Shangri La 
Hiram Green (2014)

Average Rating:  7 User Reviews

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About Shangri La by Hiram Green

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Hiram Green
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Hiram Green

Almost one hundred years after Francois Coty defined the chypre genre with a perfume of the same name, Hiram Green presents his adaptation of this classic accord. Named after the fictional land described in James Hilton’s novel 'Lost Horizon', Shangri La evokes a mystical fragrant paradise.

Fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes

  2. Heart Notes

  3. Base Notes

Reviews of Shangri La by Hiram Green

There are 7 reviews of Shangri La by Hiram Green.

Chypre diffusion at daybreak

Natural perfumes make me think of vegan desserts. They’re an entirely separate category. You can’t expect them to behave like fragrances with synthetics. You must enjoy naturals on their own terms, even when they’re rich-burner-blonde-with-dreads-playing-with-essential-oils terms.

When I heard of an all-natural chypre, I could only imagine the worst kinds of alimentary mockery produced by the vegan world: fake cheesecake using raw cashews run through a blender, fake chocolate mousse made from mashed avocados, you get the idea.

Shangri-La took me by surprize. It is unmistakably a chypre, one that immediately invokes the gentle warmth and light of a summer morning. Opens with a familiar, sensuous contrast of hespiridic notes, a golden floral heart and a dark, bitter base. In the dry down, a rich honey sweetness emerges and blends seamlessly into indolic jasmine before settling into a snuggly skin scent.

I really wanted to love Shangri-La and it does smell fantastic. But ultimately, it is too gentle and blurred around the edges for me. I’m the sort of person who feels more at ease in a leather bustier than a cosy cashmere sweater. I like my fragrances to feel more chiseled. In particular, I prefer my chypres to feel cinched and winched, if not glittering with mean aldehydes. If I’m wearing a goddam chypre in this day and age, I am not messing around. Everyone within striking distance should feel disciplined. Hand me my Bandit.
Jul 14, 2019

Ah! How wonderful, to have someone produce a true Spiced Floral Chypre, in this day.
The Architexture is so very classical and brutal, however, it has a smooth surface as to be so very modern in presentation.
Notice the full breasted bloom and careful balance of sugar to bitter to spice to citric and to then, buttery Savon and a flip to the wood of Vetiver.
No bright walls of Aromachemical.
You want a Chypre? Here, is a Chypre.
I'm going to get some of this.
Jun 28, 2018

This is the second Hiram Green scent I've tried, and I am impressed. This is a rich, spicy chypre with an opulent floral heart. Not at all my style, but it is so well made that I can appreciate it.
Aromatic, a bit sweet and fairly rich. Floral and powdery. The spices add an interesting note. Normally, I can't stand a peach note but here it is well done and does not dominate.
Aimed at a feminine market but because it is not excessively sweet and has interesting spices, some guys might like it. A kind of leather-suede note appears in the dry-down.
May 17, 2016

A delicious orange-peach breeze opens up this composition, a light, airy breezy of crystalline purity and gentle bightness. Soon the drydown sets in, adding a lovely iris that is framed by an underlying spice note. This is a very mild and tender spice, neither hot nor peppery spice, but a gentle very unobtrusive spice, with hints of roses.

The base adds a touch of vetiver. I get moderate sillage, good projection and six hours of longevity on my skin.

The most exhilaration part of this scent is the impeccable and pure natural quality of these top-notch ingredients; they are of a rarely counted exquisit beauty. A gorgeous fragrance for warm spring days. 3.75/5
Jan 4, 2016

Oh me, oh my, you make me cry, you’re such a good-looking woman….

Can chypres be sexy? I never thought so until I fell in love with Femme. Femme is sexy with a capital S. I love both versions of Femme – the vintage one with the musky plums and oakmoss, and the current version, all sharp and woody and armpit-cuminy. But I thought that Femme was an outlier. Chypres are just too upright and stiff-backed to be sexy in that low-down, guttural-growl kind of way.

Enter Shangri-La by the British indie perfumer, Hiram Green. I admire Mr. Green’s approach to making perfume. He does it slow, releasing only two perfumes in two years – and he does it right. Named for the fictional land described in James Hilton’s novel ‘Lost Horizon’, Shangri La is his second fragrance, released in 2014 after Moon Bloom, his extremely well-received tuberose soliflore in 2013.

Shangri-La, at the risk of being painfully literal here, is indeed a Shangri-La for the chypre lover. It restores my faith in the belief that modern perfumery can still turn out perfumes that rival the old greats from the past, and perhaps even surpass them now and then. Shangri-La does not surpass Femme or Mitsouko for me, but it was and is a beautiful surprise that evokes strong emotion in me.

It is also pretty sexy, in a carefully-contained way.

It opens with the traditional chypre sally – a bitter, bracing bergamot – except here it feels more lemony and sparkling than the Mitsouko bergamot, which has an aged, darkened feel to it no matter the iteration or vintage. A wave of champagne-like bergamot, then, to usher in a velvet heart of peach, rose, and iris, held aloft by a bed of what smells like real oakmoss.

The peach and spices develop into a sticky compote that darkens and thickens with time – part jammy fruit, part leathery peach skin. It smells delicious – not fully gourmand thanks to the bitter facets of the iris, bergamot, lemon, and moss – but also not as forbidding and dusty as Mitsouko.

Beyond the peach and the lemon, Shangri-La is actually all about the jasmine for me. I wore it to bed one night and woke up in the middle of the night surrounded by the unmistakable, creamy scent of night-flowering jasmine petals.

Bubbling just underneath the skin of this peach and jasmine combo is something enticingly dirty-sexy and musky. Could it be a touch of castoreum, perhaps, or a not-so-clean musk? The mystery note is not explained, although I am sure it is not civet, because the dirtiness is warm and round, not sharp or urinous. Possibly it’s the jasmine, although I don’t think the more indolic Sambac jasmine has been used here – there’s a smooth fruitiness that suggests jasmine grandiflorum.

Either way, the overall effect is of a deep, sensual fruity-floral chypre that does indeed feel like a true chypre from top to bottom, but also has a welcome sexiness to it that would make me want to wear it in more relaxed situations than would normally call for a more uptight chypre.

It’s on my hit list, for sure.
Oct 7, 2015

On me, uncannily like pre-2013 Rochas Femme.
Mar 13, 2015

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