AND mayonnaise. BLEAUGH! I was so hungry though that I ate every bite, and by the end of it I kind of got used to it.

Blue Mountains Aug 2015 #5

Blue Mountains Aug 2015 #6

Blue Mountains Aug 2015 #7Then the unbelievable happened. 2 hours from the heart of Sydney and it SNOWED!! Big, puffy, soft looking gusts of snow that got so heavy the street was obscured. Totally fabulous. Not enough to cover the world white but it was snow, and from our comfortable seat in the deli it was magical.

Blue Mountains Aug 2015 #8After that Leo & I went and had a look at a piece of land I’m quite interested in and then we rode home. While in the mountains I purchased (at 50% Discount!) a pair of electric green merino wool leggings and matching beany, I donned my puffer jacket under my bike jacket and the ride home was considerably warmer, and dryer because the snow and rain had stopped.

Guerlain Shalimar Satin Shower Gel 200ml

When I got home to really warm myself up I drew a bath and used Shalimar Gel Douche as my Bubble Bath. It was fiery hot and deliciously scented. There is no better place in the world to warm a cold, tired body and relax an overactive mind. It was bliss. I have spritzed some recent Shalimar EdP and am now bathed in a cloud of my own sweet smelling loveliness. Sometimes life feels really good.

Shalimar Fourreau du Soir Guerlain FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Further reading: APJ Shalimar Parfum, APJ Shalimar EdP and APJ Shalimar EdC
FragranceNet has $73/90ml current EdP before coupon
Surrender To Chance has EdP samples starting at $3/ml

How do you like to wind down? Do you have a favourite bath soak?

Portia xx

Shalimar: Ode a la Vanille Sur la Route du Mexique by Thierry Wasser for Guerlain 2013


My mate Chairman Meow not long ago told me about this fragrance being sold for a song at FragranceNet. I was interested but at the time I’d just returned from Europe and was already thinking about our next adventure in Korea. There has been plenty of chatter about the differences in the Ode a la Vanille range with Madagascar (known as ShaLemur by the perfumistas) coming out as the clear winner from the group. Today’s offering has been called too close to the original, uninspired and lackluster. Well, I think that depends on what you are after and your expectations….

Shalimar: Ode a la Vanille Sur la Route du Mexique by Guerlain 2013

By Thierry Wasser

Shalimar Vanille Mexique Guerlain FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Caramel, chocolate, incense, iris, opoponax, vanilla, tonka bean

Here’s the deal for me. I love Shalimar. They all sing to me on some level. Shalimar: Ode a la Vanille Sur la Route du Mexique (hereafter known as Mexique) is pretty, furry, sweet and glamorous. Close to Shalimar original? Yes, they could be sisters, where the others are probably cousins. How I think though is that Shalimar original has changed over the years too, the Shalimar we bought in 1930, 1970, 2011 and now in 2014 are all different. Sometimes the differences have been subtle and at other times the fragrance bears a more distant relationship. Though I have no knowledge of how Thierry Wasser works, or any of his reasonings, my mind has made some completely unsubstantiated jumps to conclusions. Please read the following paragraph as a story, not as truth:

I think Thierry Wasser has been playing around with Shalimar to try and get it back to what is more like the original intent of Guerlain. Over the years the tweaks and turns, the different perfumers, the availability of ingredients and now regulations had changed what we bought as Shalimar in 2011 to something still lovely in and of itself but at a far remove from the sensual, dusty, creamy, furry, animal, confection that it was. Having smelled his recreation of the original Shalimar at the Osmotheque in February I wonder if he was inspired by being able to make his houses mainstay fragrance as close as he could to the original formula. So did he, Mr Wasser, then decide to see if he could reinvent the masterpiece? Are we now getting the batches that were made as test runs? Could these be the lead up to what I think is one of the loveliest Shalimars in my coillection, 2013/4, where the growl is back, the lovely and brilliant opening already infused with a tiger that stalks the fragrance till the very last gasp in dry down? Are these the beauties that were lovely but not Shalimar enough?

Shalimar Vanille Mexique Guerlain Mexico Rod Waddington FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

So here I am with a 5ml atomiser of Mexique from My Perfume Samples. I have worn it a coup0le of times and the first hour and a half is mesmerisingly beautiful. I spritz before work and find myself transported to another world, this is like Shalimar: Taste of Fragrance. What was already an ice cream laden gourmand has become a modern chewy choc-caramel lolly, similar but dry and  lacking the HUGE zing of citrus that is so Shalimar, Also missing from Shalimar and found in the Mexique is a furry, mannish, animal purr: a darkness. I get a quirky amberish, macaroon type sweetness that is both crispy and gooey simultaneously, like big coffee sugar pieces that you crunch in your mouth with the dregs of your coffee. It also seems slightly weightless, as if it’s missing some of the important base notes and its lifespan is also considerably shorter at under 4 hours fragrant on my skin, leaving a trail of sweet nothings for a little while longer.

FragranceNet has $46/50ml
My Perfume Samples starts at $3/ml to $9/5ml

Do I love Mexique? Is it different or special enough to FB? To be honest, I have just ordered one.
Portia xx

WOO HOO! Birthday!

Hello lovely APJ Friends and Family.

You may know it’s my birthday today. It couldn’t go by without some cake. But today’s cake is a little different, YOU get to make a wish and blow on the picture.


Close your eyes

Wish for something simple and achievable in your life

Hold the thought for 3 seconds

Now say THANK YOU for four things that you are grateful for. Doesn’t matter how small or big.

Here’s the cake……

Birthday Cake candles


So I don’t know if your wish will come true but you know you have 4 things to be grateful for. You’re doing better than almost everyone else in the world.

What will I be wafting on this special day? Vintage Shalimar Parfum. I smell so fabulous and I’m smiling like a fool. With Guerlain’s Shalimar it always feels like love.

Shalimar Parfum Wikipedia

See you later,
Portia xx



Hello Gorgeously Gorgeous and Fragrant Fumies,

My favourite fragrance of all is Guerlain’s Shalimar. Inspired by the legendary love story between Mughal Indian Emperor Shah Jahan and his lowly born wife Mumtaz Mahal (Jewel of the Palace). You can read more in Portia’s Shalimar EdC Review.


You may have seen this already but I couldn’t let it pass those of you it missed by. My only complaint is that they didn’t use Bollywood stars. Why would you use Europeans when there is a veritable plethora of the real deal? Just sayin

Portia xx

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

Shalimar Parfum by Jacques Guerlain 1925

Hey Hey All,
I am wearing one of my Shalimar 1970-80s Parfums for the last time. It came in a lovely gold tone basket weave atomiser. The parfum version of the one pictured below. Unfortunately they don’t make the parfum inserts for this case anymore, or at least I can’t find them in Sydney, Australia. So instead of Boo Hoo-ing I’m sending my Shalimar far away to a new home where I know it will be treasured and used to the last dregs.

Shalimar Parfum by Jacques Guerlain 1925

From Fragrantica
Shalimar was created by Jacques Guerlain in 1925, as a tribute to the legendary love story between Emperor SHAHJAHAN and his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Before he became emperor his name was Prince Khurram. According to the legend, twenty- year-old Prince Khurram met a young girl, named Arjumand Banu at the bazaar where her family worked. Mesmerized by her beauty, after becoming emperor, he made her his wife as Mumtaz Mahal, meaning the “Jewel of the Palace”. After the wedding ,the prince and Mumtaz were inseparable, in war and in peace. She had given 13 children to Shahjahan and died during the birth of their 14th child at the age of 39. Her death devastated Shah Jahan and had built Taj Mahal in memory of his wife and their undying love. Shalimar is named after ‘The Gardens of Shalimar’. It was Mumtaz’s favorite garden.

Shalimar Guerlain FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

In times of major events, stress, fun, worry, happiness, even going down to the shop or cleaning through the years this case and parfum have been right there with me. There’s not even 2ml left now but the juice is still perfect.

How does it smell? Well the first waft if you spray on your chest is a big fat animalic, citrus and vanilla rush so filled with the animals that unless you are prepared it can knock you a bit silly, and the rush isn’t over in a minute like many modern perfumes, no way! You get a full 40 minutes of this deliciously deranged magic. All warm and cuddly vanilla, spicy citrus and just got home from work, then gym and about to have sex manimal. GRRRR! How was this ever an elegant womens fragrance? Such raw and sexy content. Now that I know the term, “Ho Panies” I can’t get the image out of my nostrils, this is sex bottled.

As we mosey along together the rich powdery iris and vetiver take centre stage, still with all the musk and civet squaring up with the incense, resins and woods. I think I miss the patchouli because it’s so unlike the ones used today and I must be mistaking it for something else. Hours and hours of this section as the beautifully blended magic works through its own accords in Shalimar’s own time, I have never noticed a pepper note but there is definitely one lurking around and through today. In the very mild winter we are having I get nearly a full afternoon from this section before it starts heading towards the sweet vanilla, suede and wood dry down that anyone who loves Shalimar will know so well.

Photo Stolen eBay

You can read excellent Shalimar reviews with some fun historical data at PerfumeShrine and BoisDeJasmin

Love to you all, thanks for dropping by, see you tomorrow,

Portia xx