Initial Thoughts

 

 by the Old Bat Musette

Most hard-core perfumistas bemoan the addition of flankers, especially when it’s a flanker of a True Classic.  I mean, c’mon – how on earth could you do a Mitsouko flanker?  What would you call it?  Mitsouko Mist?  How ’bout   L’Heure Aqua?  Jickette? Djediddy?

….can we stop with the collective grave-spinning, there,  Jacques  et al  – we’re just joking here…..or are we?

 

The House of Guerlain has been tinkering with the Shalimar ‘brand’ – again.   I usually ignore these ‘variations’ but Gaia over at the Non-Blonde had a practical,  laissez-faire point of view, regarding her niece,  here  which led me to Octavian’s elegantly enraged review here – two very interesting-but-different perspectives that piqued my curiosity. The newest, Initial, has been described as ShaLite,  My First Shalimar, Shalimar for People Who Hate Shalimar, etc….

 

So, .finally accepting that this trend is NOT GOING TO GO AWAY I decided to investigate.

 

Off to Neiman-Marcus to spritz.  Waaaaal….hum.  Huh Notes for Initial are citrus, green notes, bergamot, orange, rose, jasmine, vetiver, patchouli, vanilla, white musk, tonka bean.   But it doesn’t smell like any combination created by the venerable House of Guerlain.  Instead, it smells like a  concoction created by lovesick 14-yr old, mixing a bunch of scents in a plastic milk jug in the hot sun, listening to the same Justin Bieber song for the 356th time,  who lucked out because her mom had decent perfumes for her to play with.   Oddly enough, that is not as scathing an indictment of Initial as you would expect.  But let’s go back to the original Shalimar for a minute.   Love or hate it, nothing about the original Shalimar feels synthetic.  And generic is not a word ever associated with the Blue-topped Beast; if anything it sometimes feels too animalic, like an oily tiger ate an entire  bushel of vanilla beans or something equally terrifying.  I’m also not saying Shalimar smells natural – it has never aspired to that – but it smells like a perfume structured out of non-synthetic materials.  Shalimar Initial  has the barest of traces of Shalimar in its makeup  and it’s got a LOT of plastic- it’s designed for people who, most likely, got pulled into the display or the child-supermodel adverts.  They want to smell like their peers and Shalimar Initial will not disappoint .  There is no depth to this scent, no nuance – it’s a gourmandy floriental with about as much heft as one of those paper umbrellas you get in a fruity cocktail.   Very ‘youthful’, very innocuous – and for lovers of the real Shalimar, especially an Old Bat like me,  a real heartbreaker.  But I can totally understand how the House came to release such a thing; in my opinion, sad as it is, Shalimar’s reign is already over  – it and its contemporaries L’Heure Bleue, Jicky, Mitsouko, etc already languish behind the counter in so many upscale stores, upstaged bythe newbies and flankers for the larger, incoming mass market..

Ow!! Don’t bite me!  This is only  my heartbroken personal opinion, based on a bazillion years as a marketer.  It makes perfect marketing sense.   LVMH will never let the Shalimar name die – it is worth its weight in amber, even as interest in the original dwindles with each passing generation.  And I suspect they will always keep some semblance of the original  around for brand cred.   But with the LVMH focus  seemingly on mainstream marketing rather than creation of groundbreaking fragrances, it is a pretty sure bet  this is the wave of the future for the House of Guerlain.  And for a lot of perfumistas it’s a cryin’ shame – but …I mean, really – can you imagine the average 22 yr old wearing the original Shalimar?  Neither can I.

Have any of you sniffed this yet?  I’d love to hear from Shalimar haters as well as lovers as well as those in-between.  What are your thoughts about the direction Guerlain is headed?    Personally, I get it.  I don’t like it.  But I get it.

 

89 Comments

  1. I hate to tell you, Musette, but there actually was a Mitsouko flanker – Mitsouko Fleur de Lotus, or something like that. I think Kevin reviewed it on NST. And it was ACQUA!

    • LALALALALA! (sticks fingers in ears) I can’t HEAR you! 😉

      Actually, now that you mention it, I vaguely remember reading about this one – never smelled it. If I recall, it was as if the 7th Circle of Hell had opened up – much wailing and gnashing of teeth. :((

      I must’ve just blanked on it…:-?

      xo >-)

      • I had the same emotional reaction you did. Toilet-water-blue Mitsy?? Could they have done any worse???

      • I was hoping it was just a flashback – but I looked it up on NST and sure enough. I’m strangely attracted to that blue bottle, to be honest, but really what’s the point of a light Mitsy? You reach for Vol de Nuit when you don’t need the full Mitsy! ;-)

  2. Years ago when I was a young, single mom I got a job at this archaic, family owned department store in small town Minnesota. I styled and did fittings for wigs, manned the fine gifts & china, jewelry and cosmetic counters. Most I just dusted things and polished silver because the store way dying and we were seldom busy. The store catered to old ladies so most of our mechandise was very grandma’esque.
    My favorite part of the job was that we were encouraged to wear the jewelry and the perfume/cosmetics. I was broke as a joke and scraping by on nothing but I could go to work and deck myself out in big gawdy cocktail rings, pearls…and Shalimar. I adore Shalimar. It smells like the lady I want to become…still.
    And I truly do love a man in Shalimar. But that is another memory. I’m not at all interested in testing this blasphemous newcomer. I hope Guerlain recovers it’s soul.

    • Joanna –

      That visual! 😡

      I suspect Guerlain will never recover the soul it had because that soul belonged to another time. How they grow their ‘new’ soul remains to be seen….unlike solo-owned lines like Malle (assumption there) Guerlain, now owned by LVMH, has a lot of layers to get through.

      xo >-)

    • I love this image! We used to have a store just like this in my small town; you could even buy gloves.

      • Musette, I understand that companies must change in order to keep operating and I suppose I can’t hold that against them. It feels like a dumbing down though when suddenly they throw subpar products at us.

        rosarita, yes the store I worked for, (Northpark, Albert Lea, MN) sold gloves too. It was family owned and they had merchandise from decades past since they never sent unsold things off for liquidation. I had to make hand-tied bows for gift wrapping and the owners were very stringent about the dress code for employees that hadn’t changed since the 50’s; Hair up off the collar, dress slacks or skirts, (At or below the knee) pantyhose, full makeup at all times including lipstick. They closed finally in the mid 90’s and now there isn’t anyplace around that sells or cares for wigs or sells those fine white gloves. I was so grateful for that job that helped me feel like I could be a lady. All those memories and feelings are tied up in the scent of Shalimar for me now.

        • It makes me so sad to think that “lady” is no longer something to aspire to. Everyone wants to stay a girl for as long as possible now. The fetishization of youth by the fashion and beauty industries honestly baffles me. Hello, TEENAGERS CANNOT AFFORD YOUR PRODUCTS.

          • I don’t know sometimes it seems like my teenage son has more disposable income than I do. They’re just more apt to buy into sleek advertising than real substance than we are. Not long ago I was shopping with a friend in Minneapolis when I saw a teenage girl carrying a Balenciaga bag. I’m 37 and have never paid more than $300 for a purse and that was a splurge.

            Ari you’re right, when did lady begin equating to boring and old? I didn’t grow up with that image associated with the word. A lady was/is classy, smart and sexy. Alluring. I don’t think any of those attributes ever go out of style, or if so not for long. Isn’t that why the world is suddenly in love with Kate Middleton?

            Speaking of teens, and off topic, I apologize. Does anyone have suggestions for moving a teenage boy towards a better class of cologne than say…the Playboy collection? Obviously I’m just his mom so he thinks I know nothing. 8-|

            • For your son, you might be able to sell it to him based on his clothing style. If he leans towards preppy, you could suggest the Ralph Lauren colognes, for example. Teenage boys can be just as label-conscious as their female counterparts, so it might help if he thought of it as an extension of the rest of his look.

            • What I did for my first Christmas as a stepmonster was to build a shaving kit for my then 16-year-old stepson–“just like Dad’s.” This was a HUGE hit because he realized that I didn’t view him as just a kid–and MY unspoken payback was getting to pick out cologne that was a cut above what his friends were wearing. Just a suggestion….

            • Joanna, could you leave an unlabeled sample/decant in his bathroom from time to time? See what he likes, and buy it? With no labels at all, he may feel free to use his own brain and nose to decide. :)

    • Love hearing about this – so tired of the box stores and mass everything and accelerated turnover! Probably why I kill time on ebay searching for whatever occurs to me. That’s where the white gloves and costume jewelry can still be found, along with the vintage Shalimar, of course ;-) Also miss knowledgeable sales people. So many stores pay as little as possible and there’s such a high turnover – no one knows or cares about anything.

  3. Waaay back in 1978, when I was 20, I discovered Shalimar at the local department store. It was my gateway to all things Guerlain. I still waear it occasionally(and love it). Haven’t tried and am not interested in the flankers.

    What I’m try’n ta say is- if I could fall for it at 20 what’s so different about young people today?

    • I dunno, cymbaline – you raise an interesting point. In 1978 there was dreck being offered along with the classics, so why not, indeed? In my experience Shalimar doesn’t appeal to the masses of 20 year olds today (the few I’ve introduced to it have jumped back like I pulled a cobra out of the armoire!). And they need “bottles in the bags’, walking out the door. It’s 90 yrs old (1921, same as my papi) ….but that might end up being its saving grace. It could be the Roy Orbison of classic perfume, with hoardes of Gen Z hipsters embracing it!

      xo >-)

    • Although powerful women have certainly never been encouraged at any time period, I think that there has been a huge backlash against feminism and the empowered women of the 70’s. Bright, outspoken girls are told that they should hide their intelligence to be less threatening and intimidating to men. I believe that this message extends all the way to perfume. Instead of perfumes with presence and personality, we get perfumes that smell like candy and Cosmos. Our perfumes say “Don’t worry, boys, you don’t have to take me seriously.” I know this all may sound a bit extreme, but remember what Sheldrake said about No. 19 Poudre:

      “It’s important to remember that No 19 was created at the beginning of the 1970s, an era notable for the fact that women’s emancipation was at its height. The original No 19 was created in the spirit of the first wave of feminism and it therefore has something of an ‘I’ll walk all over you’ aspect to it, I agree.”

      One can definitely argue that there is a connection between society’s attitudes towards women and the popular perfumes of the day, and if today’s perfumes are any indication, society doesn’t think much of us these days.

      • I was just having this conversation with a friend last week, concerning Mitsouko. We talked about scents we wear for ourselves (Mitsouko) and scents we wear for others (read: men) (Not Mitsouko).

        I think there’s something in what you say, although it extends to men as well, as far as fragrance goes. AXE? My head hurts just thinking about it.

        Then again, that might just be the Cranky Old Bat speaking…

        xo >-)

        • Axe is definitely a good example of appealing to the lowest common denominator (in this case, the inner frat bro). Both genders deserve better, both in cultural expectations and in fragrances.

        • Thank you Rappleyea! It is a very upsetting cultural trend. I try to fight it on two fronts: I do not hide my intelligence for anyone, and I do not buy perfumes that insult that intelligence!

          • I was in college in the early 70’s – protests, flag and bra burnings – an interesting time in our social history. I’m still a fairly militant feminist and I’m right there with you. It heartens me that a woman of your age is fighting the fight!

  4. Nevermind. Of course that was mostly a rhetorical question. I just get cranky sometimes. People really limit themselves.:(

    • Actually, that was a very interesting query! I replied above (don’t know if I’m talking out of my hat, though 😕 )

      xo >-)

  5. cymbaline, i think there are young people out there who wear Shalimar. we just don’t hear about them much. i recall wearing Opium at 21, which isn’t quite the same thing, but at least makes the point that younguns can be interested and wear ‘real’ perfume rather than the (mostly) muck targeted at them. as to Shalimar i came to it late (i’m almost 50), making the point that it’s never too late to try something (and fall in love)… finally, if you haven’t watched the BBC’s series called Perfume you can probably find it on BBC IPlayer. there’s a bit on Wasser, the new Guerlain nose, who came up with Parfum Initial. well worth a look.

    • I am 19 and wear Shalimar, L’Heure Bleue and Apres L’Ondee! I WILL CARRY THE TORCH FOR US!!!!

        • I am 23 and though I admit to not liking Shalimar (anything heavily ambery summons unfortunate connotations of play doh, to my great distress), I do like plenty of other hefty perfumes. On the other hand, aside from the fact that they can be hard to find, I’ve sort of avoided trying some of the great classics for fear that I will then want them and will have to start seeking older versions of them, which I cannot afford. Ah, well.

          • I know the Fear of Lust all too well – but if you do get a chance you should always try them, just so you can know what all the fuss is about – you might not fall in love (not everybody does – and Shalimar, for all its ambery/vanillery goodness, isn’t everybody’s cuppa – it’s certainly not mine)….but to just ‘know’ what great perfumery is (and was) like is a beautiful thing, indeed.

            xoxo>-)

  6. What’s odd to me is that when I was at the Guerlain counter in NYC a few years back and striking up conversation with the SA, he told me that, in France, Shalimar was what the 19yo girls wore. This is in contrast to the USA where Shalimar has a “mature woman” sort of connotation to it. So, why the flanker geared toward the young’ns if over on the continent they’re wearing the real thing? I sure as hell don’t know. At any rate, I will stick to my original Shalimar, thank you, while listening to Billie Holiday and Jane Monheit over a glass of carmenere.

    • Interesting point, Jared! And I will add my teenagers don’t have the same matronly associations of Shalimar that I do (most of the Shalimar-wearing generation has passed). Maybe in a few years Shalimar will make a big mainstream comeback, and fruity, candy will be “Old Lady” perfume!

      • I think that Shalimar definitely has the potential for a big comeback! They just need some better campaigns. For example, that new Jade Jagger bottle is very pretty, but how many young people know who Jade Jagger is?

  7. I didn’t bother trying it. LVMH is like a blight to me. It’s ruined some of my favorite Kenzos, I don’t much bother with those anymore, either! I am praying for Hermes to maintain its independence.

  8. I found Parfum Initial to be insipid and kind of a travesty. I think that you are right, Musette, this is the direction in which Guerlain will be going in from now on, particularly now that Thierry Wasser is their perfumer. His work for them so far has been indistinctive (Idylle) or straight up unpleasant (Iris Ganache). And the fact that Wasser knew that he was going to create a “pink Shalimar” before he had any idea what it would smell like speaks volumes.

  9. I guess what makes me saddest is the continuation of *dumbing down* in every aspect of our culture. I know I sound like a cranky old bat, too (back ‘atcha, Ms A) but think about it: I bought myself a bottle of Norell at the drugstore when I was about 12. First, drugstores had perfumes of substance available for a price that a 12 yr old could save out of her allowance and babysitting cash, but more importantly, I had smelled Norell and loved it enough to want it. Why do companies today assume that the younger market isn’t going to like something classic? And if that’s correct, then why is that? Of course, I was also reading John Updike when I was 12, as I would read anything I could get my hands on and had parents that were relieved I was quiet & didn’t check for content. Kids today do the same with myriad electronic devices but they have the whole internet at their disposal – you’d think that would make them more curious about life but it has the opposite effect. *sigh* Anyway, I love Shalimar as it is, and obviously some younger people feel the same (thanks, Ari!) but not enough for LVMH to make ever bigger bucks.

    • Rosarita, I grew up without a TV and with many books. I wonder if there is any connection between this and my appreciation of classic perfumes. Many older perfumes do not provide instant gratification (you might even have to wait hours for the drydown), and maybe a generation raised on the internet does not have the patience for such things anymore.

      • Too true, and too sad…..the same can be said of appreciating music that requires real talent, art the needs to be contemplated, food that needs real seasoning and long simmering – ach, I’m choking myself on my oldf*rtness today!

        • This is not oldf*rtness, Rosarita! What you describe is true class… the art of appreciation, of taking one’s time, being present in the moment to enjoy it, being fearlessly unique in a culture where candy-fruity-floral mainstream perfume is the norm.

          • What KirstenMarie said, Rosarita. The life you described is a wonderful life to aspire to, no matter what the generation!

            xo >-)

    • Very heartened by the younger people speaking up here! ^:)^

  10. Well, everything is about marketing isn’t it? Which means focus groups (lowest common denominator) and questionnaires (subtle researcher bias) and so on. And, since the world capitals tend to be the big advertising/research capitals also, the “average” customer is looked down upon, often literally, from 35,000 feet. All of this results in crap, crap, crap. I thought the Tommy Hilfiger scene in the BBC documentary was hilarious. An overdressed middle aged fashionista telling the clients “what the young people like.” I thought, “Where are Patsy and Edina now that we need them?”

    • That woman, the fragrance exec, was frightening — trying to out-youth the youth. I was also struck by the portrayal of Tommy Hilfiger’s seeming indifference to the perfume that was released under his name.

    • I think the best recourse is for all of us to live our lives well and elegantly (remembering that elegance is a state of mind as much as anything). In doing so, perhaps we can inspire younger people to stop and consider Other Options. I remember being interested in the classic perfumes because elegant women, whom I secretly admired even as I was hippie-ing my way through my teen/young adult years – wore those scents well. It was Interest by Osmosis.

      If that doesn’t work, well… at least we will have had the pleasure of it all ourselves!

      xo >-)

      • Oh Musette – you just said it perfectly! When I was a teen waay back in the early 80s, I *aspired* to be an elegant continental type of woman who could speak 4 languages and lived in France. Fragrance was always part of that. My first loves at the perfume counter were Je Reviens (alluringly mature – who smells like this? what do they do??), Jardins de Bagatelle (who doesn’t want to live in France near a garden?), and Chanel Coco (Ines de la Fressange -‘nuf said). I wanted all of it and totally bought into that elegance that no longer exists in marketing today. Thank god I was young then so I know how we used to be treated, how elegance used to be presented to us, how high I should shoot my arrow. I aspired to be that older woman who had her life all together and wore gorgeous tailored clothes to museum openings and had first class train tickets to destination unknown. Now it seems like marketers only want all of us age 14 to 64 to de-aspire to be 14 again and safe in the candy aisle. I hate the perpetual youth culture and happy-to-be-dumbed down “idunno” manifesto that pervades in the US. Elegance is charm bracelets and handbags that were designed by Mickey Mouse for 30 year olds. I don’t want to run around with a lolipop in my mouth until I die. Give me gravitas! Give me elegance! Give me taste! Inspire me to be greater! We all have minds and senses, and “they” treat us like idiots. Sorry. Rant. I’ll put on some Mitsouko at lunch and hug my mom’s vintage crocodile clutch handbag.

        • You go girl! ;-) Je Reviens was my first perfume love too! My uncle sent me some of the extrait (no less!) when I was only 13!

          • You both rock! And Rapple, your uncle? 😡

            xo >-)

            I loved Je Reviens, too. I remember reading ‘Rebecca’ at a pretty early age and admiring Rebecca (oh, c’mon, like everybody didn’t)…. which prompted me to try the perfume with that name. Such beauty!

            xo >-)

          • Rapp & Musette – I only wish I’d been able to figure out how to wrangle enough allowance money into a bottle of Je Reviens! I was so awed by that blue label and that smell! I think my Mom realized that I wanted it and kind of suggested it was too mature for me (and not something she wanted to spend money on). But I remember that sensation of wanting it so much and the dreams it put in my head. I think an aunt had bought me a bottle of L’Air du Temps for my 16th birthday. I wish I’d kept that bottle! I think my senior year in HS I managed to get the JdB talc and I wore that to my senior prom.

            • Oh, I could only afford the tiny 1/8 oz. bottle of the extrait once that first bottle ran out.

      • *Interest by osmosis* – love that! Ann S, you are a kindred spirit :)

    • Patsy and Edina are PR’ ing things. They are too busy too think about perfume.
      Wouldn’t it be great though if Jennifer Saunders wrote an AbFab type of sitcom concerning perfume?

  11. First of all, I would never wear Shalimar because it is my mother-in-law’s signature scent, not mention that of several long-gone great aunts’. I cannot help but admiring its true beauty, and over the years have accumulated several iterations. I can’t wear any of them; I like the sillage but not the scent up close. Sometimes I use the EDT as room spray and it reminds me of dear sweet aunts on the holidays falling asleep with their Brandy Alexanders…lol:-).

    I couldn’t resist the new Parfum Initial at Dillards (Sadly our Dillards has remodeled and all the classics (Jicky, Mitsouko, Jardins de Bagatelle) but Shalimar are now GONE!) Anyway, I loved the bottle. It’s nice and heavy, not like the cheap glass Shalimar EDT is presently in. It smelled to me like Shalimar and Coco Mademoiselle, with a touch of Angel thrown in for good measure. Very sad, and I really don’t see this appealing to younger people, though I imagine their target audience was more the 30-ish set of Coco Mademoiselle and Angel fans than the fourteen year olds.

    • I totally understand not being able to wear it because it’s the signature scent of someone close to you. I feel the same way about Chanel no.5, which is my mother’s perfume. I actually like it but whenever I put it on I feel like I’m wearing someone else’s clothes.
      Wow Shalimar, Coco Mademoiselle and Angel together? Gross.

  12. A., you said: “It makes perfect marketing sense.”

    But…I’d have to argue that it doesn’t quite make “perfect” sense. Why not have the best of BOTH worlds and intersperse these generic pink releases with a few well-chosen and well-placed campaigns advertising their classics as Chanel has done. I actually enjoyed the Keira Knightley Chanel spot! LVMH already owns the rights to the classics so the marketing and sales of them should be fairly profitable.

    And no, I won’t be smelling this. :-p

    • Rappleyea,

      I think it’s more ‘benign neglect’ than anything. Much depends upon who’s heading up their marketing depts and who has the last word. If that person is a 30-something, it is unlikely the classics are much on their radar – things really do boil down to that sort of equation sometimes. In the past I’ve seen entire market segments completely ignored (race/gender/age) because of some shift in management. We lucked out with Chanel because it has been, at least in our current generations’ lifetimes, considered a more mature brand. Guerlain? I would’ve thought so, too but 😕

      I am in agreement, though. It’s as I’ve said re Coty – can you imagine the reinvention of that brand, were they to release LE versions of some of their originals – especially in those gorgeous Deco bottles? It wouldn’t hurt the drugstore crap but would reintroduce the original house and give it some much needed cachet.

      xo >-)

      • Great points! But I’m surprised that Sylvaine Delacourte at Guerlain hasn’t been more pro=active re the classics. I know her favorite scent is reported to be L’Heure Bleue. And Coty reissues…. THUD!

        MUSETTE FOR MARKETING DIRECTOR!!

  13. Hey, I grew up with no TV and loads of books also! Maybe that’s the key:d

    • The Dalai Lama is in Washington, DC, to present the Kalachakra; his three afternoon teaching sessions were webcast. In discussing how modern life celebrates distraction, he noted that he stopped watching television 2-3 years ago, “Only listen to BBC on the radio to be informed about world events. TV bad for eyes, wasting mental ability. Listen to BBC and analyze, analyze, analyze.” This was in the context of explaining the importance of meditation and “single-pointed mind.”

      Buddhist or not, I’m concerned about the impact of the constant swirl of hype and distraction, at every level. Not that I’m willing to give up my hundreds of perfume samples, LOL – but I no longer have a television.

  14. The way I see it Guerlain is trying to cater for all tastes.
    Mainstream with their big launches, like Initial, AA and Idylle +flanker, then they have there whole exclusive range, which is really quite exhaustive and then the classics.
    As you say Musette, even if you don’t like the juice itself it does make sense. You don’t want your brand to be labeled outdated. And also, something has to bring in the money. Somebody mentioned Hermes, but Hermes has got other means of bringing in the extra cash necessary for making exclusive fragrances. Several people are of the opinion that presented by quality, people will choose this over less quality, like watching the three tenors will get more people in the opera. This is not the case, it will bring more people to the three tenors! Or that people reading Harry Potter, will be inspired to read in general, which is also not true. Perhaps there are only so many people who can and want to appreciate quality perfume.

    • Until they bring back the REAL Apres L’Ondee – the parfum or even the EDP – not the shadow of itself without the oakmoss that is the EDT available ONLY from the friggin’ store in the Champs Elysee (not even Charles de Gaulle, for those of us passing through with our fingers crossed for a chance to snag a bottle!) – will Guerlain redeem itself in my eyes. Apres L’Ondee in EDP strength was a sample I got from TPC, and the first time I tried it I saw a garden in the rain unfold before my olfactory senses. Simply stunning.

      • That vintage/parfum/non-export path is strewn with the petals of perfume pain, darling, paved with the shards of Bottles That Cannot Be…:((

        xo >-)

        • But, if only I MOVE to Europe….Yes, you are right. And comforting to hear it from someone other than the small voice piping up in the back of my head!

        • I’m going to cross-stitch that and hang it on my wall! ;-)

  15. The average 22 year old’s relationship with fragrance is like his/her relationship with pretty much anything: too inexperienced to appreciate a fine cognac or scotch, but full of strong opinions about everything. And judging from their Basenotes posts, most of them can’t comprehend that anyone older than 25 wears scent and might know something about fragrance that they don’t. In other words, “that smells like an old lady/man” really means “I don’t know what I’m talking about but I have to present myself as though I’m sophisticated and know what I’m talking about.” :) Me, I’m still mourning the unavailability of vintage Derby …

  16. I’ve wanted to like Mitsouko, Shalimar and Vol de Nuit, but no. Evidently I can’t appreciate a perfume if it is not right for me personally.

    It’s how I go through museums: I ask myself whether I’d want whatever it is I’m looking at in my living room. I look at the outfits in Vogue with an eye as to whether I’d wear them, should I have a spare $2000. Solipsistic? Perhaps…

    • You don’t have to like them. Heck, I can’t L’Heure Bleue 😮 …but I still would like it to stick around and not get flanked to death.

      xo >-)

  17. I so want to love Shalimar and own at least two different bottles of it (one a little vintage) but Ijust can’t get it to work on me. I love vanilla but don’t get ANY at all. Wah. Anyhow, I don’t think I will try this one as “gourmandy floriental” made my stomach lurch. :-&

    • Shalimar really is the Blue-Topped Beast. I have a beautiful bottle of the vintage parfum – and I can barely handle THAT! ;))

      xo >-)

  18. So “Shalimar goes to the mall.” The dumbing down of taste evidently is inevitable in a democratic mass society. I don’t know that we’re in for a revival of elegance anytime soon, but I would note that European, Japanese and to a certain extent American society are aging fast, so perhaps there’s hope for an adult aesthetic.

    • Alas, I am thinking when :@):@) fly. That ship seems to have sailed – at least for my lifetime. Then again, I’m a cranky old 3:-o so perhaps everything old will be new again. It worked for Roy Orbison and Ray Charles (both legends but made mainstream relevant again by Gen X hipsters).

      xo >-)

  19. ROFL!!! Djediddy!!!! Musette, you made my day my dear ^:)^ I have to admit that I liked this (and even bought a bottle for my daughter for her 17th b day in a few days). I am a BIG SHALIMAR FAN, btw. And of course I think Shalimar is head and shoulders above, but I thought this was pretty and younger and might lead to an eventual Shalimar appreciation down the line (baby steps you know?). And it does smell like a guerlain to me, kin to the progenitor…just a more sweetchoulie-er pink version….ok ok I am ready for the onslaught!

  20. How about L’Huere Rouge (The Pink Hour) for a flanker? Rather than a fragrancescape of twilight, it would be a fragrancescape of the moment just before “dawn goes down to day.” (per Robert Frost-who actually used gold as a metaphor for this time of day).

    Actually Iris Ganache, which smells like a white chocolate bar, re-priced and repackaged, would probably be a fun fragrance for a “younger” demographic.

  21. Anita– I tried it and liked it. The bottle is beautiful, and the juice is really a very pretty color of pink. I love my vintage Shalimar, but this new stuff is very nice. I have liked the different iterations of Shalimar, and can see that the formula and the bottle are fun to play with. There is a special mystique to Shalimar– I would rather have LVMH keep the mystique alive and add a new layer. I think this new juice could act as a gateway drug to the real Shalimar. This could be a good thing for the brand and for the rest of us. I love my little vintage bottle of parfum, but it isn’t for every day. This flanker– yeah, you can wear it to the office and not have a memo come out.

    • Hi, sweetie!

      I’m glad you like it! Like I said, I ‘get it’. And the idea of vintage Shalimar parfum in an office! :(( (fwiw I’m not a huge Shalimar fan – the vintage is the best I can do on very rare occasion)

      I, too, wish LVMH would keep the Guerlain mystique alive but I don’t see that happening overmuch (though the earlier Nieman-Marcus display of some of the classics was very heartening)

      xoxoxo>-)

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