Symine Salimpour launched her perfume house Hors La Monde in 2006 with the release of Shiloh eau de parfum. Soon after that Angelina Jolie tried to sue Salimpour over the use of the name Shiloh, claiming a misuse of her daughter's name. Obviously the Jolie-Pitts lost this battle (and perhaps got better educated about the origin of the name). The kerfuffle has died long ago and other perfumes (Lady Shiloh and Shiloh X) joined the Hors Là Monde lineup. It's a good time to go back and try the original Shiloh again.
My first impression of Shiloh back in 2006 or 2007 was that it was a very bright and citrusy perfume with a patchouli base and a pretty wide appeal. It's still true, I guess, as you can't argue much with a very bubbly lemon opening. It smells like a champagne cocktail garnished with a lemon twist, so I'm guessing there are some serious aldehydes involved, though there's no mention of that on Luckyscent's site. The light and airy summer day impression continues until the dirty rose hits my nose accompanied with a cedar-dominant woody body. The rose is quite spicy and heavy on pepper. The overall feel is much more perfumey, almost classically so. Shiloh becomes more interesting, especially up close. It has stories to tell, some surprises hidden in the luggage and the general appears of being well-traveled. I guess Shiloh is like a cool aunt that buzzes in and out, always on her way to someplace exotic and a little mysterious.
Personally, I'm not that particular aunt, as the rose-patchouli combo always ends up being too much for me. It is very well-crafted, though (by perfumer Michel Roudnitska), and deserves a friendlier skin than mine. In any case, it's a good reminder for me to give some attention to the other Hors Là Monde perfumes.
Notes: lemon, bergamot, herbs, rose damascena, Virginia cedar, precious woods, patchouli, sandalwood, incense, oakmoss, musk, vanilla.
Hors Là Monde- Shiloh ($125, 50ml EDP) is available from Luckyscent.
Photo by Genevieve Naylor, Harpers Bazaar, January 1950 via myvintagevogue.com