With a name that literally means "temple of love" in Sanskrit, Shalimar is the amber-oriental perfume that spawned a host of successful imitators. Guerlain's fragrance takes its name from the Indian Gardens of Shalimar, where emperor Shah Jahan met the woman who inspired him to build the Taj Mahal. A runaway success since its birth in 1925, Shalimar's irresistable blend of fragrance notes has given it pride of place on the vanities of glamorpusses from Rita Hayworth to Kate Moss.
What It Smells Like
Shalimar’s recognizable scent has captivated women and their admirers for almost a century now. The iconic love potion was created by blending lemony top notes and fragrant florals over a rich base of vanilla, patchouli, amber and musk. The result is an exotic scent cocktail that deepens into a powerfully sensual weapon, over hours of wear.
The Sincerest Form of Flattery
Based on a heady dose of amber, vanilla, patchouli and musk, Shalimar is the original amber-oriental perfume that spawned a flock of imitators. In the 1980s, Calvin Klein based his Obsession Perfume on a similar vanilla-patchouli base with a citrus top. But perhaps the most direct homage to Shalimar - and a wildly successful scent in its own right - is Thierry Mugler's Angel Perfume, which adds mouth-watering notes of honey, chocolate and caramel to the vanilla-patchouli-sandalwood accord.
The Legend Gets a Face-Lift
One might assume that a fragrance that's still selling after 85 years needs no improvement, but sometimes a little nip and tuck is in order. In 2010, to celebrate Shalimar's 85th anniversary, Guerlain partnered with Jade Jagger (a jewelry designer, and herself the daughter of two icons, Rolling Stone Mick Jagger and fashion icon Bianca Jagger) to create a new bottle for Shalimar Eau de Parfum. The new bottle is curvy and sensual, with a gem-like stopper befitting this exotic jewel of a perfume.
Where and When to Wear It
Wear Shalimar when you want to bring out your inner sexpot - but save it for evening wear, if you want to play it safe. With its take-no-prisoners-sexy aroma and rich, full-bodied base notes, this perfume can smell overpowering for day, particularly in the warmer months.