Thursday, December 9, 2010

♥ shalimar ♥


Perfume has been a lifeline for me. It is poetry and devotion.
I'm a sensualist and always have been, I've been atracted to seduction and beauty my whole life and perfume is one of the most powerful weapons I've known. In my life, perfume is deeply linked to memory, I am able to remember special moments, long journeys and trips just by catching the scent of the perfume I was wearing during that time. I remember lovers by the scent of their skin, leather and oranges, vetiver, a woody vanilla, tobacco and some kind of sweet flesh scent. As for me, all I've ever wanted is to smell like danger, dark flora, black widow, moonshadow, murder with the scent of tuberoses, noir vanilla.

For me, perfume has never been about smelling good for others, it's not about smelling delicious or nice either, all I want is to scent life itself, to turn ordinary moments in memories of blood and romance. Perfume is not only about fantasy either but it does have a lot to do with it. Perfume is about staining my lover's skin with the scent of mine until neither of us can tell what belongs to each other. Wearing perfume is a kind of threat, a dare if one wills. Perfume is a message that is often misunderstood yet some times, it turns words into meaningless mumbles of feelings.

Shalimar is without a doubt a scent I love more than life itself. It's a holy grail and a halo I wear for special moments. It's not an easy scent to carry and own, the first moment it layed upon my skin, I found it dreadful and harsh, I used to say it smelled like roadkill. It smelled like something I've never known before, like a far away land, like oriental reveries and mirages of a sensuality that was foreign to me.

Shalimar first came out in 1925 and it's the perfect representation of a flapper perfume, zesty, coquettish and flat out whorish. It's all rouged cheeks and baby jazz dreams, cupid bow lips and dark kohled eyes. A Guerlain sales associate once told me that Shalimar was popular amongst two types of crowds, prissy old ladies and as she put it herself "madames de la nuit", in other words, fancy prostitutes, she told me the later bought it by the bucket and I can perfectly understand why.

Shalimar is anything but understated, it's loud with a big bang of Bergamot comes out on the first notes, this is the hardest part to overcome during the first stages, it's really screechy and smells perfectly cheap, a punch in the nose, some say. After a couple of minutes the most wonderful powdery Iris & Oppopanax (a very sweet myrrh-scented balm) comes into play, they glows and diffuse themselves with such silent charm until you find yourself wondering where is that wonderful scent coming from? It's almost impossible to believe that such a beautiful transformation (from green to velvety powdery) could happen in a matter of minutes but it does and here lies a great part of the magic this perfume holds. After a couple of hours a wonderful dark vanilla comes out to play, it holds on to your skin, your clothes, your hair until it becomes a part of you yet steals you from yourself. It smells like heaven, like milk and wood, like naked skin after lovemaking and here, blooms the final lingering kiss of this love potion.

Everything you've touched has been tainted by Shalimar and this remain to be so, long after you've stopped wearing the perfume. You're haunted and it's divine.

Shalimar is not for everybody, some people loathe it with passion, it's insistent, loud, during the first stages and it announces your arrival long before you've entered the building. It's a prima donna, a drama queen, an annoying but fascinating personality sometimes but under the right circumstances, it's pure and undying beauty.

My first bottle of Shalimar was a gift from a man I love. It was the Eau de Toilette and even though I loved it, I found it hard to wear beyond nights and late dates. After a while, he gave me the Pure Parfum, this happened a couple of years later when I was so very much in love with the man and the perfume, this was a brilliant moment in my life. I remember wearing the parfum and nothing else, I remember being savoured like a lamb, I remember bleeding & bedsheets stained with red lips, a bedroom in Paris, tears of joy, the memory of love with the scent of Shalimar...

quelques gouttes
sur ma peau
and I am still very much in love

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