“One may wander far and live in vastly different places, but the fascination of India isn’t left behind”
Wandering near and far, a scent voyager of such, perfumer Neela Vermeire is a well-travelled individual. She has beautifully captured growing up in India, the essence of her childhood, bottling her experiences in six intricately designed packaging.
Each perfume has its own story to tell and if you could smell her journey, Neela has done her job right. Neela travelled to the US to study and spent her life moving through cities around Europe, but her perfume collection was her way of reconnecting her homeland her past, one she proudly holds onto.
Her fragrance career didn’t happen overnight, more of an organic process that predominantly started with her love for perfume. Neela collected perfumes before she found her way meeting perfumers creators to then being submerged into the secret world of fragrance and exotic aromas.
Neela’s perfume’s are rather a self-portrayal of her own existence, a sense of familiarity and understanding that reveals her experiences growing up in India. Imaginably the complexity of India as a country has inspired Neela’s use of materials which she then bottled in Parisian elegant bottles following the traditional French perfume making procedures.
Her first three perfumes are a commencement of India’s historic moments. Each perfume carefully captures a different moment of India’s history with its aroma, ingredients and concept.
Her first perfume, Trayee, is a depiction of the spiritual beginnings of the Vedic period when yoga, Ayurveda and Hinduism came about. Spiritual beginnings are rather personal to Neela, reminding her of countless ceremonies growing up in India. The ingredients found in the perfume are all natural and many of them are used in Vedic ceremonies, notes of cinnamon, cardamom, clove, cedar and sandalwood.
Named after the gold coin of the Mughal Empire, Mohur bottles 500 years’ worth of history from the Moghul era of the Taj Mahal to the end of the British Raj, the complexity of India’s history echoed in the scent, with 23 different ingredients including Turkish rose oil, Sandalwood, Amber, White Woods and Patchouli.
Her final of the preliminary trio, Bombay Bling ironically has nothing to do with the city of Bombay, rather a tribute to vibrancy and energy of India as a whole. The dynamic and fresh fragrance of the perfume is a result of the mixture of mango, lychee, Turkish rose, patchouli and tobacco tones.
Named after Lake Pichola in Udaipur, India, Neela’s fourth release, exquisitely mirrors the elegance of Lake Pichola, with its colourful history, architecture and the -vibrant aesthetic of the city, the reflections the sunlight and moonlight bring to the lake. Taking you on an entrancing journey of the crown jewel of Udaipur, Pichola is a luxurious blend of 17 vibrant flowers, spices and woods, including saffron, juniper, magnolia, orange blossom absolute and driftwood.
Once a legendary Indian emperor, Ashoka, Neela’s fifth perfume, a tribute to the ruler who denounced violence after converting to Buddhism and aimed to spend his life spreading teachings of truth and piece for all creatures living under the sun. His compassion is perfectly reflected, with notes of jasmine, fig leaves, lotus, iris and ylang – ylang.
Completing her olfactory journey, Neela’s mind took her back to the 17th century following the French explorer’s voyages to the east, their stories the first real glimpse of what was concealed there. Bringing back spices as proof of the voyage, Rahele – Neela’s latest release; which coincidentally means traveller, is somewhat gentler in smell, infusing the heritage with her love of French perfumery.
Neela worked alongside the famous French perfumer Bertrand Duchafour, whom she was introduced to by a friend, who has amassed an amazing portfolio working with the likes of Givenchy, Christian Dior and Comme de Garcons.
Dachafour is known for fashioning aroma’s that induce the feeling of exotic lands, had his own recollection of his visits to India, one rather different to Neela. Renowned perfume bottle designer, Pierre Dinard, completes the dynamic force, packaging her creations, who himself has crafted masterpieces for the likes of YSL, Givenchy, Armani and Calvin Klein.
France and India are many miles apart and separated by both sea and land. The two nations come together in Neela Vermeire’s perfumes. Combining the eclectic and powerful smells of the east with the famous perfume-making techniques of the west brings out the best of both worlds perfumery and creates new experiences of aromas captured in the small glass bottles.
For more information visit neelavermeire.com .