In 1920, Jacques Guerlain created what is now known today as a legendary fragrance, Shalimar. Today, Guerlain is introducing a fresh scent, Shalimar Parfum Initial, to offer a new gateway into the original enchantment for those who are too young to remember.
Thierry Wasser, Guerlain’s perfumer, says the fragrance was inspired by his young niece, who was rather intimidated, but nonetheless fascinated by the historic masterpiece, and asked him to compose “a Shalimar just for her.”
“It was a real challenge,” said Wasser, “allowing the perfume to evolve in time, 85 years after its creation, without distorting it and retaining the alchemy that makes it so desirable. I had to lighten but not disown the fragrance, transpose but not betray it. Create the future while honoring the past.”
The amber-floral fragrance was crafted on the basis of four ingredients that have been favored by Guerlain perfumers throughout the decades—centifolia rose, Italian iris, vanilla and tonka bean. Calabrian bergamot and hedione were added for a touch of freshness to complement the light aromas of caramel and warm fruit, and to support the vanilla in place of the original leathery accents.
The advertising campaign, photographed by Paolo Roversi, features an elegant, nude portrait of Natalia Vodianova with a luxuriant tumble of hair and hint of smile. The bottle keeps true to the Baccarat crystal original designed by Raymond Guerlain, who was inspired by a Mughal fruit basket, like those that can be seen on the marble of Indian palaces. The bottle also retains the sapphire cabochon and silk fringe of the first, but the tassel is now grey blue and the juice is a new shade of soft, powdery rose.
Shalimar Parfum Initial is available this month in select specialty and department stores, and is priced at $119.00 for 3.4 oz., $84.00 for 2.0 oz. and $67.00 for 1.0 oz.
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