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Oh, Sweet Shalimar Parfum Initial: Review

Updated on February 19, 2013
Image used with permission from
Image used with permission from | Source

The original Shalimar perfume by Guerlain and I have the tumultuous relationship of lovers that know they shouldn't be together but just can't resist. That, or I'm just a crazy stalker, loving from not quite far enough away because the chemistry's not exactly right between us--almost, but not quite. Shalimar Parfum Initial, however, has everything I like and nothing that I don't from the original formulation.

You still get the bright, citrus burst and the spicy drydown, but you trade in a little of the lingering powdery scent for sweetness more on par with Dior Hypnotic Poison than Aquolina Pink Sugar.

The Shalimar Parfum Initial perfume for women comes in a clear, fan-shaped bottle with a blue lid and a matching blue tassel. The liquid is tinted pink, a hint at the more feminine and youthful fragrance inside. When I say feminine and youthful, stop yourself from coming to a screeching halt in your reading and turning away, cringing at the thought of another fruity floral that mimics the Victoria's Secret scents teens and those in their early 20s love. (Okay, I'll admit it: I still love some of those too!)

This is not a fruity floral. It's barely fruity. It's a grown-up floral. And it still has the same spicy, powdery qualities of the original Shalimar. It's the heady mystery and sensuality of the original veiled with an unassuming chiffon dress. Its notes are amber, bergamot, rose, jasmine, iris, vanilla, and tonka bean. The citrus isn't quite as sharp as it is in Shalimar, and it doesn't last as long. The warmth is still there and the sweetness is more prominent in Shalimar Parfum Initial. What's left after about nine hours of wear is a caramel scent, but there's still enough of the spiciness to keep it from veering off into the "generic" category. And I'm pretty happy if I can still smell any perfume after 9+ hours, honestly.

If you aren't familiar, the original Shalimar is a classic that most people seem to love or hate. It's citrusy, powdery, with a hint of vanilla and the allure of incense. It's sensual and spicy. According to, notes include: bergamot, lemon, jasmine, rose, iris, incense, opopanax, tonka bean, and vanilla. It's inviting, but not subtle. If worn on pulse points in the summer, I've found it to be overwhelming. However, it dries down and stays close to the skin in the winter. Something in there, though I think it smells beautiful, gives me a migraine and makes me nauseous once I spray it on.

If you've tried Shalimar but found it a little too over-the-top even if you liked the scent, I suggest giving Shalimar Parfum Initial perfume for women a try. It's a more youthful, slightly sweeter version of the classic with all of the major components that make Shalimar so special still intact. Even if you have no clue what the original Shalimar is like and you enjoy complex, mysterious scents that seem to accomplish a mix of floral, spicy, sweet, and earthy all at once (women are complicated--why shouldn't their perfume be?), you still may enjoy it.


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    • CrystalSchwanke profile image

      CrystalSchwanke 6 years ago

      Thank you, Donna! I hope you love the new Shalimar.

    • DonnaCosmato profile image

      Donna Cosmato 6 years ago from USA

      Excellent review! Shalimar has always been my favorite fragrance so I'm excited about trying this version to see how I like it. I also loved the creative way you presented this...not your common, boring review that puts one to sleep before the end. Kudos!