Neela Vermeire Creations Trayee & Bombay Bling ~ fragrance reviews

The new Paris-based fragrance line Neela Vermeire Créations has released three perfumes inspired by India: Trayee, Mohur and Bombay Bling (all developed by perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour). Mohur, a neon-bright, rose-focused scent, doesn’t appeal to me, but I enjoy Trayee and Bombay Bling. Trayee smells “serious,” even studious, while Bombay Bling is full of cheer — a great pair! The Trayee “type” will earnestly discuss Chola art and the meaning of nirvana, while Bombay Bling guzzles fruity cocktails, gossips and screams with delight while watching Devdas... for the fifteenth time.


blue ginger, elemi, cinnamon, ganja effects, blackcurrant, basil, jasmine, cardamom, clove, saffron, sandalwood, vetiver, incense, patchouli, myrrh, vanilla, cedar, amber, oud and oak moss 

Trayee starts off with strong saffron and “green” medicinal aromas; as it dries, this opening accord conjures the scent of “leather.” Trayee is a well-blended fragrance and you have to strain to smell ginger, blackcurrant and cardamom — but they are there. In Trayee’s base (my favorite — and the longest lasting — part of the fragrance) rich cedar and oud notes appear alongside touches of piney elemi and dark, smoky tobacco-‘marijuana’. (Trayee’s incense phase reminds me of three other fragrances: Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyant, Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles, and Cartier Les Heures de Parfum XII L’Heure Mystérieuse, though I prefer Trayee’s darker/rounder tone, supplemented with ganja, to any of those perfumes.)

When I smell Trayee, I imagine an apothecary shop, full of strong-smelling plant tinctures and dried herbs and roots, a place where the aroma of camphor mingles with some lingering incense smoke in the air.

Bombay Bling

mango, lychee, blackcurrant, cardamom, cumin, cistus, rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, white floral accord (tuberose, frangipani, gardenia) patchouli, tobacco, white woods, sandalwood, cedar and vanilla

While Trayee is shadowy, “mysterious” and a tad musty, Bombay Bling is spotlit: BRIGHT and brazen. (Bombay Bling is Asha Bhosle* to Trayee’s Lata Mangeshkar.) Bombay Bling has a Mango! Mango! Mango! opening (the fruit is semi-ripe, thus: partly green). The opening is citrus-y/acidic and sharp, but slowly becomes opaque-smooth as the white floral accord appears (the “flower” I detect is gardenia — with an unbelievably subtle dusting of cumin). There’s sheer musk, light wood and vanilla in the base but those notes don’t overpower the fruit or flowers. Bombay Bling is a fruity-floral scent with a fleeting watery/aquatic vibe in the dry-down, but thanks to the cumin and blackcurrant, it’s not too clean orsweet for my tastes.

Trayee, my favorite of the Neela Vermeire Créations trio, has good lasting power and subtle sillage; Bombay Bling lasts and lasts on skin and has excellent sillage (you’ve been warned). Trayee is certainly wearable for men and women but Bombay Bling veers towards the feminine (but we all wear what we like, right?)

Neela Vermeire Créations Trayee, Mohur and Bombay Bling will be available in 55 ml Eau de Parfum (in a refillable bottle; prices, as yet, unannounced) or in a discovery set, on sale now at the Neela Vermeire website: €75 for three 10 ml bottles.

Note: top image [cropped] and middle image via Wikimedia Commons.

* This clip shows an actress lip-synching an Asha Bhosle song; Bhosle and her sister, Lata Mangeshkar, are the most famous Indian playback singers of their time. A good friend of mine from Delhi says you can tell a lot about a person by which sister they prefer! 

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  1. Lexy says:

    Thank you Kevin for a most wonderful review- again. Even though I know it’s highly improbable I will ever get or sniff those perfumes, travelling to India is always a treat!

    • Kevin says:

      Lexy: thank you! I know few people have smelled them yet.

  2. datura5750 says:

    Trayee is calling my name!
    I did not know that Asha and Lata were sisters!
    And I re-watch Devdas every year…

    • Kevin says:

      Datura: YOU’RE the target audience! HA!

  3. Angela says:

    I’m liking Trayee, too, and find Mohur almost maternally comforting. Bombay Bling just makes me thirsty!

    I love your reviews not just for your saucy writing, but for everything I learn. I feel so much more India-smart now.

    • Kevin says:

      Angela: I know…the MANGO in B.B. makes me thirsty too! And thank you…I know you’d love Devdas!

  4. nozknoz says:

    India, Duchaufour, Parisian niche, a glowing review from Denyse on Grain de Musc, and now YOUR entertaining and enlightening endorsement! Kevin, just picture a Bollywood cadre of hip-shaking lemmings cavorting around the Aishwarya Rai Barbie under a shower of jasmine blossoms and rose petals, and you’ll get the general idea of how excited I am. That discovery set is already winging its way across the Atlantic!

    • Kevin says:

      Noz: what an image!

  5. Bee says:

    I’m trying them out at the moment too, my first ranking is the same as yours, but I really have to analyze Trayee as you did, I missed out the depths you noticed – there you go, I’m a real Trayee type :-)

    • Kevin says:

      Bee: spray liberally to reach those depths

  6. Haunani says:

    What fun! I look forward to trying these!

  7. Persolaise says:

    I wholeheartedly recommend trying all three. Trayee is unquestionably my favourite, but the other two definitely have plenty to offer as well.

  8. cazaubon says:

    I wore Trayee yesterday, it was quite woody and smoky on me, and I could really smell the ganja! Today I am wearing Mohur and Bombay Bling. Love the green mango and fresh citrusy notes in it – reminds me a bit of the citrus notes in Diptype Oyedo. But my favorite of all so far is Mohur, I love this lightly sweet rose… reminds me a tiny bit of Andy Tauer’s Rose Vermeille but less neon.

  9. ceelouise says:

    I’m trying Bombay Bling this moment. I hadn’t read the notes at all when I first sniffed, and I got grapefruit instead of a mango opening. Now it is most certainly lychee with creamy white flowers. Yum. I agree it’s more feminine than masculine. These citrus-y and woody scents are not usually my thing, but I am quite captivated.

  10. ceelouise says:

    I spoke too soon, this perfume is not so feminine later on. I get some soapy fougere after the feminine white flowers. A happy perfume indeed with a much varied development.

  11. Julia says:

    Late to the party, but I own and love all three. I mentioned on an open thread that I spent my most formative years in India and I just love what they have done. The first miracle is that there are now three fragrances by Bertrand Duchafour that I can wear and the second is that they smell so “right” to me. They are evocative of India but without the tired joss stick/sticky sweet jasmine that is too often used in “Indian” type fragrances. I go back and forth between Mohur and Trayee with Mohur getting the most wear right now. I love it but I don’t get neon rose from it. I find it quite fresh and sedate especially when compared to other rose/Oud fragrances, but I’ve also been dabbing rather than spraying which could make a difference. Trayee is what initially drew me in and I agree with you about the green notes in the opening. It reminds me quite a bit of Mona di Orio Les Nombres d’Or Vanille in the top notes. I must have read the notes of all three before I ordered the discovery set but I quickly forgot them, especially the ganga note in Trayee. I haven’t gotten around to my usual testing of these where I write down all the notes, the time I apply, then check in every so often recording my impressions at various points in the development – maybe I will be able to recognize it then.
    Thanks for another great review, Kevin. I always enjoy your writing. Over the holidays I went on a Serge bender and became enamored of Arabie then Fille en Aiguelle. I looked up your review of the latter and soon found myself ordering Wazamba as well. :)

  12. zubi says:

    So excited about these scents! Being half Indian I REALLY want them.

    Also, Kevin, so super impressed at your knowledge of India and DEVDAS (yeaaahh!).

    Funny thing is, I am both the “types” described in the first part – super excited one moment, and super thoughtful and spiritual the next. It’s a sign – I must try all three.

  13. lbsimmons says:

    Thank you for this review, it lead me to order all three samples. I am wearing Trayee today. Makes me feel smart! It is less edible than I usually go for. I get mostly the incense bits showing up on me. I will try spraying more liberally to see if I can pick up the other notes.

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