WHAT I SMELL: Le Lion goes on the skin with an ambered bergamot and lemon that is tinged with patchouli in an opening that is is warm, yet light and inviting. There is no mistake that the DNA of Le Lion is aligned with Guerlain’s classic Shalimar. But to me, the biggest difference is the lemon and citrus which remains front and center which lifts the perfume up to something that is lighter, a tad brighter and much more approachable and easy to wear. Le Lion doesn’t morph all that much, but as it does wear, a puttied sandalwood makes it way under the other notes and the entire composition begins to lighten.
From the Chanel website:
Gabrielle Chanel was born on August 19, 1883, under the sign of Leo. Majestic, indomitable and wild, the lion is more than just her astrological symbol; it also embodies Mademoiselle’s radiant personality and serves as inspiration for this powerful fragrance.
Faceted with a rich amber accord and featuring bold notes of bergamot, lemon, patchouli and sandalwood, the scent evokes the spirit of CHANEL.
WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: A chill lion. Modern; made for today.
THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE LE LION: comfortable, easy, Shalimar-lite
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT LE LION: Persolaise, The Black Narcissus, Now Smell This
BOTTOM LINE: I like Le Lion and could see myself wearing this often as it’s an amber perfume that doesn’t set out to be too heavy. The citrus remains afloat above the patchouli and sandalwood to give it just enough of that clean Chanel finish that is so easy to love.
- Bone Rating: 4 out of possible 5 bones
- Scent: Amber
- Nose: Olivier Polge
- Classification: Unisex
- Expense: $200 for 2.5 oz. eau de parfum
July 19, 2021 at 8:24 am
That’s a darling photo of the majestic lion dressed in casual attire! Thank you…
This is a great review, I agree about the citrus note too and for me, it is easy to wear any time. I do not own Shalimar but I have sampled it. I purchased Le Lion for myself this year in February (for my birthday) it is worth every penny and I love it. Enjoy your day! 🙂
July 19, 2021 at 8:33 am
Hi Julie. So glad you have this as part of your collection. I am leaning towards a purchase now and your thoughts may have just pushed me over the edge. As for Shalimar…I do love it. But it is one of the perfumes that I really have to be in the mood to wear. And it’s one of those perfumes that can be difficult in warmer weather. So this really is a nice alternative. And Chanel does “clean” really well. Happy Belated Birthday! xoxoxo
July 19, 2021 at 8:47 am
I loved this review, and like Julie, I bought it for my birthday back in January. It’s similar to Shalimar, but different enough that I can justify both 🙂 I hope you have a great day !
July 19, 2021 at 10:21 am
Hi Carole – I think you’re right about being close to Shalimar, but different enough to have both in the collection. Hmmmm, maybe Le Lion should now be officially called a birthday scent! Thanks for stopping by.
July 19, 2021 at 3:04 pm
I have vintage Shalimar and love it; there is truly nothing quite like decades-old Shalimar. But, I agree with all the above comments. I have to be in the mood or else it “wears me” and it’s so elegant that I feel silly running to the grocery store (Pandemic-era) rather than a nice play or ballet with vintage Shalimar. I’m off to get Le Lion–just waiting for the paycheck to catch up. I’m in the US/Calif and am assuming I’ll have to special order from Chanel?
July 19, 2021 at 3:14 pm
Yeah, Shalimar isn’t casual at all…agree with that. As for as purchasing; I believe that Neiman Marcus sells it, maybe Saks too. But you can order from chanel.com…and they’ll send it to you in a fabulous Chanel box, etc. No special order and I believe they offer 2 day free shipping!! And if only Jeff Bezos would send us just a fraction of a check we wouldn’t have to worry about waiting to get paid to order what we want!!!
July 20, 2021 at 4:04 pm
Scented Hound, I love the way you think! We could use some billionaire bucks to achieve world peace-through fragrance :)))))
July 20, 2021 at 4:56 pm
Should I call Bezos or do you want to?? I’m sure he’s in a good mood today! 🙂
August 6, 2021 at 5:07 am
I like Le Lion and might consider buying a bottle after I finish the decant I’ve got. It reminds of many other perfumes (though, I’m glad it’s not overly-Shalimaresque since it’s not “my” perfume), but I find it different enough from everything I own to want to wear it.
You always find great pictures for illustrating your point!
August 6, 2021 at 6:47 am
Funny, I wore Shalimar extract yesterday for the first time in around 6 months. For some reason I had a hankering for it. As it continued to wear, I was wishing I was wearing Le Lion instead as the Shalimar just got so heavy. I am thinking I may have to get a bottle for myself as well. As for pictures, thank god for Google images. Whatever pops in your mind for what you would like…they seem to have it no matter how obscure.
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August 7, 2021 at 2:25 am
Still, it’s something that you have to think of and then choose. I think you do it perfectly.
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