Hello and welcome! Please understand that this website is not affiliated with Guerlain in any way, it is only a reference page for collectors and those who have enjoyed the classic fragrances of days gone by.

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Monday, February 16, 2015

La Route de la Soie - Limited Editions c1999

In 1999, Guerlain issued Samsara, Champs Elysées, and Shalimar in limited edition boxes and bottles for a new collection called La Roue de la Soie, or the Silk Road.

The Silk Road:


As you can see from the photo below from National Geographic, the Silk Road, or Silk Route, is a series of trade and cultural transmission routes that were central to cultural interaction through regions of the Asian continent connecting the West and East by linking traders, merchants, pilgrims, monks, soldiers, nomads, and urban dwellers from China and India to the Mediterranean Sea during various periods of time



Extending 4,000 miles (6,437 kilometres), the Silk Road derives its name from the lucrative trade in Chinese silk carried out along its length, beginning during the Han dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD). The Central Asian sections of the trade routes were expanded around 114 BC by the Han dynasty, largely through the missions and explorations of Chinese imperial envoy, Zhang Qian. The Chinese took great interest in the safety of their trade products and extended the Great Wall of China to ensure the protection of the trade route.




Trade on the Silk Road was a significant factor in the development of the civilizations of China, the Indian subcontinent, Persia, Europe, and Arabia, opening long-distance, political and economic interactions between the civilizations. Though silk was certainly the major trade item from China, many other goods were traded, and religions, syncretic philosophies, and various technologies, as well as diseases, also travelled along the Silk Routes. In addition to economic trade, the Silk Road served as a means of carrying out cultural trade among the civilizations along its network.

The main traders during antiquity were the Chinese, Persians, Greeks, Syrians, Romans, Armenians, Indians, and Bactrians, and from the 5th to the 8th century the Sogdians. During the coming of age of Islam, Arab traders became prominent.

The Venetian explorer Marco Polo became one of the first Europeans to travel the Silk Road to China, and his tales, documented in The Travels of Marco Polo, opened Western eyes to some of the customs of the Far East. He was not the first to bring back stories, but he was one of the most widely read.

A route for caravans, the northern Silk Road brought to China many goods such as "dates, saffron powder and pistachio nuts from Persia; frankincense, aloes and myrrh from Somalia; sandalwood from India; glass bottles from Egypt, and other expensive and desirable goods from other parts of the world." In exchange, the caravans sent back bolts of silk brocade, lacquer ware, and porcelain.

In June 2014, UNESCO designated the Chang'an-Tianshan corridor of the Silk Road as a World Heritage Site.

The Limited Edition Bottles


The eau de parfum bottle for Samsara was the usual Samsara flacon, but it had a gilded map design on the front, highlighting the various cities from the Silk Road. The mini flacon was simply the usual Samsara flacon but was housed in a special presentation box printed with the map theme.

Samsara was released in the following:
  • 50ml Eau de Toilette in a decorative box
  • 50ml Eau de Toilette in a decorative bottle
  • 50 ml Eau de Parfum in decorative bottle
  • 30ml Scented Dew Roll On
  • 6.7 oz Refreshing Liquid Body Powder in decorative box
  • 13.6 oz Perfumed Bath Salts in decorative box

Samsara's composition:
  • Top notes: bergamot, lemon, ylang-ylang, peach and green notes
  • Middle notes: jasmine, iris, narcissus, violet and rose
  • Base notes: sandalwood, vanilla, Tonka bean, amber, and musk














The mini flacon was simply the usual Shalimar flacon but was housed in a special presentation box printed with a black floral pattern.


Shalimar was released in the following:

  • Eau de Toilette  mini in a decorative box
  • 50 ml Eau de Parfum 

Shalimar's composition:
  • Top notes: bergamot, lemon, mandarin, rosewood
  • Heart notes: rose, jasmine, orris, vetiver, patchouli
  • Base notes: ambergris, opoponax, vanilla, civet, Peru balsam, benzoin, Tonka bean, leather






The Champs Elysees box was white with pink.



Today, the name La Roue de la Soie is used for a perfumed candle sold by Guerlain, is directly inspired by the scent of Samsara.







Silk Road info from wikipedia.

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