Guerlain Shalimar Parfum Initial L’eau

Guerlain Shalimar Parfum Initial L'eau

People, people, I think I have found a new way to do matchy-matchy! I got a sample of Guerlain Shalimar Eau Initial L’eau the other day, and I liked it so much that I wore it for several days in a row. And then I had this light bulb moment: why don’t I wear that and my Shalimar Rouge Automatique? Oh the kick I got out of it!

Guerlain Shalimar Parfum Initial L'eau review

Forgive me for having very little knowledge about the creations of this perfume house with a long history. I started getting hooked on Guerlain with my first Rouge Automtique, but their perfumes never spoke to me till I tried La Petite Robe Noire Eau de Parfum (my favorite for this time of the year). After trying Shalimar Parfum Initial L’eau, I definitely need to do more research!

Guerlain Shalimar Parfum Initial L'eau tester

I am normally more intrigued by the “original” version of a scent instead of the “l’eau” version that seems more watered-down. However, in the case of Shalimar Parfum Initial L’eau, everything just falls into the right place! The top notes consist of neroli and several members of the citrus family (bergamot, grapefruit, and orange). However, rather than a fresh burst, the citrus notes in Shalimar Parfum Initial L’eau produce depth with a sweet and sour twist.

The middle notes are a happy family of floral, including iris, jasmine, hyacinth, freesia, rose, and lily-of-the-valley. Here is the interesting thing: I have no idea where the “spicy” vibe in this scent comes from, but even the floral notes have a mildly spicy edge. The base notes are tonka beans and vanilla, but the spiciness stays till the end.

Guerlain Shalimar Parfum Initial L’eau is supposed to be a fresh summery scent, but I actually think it has enough warmth and depth for this time of the year as well. It is rich, but not so rich that it wouldn’t work for daytime or the work place. If you are familiar with Guerlain perfumes, you might have heard of “Guerlinade,” which is the special little something in all Guerlain scents. I can definitely pick that out here as well!

Have you recently discovered a perfume you like?

Sunny, your beauty culture translator xx


  • TracyBeautyReflections

    Ooh! Lily Of The Valley is in it! I love anything with that note so I shall have to sniff this for sure!

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Tracy, I’d love to hear how you like it!

  • Kirti

    This sounds like something I’d like the smell of. I’ll check it out soon!

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Kirti, you should check it out! It’s very inspiring!

  • syrena85

    I think we could be sisters, Sunny. I like this fragrance much more that the original one. Harrods has introduced now a new version of Shalimar- Ode a la Vanille. I’m very interested in what this one would be like.
    I fell in love recently with Armani Prive perfumes. I could wear them on all the time :-D :-D

    • peggy timmermans

      Oh I can tell you…the Ode a la Vanile is just WONDERFUL!!! Totally stunning perfume. They do these every year btw but the vanille scent comes from different places.

      • syrena85

        Thanks for the info :-D I don’t think I will buy it cause I have like 20 different fragrances to use. Need to cut down shopping of any beauty products.

        • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

          Hey Irena, oh yeah finish some fragrances before you get the next! I haven’t counted how many I own, but I think you might own more than I do ;)

      • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

        Oh I DEFINITELY need to check that one out! Ode a la Vanille? That has my name written all over it!

  • beauties

    I think it’s the tonka bean that causes the spicy scent :)

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Eva, you could be right! I still think it’s MORE than just the tonka bean though!

  • peggy timmermans

    I do like this but I prefer the stronger original Shalimar! That is still an amazing scent!

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      I need to look into the Shalimar family!

  • Kiss & Make-up

    Sounds like an interesting fragrance for sure. I’m going to check out the Guerlain counter tomorrow at work and see if they have it! Oh and by the by, I also loooove La Petite Robe Noire :-)

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Melissa, yup you should do that! If you like one Guerlain fragrance, apparently it’s easy to fall for the rest since they all contain Guerlinade!

  • Lily

    Interesting – something sweet and sour? Have to give this a sniff one day :-)

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Lily, I’d describe this as a spicy floral. It’s actually not that sweet at all, and definitely not sour ;)

  • Lena L

    I am so glad Guerlain has brought out this updated version of the amazing classic. The original Shalimar is so beautiful but I never had guts to pull it off (I had a bottle but swapped it away for that reason). Most of all, I love the story behind it (It is about a beautiful woman who was deeply loved).
    The bottle looks beautiful and it is pink! I will make sure to experience it next time when I am at a Guerlain counter. :)

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Lena, oh who doesn’t want to be a beautiful woman that was deeply loved? ;)

      I haven’t sniffed the original myself, but I’m sure this version is way lighter, so you should look into it!

  • Sofia

    How cute match match with your lipstick. Ok, I sometimes match my perfume not just with the weather and my mood but also with the colour of the clothes I’m wearing (sounds silly I know). My last perfume LOVE I have is Chanel Coco Eau de Perfume. Thankfully its a neutral brownie colour that goes with anything ;)
    I’ve tried this Guerlain Shalimar that you have here, I think I would consider it more of a wintery scent too… PS, I do like it!

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Sofia, oh no that’s not silly at all! I think colors totally play a part here! I MIGHT be able to wear this in spring, but I’m not sure about summer. A Belgian summer maybe, but I’m not so sure about Barcelona!

      • Sofia

        Oh phew, I thought maybe I was over obsessed, glad to know I’m not that silly about it then :)

  • rachlovespenguins

    The only Shalimar bottle I own is vintage, and was very VERY empty long before it found a home with me. (I just like how pretty it looks sitting on my vanity, lol) I’ll have to give this one a whirl the next time I’m near a counter! Not that I actually need more perfume, but you know how it is. :D

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Rach, I can see that! Just from the promotional image, I think the bottle is a real beauty! I bet a VINTAGE one is even better!

  • Icaria

    In my 20s I just couldn’t stand the original Shalimar but out of curiosity got a sample recently & it’s clear my tastes have changed. Not my favorite latest discovery but I like it. This new version does sound lovely and I’ll definitely try to get a sample. The one I’ve been liking a lot lately is Dior Addict Eau Délice, perfect for daytime. :)

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Helene, oh I can see how Shalimar could come across as too much for the younger crowd! Glad to hear your tastes have changed over the years though :)

  • Rainy Days & Lattes

    I love a bergamot base…those perfumes smell divine!

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Hey Jenn, the bergamot in here is very different from the impression I have on a citrus note! It has way more body and depth!

  • Liz

    I’d love to get my hands on the new vanilla one! I actually have samples of some vintage Shalimar incarnations that a perfume blogger pal sent me but never tried them as I didn’t want to waste the preciousness while I was ignorant about their long history. Anyway, some of my fave perfumes are from Guerlain although I hardly indulge in their makeup.

    • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

      Ahhh yeah that one sounds like a dream! I didn’t develop the taste for more complicated perfumes till much later in life (in Taiwan it’s hard to wear those), but I’m learning fast ;)