Smelly News: Mumtaz Mahal Jewels Exhibited at La Maison Guerlain

The Jewels of Mumtaz Mahal
The Jewels of Mumtaz Mahal

“In india, jewellery has always been an indispensable part of one’s outfit. It is said to hold the power of the gods and goddesses.”

The story of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan is the stuff of legend. Their epic love story is represented by one of the world’s most famous buildings – the Taj Mahal – a palace that was created as a mausoleum to the princess following her death, upon the orders of a distraught Shah Jahan. The Mughal Empire may now be a thing of the past, but the story of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan, and the Taj Mahal lives on.

Historic perfume house, Guerlain has a strong link to this tale. Their flagship fragrance, Shalimar was inspired by the story and named after the Shalimar gardens created by Shah Jahan in Lahore. The Jacques Guerlain creation from 1925 is perhaps as well-known as the heartbreaking legend of the Emperor and the Princess, and it is widely considered as a true classic of perfumery, and the crown jewel in Guerlain’s wardrobe of wonderful fragrances.

“Three months to dream and admire the jewellery worn 400 years ago by a great rani worthy of the Thousand and One Nights.”

Speaking of jewels, a chance encounter between Laurent Boillot, the President and CEO of Guerlain, and Indian entrepreneur, Vinita Jain has resulted in a very special exhibition at La Maison Guerlain – Guerlain’s flagship boutique at No. 68 Champs-Élysées, Paris. From 03 September to 14 November 2014, visitors can view three special pieces – a ring, necklace and head jewel – worn by a princess famed for her beauty and essential artefacts in one of the greatest love stories of all time.

Click below the jump to see the other pieces that will be exhibited at La Maison Guerlain this autumn.

Head Jewel
The Head Jewel – “As Imposing as a Tiara”

“Every married woman was duty-bound to wear a head jewel. On the piece owned by Mumtaz Mahal, we can distinguish the inlay technique distinct to the Mughals, known as Kundan, which consists in using an extremely pure gold leaf a few microns thick so that it can mould to any type of surface. It is composed of fine pearls and coloured beads. For important events, the head jewel had to be as imposing as a tiara.”


“A Rare Gold Secret Ring”

“A rare gold secret ring, which perhaps held poison… Shah Jahan reigned over the Mughal Empire, which was the most far-reaching and richest in the world in the 17th century. Although devoted to art and architecture, he continued to extend his power by leading many military campaigns. He and his family were exposed to many threats. So it comes as no surprise that his favourite wife owned such an object. This piece is composed of a broad ring adorned with a series of Kundan-set cabochons shouldered by fine pearls. It has an identically decorated pear-shaped opening top, featuring a central heart motif accented with a beautiful diamond rose.”

Images, quotes and information via Press Release.