Dior Patchouli Imperial

Sorry about not having the ginger thing this week.  I’m traveling and forgot to grab all the great ideas for ginger scents and bring them with me.

But I grabbed Dior’s new Patchouli Imperial and Shalimar Initial parfum instead.

Dry patchouli lovers – rejoice!  Dior’s version is gorgeous, very chypre. Notes they list are sandalwood, coriander and patchouli. This presents a dilemma for me. I’m not a patchouli lover, though it works for me occasionally. The coriander in this renders it really beautiful for me, and though the patchouli is a slight annoyance, I’m getting past it because of the coriander.  The patchouli is cool and dry, and the coriander and sandalwood warms it up, leaving it this oddly balanced scent.  In the end, it leaves me mixed.  Objectively, it is beautifully  made and should have a lot of fans.  personally, it’s a hair too much patchouli.  But that shouldn’t scare you off because I’m a little sensitive to it and still find myself loving it even though my patchouli-colored annoyance.

Shalimar Parfum Initial, on the other hand – you know, Shalimar is a scent I think it so great, a masterpiece. It is completely unwearable on me, it turns into a powdery mess that no one wants to smell unless they are doing a baby bottom diaper changing line – and like that!  Now I have a Shalimar I can wear in Parfum Initial.  Do I not sound excited?  It isn’t exactly dumbed down, but it is reworked, all the powder seems to be back in the Johnson’s bottle.  It’s pretty, easy to wear, Shalimar for those skeered of Old Lady Perfumes.

Not being able to wear Shalimar does not equal that I want it changed like this. All of its personality is gone, and it’s another run of the mill nice modern scent out there.  Pity.

So samples of both of these to five commenters.  Yes on patchouli for you or no?  Which scents are your favorite patchouli.  Can you wear Shalimar or is it a mess on you like it is on me?

  • Carla says:

    Lumiere Noire pour Femme has a great patchouli drydown. It goes on a long time. (It actually can get tiresome, as I discovered after buying a bottle.)

  • Evie says:

    I have been wearing patchouli since I was a teenager. I turned 35 on September 16th, and decided it is finally time to have a more sophisticated scent. This would be absolutely perfect for me! Where can I buy this? I cannot seem to find it anywhere. It would be the most fabulous birthday gift ever.

  • Holly F. says:

    I really do like patchouli. Coriander, sometimes. Shalimar is very dear to my heart, but it wasn’t love at first sniff. Took a couple of years, for me to swap it away and then, I suppose, you don’t realize what you love until it’s gone!

  • barbara mc says:

    LOVE anything patch and coriander…Shalimar became too powdery on me, though I love anything Guerlain(vintage)…loved Emeraude, Coriandre..Amouage Tribute must have pathouli-a favorite…

  • zeram1 says:

    Patch Yes!!! – I went to Chanel in Paris and bought the biggest bottle of Coromandel available. Please enter me in the draw as well.

  • hotlanta linda says:

    Patch not a problem, if worn discreetly due to a sometimes sensitive stomach; musk is the same way! LOVE AG`s new Mon Parfum for a patch scent!!! Shalimar is a Divine, decades long friend, and yt started in her upper teens!!! Have not whiffed the Initial yet…but yt is really a softie on reviews – always want to find something good to say!

  • Nadia Slakov says:

    Not sure if the draw has been made but if not I’d love to put my name in the hat!

    I’ve been hmming and hawing about buying the Dior… I am definitely a chypre and patchouli lover. (so why hesitate you ask!) Dont like the patchouli too sweet, prefer dry, along the lines of Borneo and Patchouli Patch.

    I am a fairly new convert to Shalimar too… it was too much for my newbie nose a few years ago but now I spray vintage edc when I’m home alone. Loved the ode de vanille but (thankfully) too hard to find hahaha

  • Lizzie says:

    You know, despite my huge collection of samples and decants, I don’t think I’ve tried a single thing I’d classify as a patchouli fragrance. :( Not that I dislike patchouli, quite the opposite. It’s just funny how these things turn out.

    As for Shalimar, I’m with you, I’m afraid: I’m a powder-magnet. I thought I’d love Habanita, but instead it smothered me under mountains of baby powder. A version of Shalimar that tones the powder down does indeed sound good. I’d love to enter the draw, and thank you for the opportunity. :)

  • Jules says:

    Ooh good ol’ patch , I do so luv my patch. I’d say my top fave patch scents are : Reminiscence ~
    Inoubliable Elixir Patchouli / PG ~ Intrigant Patchouli (& Coze even !) / Les Nereides ~ Patchouli Antique / L’Artisans ~ Voleur de Roses / and Chanel’s Coromandel ! …
    Plus I could probably keep naming others for quite a long list still. ;o)

    As for the Shalimar, I’m afraid it’s just no longer what it used to be unfortunately. So now I actually prefer to turn to their Cuir Beluga for my dose of vanilla.

    Please enter me into the draw for the Dior patch please ! (Thanx !)

  • Irina says:

    can’t wear Shalimar, and I very much want to- I love it in the bottle
    Patchouli, yes, yes, the more, the merrier- as in POAL or Coromandel
    please, enter me draw- thank you

  • helenviolette says:

    Toss me into the ring for the Dior (tho I too am weary of toomuchoulie)…I quite like the new Shalimar and bought a bottle for my daughter.

  • Suzy Q says:

    Love Coromandel. It’s my favorite patchouli. Shalimar? not so much. Maybe the vintage version would knock my socks off. Otherwise, I don’t get it.

  • Nancy says:

    LOVE patchouli! Shalimar….well, would like to try a version not “old lady” AND not like the ex wife’s like of the regular “S-s-s-s-“.
    So please enter me!

  • Fernando says:

    Patch, yes, especially if well blended. My wife loves the HdP Noir Patchouli and I’d buy the Le Labo patchouli if money were no issue. And, of course, L’Air du Desert has a large slug of patchouli and is just beautiful. As to Shalimar, I woyldn’t wear it but my wife does from time to time. I suspect if she had the EdP she might wear it more.

  • Bevfred says:

    I’ve worn both Shalimar and patchouli forever.
    Shalimar is best as a parfum or edp.
    I love patchouli, it grounds me as an essential oil.
    Most of my fave fragrances have some patchouli in them.
    I would love to win the samples.
    My birthday is coming up; perhaps I’ll get a small fragrant present!

  • Kirsten says:

    Yup to patchouli, my favourite is Coromandel. Just the perfect time of year for it.

    It’s strange, patchouli is a note I can usually pick out in lots of fragrances I love, but not one I specifically go looking for.

    Nope to Shalimar. I appreciate it in all it’s glory, but alas, it is not something I want to smell like (blasphemy, I know!).

  • minette says:

    LOVE patchouli on me. crazy, but my $8 oil gets more compliments from men than my chanel bois des iles (or any other expensive scent). so this dior sounds great to me!

    can wear shalimar but couldn’t a few years ago – and now i really love that gasoline thing it does up front, but still curious about initial, even it’s not full-on shalimar.

  • Elisa says:

    I love patchouli, especially in the context of gourmands or rose chypres. I definitely want to try the Dior.

    As for Shalimar, like you I think it’s beautiful in the abstract, but old Guerlains and I don’t get on.

  • Jill s says:

    Sorry, iPad corrected, should be Shalimar.

  • Jill s says:

    I find shalier too bright, but I’d love to try the Dior. I like the therapeutic effect of patch but haven’t found one light enough.

  • Lilybug says:

    Love Shalimar. My favourite patchouli is probably CdG Daphne. One time I was attempting to put a few drops of aged patchouli oil in the bath but the dripulator came off and about 3 ml of pure oil shot in. Best. Bath. Ever. Can’t afford a repeat though.

  • AnnieA says:

    Patchouli reminds me of 90’s neo/pseudo-hippies, although I do like Le Labo’s Patchouli 24. The Shalimar I want to try if only because it’s such a pretty colour — silly, but I feel free to admit it here.

  • Cheryl says:

    Coze (PG) is my fave patchouli. I think it has patch. in there. I also have Montale Patchouli Leaves…just for the purity of it (well it has vanilla) but I do not wear that what outside. In the world of offices. And innocent people. And I have a pure oil from a high end essential company and it’s great!
    SHALIMAR…was my first perfume and I still love it. Maybe it turns to powder on me…but them I’m asleep. I wear that one at night.


  • Claudia says:

    All I get out of Shalimar is vanilla. That’s it. But I think I have a lot of patchouli scents. I tend to like perfumes labeled “orientals”. And I have Coromandel, which I love.

    Anyway, I would love to be in the draw. Thanks!

  • Amy Bella says:

    I’m a fan of both Shalimar and patchouli! My all-time favorite patch is Coromandel, followed by Lyric Rain, Patchouli 24 and Borneo. Shalimar is a staple in my scent wardrobe, but I have yet to try any of the new iterations. Thank you for entering me in the draw.

  • Lavanya says:

    I love patchouli, especially with rose (cliche- I know!) and in a chypre-y/woody base..

    I’ve tried Shalimar parfum at my local Nordstorm a couple of times. Usually it smells ‘dirty’ on my skin..The last time I think I over-sprayed and got a LOT of powder which was a bit much (to say the least). The base is very addictive though, and I just bought a used, mini bottle of the parfum online. Not sure yet, if it will be wearable on me. But it will be nice to have it on hand to sniff.

    Please enter me in the draw!

  • Nancy G says:

    Love patchouli, love coriander- wore Coriandre in the ’70s,Aromatics Elixir in the ’80s. Shalimar: I can leave it on the table, but the Dior sounds wonderful.

  • Kari says:

    Love patchouli! My favorite is Il Profumo Patchouli Noir.

  • dleep says:

    I LOVE patchouli. My favorites are Coromandel which brings many compliments and Prada. I can wear Shalimar but I don’t currently have any and love the Shalimar Initial. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks.

  • dremybluz says:

    Both sound great, especially the patchouli. Please eneter me in the draw

  • maggiecat says:

    I’m not a huge patchouli fan as a rule, though I like it as a ote in perfumes. A quiet note. My skin seems to magnify it somehow: for example, Bulgari’s Mon Jasmin Noir is a pleasant spicy/patchouli scent on me. No jasmine at all. And the original Shalimar goes south on me during the drydown, which should be the lovliest part. I’ve tried several versions – the Eau Legere is nice – and will certainly try the Initial when I can. I’ve learned never to say never…

  • jen says:

    Love patch, I just wear a cheap one from demeter. Also love Shalimar, but I never wear it so maybe I dont love it and should sell my vintage bottle!

  • karin says:

    I cannot wear Shalimar. It’s one of my least favorite scents! I’ve tried the Initial, and it’s much more wearable – agreed!!!

    I love patchouli in scents, and would love to try this one. Patty, since you love coriander, guessing you’ve tried the Kiehl’s coriander bath/body line? If you haven’t, you must. Never tried the oil, so can’t comment.

    As to ginger, wearing Eau de Sisley 3 today. Looking forward to your ginger post!

  • mals86 says:

    Putting in my two cents, but please don’t enter me in the draw.

    I’m very much NOT a patchouli fan. Though I notice that I DO like it, very much, when it is aged and greeny-herbal rather than the earthy variety. I also seem to do much, much better with it when it’s paired with rose. Fave patchouli frags – FMK Lumiere Noire pour femme, which is a whole lotta patch, IMO, saved by the whole lotta rose. Ditto L’Arte di Gucci.

    I really only get on with vintage Shalimar parfum de toilette, and then only in certain chilly-wet weather, especially if there’s woodsmoke in the air. I much, much prefer Shalimar Light, either version. I did not care much for the Parfum Initial – it was so pinkified and smooth that it didn’t seem much like Shalimar at all to me: nice, but Not Shalimar.

  • Maureen says:

    I have never tried any Shalimar, so I would love to try the new one. I used to sell Lancome at Bamberger’s in my youth (the 80’s), and had to wear Magie Noir to sell it. I was not crazy about it, although many many people commented on how good it smelled on me and bought it. I felt it was too heavy & somehow rough for me, but I was in my early 20’s, and liked lighter scents, such as O de Lancome. Magie Noir had patchouli in it, and my mom liked it, so I would give it to her. The Parfum & perfume oil were much better than the EDT. It would be interesting to revisit it and see if I would like it now. I would like to try the Dior. I love the few Dior’s I have tried, but they do not seem to last very long on me. I wonder if this one is longer lasting? Please enter me in the draw, and thanks for the chance.

  • Rappleyea says:

    I’m a total Guerlie-girl, but Shalimar stopped working for me about 15 years ago. It seems it’s gotten muskier since then. I’ve tried some of the other versions (including 180 Ans, which is very Shalimar-esque) and they just don’t light my fire.

    Patchouli on the other hand is a love. What worries me about this one isn’t the patch, but Dior. That’s a line that hasn’t worked for me (other than the very expensive, very vintage classics). I have to say though that I *am* excited about this one, so thanks for the opportunity to sample!

  • tammy says:

    I can do patchouli when it’s mixed in with other things; I like what it brings to the dance. Coromandel is my favorite patch scent. The Dior sounds pretty good, though it’s likely to be the sandalwood that makes it or breaks it for me.

    Shalimar doesn’t work on me, but I can see why people like it. Guerlain just ain’t my house.

    Thanks for a chance to win!

  • Lauren S says:

    Thanks for the chance to get samples . . . would love to try the Dior.

    Not sure if this is can be considered a patchouli, but I love Tauer’s Incense Rose. I also like his Incense Extreme . . . in small doses. :)

  • rosiegreen says:

    No Patchouli for me, very bad associations. I have only tried the current Shalimar. Not for me. I need to try some vintage. I would like to try the initial so pretty please enter me in the draw.

  • jirish says:

    I think I’d really like to try the Patchouli Imperial, since I have no problems at all with patch. How does it compare with something like Borneo, which I love? I’m thinking it’s probably a little more restrained and less weird-but-wonderful.

  • bookhouseshell says:

    fan of Shalimar, haven’t tried enough Patchouli-heavy frags to know if it is a fav or not. Would love to try these!

  • d3m0lici0n says:

    I like patchouli, my favorites are Mazzolari Patchouly and Nobile 1942 Patchouli, also PG L’Ombre Fauve.I just found out about Patchouli Imperial and would love to try it, I am a fan of Dior Exclusives collection. I recently tried Shalimar Parfum Initial and I thought it was a well made perfume, they should have named it differently.

  • Barbara says:

    My husband loves patchouli so I wear CdG Luxe for him-would love to sample the Dior!Like Shalimar on others but not on me!!

  • Marsi says:

    Shalimar is one of my two signature scents — the other being Coco. I wasn’t too crazy about Initial, but to each her own.

    I’m reading about the Dior just about everywhere now, and must say I’m intrigued. Please put me in the draw.

  • DinaC says:

    Generally, I don’t like patchouli, especially when it’s in those mainstream fruit cocktail concoctions. But when it’s skillfully blended into a green scent, and smells a like dirt, I can handle it. I like it best in Le Labo Iris 39.

    Shalimar. Dare I admit that I’ve never tested it? I’m not a fan of vanilla, lemon, or spicy orientals, so I’m led to believe that this would not be my cup of tea. Someday I’ll get around to giving it a sniff. There are plenty of other Guerlains that I know and love.

    Please enter me in the drawing for the samples. Thanks Patti.

  • Queen Cupcake says:

    I can and do wear patchouli–love it! My favorite (at the moment) is Les Nereides Patchouli Antique. I also love CB I Hate Perfumes Patchouli Empire and Le Labo Patchouli Leaves. Shalimar…I don’t wear often but I do love it. I am more prone to wearing vintage Emeraude pdt if I want that kind of scent. It’s a little greener, a little less baby’s bottom. :) I would love to win those samples!

  • Ann says:

    Hi, Patty! Wishing you safe travel this week.
    Try as I might, Shalimar does not agree with me, although the Ode de la Vanille version of it wasn’t too awful on me. So perhaps, like you, this will be one version of it that I can wear.
    I do love me some refined patchouli, such as Chanel’s Coromandel. How would you say this new Dior compares to it?

  • Louise says:

    I can wear Shalimar-vinty, or the Ode-hmmm, maybe today?

    I like a well-blended patch. CdG Patch Luxe is delish, and I enjoy Borneo (!), Montale’s patchy vanilla, and the Cartier with a bit of choco and patch.

    This Dior sounds really nice-must try!

  • Mrs.Honey says:

    In regard to patchouli, I don’t avoid it, but I can sure smell it the fruitchulli fragrances. They are not scrubbers, but I could not buy them.

    I wear Shalimar. It is a strange one but smells good on me. That said, I have heard quite a few positive comments about Shalimar initial from other perfumistas.

    I’ve never skin-tested either, please enter me in the draw.

  • nozknoz says:

    I’d love to sample the Dior patchouli! My fav patchouli is PG Coze. If I had unlimited perfume dollars and space, I probably also own Chanel Coromandel and SL Borneo 18__, but they are too similar to Coze to reach the top of my buy list so far.

    No thanks to Initial, which I have sampled. All the lemon pudding, none of the perfume, to my nose. I hated Shalimar when I first tried it in my teens, then tried it again two years ago and found I love it. Since it’s one of the most available vintage Guerlains on ebay, I now own multiples. Another cool weather scent I’m looking forward to wearing again.

  • Aubrey says:

    *jumps for joy* Samples! Samples! I love samples! Please enter me.

    Patchouli totally works for me so I am dying to try this. Plus I looooove Dior’s Ambre Nuit, so I want to try more from their lines.

    I admit that I haven’t found “My Shalimar” yet. I completely respect the few versions that I have smelled but I haven’t found the formulation that I love, rather than just respect. So maybe a starter Shalimar such as this one would be right for me.

  • Sherri M. says:

    Shalimar is one of those perfumes I admire tremendously but like better from a distant (the sillage) than up close. It was a favorite of alot of the older women, including my mil, so I don’t wear it though I keep it around in several iterations–go figure why. I didn’t think Parfum Initial smelled bad so much as a commercial concoction of Shalimar mixed with Coco Mademoiselle and a touch of Angel. Somehow the beauty of Shalimar got lost in all that, I thought.

    I like patchouli, as in Coromandel, well enough but I haven’t honestly tried many patch dominant scents, so please enter me in the drawing.

  • Civava says:

    I can wear patchouli only in very diluted versions otherwise I don’t like it too much. And fortunately I can easily wear Shalimar which is one of my favorite perfumes.

  • Zazie says:

    You bet I can wear Shalimar!
    I absolutely adore it.
    It is among my very favorites, one of the three or four fragrances I just cannot live without.
    I looooooooooooooove it.
    I find the opening of the modern versions difficult, but then – heaven.
    On the other side, Shalimar parfum initial struck me as a smoother angel, a smoother prada (the original or the tendre? don’t remember the difference), a smoother mademoiselle. I didn’t like its caramel stickiness. I didn’t like it’s “I am another clone in a very crowded family” vibe.

    On the other hand, I would love to try patchouli imperial: I don’t know what I think of patchouli, honestly. Would be nice to start an acquaintance with a great one. ;)

  • aoe says:

    I love Shalimar as it is, trying out Initial in the shop was a disappointment – in contrast to the Chanel stuff I don’t get the powder blues with Shalimar either, and I find that the vanillin note adds greatly to the (to me) slightly bland Guerlinade-only Jicky.

    A while ago I smelled Patchouli on a significant other and was totally grossed out. Since then I tried Le Labo’s Patchouli 22 and I recently tried Mitsouko EdT. I find the latter vanishes too quickly, I’ll have to reevaluate the EdP, but otherwise I love both. The Dior sounds interesting!

  • L says:

    I have been wearing L’Artisan’s Voleur de Roses this week and loving it. That’s the kind of patchouli I go for. And Shalimar works beautifully for me. Thanks for hosting a draw!

  • Joanna says:

    I can and do wear both Shalimar and Patchouli. I’ve commented on my relationship with Shalimar before but I’ll add that I will never look at it as an old lady scent.
    Patchouli is tricky and varies depending on how well the scent was crafted. It can smell devine or it can smell like dirty hippie. I prefer mine to not be reminiscent of granola and unwashed armpits. I love Coriander though and paired with sandalwood and Patch sounds lovely.

  • Alica says:

    I can bear patchouli pretty well – e.g. vintage Magie Noir or Dior Midnight Poison. Also Shalimar is a delikatesse on me – esp. vintage in all concentrations. Thank you and have a great day!

  • Jennifer says:

    I -can- wear Shalimar,it’s not my favorite ,but I do wear it when I feel like it .The Parfum is WAAAYY better than the edt(I have a mini of the good stuff and a bottle of the okay edt).
    Patchouli …hmmm.. sometimes it’s nice .Other times not.Coriander IS nice (often in some VERY NICE vintage fumies)! I have some vintage Coriandre that I love.
    Both sound interesting to try.Thanks for hosting a sample giveaway!