The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


Guerlain Shalimar Souffle de Parfum

Shalimar Souffle de Parfum2I love Shalimar and the intoxicating effect is has on me; it stands out in my collection as a classic and revered masterpiece.  So when I reached down in my big bag of untested samples and saw the sample of Shalimar Souffle de Parfum I immediately thought to myself that I was going to hate it.  I admit, that I was being prejudicial prior to testing this, but the words “souffle” and “Shalimar” together had me very concerned.  Shalimar is delightfully refined and adult…I am wondering if this new flanker was mean to bring the kiddies into the big time…maybe like the perfumed Joe Camel?!



WHAT I SMELL:  Tangy lemon and then a buttered orange creme that’s surprisingly rich, lush, gourmand and inviting.  I like the fact that there’s a sweetness about the opening that is rooted in the lemon, but without a high dosage of sugar.  There’s also a wonderful shimmering hue that makes the fragrance sparkle.  After around 10 minutes the jasmine takes center stage, it’s clean and fresh and topped by the citrus.  I have to say that the fragrance thus far feels like a big chemical concoction.  However, in this case, that’s not a bad thing.  After another 5 minutes, Souffle (as I’ll call it from here out) starts to grown in projection.  There’s a creaminess that comes forward combined with vanilla that makes the perfume feel like a cross between an egg custard and a Peep.  The white musk adds a dryer sheet effect to the perfume which again, I feel like the combination of the Peeps, dryer sheets, etc. should make this a wreck.  Well, it’s not.  It’s just a flanker that is targeted to a younger audience and in that case, I would say that it works.  In the end, Souffle is a lemony tart souffle that’s bright and sunny.

From Guerlain:

inspired by a fabulous Indian love story, Jacques Guerlain created the legendary Shalimar perfume in 1925. Now, Thierry Wasser has breathed new life into this legendary perfume, taking it to the heights of sensuality.  A luminous, modern creation with notes of jasmine, vanilla and white musk.

easter-basketWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  An Easter basket.


WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT SHALIMAR SOUFFLE DE PARFUM:  Now Smell This, Colognoisseur, The Candy Perfume Boy

BOTTOM LINE:  If you remove yourself from trying to compare this to the original Shalimar you’ll find that this is a nice light treat that’s perfect for a younger audience.  And I have to say that the name fits perfectly…this is a souffle of a perfume!

  • Bone Rating: 3.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Oriental Floral
  • Nose:  Thierry Wasser
  • Classification: Feminine
  • Expense:  $100 for 1.7 oz. Eau de Parfum


Oh Vintage Shalimar, How I Love Thee


I have no idea how it happened, but somehow in the past I dismissed Guerlain’s Shalimar.  Maybe because I smelled it on a blotter and it just didn’t do anything for me, or maybe it’s because I smelled it at the same time I had just taken a whiff of Mitsouko (too medicinal for my tastes), but for some reason no love was registered on my part.  So a few weeks back I was in a small antique store in Fredericksburg, Virginia and lo and behold they had a selection of perfumes, mostly minis and mostly made up of Liz Taylor White Diamonds and the like.  But there in the case were 2 bottles of unopened vintage Shalimar Eau de Toilettes in the gold box (just as in the pic below).  They were marked at $12.00 a piece with a 20% discount (the original CVS sticker on the box stated $35.00… I hadn’t realized they even sold Guerlain at CVS!).  At that price what did I have to lose.  So I purchased one of the bottles and as soon as we got in the car I opened the box, sprayed liberally (and practically choked my husband out of the car) and that’s when it happened; magic.  Shalimar cast her spell over me and I haven’t looked back since.  So spurred by this magic spell I had to go even further.  A few days later I got on eBay to find myself a bottle of parfum extrait and once again….though completely different from the EdT, Shalimar Parfum Extrait cast her spell.  Love is such a beautiful thing.

1920's Glamour

1920’s Glamour

WHAT I SMELL – Parfum Extrait:   The perfume opens with a big and bright citrus and bergamot.  The citrus is directly from the peel, big, bold and full.  There’s nothing sharp, but the opening is bright, uplifting and dynamic. The infused florals are slightly heady and beautifully warm.  It’s big and full and proper, but slightly naughty.  It’s like the most luxurious silken pillow that you’ve ever rested your head on.  After around 45 minutes an incense in combination with the bite of the civet make their way in.  What was bright and bursting with energy now turns more vampish…constrained vampishness, but you know it’s there.  As it continues to develop there’s a darkened sensuality that pulses from the heart of the perfume, the incense is so subdued and there’s a hint of leather that smells like a well oiled and rubbed baseball mitt.  It’s stays in this phase for some time until hours later when the fragrance begins to dry and it becomes a warm vanilla dream.  Oh Shalimar, you’re glamorous, earthy, rounded and just plain gorgeous!

Top notes: bergamot, lemon, mandarin, rosewood

Heart notes: rose, jasmine, orris, vetiver, patchouli

Basenotes: opoponax, vanilla, civet, Peru balsam, benzoin, coumarin (tonka bean), leather

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  1920’s glamour.  Created in 1925 by Jacques Guerlain, the fragrance perfectly fits the era, the glamour and the intersection of the Victorian moral scrossing with the newly modern and daring women of the day.


  • Bone Rating – Vintage Shalimar Parfum Extrait – 5 bones

vintge-guerlain-shalimar-eau-de-toiletteWHAT I SMELL – Eau de Toilette:  Shalimar EdT opens with a cool citrus that quickly becomes spicy and slightly peppery.  From the way the perfume smells I expect it to be heavy, but it’s not as it’s much more radiant and ethereal.  The citrus carries on nicely without any bite and the floral tinged amber is embedded with an incense that is as light as can be.  It really is bewitching.  The fragrance maintains this light and airy incense, but after around the 45 minute mark in comes a light and sweetened creaminess (but yet is still rather dry…its almost a contradiction) that’s like a kitten’s purr.  It stays in this creamy dream for a good long time.  Finally, after hours, in the end you’re left with a dried light vanilla that’s soft, pretty with just a hint of mystery.

Desert HazeWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  desert haze


  • Bone Rating – Vintage Shalimar Eau de Toilette – 4 bones

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT VINTAGE SHALIMAR:  Yesterday’s Perfume, Perfume Shine, Muse in Wooden Shoes

BOTTOM LINE:  Of the two versions, the parfum extrait is my favorite, it’s just so lush and seductive.  The EdT is perfect for wearing everyday, in fact, my bottle after a few weeks is already 1/4 drained. I guess the lesson here is never to poo-poo a perfume just because it didn’t do anything for you on a blotter.  There is obviously a reason that Shalimar has lasted for so many years…it’s because it’s incredible and somehow I feel it was created just for me.



A Hound CaFleureBon Post: Perfume Review: Guerlain L’Art et la Matière Cuir Beluga (2005) Olivier Polge + Solace in Central Park Draw

When many of us think of the House of  Guerlain, most perfumistas immediately identify with  the great vintage fragrances of historical classic perfumery such as Jicky (1889), Mitsouko (1919),L’Heure Bleu (1912) Shalimar (1925), Vol de Nuit (1933) to name a few. Cuir Beluga carries on the great tradition of Guerlain as part of the Guerlain L’Art et la Matière collection.  And even though it’s the height of summer, Cuir Beluga has the ability to sweep you away to find some much need wintertime solace in the heart of New York City’s Central Park.  For the full review and the incredible draw, click here.