The little blurb on Madini's web site describes Olive Flowers as:
"Old Mr. Madini's answer to Shalimar. An amber-citrus essence and exotic resins such as frankincense and opoponax".They're not kidding. And considering the way Guerlain has been treating Shalimar over the last decade, toying and tweaking the formula, Madini's Olive Flowers is more Shalimar than Shalimar.
The opening notes seem a bit sharp and scattered; it takes them a few minutes to come together and make sense, but even then you get the familiar citrus over vanilla idea. It's the thing that happen once the oil warms up on skin that gives me that old Shalimar delight. It's thick, dark and sexy in all that familiar incense-opoponax-vanilla glory. Some of the real animalic black lace of very vintage Shalimar parfum is missing. and I also find Olive Flowers somewhat less powdery. The husband says he wouldn't have identified this fragrance as a Shalimar clone, but then again, he hasn't spent that much time with the original Guerlain as I have.
In any case, the similarities are many, as is the general feel of this Madini perfume oil. It's pretty, sexy, and has a robust sillage/longevity that are missing from several modern Shalimar concentrations and variations.
Olive Flowers by Madini Oils ($15, 3ml perfume oil) is available from madini.com. At the moment, there's a 25% off discount code: use Holiday2011 at checkout.
Image: detail from a 1964 Shalimar ad.