Vintage Perfumes: Guide Book to Classic Fragrances | Author Jan Moran
Owned & Operated by Sunny Palms Press, LLC.
Owned & Operated by Sunny Palms Press, LLC.
Owned & Operated by Sunny Palms Press, LLC.
Owned & Operated by Sunny Palms Press, LLC.

Vintage Perfumes: Guide Book to Classic Fragrances

Vintage Perfumes by Jan MoranI'm excited to announce a new print book edition of Vintage Perfumes: Classic Fragrances from the 19th and 20th Centuries, a guide to 142 vintage perfumes from the 19th and 20th centuries. Vintage Perfumes is now available on Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and at independent bookstores through Indie Bound. If you love perfume and you'd like to learn more about the most beloved classic fragrances of all time, Vintage Perfumes is for you and the perfume lovers in your life (it makes a lovely, thoughtful gift). With the perfumes of Chanel, Dior, Jean Patou, Guerlain, Estee Lauder, Caron, and many others, it's a must-have for those who enjoy the artistry and beauty of perfume masterpieces.

For the debut, I thought would share one of the most popular perfumes listed in the book: Shalimar. Created in 1925 by Jacques Guerlain, Shalimar has a fascinating story. As a fiction writer, I love to use the olfactory sense and perfume to enhance characterization and settings, and I included Shalimar in my Scent of Triumph historical novel. Read more about Shalimar below.

Here's where to find Vintage Perfumes:

Apple iBookstore
Barnes & Noble

Read a Vintage Perfume excerpt of Shalimar, a 1925 classic perfume from Guerlain

Shalimar is an intoxicating yet subtly sensuous blend that has endured for more than sixty-five years. With a long-lasting base of spices and aromatic woods, it became the archetype for Oriental blends. A highly distinctive and dramatic fragrance, it was designed for the woman who is sensual, sophisticated and uninhibited…another grand entrance-making perfume from Guerlain.

A 1925 composition, Shalimar is reflective of its period, of a cosmopolitan Paris in the midst of celebration after World War I, of the Roaring Twenties, of exhilaration and new life. This attitude is mirrored in the zesty citrus top notes. Heady florals flow into a spicy base that is particularly rich in vanilla, incense, and sandalwood.

In creating Shalimar, Jacques Guerlain was inspired by a love story told to him by a Maharajah visiting Paris. The Guerlain company shared the story with us:

More than 300 years ago, Shah Jahan succeeded to the throne of his father, Jahangir, and became the third Mogul Emperor of India.

Jahan loved only one woman. Her name was Mumtaz Mahal.

Some say he loved her unto madness, that she was not his wife but his fever. Victories, empires, and riches were dust as compared to her…in his eyes, she alone was the balm that made life bearable.

When she died, Jahan’s hair turned white. He would burst into tears at the mention of her name. In her memory, he built one of the world’s greatest wonders–the Taj Mahal at Agra.

But the Taj Mahal is only an empty monument. While Mumtaz was alive, Jahan created a series of gardens for her at Lahore, gardens the like of which had never been seen before. He called them the gardens of Shalimar, the Sanskrit word meaning “abode of love.”

From every corner of the Earth, the most fragrant and delicate blossoms were brought. Deep pools were built with crystal fountains and terraces paved in marble. The rarest birds were summoned to sing here and lanterns were hung to rival the stars. In the gardens of Shalimar the lovers were truly happy, and Mumtaz bore fourteen children to her beloved Jahan.

Jacques Guerlain decided that the perfume should be called Shalimar, not Taj Mahal, because, you see, Taj Mahal marks the end of the story, and this love story can never end.

The flacon was designed by Raymond Guerlain and is also a reminder of the fountains in the gardens of Shalimar. The ornamental stopper in sapphire blue evokes the flow of the fountains’ water.

Voluptuous and enveloping, Shalimar is a fragrance of eternal romance.

Jan’s Note: I grew up with Shalimar on the arms of my mother when she hugged me before bedtime. And so, when I was in my early teens, I thought Shalimar a dowdy, old lady fragrance, as a teenager might. Imagine my surprise a few years later when I unknowingly encountered it at a party. The most intriguing, elegant woman in the room wore a fascinating perfume on which men were complimenting her. I knew that aroma, I thought, but what is it? “Do you mind if I ask what you’re wearing?” I asked. She confided, “Shalimar.” True elegance is timeless.

A sensual delight with a dichotomy of dry and sweet, Shalimar is the original gourmand aroma with a plush vanilla note, as tactile as velvet or the softest silk lining.

  • Scent Type: Vanilla-Ambery Oriental
  • Top Notes: Bergamot, lemon, hesperides
  • Heart Notes: Jasmine, iris, rose, patchouli, vetiver
  • Base Notes: Vanilla, incense, opopanax, sandalwood, musk, civet, ambergris, leather
  • Who’s Worn It: Rita Hayworth, Gina Lollobrigida, Diane Sawyer, Brooke Shields, Rita Hayworth, Dionne Warwick, Britt Ekland, Joan Collins, Lisa Hartman, Shirley McClaine, and my mother, Jeanne Hollenbeck
  • Introduced: 1925

Get your copy of Vintage Perfumes now

Apple iBookstore
Barnes & Noble

PS: If you're a perfume lover, you might also want to read my contemporary novel, Essence, about an indie perfumer and a Formula 1 race in Monaco, or my historical novel, The Perfumer: Scent of Triumph, about a French perfumer during WWII. You can find both here.


Where to Buy Jan's Books

  • Buy on AppleBooks
  • Buy on Amazon
  • Buy on Barnes & Noble
  • Buy from Google Play
  • Buy from Kobo
  • Buy from IndieBound
  • Buy from Audible

Jan’s books are also available to purchase in Deutsch, Dutch, Italiano, Lithuanian, Polish, and Russian. More languages coming soon!

Our website uses cookies which may collect information about your visit to improve our website (anonymous analytics), to show you media (video and audio), targeted advertising, and social media feeds. Please see our Cookie Policy page for further details or agree by clicking the 'Accept' button.

Cookie settings

Below you can choose which kind of cookies you allow on this website. Click on the "Save cookie settings" button to apply your choice.

FunctionalOur website uses functional cookies. These cookies are necessary to let our website work.

AnalyticalOur website uses analytical cookies to make it possible to analyze our website and optimize for the purpose of a.o. the usability.

Social mediaOur website places social media cookies to show you 3rd party content like YouTube and FaceBook. These cookies may track your personal data.

AdvertisingOur website places advertising cookies to show you 3rd party advertisements based on your interests. These cookies may track your personal data.

OtherOur website places 3rd party cookies from other 3rd party services which aren't Analytical, Social media or Advertising.