The romance between the fifth Mughal emperor of India, Shah Jahan, and his wife, princess Mumtaz Mahal, was the stuff of legend. So absolute was the emperor’s affection that when his beloved passed away in 1631, he commissioned a white marble mausoleum—the Taj Mahal—to be built in her honor. This epic love story inspired French perfumer Jacques Guerlain to craft his iconic fragrance, Shalimar, in 1921. Infused with notes of bergamot, iris, and vanilla, the warm, sensual scent was meant to evoke the shah’s devotion—and has since spawned many a love story of its own.
Appropriately, Shalimar looks as beautiful as it smells. Jacques Guerlain’s nephew, Raymond, designed the curved art deco bottle to resemble the fountains adorning the gardens of Shalimar, where the princess and emperor’s love first blossomed. Topped with a fan-shaped blue crystal Baccarat stopper, the flacon was regarded by perfume industry insiders as a technical feat upon its initial debut. Today, consider it a trophy to display proudly on your vanity.
OLFACTIVE GROUP: Oriental
TOP: Bergamot, lemon, and cedar
HEART: Iris, jasmine, and May rose
BASE: Vanilla, incense, tonka bean, opoponax, and amber
To your discerning grandma’s birthday soirée.
APPROVED & FILED
June 13, 2016: Fragrance Wardrobe