Why Do People Buy And Wear Those Things? Perfume…Shalimar.

Shalimar Perfume

Shalimar Perfume

Yes, I think part is the thrill of the hunt. Nothing beats finding an old perfume that’s still in its glory, beautiful to smell, beautiful in its bottle, and of course, at a wonderful price. And of course, to put it on, to dab the precious drops of it onto oneself, is magnificent. To wear the old ingredients, what we call the real stuff, what we know is before the reformulations, is superb. We marvel at the beautiful aromas, we sniff, we inhale, we luxuriate in these bottles. We can collect them, yes, but truly, nothing beats sitting amongst them and opening the different ones and sniffing the wondrous concoctions of perfumers of the past. The new perfumes can’t hold a candle to the vintages at all, and those that don’t understand vintages or appreciate them have so much to learn. How to explain to someone about old perfumes? They are heavenly to us that do appreciate them for what they are and what they represent.

Why bother with hunting for an older perfume? What is the difference? Standards are set by The International Fragrance Association, a world-wide organization.  These standards are considered a management system for the safe use of fragrance ingredients.  The standards change constantly and protect animals, forests, fauna and other ingredients used in the making of perfume. What was used years ago, is now being made synthetically and changes the composition and smell of a perfume. Putting a vintage perfume next to an identical one made today of the same name will find two perfumes with identical names, but slightly different notes or compositions to them. The newer perfumes are weaker, some feel. You only have to sniff to agree.

I began my love of perfumes with my mother when she allowed me to dab a bit of her Shalimar on myself when I was seven years old. Oh the glory of that fragrance! How beautiful it was and still is! I have owned many Shalimar formulations and enjoyed them. Shalimar is my signature perfume and will always stay with me.  The blue bottle in the picture is mine and dates from the early 2000’s.

Shalimar evokes such pleasurable memories for me. And it’s scent is so deliciously decadently devious. Guerlain designed this perfume to be that way. It is a woman’s scent. It is for those who know they are a woman, when they want to be a woman and when they luxuriate in being the woman they are. Because it is a perfume that brings to mind the human body as a pleasurable thing mixed with sweetness. You see, it’s dry down won’t attack you with any sick sweet cloying floral scent or overpowering muskiness either, but rather, entice you with a suspicious mixture of naughty and nice. It belongs to a faraway time, perhaps in a Sultan’s tent, mesmerized by the fragrances adorned on bodies, of incense lightly burning somewhere in the night.
It was created in 1921 by Guerlain.  Jacques Guerlain was inspired by Mumtaz Mahal, the woman for whom the Taj Mahal was built. She was so favored, that her husband built for her the Garden of Shalimar in Pakistan. They say the meaning of “Shalimar” is a mystery, but it is of Persian origin. In Sanskrit it means “Temple of Love”. Jacques Guerlain felt Shalimar to be an aphrodisiac.
I always knew it to be a vanilla, powdery scent.  It contains vanilla, bergamot, jasmine, lemon, rose, iris, incense, opopanax, and tonka bean. Top note are citrus, mandarin orange, cedar,  bergamot and lemon. Middle notes are iris, patchouli, jasmin, vetiver and rose. Base notes are vanilla, leather, sandalwood, opoponax, musk, civet, incense and tonka bean.
It is a sexy smell that you can layer on with its accompanying lotions or creams. It’s considered an Oriental with a headiness of musk that does bring others to their knees,  wondering how such a thing happened to them. It was said back then that a lady didn’t do three things: “smoke, dance the Tango and wear Shalimar”. So for those that think of Shalimar as an old lady’s perfume, think again. There really is no such animal. There are only scents that bring out one’s own beauty and confidence when mixed correctly with the wearer’s pheromones.
Shalimar was one of my first perfumes as a young woman and I’ll always delight in wearing it. It makes me feel special when I do. Wearing Shalimar reminds me of whom I am and who I want to be at the moment. It gives me a smile to wear, with the confidence to wear nothing else. It just has that ability. Jacques Guerlain knew what he was doing when he created Shalimar with the new scent of vanillin.

Shalimar is a classic that has withstood the test of time. I’ve gone on to collect quite a few other perfumes, review many and enjoy the scents of many perfumers. Take the time to scent your world. Take the time each evening to scent yourself, your boudoir, your pillows. You’ll sleep better, you’ll dream better. Life is far too short to not enjoy it when we have simple pleasures that we can use around us.



All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.



One Response to “Why Do People Buy And Wear Those Things? Perfume…Shalimar.”

  1. […] Why Do People Buy And Wear Those Things? Perfume…Shalimar. (sorceress2.wordpress.com) […]


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