The second production of independent and natural brand Hiram Green has a mysterious touch in the concept. At first I was puzzled by the choice of the name in homage to the classic chypres from the past, but a search was enough to understand that there is an intrinsic relationship between chypres and Shangri-la.
This is a city of the book Lost Horizon by British author James Hilton. It is described in the book as a mystical valley, bucolic, a synonym for paradise on earth, a utopian place where people are living in isolated land from the wold in a state of permanent joy. Shangri-la for your visitors can be both desired as a possible new world or a frightening and oppressive place, in my view due to their utopia state and isolation.
The chypre family is a kind of Shangri-la of perfumery since its beginning with the creation of Coty Chypre in 1917. The main combination of patchouli, oak moss, labdanum and bergamot had and still has a mysterious air, harmonious and bucolic, as a fragrant utopian paradise that can be developed in many ways, still keeping its main aspects of abstraction, harmony and mystery. Just as Shangri-la, chypre classics can be seen by some as a lost paradise in time at which you want to be or a a scary and oppressive place outside the reality perhaps even more if we compare the dense and multifaceted character of a classic chypre with less complex aura of a current perfume, made to be easily understood and please the greatest number of people.
In Shangri-la, Hiram Green recreates the bucolic paradise of Coty Chypre and Mitsouko. It's like for me they had never changed because of restrictions or changes in consumer taste. Still, Shangri-la is not exactly a copy of any of them, not having so evident peach lactone aroma of Mitsouko or more dry and earthy aura of Chypre. In Shangri-la I realize more obviously the sweet and bitter bergamot nuances, which briefly gives me a mouthwatering effect. It is the opening to a beautiful scent of jasmine, sweet, with a hint of orange and grape, a subtle link with Moon Bloom. Jasmine here avoids the austere tone of the classic chypre and its more evident presence that is the most enchanting side of this paradise for me. The iris appears to confer a controlled earthy touch, elegant, which evolves into a woody base, harmonic, less dense in labdanum and patchouli and with more vetiver in the composition.
In fact, some ideas stop in time. Not because they become old, but perhaps they have always existed and we as humans just discovered its wonders and associate with that time. I just see this natural creation, a harmonious paradise, abstraction, a reminder of a past classic that can be revived and appreciated. I understand that I am among the group of people who would not mind living in this utopia of a past where quality, art and creativity were more important.