Guerlain Shalimar Souffle de Lumière ~ (2018) New Perfume Review

Originally Published on    9 June 2018

Guerlain has created a brand new flanker for its Shalimar Souffle (pronounced SOO-fluh meaning a soft breath) range, and it may just be the best one yet. Master Perfumer Thierry Wasser has created Shalimar Souffle de Lumière as “A luminous fragrance composed like an ode to light and imbued with an air of solar radiance.” -Guerlain. Shalimar Souffle de Lumière lives up to its name as a soft breath of air and light.

Guerlain Shalimar Souffle Intense by Robert H©️

I personally love Shalimar (although it wasn’t love at first sniff), and I know that Shalimar can be difficult for many people. When the original Shalimar Souffle debuted in 2014 it was slow to take off, and many of the reviews were not stellar. Slowly and surely perfumistas began to appreciate its lighter touch, so much so that both Shalimar Souffle and the first flanker Shalimar Souffle Intense, have become staples for Guerlain. I always recommend Shalimar Souffle as a perfect “gateway” fragrance for those who are “Shali-shy”. Now with Shalimar Souffle de Lumière, Guerlain has added a bright and sunlit sparkle, amped up the jasmine and toned down the vanilla, creating a shimmering white floral veil that is perfect for the warm summer months ahead.

Opening with a classic blast of bergamot, Shalimar Souffle de Lumièree wastes no time whatsoever introducing the Jasmine, which pops up and out like a floral slice of sunny lemon propelled by champagne-like effervescent bubbles in a glass of fizzy water. It’s happy and downright delightful; this is clearly a Shalimar which doesn’t take life too seriously. The Ylang works its way to the front melding perfectly with the jasmine for an over the top tropical feeling but still maintaining a wisp of the classic Shalimar DNA. That classic Shalimar vibe becomes more prominent in the drydown when the benzoin and musk appear sweetened by the vanilla accord, creating a sense of an airy lemon pastry. It’s this moment in time when Shalimar Souffle de Lumière is the closest to the original Shalimar, missing only the animalic growl provided by the civet, coumarin, and ambergris of Lumieres’ bigger sister.

Shalimar Souffle de Lumiere by Robert H.©️

And then of course there’s the bottle; a bi-colored milky white ombré (Ombré is the French word for a color that is shaded or graduated in tone), that glows with a pearlescent inner light. It’s really quite beautiful and the perfect vessel for containing a fragrance that is likewise beautiful, pleasing, and lighthearted.

Notes: bergamot, jasmine grandiflorum, ylang-ylang, vanilla accord, benzoin, white musk

Disclosure: The perfume and opinions are my own. Many thanks to Suzan of Shop France Inc. for schlepping the bottle back from Paris for me.

-Robert Herrmann, Senior Editor

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