PARIS — Eighty-six years after Guerlain made a splash with Shalimar at the International Exhibition of Decorative Arts here, the house is introducing Shalimar Parfum Initial, targeting young women.
Thierry Wasser, the perfumer at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned Guerlain, gleaned inspiration for the amber floral scent from his 17-year-old niece, who asked him to “make me my Shalimar.”
This story first appeared in the March 11, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Wasser noted Shalimar’s juice — considered the archetypal oriental — is highly flowery, containing notes of iris, rose and jasmine.
“I said to myself, it’s a facet that is extremely important and pleases me in Shalimar,” said Wasser, who decided to take out what he found a bit “intimidating” from the original Shalimar formula, such as a leather note.
Wasser, who referred to Shalimar Parfum Initial as “an initiation to the myth” — opted to use in its juice some traditional Guerlain scent notes, such as centifolia rose, Italian iris, vanilla and tonka bean. Other ingredients include notes of Calabrian bergamot and caramel, plus the hedione molecule.
Natalia Vodianova, the face of Guerlain, stars in the single- and double-page Shalimar Parfum Initial advertisements photographed by Paolo Roversi.
The fragrance’s flacon takes the same shape as that of the original Shalimar, but has a gray-blue tassel.
The scent was launched exclusively in Paris-based Guerlain boutiques on Feb. 21, followed by the rest of France on March 7 and Spain on March 10. Also this month, it’s being introduced in the Commonwealth of Independent States. In August, the fragrance will hit counters in Austria, Switzerland, the U.K. and U.S. Then in September, Shalimar Parfum Initial is to enter countries such as Belgium, Germany, Holland, Portugal, Russia, Argentina, Canada, Latin America and Mexico. Italy will get the scent in October.
Guerlain executives would not discuss sales projections, but industry sources estimate Shalimar Parfum Initial will generate 30 million euros, or $41.4 million, in first-year retail sales worldwide.
The Shalimar Parfum Initial line includes a 40-ml. eau de parfum spray for 51 euros, or $70.40; a 60-ml. edp spray for 72 euros, or $99.40, and a 100-ml. edp spray for 96 euros, or $132.50.