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Fragrance love: Guerlain Shalimar Ode a la Vanille

Dear Roses and Lilies,

In 2013, Guerlain launched a new flanker for their cult oriental fragrance, Shalimar. The new oriental vanilla variation is called "Ode a la Vanille Sur la route du Mexique" - ode to vanilla on the road to Mexico.

The bottle retains it's classic shape with the blue cap, and the box is simply stunning!

As the name implies, this version is more about vanilla and its marvelous aroma.

I love Ode a la Vanille because there is no spiciness, no woody notes and no musk. There are only 7 uncomplicated notes that, brought together, form a fragrance not as deep as the 1925 version, but still pleasant and sensual.

Now for my nose: when I spray Shalimar Ode a la Vanille, I get something sparkly like a citrus concoction. Don't let that throw you off the trail, however. There is no bergamot in the opening. There is opoponax, which is a type of resin that is both sparkly and bitter.

Then there's incense, without which a fragrance cannot call itself "oriental". This, together with the resin, adds the "mystery" vibe. There are chocolate and caramel notes, but those are redundant, in my opinion. Since there is a healthy dose of vanilla and tonka beans, the fragrance is sweet enough to resemble a caramel cookie.

As for the flower notes, the perfumer chose only iris. No more jasmine - the flower so frequently added in perfumes - and no more roses. The iris adds a bit of powder to the composition, but it doesn't make it as powdery as Shalimar Parfum Initial.

Ode a la Vanille lasts for over 7 hours on my skin. It is not a sillage bomb, it's made to be more close to the skin and bed friendly. And by "bed friendly", I mean it's sensual and perfect for a romantic evening spent with your significant other, by the fire or candlelight. ;-) And you can enjoy it all year round, because it's perfect for the colder months and bearable in the hot summer months, as long as you don't over apply.

It is a very loving fragrance, that will get you compliments both from women and men who get close enough to smell it.

Have you had a sniff of this stunning frag? How would you describe your Shalimar experience?


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