After a very successful launch of his debut perfume – Moon Bloom, perfumer Hiram Green continues his explorations of natural fragrance ingredients. His latest research, inspired by chypres of Francois Coty resulted in creating a brand new composition called Shangri La. Inspired by the fictional land high in the Himalaya, described in “Lost Horizon” by James Hilton in 1933. With this perfume you are taken to a hidden paradise on earth where people live in beauty for ever.
As soon as I apply Shangri La on my skin, I smell a very strong and intensive fragrance that instantly brings the impression of ylang-ylang to my mind. It smells so narcotic, as if these beautiful flowers, drenched in the tropical sunlight and overflowing with creamy and buttery layers, were growing right next to you. After a couple of minutes the saturation drops, the perfume becomes more harmonious and other notes begin to play. Among them is peach, which shortly comes to the front presenting its aromatic peel, which hides underneath a fruity pulp with distinctive lactonic vibe.
Shangri La, the mythical land could’ve been located in Himalaya but the Hiram Green interpretation is more like a trip to the most exotic places on Earth so far. After a while the perfume develops a structured woody layer. There is a lot of earthy vetiver which smells really nice combined with ylang and peach note. And of course there is a nice dose of oakmoss, the symbolic element for all fragrances in the chypre genre. It’s so much tougher to find a good chypre nowadays (thanks IFRA!)
I think that after 45 minutes Hiram Green Shangri La starts to smell of citrus. Ylang-peach combo with oakmoss is still pretty much around but now the smell of juicy lemons and oranges comes to the front, adding a nice and refreshing twist to this composition. There is also a hint of zest in here. At some point the fragrance transitions from rich and intensive floral to a more spicy concoction.
There’s a lot going on here. Among spices I think I smell clove, cinnamon, possibly some pepper or nutmeg. This spicy blend adds some warmth to the structure of Shangri La, making it more complex, more complicated when you smell it after a while. This is a brand new idea from Hiram Green but at 2,5 hours mark the perfume reveals some parental bond with Moon Bloom. Both fragrances share (in my opinion) the same type of jasmine essence. Jasmine in Shangri La is really intense and rich. It’s also very dense, slightly indolic (veering towards smoky even) and incredibly delicious, with a jammy facet to it. You will want to eat it at the later stage.
I really like the drydown of this composition. It offers a really varied experience. One moment you smell dusty aroma coming from oakmoss, the other one the fragrance is more indolic or creamy thanks to ylang-ylang and peach. Spices beautifully mingle in the background and when rose joins the composition and blends with jasmine, it smells to me like a home-made rose marmalade. It has that delicious, comforting and mouth-watering flavor. There is also a tiny bit of powdery iris, but it remains in the background. This perfume is all about indulging experience of ylang, peach, moss and jasmine. It’s like a drug, just like Moon Bloom.
Shangri La by Hiram Green is a beautiful, rich and complex creation. It’s a very well-made homage to the classic values of true chypre accord. This is also a natural perfume, which deserves an additional ovation as it’s always harder to work with natural aroma materials. This fragrance is available in 50ml flacon with bulb atomizer and also as 5ml travel spray. On my skin it lasts for around 6-8 hours and after the initial blast it remains just a little bit above the skin.
[note] sample was a courtesy of Hiram Green, thank you for sharing it with me.