Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Guerlain Shalimar Initial L'Eau & Guerlain Idylle Duet Jasmine-Lilas

As we discussed on our previous post with news on upcoming Guerlains, the French fragrance and cosmetics house is very busy issuing "flankers" for 2012. Two feminine ones will be issued in the following months, one a new unexpected spin on Shalimar Parfum Initial, the other a new duet of notes for Idylle.

Guerlain Shalimar Initial L'Eau

The commercially successful experiment of Shalimar Parfum Initial (2011), an introductory Shalimar for those consumers who knew the brand through their cosmetics and skincare or for the young clientele that always associated the classic Shalimar with older generations and longed for a version to claim their own (see also Shalimar Eau Legere/Shalimar Light and Eau de Shalimar for previous efforts into this arena). For 2012 Guerlain is planning on launching a flanker to the modernised Shalimar Parfum Initial version, this time called Shalimar Initial L'Eau.

Shalimar Initial L'Eau is both a lighter and drier new formula, not just a different concentration or new bottle edition (Shalimar in general knows more limited editions than it can possibly count). It takes as a point of departure a spring bouquet, comprised of bright, green-smelling blossoms of lily of the valley, freesia and hyacinth, to accompany the familiar warmth of the modernised Shalimar Initial. The new spin boosts the green freshness (like that in Miss Dior Chérie L'Eau) which was already an element in the Initial and adds neroli essence and grapefruit top notes.
The new version offers a refreshing take for warmer weather, without the pitfall of too much sweetness. The composition was arrived at by in-house perfumer Thierry Wasser and is set to launch in early 2012.

Guerlain Idylle Duet Jasmin-Lilas

After last year's Idylle flanker Idylle Duet Rose-Patchouli, centered on a classic combo of the velvety floral extended by the sweetly woody note of patchouli, which was in turn based on the Thierry Wasser original creation Idylle, Guerlain issues a special edition for 2012.
As evidenced by the name, Idylle Duet Jasmin Lilas focuses on spring blossoms of lilacs and the traditional white floral king of perfumery, jasmine. The result is vivid and fresh, deeply floral with the backdrop of lightly woody notes as in the original.
Guerlain Idylle Duet Jasmine-Lilas will launch on Valentine's Day, February 2012.

NB.Sources at Guerlain tell me that we're going to see an Idylle Duet version every year.

Related reading on Perfume Shrine: Upcoming releases, Guerlain news & reviews.


  1. Thank you very much for the update. I really liked (and own) Initial so will be looking forward to trying this flanker, and even if Duet Rose-Patch wasn't my thing I shall definitely want to try a Jasmin Lilac version.

  2. Sofi22:11

    The truth is that Shalimar Parfun Initial wasn't my best as I find classic Shalimar insuperable!However, I will give it a try!As for Idylle Duet Jasmine Lilas I could say that the combination of lilacs and jasmine offers a sense of spring that I definetely want to try!Thank you Elena for this upadate!

  3. A,

    you're welcome, it's interesting (I think) to see where Guerlain is heading each season. It seems the flankers provide brisk business, so...
    The Jasmin-Lilas is a combination made in heaven! (absolutely love both flowers)

  4. S,

    the Shalimar Initial L'Eau is a greener version (these floral notes are all veering into green) so I think true aficionados of Shalimar will find it traitorous. ;-)
    The Jasmin-Lilas sounds so very spring-like though. Jasmine never really withers here I guess, but as soon as the lilacs bud you know it's spring for earnest.

    Have a happy new year, both of you!

  5. It is curious to see all these "jasmine" names in perfumes now that jasmine has been severely restricted.


  6. M,

    it's the jasmine absolute that's rationed indeed (incidentally not enough to disturb most modern creations), but there are several isolates and synths that can be used instead. "Jasmine" is a very popular note for white floral compositions, which are considered "young" and therefore desirable to produce from a marketing point of view.

  7. The Idylle Duet flanker sounds interesting, I like Idylle but was disappointed by the Rose Patchouli Duet, I'm very fond of jasmine though! (Thank you for the review of Bulgari Jasmine Noire a while back, I bought a bottle today!).Can't really see the point of the SI flanker myself, I'm much more interested in the L'Homme flanker of the previous post.

  8. I'm curious to see if Shalimar Parfum Initial will become a line at its own. Maybe we will still see a parfum version of it? My tantrum with it is in parts due to the name. It'd work perfectly as Guerlain Parfum Initial, something that suggests the brand's heritage but creates something new. It could have been much more honest i think. But then, it's a commertial success, so they might have a point here (but i have my doubts if this will remain a commertial success in 3-5 years since it doesn't create anything new or memorable).

  9. E,

    I wasn't too enthused on Idylle either (nor its flanker of last year) because there's already a successful NR for Her on the market, why have one of that at Guerlain as well? (That sort of answers the logic, I suppose)

    I hope you get to love the Jasmin Noir, it's a wonderful modern mainstream, very well-crafted, complex and refined, and highly complimented fragrance on me. It's not really about jasmine per se, but it's a very good fragrance all the same. Enjoy!!

  10. H,

    I think it's already a franchise of its own. See the Fragrantica classification of Guerlain for instance ;-)

    There is a very significant, pulpable effort to take the heritage of not just Guerlain, but its most famous fragrance, ie. Shalimar (and the legend and romantic Eastern story that goes with it), into the 21st century. Hence ALL the efforts of modernisation have the name Shalimar in there (Shalimar Light, Eau de Shalimar, Shalimar Parfum Initial etc). You have a point about honesty and adherence to the prototype, but that's missing the above point I made. Guerlain isn't going to forsake the "first oriental perfume in western perfumery" just like that (no matter that Coty went there first technically). The mythos is just so irresistible, it's dreamy; even for young girls. IMHO of course.


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