|Fragrance by Jacques Guerlain|
|Type||Oriental fragrance: Floral and Amber-woody scent.|
Shalimar was created by Jacques Guerlain in 1921, but after another company claimed to already have a fragrance by the same name, Guerlain was forced to rename the fragrance "No. 90" until a legal dispute over the name was settled. Shalimar was re-released in 1925 at the International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts.
Jacques Guerlain was inspired by Mumtaz Mahal, the wife of Shah Jahan, Mughal emperor of India, and for whom the Taj Mahal in Agra and the Shalimar Gardens in Lahore were built. The harmony of Shalimar was created when Jacques Guerlain poured a bottle of ethylvanillin into a bottle of Jicky, a fragrance created by Guerlain in 1889.
Raymond Guerlain designed the bottle for Shalimar, which was modeled after the basins of eastern gardens and Mongolian stupa art. Shalimar's blue, fan-shaped bottle topper was inspired by a piece of silverware owned by the Guerlain family. The bottle was manufactured by Baccarat Crystal and received the Decorative Arts Exhibition Award in 1925.
In 1985, Shalimar was repackaged and presented encased in a Lucite box to commemorate the 60th anniversary of its original launch. In 2004, Guerlain issued Shalimar Light by perfumer Mathilde Laurent. However, Shalimar Light was taken off the market and replaced by Eau de Shalimar in 2008.
Shalimar is preserved in its original 1925 formulation in the archives of the Osmothèque, donated by Jean-Paul Guerlain. As of 2017, Shalimar was Guerlain's second best selling fragrance, behind La Petite Robe Noire, with approximately 108 bottles being sold every hour.
The fragrance contains notes of bergamot, lemon, iris, jasmine, rose, patchouli, vetiver, opopanax, tonka bean, frankincense, sandalwood, musk, civet, ambergris, leather, and vanilla. It is considered to be an Oriental perfume (see Fragrance Wheel).
Illustrator Lyse Darcy created many illustrated ads for Guerlain products, including Shalimar, from the 1930s through the 1950s. Photographs taken by Helmut Newton were used in a print campaign for Shalimar in 1997.
In 2013, Guerlain produced an advertisement titled "The Legend of Shalimar," featuring Natalia Vodianova. The advertisement was directed by Bruno Aveillan and featured music by Hans Zimmer that had been originally composed for The Da Vinci Code.
In popular culture
In the novel "War Cry", by Wilbur Smith (with David Churchill), Saffron is caught attempting to descend the Cresta Run in St. Moritz due to her forgetting that she had used the perfume Shalimar following her morning shower.
In the novel "Angel of Baker Street", by Catherine Bell, Olivia always pictures her mother in her mind whenever she caught a hint of the perfume. Olivia is also given a bottle of Shalimar as a gift by Dominique, who had protected her during Olivia's stay in Paris.
In season 2, episode 12 of The Nanny, Fran remembers her aunt Mima smelling of stuffed cabbage and Shalimar under her mink coat.
In season 1 episode 19 of "Person of Interest," villain Elias remembers his mother wearing Shalimar perfume.
S5:E11 of American Horror Story': While pouring herself a drink, the Countess realizes that Ramona Royale has entered her suite behind her back. Without turning around the Countess says, "It’s not the Shalimar that gives you away - it’s your blood."
In the 2018 novel "Greeks Bearing Gifts", by Philip Kerr, the anti-hero, Bernie Gunther (alias Christof Ganz) comments upon Elli Panatoniou's Shalimar perfume as having the effect of “making a woman smell like a woman and making a man want to behave like a rampaging gorilla”.
In the 2018 novel "Lethal White", by Robert Galbraith, the private detective, Cormoran Strike about his ex girlfriend, Charlotte "...could smell what he knew to be Shalimar on her skin. She had worn it since she was nineteen and he had sometimes bought it for her."
Cheryl Bentyne's lyric for The Manhattan Transfer's 2018 cover of Grace Kelly's "Blues for Harry Bosch" includes two mentions of Shalimar, both in reference to the lyric's unnamed femme fatale, described initially as "her poison" and later, simply "the venom."
Mentioned in two Fannie Flagg novels, in the plot of one (Welcome to the World, Baby Girl) of which it is a clue to the mystery.
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