By: Dr. Geetanjali Ranade
Goldfield Fragrances Pvt Ltd, India
Shalimar means ‘Home of Love’ in Sanskrit. It is one of the flagships in French Perfumery. The fragrance was created in 1925 by Jacques Guerlain. Rumor has it that he created this perfume as a tribute to the legendary love story between Mumtaz and Emperor SHAHJAHAN. There are two Shalimar Gardens. One at Lahor (now in Pakistan), was built by the Mughal Emporer Shah Jahan. Construction began in 1641 A.D. (1051 A.H.) and was completed the following year. Another one was built in Kashmir (Shrinagar) by Emperor Jahangir for his queen Noor Jahan. Upon completion of this garden, the Emperor Jahangar is said to have recited the famous Persian expression: "If there is a paradise on earth, it is this, it is this, it is this." The gardens in Shrinagar were the inspiration for other gardens of the same name, notably the Shalimar Gardens at Lahore in Pakistan.
Whether it is a story or fascinating and effective marketing, the magic created by Shalimar is indisputable. Notes include lemon, jasmine, bergamot, rose de mai, opoponox, vanilla, iris, ambergris. Shalimar is also the first perfume to contain vanillin ethyl, an artificial molecule that smells like vanilla but is marked by an irresistible intensity.
Try to imagine and experience the fragrance with its exotic notes: Citrus fresh sensation leading to indulging woody floral and finally a lingering sweet balsamic reminiscence, which leaves behind a nostalgic feeling.
In Perfumer’s language, Shalimar is classified as oriental amber fragrance.
Top Note: Lemon, Bergamot, Mandarin, Rosewood with anise-like spicy feel ----- citrusy fresh
Middle Note: Patchouli, Rose, Jasmine, Orris, Vetiver and hint of Petitgrain and Tuberose ---- woody floral
End Note: Opoponox, Vanilla, Benzoin, Peru Balsam, and leather with a dash of chocolate ----- sweet powdery balsamic
Consider the blend of naturals in the fragrance. Shalimar is the best combination of opposite emotions put together so that the user feels composed and balanced while at the same time, refreshed, uplifted and invigorated by the citrus combinations. The floral hues that follow give the perfume a sense of escapism and opulence with powdery accents of iris, jasmine, rose and tuberose. Here is tranquility which makes you at peace with yourself and your surroundings. The beauty of the creation is the delivery of all these with a sense of maturity. Wearing it, you feel you are ‘living’ life to its fullest.
Incredible as it sounds, trust me when I say that if you wear this fragrance with combinations of green – yellow, yellow- violet, orange-red, pink- violet, you will experience new fragrance each time.
The Shalimar bottle is reminiscent of the fountains in the gardens of oriental palaces. The bottle’s cap is like a deep blue fan suggesting the traditional customs of those mysteriously enchanting countries. The design is made by Jacques' cousin, Raymond Guerlain.
A fragrance, created in 1925 as a salute to eternal love still leaves the wearer with the impression of serene and divine feelings and the nostalgia for compassion and passion.
About the author: Dr. Geetanjali Ranade is a doctorate in biomedical engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. She was visiting scientist at National Cardiovascular Canter, Japan for post-doctoral research in brain physiology. She has completed her aromatherapy course from Australasian College of Herbal Studies, USA. She also holds RMA (Registered Medical Practitioner) from Indian Board of Alternative Medicine. email@example.com