I've never believed in Santa Claus, Sasquatch, the Loch Ness monster or Shangri La. If Shangri La is hidden somewhere "out there," it's now probably suffering from drought or too much rain, and hotter-than-usual temperatures. I see the appeal of a hidden paradise, an exotic, clean, beautiful, calm retreat. But if all that were true...Shangri La would be a people-free zone. And in Hiram Green's newest perfume, Shangri La,1 people seem absent; only plants and animals thrive and produce aromas.
Shangri La opens with strongly acidic citrus: green in tone; the perfume becomes tarter still with almost-ripe peach (on some wearings, I detect a powerful and astringent peach note; at other times, the fruit is overwhelmed by spice — clove-cinnamon). Shangri La's floral notes are blurry at first, but rose becomes prominent for a brief spell in Shangri La's heart, and it blends well with the peach. Shangri La's oak moss is subtle but ever present; it seems to have sent out "fragments" into all other fragrance notes but was unable to thrive and dominate any stage of Shangri La's development (good for ME, but maybe not so much for lovers of old-style, "vintage" oak moss). The vetiver in Shangri La's base is a tad smoky/earthy but, like oak moss, is "fractured"...not its true (pure) self. Shangri La's biggest surprise: a faint, slightly fecal, musk accompanied by a coconut-jasmine aroma.
Shangri La is a type of perfume I encounter several times a year: a perfume that "breaks up" on my skin. When I wear it on my arms, one forearm can smell rosy, the other forearm peachy...a wrist smells like full-on cinnamon, while an inner elbow smells mossy. Usually I find these type perfumes interesting, and I do like Shangri La. It brings to mind three perfumes of the past: Rochas Femme (musk, not cumin, version), Prescriptives/Clinique Calyx, and...Old Spice (vintage). (Robin Here at NSTTM does not get the Old Spice connection like I do.)
For those of you who loved Hiram Green's first launch, Moon Bloom, do give Shangri La a sniff, too; it's rich, but not cloying, fruity but not food-y...the perfume has amazing diffusion when first applied and excellent lasting power. Shangri La is suitable for men or women...especially if you're the type of man who wears women's perfumes or a woman who loves men's colognes.
Layering tip: Shangri La smells great layered with L'Artisan Parfumeur Timbuktu; Shangri La gains some depth, Timbuktu acquires some sparkle.
Hiram Green Shangri La is $165 for 50 ml, and can be purchased at the Hiram Green website, or in the US at Indigo Perfumery or Luckyscent.
1. Listed fragrance notes of: citrus, peach rose, iris, jasmine, spice, oak moss, vetiver.
Did adore Hiram Green’s Moon Bloom launch. But on me, this one’s all peach + clove-cinnamon, bringing fruity potpourri to mind. Alas, the coconut-jasmine didn’t come to the fore at all–I’m envious!
Gg…fruity potpourri is certainly a good way to describe it…a certain stage anyway.
Thanks so much for the detailed review, Kevin. I can’t stand fecal notes, so there will be more of this frag for someone else!
Kindcrow…that element is very subtle…stays close to skin.
Interesting. I finally gave in and ordered a sample of this (and one of Moon Bloom) from LuckyScent, and it should be here any day. I have trouble not with the musk in vintage Femme, but its ambery/balsamy bits – it wasn’t so much dirty on me as it was Possessed by Youth Dew (which I haaaaaate), so that part doesn’t concern me. I love Old Spice, go figure.
I do know what you mean about those perfumes which fall apart on skin. Sometimes it will do that on one person and not on another, so I’ll keep an open mind.
Mals…yes, those “fall-apart” scents are hard to gauge…esp with one wearing…good you’ll have samples.
This sounds good. I didn’t believe in those, Santa was a possibility..maybe the Tooth Fairy..those proved to be like total failures..but the Easter Bunny, I never believed in. I saw a guy dressed up as the Easter Bunny at a store..when I was like six. I remember he had a hole somewhere on his costume and I could see his hairy wrist and his watch. He came up to me and said, “Hi there, I am the Easter Bunny!”. I actually yelled at him saying, you’re not the Easter Bunny..with a glare. LOL. I didn’t believe in the EB before that though..but that was confirmation. Haha.
I’ve sampled both Moon Bloom and Shangri La and like both. I don’t encounter any unpleasant notes in Shangri La and I don’t get the “break up” that you describe. It’s interesting that a break up like that can happen though, and I will be watching for it in future perfume samplings.
Mary, hey…who said fecal musk was unpleasant? Ha! (Supposing that’s what you are referring to….)
Thanks for the review, Kevin. I’ve heard more good things about Moon Bloom than Shangri-la, though anything that evokes Femme and Calyx (AND Old Spice!) at the same time certainly sounds interesting if nothing else.
Joe: HA! Yes, give it a try. (And it does seem Moon Bloom gets move attention).
I got a decant of Moon Bloom right after it came out and loved it and was going to buy a fb of it but then got a decant of Flowerhead by Byredo and it was just a notch above the Moon Bloom. Being similar it was the Flowerhead that won out for fbw.
I just received a decant of the Shangri-La yesterday and while it will be tomorrow before I give it a full day’s proper try out, the little spritz on my hand when it arrived in the mail was really very nice. About an hour later dh came in the house and asked what was smelling so good and said ‘Bingo’ when I waved my hand.
It bodes well so far.
Yep – Shangria La is better than Moon Bloom which to me was a mere shadow of Fracas and Carnal Flower.
Cockatoo: I think you’re in the minority…so: feel special! HA!
I can see the resemblance to Femme, but a bit cooler and hazier. It stays very close to the skin on me, so I’ll probably stick with Femme and DSH Mata Hari.
The perfume section of my brain REFUSES to process the idea of layering anything with Timbuktu, but now it wants to know what would happen if I accent Traversee du Bosphore with a spot of Femme.
Noz: which Femme do you wear? Vintage or new? I’m thinking that would make a difference in who wins the battle…Traversee is strong on me…
I have four or five different ones, including a fairly old extrait, and they are all different. The newer ones have more cumin and are more angular, relatively speaking. Traversee du Bosphore is strong, but it doesn’t have highs and lows. Hence, a harmonizing contrast sounds like a good idea, theoretically. I’d probably start with one on each wrist to to avoid a fight, especially since my layering ideas don’t usually pan out.
Sampling Shangri-La for two days in a row, I’m struck by how different it is day to day on me. Yesterday it was all about the spices with peach breaking through every now and then. Today the spices, though still present, have receded and a there’s a lovely floral bouquet wreathed in soft oak moss. Taken with your comments about its breaking apart on your skin, I’m beginning to think this might be a real shape shifter.
Nonetheless, I’m really liking Shangri La in its various forms. It shares a quality of warmth and voluptuousness with Moon Bloom that I seldom encounter in modern perfumes. Can’t wait to see what notes will emerge tomorrow.
Kathryn: yep…that’s the same experience I had…and I did like all phases.