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.
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 or sweet 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.
* 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!