Very citrusy on top. A slight bitterness to it. Some mustiness underneath. The flowers slowly ease up to meet the citrus. Just enough of each floral that neither overpower each other. Slightly greenish and stemmy. The slightest pops of powdery aspects. So far, so good.
I'd say this version of Shalimar seems a bit "thinner" than edp or edt. Not weak - just lighter, maybe? Can't think of a proper description at the moment. No doubt this is the queen, Shalimar. It transitions slowly into its familiar, base note combo, so rich, heady, soothing, and timeless.
The biggest difference between this and the other formulas is, the bigger blast of citrus in the beginning. And, as usual for Shalimar, it is very long-lasting.
I had the chance to test Shalimar EDP (current version), Shalimar parfum de toilette, Shalimar Souffle de Parfum and buy a 70s vintage version Shalimar, the first version of Ode à la Vanille, sur la Route de Madagascar and sur la Route du Mexique.
The current Shalimar EDP was a bit disappointing. A lot of bergamot with some cardamom and then a powdery rose (almost itchy). Then it settles down finally but doesn't give a good sillage. What's funny is that it smells different if you smell it one cm away from another spot.
Shalimar from the 70s is so much better. Both softer and spicier, with an amber, cashmere feel. You get the bergamot and the rose, but nothing is too strong.
Parfum de toilette (mine is from 93) is even softer but powerful with more powdery vanilla. Less itchy bergamot and rose.
Souffle de parfum shouldn't be compared. This is not Shalimar, don't expect Shalimar. There are some common notes, especially if you wear vintage Shalimar on the other wrist. But it's very good on its own! A wonderful floral with some spices and a gourmand dry-down. I'm happy I randomly got a sample of this and I hope I'll get a full bottle. Sillage could be better, though.
The original Ode à la Vanille opens in a very bitter way. It's balsamic. Then it goes towards a powdery bergamot. The acid vanilla comes later. It's a bit sweeter than the vintage Shalimar but quite similar in the dry down. It also has more fruit.
Sur la Route de Madagascar shares a lot of notes as well, but it's more floral than fruity. It's more animalistic. Dirtier in a very sexy way. It has more vanilla than the others as well.
Sur la Route du Mexique opens with more pepper. It's something between rhum and gin, with spices. It might have a more itchy, synthetic feel for me.
Note that the three bottles are exactly the same. You've got to keep the boxes to differentiate them.
The opening of all those Shalimar, except for souffle de parfum, is the biggest difference. The more they dry, the most similar they get.