January 16, 2019
Nina Ricci Floral Gown 1953
The end of WWII brought a wave of elegance and romanticism to both fashion and perfumery. What I enjoy most of all about this era is that every woman wanted to look and smell flawlessly beautiful. The most exquisite embodiment of this graceful femininity are the creations Robert Ricci bottled in Lalique flacons for the Maison Nina Ricci for almost 30 years. Favoring green androgynous independence or lavish sensuality, rarely perfumery equaled this perfect pitch both inside and outside the bottle.
It’s no wonder that smelling Shalini (pronounced Shah-lynn-ay), a dreamlike white floral bouquet created by Master Perfumer Maurice Roucel for NYC based fashion designer Shalini Kumar and first released in 2004 in a stunning “Le Coquillage” Lalique flacon hearkens to that time. A diaphanous Goddess of white floral love, Shalini Parfum is a Modern Masterpiece that is as luminous today as it was 15 years ago.
Shalini of Shalini Parfum
Born in Bombay, Shalini studied math and architecture, but its Haute Couture and Haute Perfume that expresses her creativity best (read more about her in her ÇaFleureBon Profiles in American Perfumery). Working with Maurice Roucel, Shalini took inspiration for her first perfume Shalini Parfum from her childhood memories in India, surrounded by lush gardens filled with flowers and butterflies and intense aromas that filling the air.
"From an early age, my mom introduced me to all the flowers in the garden, the way they grew from bud to full bloom and how their fragrance changed through the passage of the time. Tuberoses were my favourite – they only emitted their gorgeous scent in the evening hours. As a child I would sneak into the garden at night so I could inhale them by the moonlight" -Shalini.
The care for details and beauty she put in her Haute Couture collections, together with a sense structure and beauty she brought from architecture, led her to pursue a perfume that was true to her sensibility rather than following trends. At the opening, Shalini Parfum unveils tuberose as the centerpiece of the fragrance and Maurice Roucel smoothed every facet like a French Ariadne spinning gauzy silk, surrounded by the dewy radiance or neroli and and lily of the valley and a pinch of spicy coriander hinting in the first while to the lavish greenery of gardenia.
Nathalie Dessay as Lakme
Tiaré adds its exotic coloratura to the lyric voice of the mischievous diva making it less dramatic and youthful with plummy and nutty sun kissed vibes bearing the ethereal voluptuousness of Léo Delibes Flower Duet sung by Indian priestess Lakmé and her servant. Shalini Parfum is like an opera and all the notes delicately swirl around the white bouquet adding depth and sparkle without shifting the focus off the seamless floral.
This glowing bath of petals unfolds like a changeant mousseline scarf; in fact it shines with the natural buttery hues of Italian silk and flutters with satin duchesse suppleness on the skin. At the dry down of Shalini Parfum one senses a milky sumptuousness of the perfume with sandalwood, vanilla and sheer musks that lend the intoxicating juxtaposition of both soapy and mischievous facets that elevates it from just another white floral. That’s the stage of Shalini Parfum that resembles the hues of another exquisite creation from Maurice Roucel, Guerlain L’Instant (2003) that might have served as a starting point to Shalini Parfum as glorious Haute Couture fragrant tailoring. Notes: neroli, ylang ylang, coriander, tuberose, tiaré, lily of the valley, vanilla, sandalwood, musk
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample of Shalini Parfum kindly brought from NYC by our Editor in Chief Michelyn Camen visiting Milan two years ago.
Ermano Picco, Editor (with contributions from Michelyn Camen, Editor-in-Chief)
Please LIKE CaFleurebon Modern Masterpieces and your comment will count twice, please leave that in your comment. This is the second Modern Masterpiece in our series by Maurice Roucel (Musk Ravageur).
Thanks to Shalini we have 7.5 ml of Shalini Parfum ($150) with for a registered CaFleureBon reader anywhere in the world. You must be registered or your comment will not count. To be eligible please leave a comment with what appeals to you about Shalini Perfume based on Ermano’s review and where you live. Draw closes 1/19/2019
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