Neela Vermeire's Fourth Fragrance - Ashoka (Photo: Mike Tassy for Neroli)
Neela Vermeire’s Fourth Fragrance – Ashoka (Photo: Mike Tassy for Neroli)

It must have been a rather daunting and unenviable task for both Neela Vermeire and perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour when creating their fourth perfume together and the first to be launched since the initial trio of India-inspired fragrances in the Neela Vermeire Collection. These three perfumes – Trayee, Mohur and Bombay Bling! – were so well received and critically acclaimed that the pressure really must have been on when the time came to add a brand new fragrance to the series – a fragrance named Ashoka. Luckily for us, this pressure does not seem to have phased this dynamic duo one bit…

“Inspired by a legendary ruler, Neela Vermeire Creations’ new release Ashoka, is a tribute to an emperor who was conquered by his own compassion at the moment his victory was assured. He converted to Buddhism and devoted the rest of his life to spreading the Buddha’s teachings, to truth, to justice and to compassion for all living creatures  beneath the sun. His own evolution from ruthless conquerer to benevolent emperor is reflected in Ashoka’s journey from the fierce opening to a softly floral heart & the gentle embrace of its richly complex drydown.”

Ashoka is Neela’s fourth perfume and first to be released outside of her initial trio of perfumes inspired by different eras of Indian culture. It would make sense then, that Ashoka strikes a slightly different chord from the others in the collection whilst managing not to stick out like a sore thumb. The fragrance is a continuation of the historical Indian narrative but in an olfactory sense, Ashoka leads Neela Vermeire Creations in an entirely new and exciting direction.

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Desert Island Sniffs
Desert Island Sniffs

One of my favourite past times is listening to Radio 4’s longstanding series ‘Desert Island Discs’. If you’re not familiar with the concept, the premise is simple: a famous face or person of interest is shipwrecked on a desert island with eight records of their choice. The idea being that the person tells the story of their life through the songs that have made a significant impact on who they are today.

It has long been my belief that scent, much like music, allows us to travel back in time and experience moments past – moments that have influenced, changed and shaped us in to the human beings we have become. This series (nattily entitled ‘Desert Island Sniffs’) looks to explore the way perfume has influenced the lives of prominent members of the perfume industry.

For Desert Island Sniffs my castaways will be asked to present five perfumes that have had a significant impact on their life – scents that are so important they would be the ones they’d pack if they were unfortunately marooned on a remote desert island. Along with their five perfume choices my castaways are entitled to one luxury item and a ‘perfume bible’ of their choice.

Let’s meet our first castaway…

Restaurant Table
Our table is booked, all you have to do is show up…

Food and I have a very strong and loving relationship. Perhaps too loving in fact, and I’ll be the first to admit that our relationship can be a little unhealthy at times. But at those times when I don’t feel that I should exercise a good degree of self control to keep my weight down I thoroughly enjoy going out for dinner and experimenting with new food.

Our senses of taste and smell are inextricably linked and when going out for dinner it makes sense, and it’s also good fun, to match our fragrance to the style of cuisine we will be devouring. Only the other night I was heading out for dinner with friends and was having a SOTE (Scent of the Evening) dilemma, I asked my Twitter followers for help and they came back with some interesting suggestions based on the type of food (Mexican F.Y.I.) I would be eating, which got me thinking – which fragrances would be best suited for other cuisines?

To explore the relationship between fragrance and food I cordially invite you to dinner, during which I, along with the help of my partner-in-crime and budding-foodie Nigel, will pair some of the most popular cuisines with fragrant counterparts that will leave you complimenting your food and smelling wonderful simultaneously. Get your passports out because we’re going to be touring the restaurants of the world…

Festival of Colours

Neela Vermeire is a new Parisian based Niche line that explores the history of India through three vibrant and colourful fragrances. Each fragrance has been created by the very talented Bertrand Duchaufour and is representative of a particular period in India’s history, they are as follows:

Trayee
Vedic Period

Mohur
Moghul British Raj

Bombay Bling!
Modern India

With her first three fragrances, Neela Vermeire offers a festival of colour, fragrances that showcase exotic ingredients and smell as vibrant, lively and diverse as the country that inspires them.

“This diversity has inspired Neela Vermeire to create and dedicate the first trio of fragrances to India – her native country – while living and working in Paris, her adopted city and perfume capital of the world. Neela’s education in social sciences and training in law, may not have any direct connection to perfumes but her formative years in India have had a great and lasting impact on her “olfactory development.” [1]