Shalimar Millésime Vanilla Planifolia


 Shalimar is either a 10XL or the perfect fit. I don't think there's a way in between, it can't be, because it's immense and full. Jicky's metamorphose into Shalimar didn't left one out and the other in, each had its own path and cult, but when Shali came along, so bright and dark, sharp and sweet, dry and creamy, majestic and autocratic, didn't leave any room for another like itself. Its almost 100 years of evolution and changes made out of Shalimar, not only a classic, but also a stamp and a reference for the amber/spicy genre. Its multiple concentrations and versions were a variable in the time, during almost a century. Shalimar has been shedded of its in or outer layers, new features were added and other replaced, but it will always resume and stick to its essence: (sharp) bergamot, amber-woods, vanilla and the animalic murmurs in the background, under the leather's shelter, that keep the fragrance "alive". Each's volume was turned lower or higher or highlighted in a special way, and sometimes, mysteriously, covered in an utterly sheer smoke. 

 Shalimar Millésime Vanilla Planifolia, the latest Shalimar's descendant, has become, sooner than i expected, my favorite. It's beautiful, rich, dark, rounder, it's not pretentious, it has lost the sharpness and it's almost smoke free (compared to the original' natural rubbery smokiness). The citruses are only a whisper of bergamot and lemon, decapitated of its sourness; the animalics are liberated and have been returned to their natural habitat, leaving behind only a small trace of their presence; the amber is richer than ever - sweet, resinous and gloriously powdery; the smoke is what's left of the fire from the night before and the woods, creamier. The one to really make the difference though is the vanilla accord - a tincture, an absolute and vanilin - (similar with the one used in Bois D'Arménie and Cuir Beluga). It's unfolding on the warmth of the skin into coats of boozy, spicy, cozy, sweet, resinous, creamy and floral nuances. Combined with the delicate heliotrope, benzoin and Shalimar's leather accord, it lays itself a bed of suede with its gentle, powdery, velvety-apricot and musky touch and it cuddles itself in it until dawn, when it wakes up melted into the most delicious vanilla-pod icecream. 

 Shalimar Millésime Vanilla Planifolia feels like a conversation with a friend, it's fluid, unaltered and trustworthy. An intense feeling of deep affection.


  1. Wonderful review, Ana! I have been interested in Bois d’Armenie since years. With the raise of prices of Guerlain’s scents since their new bottles were launched, I am turned off… I need to try Shalimar Millésime Vanilla Planifolia now.

    1. Thank you, Tetê! True, Guerlain's went from expensive to unaccessible. I hope you'll be able to find an older Bois D'Arménie (which I'm sure it's more affordable) and that you'll enjoy the new Shalimar.


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