I know, I know! I’ve been doing a perfume blog for three years and never reviewed Shalimar. How can this be allowed? I was getting nervous of the blog police doing a dawn raid on me from crimes against fragblogging, so I thought I’d give it a proper test drive today to avoid arrest.
The reason I haven’t reviewed Shalimar is because I used to think it smelled like Castrol GTX. It was petrolly on me and I didn’t like it. However, Shalimar is a good example of how taste can change. I don’t know if this is an age thing now I’m nearer fifty than forty ( gulp), or if it just comes with wider appreciation. When I started the blog I wore Chanel Cristalle more often than anything. The more perfume I try, the more Oomph I seek and I find myself eschewing the light hesperides I loved, at least until hot weather comes ( remember that? Hot weather? No?) Now I wear Chanel Coco it seemed a logical transition to Shalimar after that.
I tried Guerlain Shalimar EDP today in my local House of Fraser. Immediately there was spice, incense and woods. It was rich and smoky and I went into the posh ladies loos sniffing my wrist like an addict. Once all that settled ( but didn’t leave) I had another sniff. There isn’t a lot of room for the flowers to shine: there is only a mere hint of rose and sober iris. The smokiness was starting to emerge along with the warm vanilla (minus the all too common sugariness. Phew!). By the time I got home this was a smoky, woody vanilla, wrapped in frankincense and sandalwood and I was smitten. Oddly enough, I didn’t get any animalic civet, but that’s just me. I find knicker notes in perfume where there are no knickers to be had and can’t spot civet even if they’re mating noisily under my nose.
Eight hours later and I totally get it. Shalimar has found a new fan for life. It almost seems like a cliché to say this is a classic that will never date, but cliché or not, Shalimar has held its own since its inception in 1925 and I need a bottle of my own as a matter of urgency. My only question is why? Why did I wait so long?