Guerlain Shalimar Souffle de Parfum : News

If you love Shalimar Parfum Initial as much as I do, consider stocking up, because Guerlain is discontinuing this gourmand perfume with an iris twist (along with its flanker, Parfum Initial L’Eau). There will be a new Shalimar interpretation called Shalimar Souffle de Parfum. It’s described as tender, warm, and enveloping, featuring notes of bergamot, lemon, mandarin, jasmine sambac, orange blossom water absolute, vanilla from India and Tahiti, and white musk.


“To emphasize and give to the orange blossom its honeyed notes, Thierry Wasser used orange blossom water absolute. This absolute is the result of a very specific process. First step, distillation, to obtain the orange blossom water, then, extraction, to collect the precious absolute. This powerful absolute accentuates the floral trail of the fragrance.”

It will be available next month at Guerlain boutiques and counters. Via (thank you to Jaime K for the news)



  • Jamie K.: Poor Parfum Initial never stood a chance with Shalimar devotees. With any other name, it could have been a huge success, but the name meant that it was always compared unfavourably to a classic. Looks like I’ll be stocking up too, as – unlike the original – I can actually wear Parfum Initial.

    Anyway, I’m sure this will be a similarly great fragrance, but it won’t be Shalimar. And for many people, that’s enough to write it off completely. June 30, 2014 at 7:26am Reply

    • Victoria: I agree. The name was really confusing, because you imagine that it’s either something related to Shalimar or something classical and grand (Parfum Initial). While it’s a fun gourmand with a chic iris twist. June 30, 2014 at 8:28am Reply

    • Nikki: That is so true! I was just thinking why should I buy it when I have the original which is so much better? I do like the flacon though and it is a nice perfume but never to be compared to the original. This whole notion of flankers and naming a perfume after another is not my cup of tea! Then the perfumes could be numbered, it would be just as much or as little as a cloned name.

      Guerlain is not my favorite perfume house anymore because of the strange perfumes in the last decade. I am sticking to Shalimar, the original, in perfume form which is so heavy and different from the eau versions….Guerlain has somehow lost me in regards to perfumes. There are so many new perfume houses I prefer now (never thought I would say that…). How is that for brand loyalty? June 30, 2014 at 9:13am Reply

      • Victoria: I know, it does get confusing, especially since they all smell differently. June 30, 2014 at 4:33pm Reply

  • maja: I got a backup bottle of Shalimar PI just the other day as soon as I found out and wore it a couple of evenings although it is quite hot. I still think it’s gorgeous. 🙂 It is elegant but cozy, sweet and cool at the same time. It is a shame they are not producing it anymore.

    I am quite curious about the new flanker since I like Eau de Shalimar, too. And let’s be honest – how gorgeous is that shade of blue? 🙂 June 30, 2014 at 7:56am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s really a shame, and I regret that they’ve decided to cut it off.

      But as far as the new bottle, yes, the color is enough to catch my eye. 🙂 June 30, 2014 at 8:30am Reply

  • Cornelia Blimber: I have a full bottle of Parfum initial, so I am not that affected. I liked PI a lot, but in the same mood I like Dior Homme better (less plasticky).
    The bottle of the new perfume is beautifull, lets hope the same for the perfume. June 30, 2014 at 8:12am Reply

    • Victoria: Someone also compared it to Lancome’s La Vie est Belle, but Parfum Initial is much less sticky and sweet. June 30, 2014 at 8:32am Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: La Vie est Belle have no resemblance to PI in my opinion, but Dior Homme is to my nose an alternative. I like PI and am glad to have a bottle, but will not mourn for it. June 30, 2014 at 10:37am Reply

        • Cornelia Blimber: HAS no resemblance i mean June 30, 2014 at 10:38am Reply

        • Victoria: I like both Dior Homme and Parfum Initial. June 30, 2014 at 4:35pm Reply

  • Carol: I love Parfum Initial L’Eau because the iris is so prominent and I still have most of a full bottle.
    I love the blue bottle for this one but there is no iris mentioned in the notes. I will wait to try it before passing judgement, though. June 30, 2014 at 9:07am Reply

    • Victoria: I’m not sure if it’s meant to contain iris. It’s spiked with the orange blossom, based on the description, and it sounds like it will be very different in character. June 30, 2014 at 9:13am Reply

  • Cath: I tried a sample of the new Souffle, and I find it shares some DNA with PI, less citrus and powder, a little bitterness added, not so good longevity. IMO it bears no resemblance to the original Shalimar.
    The bottle is gorgeous indeed, but based on my first impression, I won’t be buying this one. I’m sticking to my Shalimar Fourreau du Soir with it’s gorgeous leather note. June 30, 2014 at 9:26am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, Cath. I’m still curious to try it, but it seems confusing why it’s called Shalimar if it bears little resemblance to the classic. Of course, that was the problem with Parfum Inital too. June 30, 2014 at 4:34pm Reply

      • Michaela Ro: But I think the Shalimar DNA is so obvious is PI. I mean, that was my first thought when first testing it: a fresher Shalimar. That was the whole point of making it… I love PI, without being a regular Shalimar fan,which I do own, in edt, but rarely wear. Shalimar is to stiff for me, I like a bit of girly frills. PI is just perfect. I am now glad I bought a set last summer, for 30 euros, in a duty free. Since I have calculated I have perfume for at least 6 years, the 80 ml I have will last me a while. Such a shame to see it gone, though! July 1, 2014 at 4:18pm Reply

  • Cath: *its

    grrr, I hate when I make typos. June 30, 2014 at 9:27am Reply

  • Moira: I am becoming annoyed with the constant Shalimar flankers (ode a la Vanille…in 3 incarnations) Initial, L’eu Initial. It’s confusing, and cheapens the name. Create new scents, yes! But for heavens sake leave the “Shalimar” name alone. June 30, 2014 at 9:28am Reply

    • Amer: I too thought the same. Some perfumes that managed to withstand the pass of time almost unchanged don’t really need that kind of treatment. It is like Guerlain is on purpose to deconstruct one of its own legendary pillars and reduce it to a sum of ingredients which are there for the perfumer to play with… now a vanilla version then an orange blossom or an iris and so on. Each flanker, no matter how well made, detracts something from a legendary name. And the word “soufflé” in this title doesn’t ring favourably If I may add… June 30, 2014 at 10:58am Reply

    • Victoria: Your words and into Guerlain’s ears, Moira! June 30, 2014 at 4:34pm Reply

  • Merlin: Both Shalimar and Initial are unbearable on me. My skin amps up the dirty note horribly. I’v been very surprised at how beautiful it is on others. L’eau Initial is very pretty – since I have a weakness for citrus notes. Unfortunately I’v never decided whether I want a whole bottle of it, so I probably won’t bother! June 30, 2014 at 10:41am Reply

    • spe: The PI l’eau is my favorite as well as Shalimar Light. Despite decades of perfume wearing and owning likely hundreds of perfumes, I’ve never been able to wear any formulation of regular Shalimar successfully. I’m sad to see PI and PI l’eau get discontinued. June 30, 2014 at 3:49pm Reply

    • Victoria: I don’t remember in which book or interview it was mentioned, but Jean-Paul Guerlain liked to say that most people were either Shalimar or L’Heure Bleue types. I don’t necessarily agree that you need to like one, but not another, but now I’m curious what you think of L’Heure Bleue. June 30, 2014 at 4:37pm Reply

      • Austenfan: As much as I like Jean Paul Gaultier I beg to disagree. I like both, probably like LHB more but in the right mood nothing quite beats Shalimar! July 1, 2014 at 11:51am Reply

        • Victoria: I also don’t think that it’s that clear cut, especially since I like both very much! July 1, 2014 at 4:08pm Reply

      • spe: Apologies for the late reply! LHB is far more nuanced and interesting and sophisticated to my nose. I actually find it intimidating to wear and I cannot say that of any other perfume I know. LHB in extrait. Shalimar has a beautiful name and story, but there is something about it that comes off as rough and unfinished when I wear it. Too bold and clunky on me. September 11, 2016 at 11:36pm Reply

  • Christine: I love Parfum Initiale even more than the original Shalimar. But I think Guerlain will bring it back if we all demand them to do so.
    So let’s get complaining!

    The bottle alone should not be discontinued. It’s sooo beautiful. June 30, 2014 at 10:57am Reply

    • Victoria: I still remember the beautiful bottle display when Parfum Initial just came out. All of that pink-blue glass! June 30, 2014 at 4:37pm Reply

  • Adriana Galani: Compared with La vie Est Belle? Hmm, never thought, never really. La Vie est Belle is unfortunately too…. not mine, unlike P I which I love a lot. And this other new interpretation of Shalimar, well the name doesn’t apeal to me at all and I mean it. Hope Guerlain won’t disappoint me once more, I almost pray this won’t happen because I was almost “traumatised” by the weakness of that “La Petite Robe Noire”. When are they planning to discontinue it? I really have to see if I can still get it here. Too bad! June 30, 2014 at 12:06pm Reply

    • Victoria: La Vie est Belle is not my cup of tea, to be honest. It’s so sweet and sticky that I can’t handle it for long. I do smell it a lot, and if it’s not overapplied, the sillage is very nice. June 30, 2014 at 4:40pm Reply

  • Anne: NOOOOOOOO. Thanks for the tip off. Going to get some stock! June 30, 2014 at 12:20pm Reply

    • Victoria: Good luck, Anne! I was disappointed to hear the news too. June 30, 2014 at 4:40pm Reply

  • Shoshi: I never liked Parfum Initial or L’Eau, and I do like the original Shalimar.

    I found Parfum Initial stronger and more powdery/less wearable than original Shalimar.

    If they come out with a softer/more wearable Shalimar, I’d be interested though. June 30, 2014 at 12:28pm Reply

    • Victoria: Have you tried Shalimar Ode a la Vanille? It’s a softer, easier version of Shalimar, and it’s excellent. June 30, 2014 at 4:41pm Reply

  • george: Another Shalimar “synonym for light” but I quite like the sound of it- sounds like a halfway house between Shalimar and Habit Rouge- i.e. not the full Shalimar Pudding, but also without the HR leathery aspects. I will be trying but suspect it won’t have enough woods to satisfy me. June 30, 2014 at 1:08pm Reply

    • Victoria: True! It does sound like Shalimar with less gravitas. June 30, 2014 at 4:41pm Reply

  • N.: I love the color of the bottle. For some reason ‘souffle de parfum’ appeals to me. It makes me expect and ethereally light and fluffy perfume. I can’t wait to try it. June 30, 2014 at 1:57pm Reply

    • Victoria: Oddly enough, it made me think of Bath & Body Works Cotton Blossom (one of my BBW favorites), and it evokes a similar impression. June 30, 2014 at 4:42pm Reply

  • Katy McReynolds: Of course, it is the only Shalimar I can wear! Stocking up now! June 30, 2014 at 3:06pm Reply

    • Victoria: Yep, better stock up! 🙂 June 30, 2014 at 4:43pm Reply

  • annemarie: PI was too sweet for me but I did admire it. I’m saddened by the news that it will go. It seemed to have a lot of fans, in thought. Guerlain did not give it enough time and support to find its place, but that is how the industry is these days. Guerlain’s heavy investment in LPRN seems to have paid off but meanwhile, it just can’t get its Shalimar flankers right. June 30, 2014 at 4:33pm Reply

    • Victoria: Your analysis seems to be spot on. The brands are just not willing to keep anything afloat, unless it makes money instantly. It wasn’t a big seller, but it’s a shame that they’ve decided just to discontinue. Of course, who knows, maybe they will bring it back in the exclusive collection, the way they’ve done with some other fragrances. June 30, 2014 at 4:45pm Reply

  • Daisy: It is a shame to hear of the discontinuation! I thought Shalimar PI was doing well…

    I do have to admit that I am dying of curiosity about this one. The bottle is the prettiest blue. So shallow of me! June 30, 2014 at 11:55pm Reply

    • Victoria: I know what you mean! That color is just too beautiful to ignore. The perfume better be good. 🙂 July 1, 2014 at 5:46am Reply

  • Tijana: I am sorry to hear PI will be discontinued as it is the only “Shalimar version” I can pull off – so I better stock up! With that said, I am excited about the new version too. I have yet to try it, but it sounds yummy! Let’s hope it does not disappoint in reality 🙂 I just wish they released it (even if as LE) without discontinuing PI. Not sure why it has to be one or the other 🙁 July 1, 2014 at 7:48am Reply

    • Victoria: I think that it had a small but loyal following, so the news are very disappointing for us. July 1, 2014 at 4:09pm Reply

  • Sandra: good grief!
    I hope they don’t do this to other perfumes in the Guerlain collection.. Keep re-inventing a beautiful classic and coming out with new flankers. July 1, 2014 at 2:41pm Reply

    • Victoria: As was already said, I wish they would simply create new perfumes, rather than flankers. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy many flankers (like PI), but it does get confusing. July 1, 2014 at 4:06pm Reply

      • Jamie K.: I liked a suggestion on Monsieur Guerlain’s page that it could reappear in a few years as simply ‘Parfum Initial’, with no Shalimar connotations.

        (and be sold for upwards of €200 exclusively in Guerlain boutiques, just for the fun of it) July 2, 2014 at 5:14am Reply

  • Stephy: What saddens me is that Guerlain keeps coming out with these lovely iris/gourmand combinations like PI and Iris Ganache, and then getting rid of them. I’d give just about anything to have them bring Iris Ganache back to the market. I’m excited to try Souffle, but I’m going to miss PI. July 2, 2014 at 2:09pm Reply

    • Victoria: Same here! The gourmand iris is such a fun genre, and I really wish they kept at least one. July 3, 2014 at 10:36am Reply

  • Kaat: This Morning at 7am, I took my sample of soufflé and i did do some test with
    shalimar pi, shalimar pi d’lau, and de souffle.
    Even my nose is not very good in detecting all the notes
    I just can tel that the souffle, is pretty nice and soft in the dry down, totally not comes close to the two others on my skin, happenly I stocked up pi and d’lau 🙂
    And to be honest I can’t wait to add the new one to my list,

    I’m looking forward to hear your word and wat you find of it….
    Anyway I will miss the Shalimar PI and the PI d’lau July 24, 2014 at 9:47am Reply

  • Sofie: I tried this and to me it smelled very nice, well done, well behaved and underwhelming. I’m curious to read more reviews and comments about it though, it’s all so helpfull in trying to figure out why something is or isn’t working… July 28, 2014 at 8:26pm Reply

  • Sheffield: I finally smelt it. I am a huge fan of PI, and will definitely miss it.
    It is pretty at the opening ( although nothing amazing, just wise and pretty), it s a citrusy and vanilla mix, but after a while, musc makes its entrance, and that really really disturbed me. On my skin it became really sikly. Maybe it s just my chemistry, but I am disappointed. Looking forward to read your thoughts on this. September 12, 2014 at 8:43am Reply

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