When I mentioned to Daisy, who facilitated my recent bottle of Boisé Vanillé, that I thought BV smelled like a darker, drier, masculinized-riff on Shalimar, she replied:
Boisé Vanillé and SHALIBARF??????? lalalalalallalalalaalalala I can’t hear you….
It’s no secret that Daisy dislikes Shalimar (and is always good for a laugh). This is interesting to me because I smell so much kinship between these two fragrances—I can’t imagine liking one and not the other. Boisé Vanillé has cedar and pepper to Shalimar’s rose and jasmine, but a quick peek at the rest of the notes will confirm what my nose is telling me:
Shalimar Notes: bergamot, lemon, rose, jasmine, patchouli, opoponax, vetiver, civet, musk, vanilla, iris and tonka bean.
Boisé Vanillé Notes: lemon, geranium, bergamot, lavender, cedar leaves from Canada, Jamaican pepper, iris, patchouli, vanilla, tonka bean.
Shared notes: Lemon, Iris, Patchouli, Vanilla, Tonka Bean
Boisé Vanillé has an arid quality, and the lavender, cedar, and pepper read “masculine,” while next to it, Shalimar smells distinctly grounded in it’s langurous opulence. Together, they smell divine: the yin to the other’s yang. The sillage that is wafting through our house right now is heart-breakingly beautiful.
I asked my husband to wear Shalimar extrait on one wrist, and Boisé Vanillé on the other (I did the same) so we could talk about them. He instantly informed me, “Shalimar wins!” He’s a Guerlain fan.
One thing he and I do agree on is the beauty of contrast: he smells better in (and prefers) distinctly feminine perfumes, and I tend to smell better in (and prefer) those that skew masculine.
Shalimar and Boisé Vanillé make, therefore, and ideal his and hers pairing.