Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Guide to Vintage Shalimar

This is nowhere near complete, but I can find no definitive guide to vintage Shalimar bottles anywhere, so I am going to make my own out of cobbled together information, pictures, and links. Hopefully some will find this, and find it helpful, and please, if you have information to add, share it!

According to Wikipedia:
Popular for 90 years, Shalimar was created in 1921 and re-released in 1925 in a bottle designed by Raymond Guerlain and made by Cristalleries de Baccarat (bottle design # 597) and launched at the Decorative Arts Exhibition as an antidote against The Great Depression.
According to Elisabeth Barille, "while examining a sample of vanillin, Jacques Guerlain suddenly poured the entire contents into a nearby bottle of Jicky, just to see what would happen." The result: Shalimar.
Shalimar means "Abode of Love" in Sanskrit.

The fan-shaped bottle. Made in 1925 for Shalimar. Designed by Raymond Guerlain. It's one of the few classic Guerlain bottles that has contained just one fragrance, as Guerlain had a habit of reusing its bottles for different perfumes until Jean-Paul Guerlain took over as nose.

Modern Parfum bottle, notice the label says Parfum SHALIMAR Guerlain, earlier bottles did not have nearly so many words on the label.

Shalimar Fourreau du Soir (not the red bottle!!)

                                           Shalimar parfum in Baccarat, only 30 bottles made.

This is a newer Baccarat bottle, it is numbered, and the label is the complicated modern version:

This bottle with the clear stopper is a bottle of Eau de Toilette Splash.  It is a Special Anniversary Edition and was made in 1998.

My own bottle, just acquired today. Trying to date this bottle was difficult because it looks vintage, but it had a clear plastic label on the bottom, and the ground glass stopper is also encased in plastic. I found a photo (the bottom photo) of a bottle encased in a lucite block to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Shalimar in 1986, and that bottle has the same label, so I am guessing that my bottle is from around the same time frame. Actually, in doing more research, the bottom of the bottle is acid etched, not molded glass the way later bottles were, this puts it post-1978, but probably earlier than 1986. And in doing even more research, the bottom of the 60th Anniversary bottle is also not acid etched, putting my bottle far earlier than 1986... 

This bottle I would date to the 1980's based on the lettering on the bottom that looks like the 1986 bottle in lucite above.
Photos from ebay seller junymoon

Two Shalimar bottles, both 15ml extrait, different designs,slightly different heights, made by two different makers. Photo from basenote member ayelfior.
One on the left was made by Saint Gobain des Jonqueres and dates from 1981-1986. See how the foot is much wider and thicker than the other bottle, also note that the label is also slightly different in shape. This bottle is embossed with "SGD Guerlain Paris Bottle Made in France" and has a clear plastic label on the base that reads "Parfum GUERLAIN Paris 15ml 68% vol." and the date code "WX 4PC1". (Picture below)Photo from basenote member ayelfior.

This great information came from another Shalimar guide that I found immensely informative  here.

Notice the huge difference in quality between the earlier bottle made by Pochet et du Corval, and the later one made by Saint Gobain des Jonqueres. One is sharper and much more defined, while the other is a lot more sloppy.

Saint Gobain bottle from 1981-1986. Note the label on font reads "Parfum SHALIMAR guerlain 15ml 68% vol". Photo from ebay seller thepaintedpast
Notice that this bottle's label is completely more complicated than the one in the lucite block from 1986, makes dating bottles even more complicated!

This bottle still has it's original box, so we can see that the copyright date on the box is 1967. So, any bottles that resemble this one can probably be assumed to be from around that time, previously we said 1978, but I don't have any indication of where that came from except it showed up in a google search... this might be a more definitive date... 
photos from e-bay seller mike724pronk

And for this bottle the seller gave a definitive date of 1983, which is really helpful... 
the photos are from e-bay seller bhperfume5mor, and I have contacted her to ask for a photo of the bottom of the bottle.

Shalimar presentation Air Mail, A very rare presentation, called the Presentation Avion (airplane transportation presentation), used this style of box and was offered on the Air France Paris-New York flights, starting in 1960. The box was slightly different in the fact that instead of laying down inside the box, the bottle would stand up snugly inside a small plinth, in which the box lid would slip over making a cover. The stopper was not inside the bottle itself but was inside a tiny cardboard box which was included in the presentation box. The perfume was sealed with a cork covered in a thin plastic seal. These bottles were made by both Baccarat & Pochet et du Courval, look for their logos on the base, an entwined HP or the Baccarat symbol.

This photo is of the later clamshell style box.

The earlier version of the box described above, the cardboard standup version is available in photos here, I have asked to use the photos, but haven't heard back yet. And that reminds me, if I have used your photo and you would prefer I did not, please e-mail me:
I will remove it as soon as you let me know. I have tried to credit everyone for the photos used here,but I started this guide at midnight and worked on it until 3am, so I might very well have missed some credits or used something I shouldn't have. If so, please accept my apology, and I will correct it ASAP!!!

                                                               Shalimar Eau de Toilette

Flacon Amphore 1955-1982

The bottle was designed and produced by Baccarat, but was also manufactured by another glass company called Pochet et du Courval. You can see both markings below.

40cc/40ml/1.35 oz - 14,5cm/5.71" (1955)
80cc/80ml/2.7 oz - 18,3cm/7.3" (1955)

Pochet et du Courval:
15cc/15ml/0.5 oz -  11.5cm/4.53" (1959) (ground glass rosebud stopper changed to plastic rosebud screwcap in 1978) 
20cc/20ml/0.676oz - 11.5cm/4.53" 1955) (gilded ground glass rosebud stopper)

The bottom of this bottle is what I found most interesting, it is one of the few photos I have seen of the mark of glass maker Pochet et du Corval, it is the tiny HP intertwined mark on the right side of the bottom of this bottle, and many styles of Shalimar bottles have this same marking:

Flacon Montre (Watch Bottle) 1936-1999:

Baccarat crystal marking on the bottom of a Shalimar bottle, it is the circle in the center of the bottom of the bottle:

The same Baccarat bottle, notice that this bottle also has nine flutes around the stopper, and that the blue seems faded a bit...

Another example of a Baccarat bottle:

And another example, notice the unevenness of the blue at the base of the stopper...
photos from ebay seller bpnd12345

Example of a Cristal Nancy Bottle, notice the hole in the stopper that the cordon threads through:

And a bottle showing the Cristal Nancy mark... this is not a Shalimar bottle, but at least it gives some idea of what it should look like:

Things that make you go hmmmmm, this bottle I found on e-bay, has the hole in the stopper, but the baccarat mark on the bottom... is the bottle wrong? Was the stopper replaced? Or, are we wrong...
Photos from e-bay seller brouhle6p9r.

Flacon Goutte 1923-2001

This bottle was designed by Pochet et Courval. It was only ever used to hold Eau de Toilette. The label on the bottle is known as a "dolphin Label" because it depicts two dolphins, somehow, personally I have a little trouble seeing it. 
Photos from e-bay seller old-stuff-sales.

 In 1927 a rival company, Du Barry, decided to cash in on the popularity and launched a perfume of the same name, a legal battle ensued, forcing Guerlain to temporarily replace the perfume's name with its stock number "No.90" on bottles that were exported. These bottles are very rare to find.

I do not know how this bottle came to be, but I thought this bottle wasn't created until 1936, so it is a bit shocking to see a No. 90 on it... reintroduction maybe?? Totally not sure...