The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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Shangri La by Hiram Green

Shangri La (transparent background)For me, there are few fragrances that I am introduced to that end up receiving a 5 bone review.  This past year, perfumer Hiram Green’s Moon Bloom was one of those fragrances that did.  I had heard so many wonderful things about Moon Bloom and was late the game in checking it out, but it was well worth the wait.  So when I found out that Hiram was launching his second creation, I had to be front and center to check it out.  But before I get into my review, I posed a few questions to Hiram:

Hiram Green (4)

Hiram Green

The Scented Hound:  From what I read, Shangri-La was inspired by the Coty fragrance of the same name (Coty Chypre).  What motivated you to create this homage?

Hiram Green:  I was experimenting with a variety of different materials, once I started to picture a Shangri La paradise in my head, the Chypre accord developed intuitively. I did not set out purposely to create this homage, it just happened.

The Scented Hound:  Moon Bloom, your freshman effort was a critical success.  Was it intimidating at all developing Shangri-La knowing that you set the expectations so high for your sophomore release?

Hiram Green:  It was very intimidating launching Moon Bloom. I am a bit more relaxed with Shangri La. I feel that many of the people who enjoyed Moon Bloom should find similar qualities in Shangri La. 

The Scented Hound:  What’s on the horizon for Hiram Green next?

Hiram Green:  I am always working on new fragrances. Nothing is quite yet finished. Are there any fragrances that you or anyone else would like to see from me?  (see the Hound’s response in the Bottom Line section).

On to the review…

WHAT I SMELL:  Shangri La opens with this curiously warmed citrus which seems tinged with a bit of clove.  The fragrance is prickly to the nose with a peach note that’s rather jammy without being thick.  There’s a mulled spice aspect about the composition that exchanges rounds between being more floral and then once again becoming more spiced.  After around 20 minutes, the tonality of the fragrance begins to find its middle ground between the floral and the spice and Shangri La at this point feels herbal, as if it’s a special and mysterious creation that’s housed in an unassuming pouch made of burlap, leather and twine.  After some more time, the herbs and spices are met with just a hint of light sugar or sweetened floral.  It’s not until around the 45 minute mark that you really start to get wrapped up in the dust of the oakmoss which makes for a wonderful haze to base the spiced florals on.  But just when you think that the fragrance is going to settle in to its final phase, the peach note really comes forth and it’s a bit dirty and roughened.  In the end, Shangri La remains this dusty spiced peach of a perfume.

From the Hiram Green website:

Almost one hundred years after Francois Coty defined the chypre genre with a perfume of the same name, Hiram Green presents his adaptation of this classic accord. Named after the fictional land described in James Hilton’s novel Lost Horizon, Shangri La evokes a mystical fragrant paradise.
 
Shangri La opens with a sharp burst of citrus, followed by a rich bouquet of peach, jasmine, rose, iris and spices, all anchored by an earthy base of vetiver and oakmoss.
Lost Horizon 1937

Lost Horizon – 1937

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Hiram Green named his perfume well…Shangri La.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE SHANGRI LA:  mysterious, spiced, dusty

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT SHANGRI LA:  Colognoisseur, Kafkaesque, Cafleurebon

BOTTOM LINE:  Mr. Green’s second creation is wonderful and there is a quality and underlying spice that ties it to Moon Bloom and it is distinctively his.  As far as I can tell from these first two fragrances, he can’t do any wrong so I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next…but I do have my weakness for big white florals, I would probably love it if he came up with a head spinning jasmine!

  • Bone Rating: 3.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Chypre
  • Nose:  Hiram Green
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $165 for 50ml Eau de Parfum

Sample courtesy of Hiram Green.