Neela Vermeire is an incredibly warm and loving person I had the great fortune to personally meet in Vienna. She is also the creator of arguably the best niche launch in recent history. Her line is all about passion, quality, details and small distribution. Everything a true niche line should be about.
Neela is her perfumes, she stands behind them, she is the driving force, she is Bertrand Duchaufour’s most difficult client (no doubt he said that with a smile). Her India Trio, Mohur, Trayee and Bombay Bling! was a huge success and we all cannot wait for the September release of Ashoka.
Today we are grateful she agreed to answer my questionnaire:
A good day starts… with a freshly brewed pot of coffee.
I’d never leave the house without… keys, money and sunglasses.
I always feel good when… I make time for others, work and also manage to do yoga and meditation.
My favorite thing in the world is… a great and meaningful conversation with anyone – strangers, family and friends
The next thing I want to buy… (when I can) is a lamp from the Danish designer Poul Henningsen.
The place I always come back to… is Paris (feels like it).
My personal style is… rather anti-trend but casual chic. I love mixing textures, pieces of jewellery and playing with colour – I enjoy wearing colourful accessories made by talented artisans/designers from all over and also love anything made for me in India.
My favorite perfume is… that of fresh sandalwood paste. I love smelling of Chanel Bois des Iles extrait and NVC Mohur.
When I travel… I immerse myself in local culture, food and flower markets, food, wines, art and music…love taking photographs.
To relax I need to… switch off my mind from computers and phone.
I like to gift people with… my time and give them the attention they may need.
When I have a bad day… I try to take a step back – view things objectively, try spend time doing yoga and meditation. Helps me recalibrate from being upset to being calmer.
I find my inspiration in… many things! It can be from anything I see or do in my daily life in Paris, like meeting fascinating people, reading, my travels, nature, music I listen to and all other forms of art.
Something I would never want to miss is… meeting/speaking with my dear friends and family who live far, experience nature and visit great exhibitions, see concerts and opera especially baroque opera.
My last mistake… (more a regret rather than mistake) was not buying a painting from an artist I had exhibited. Sadly, he passed away a month later rather suddenly. I now believe in carpe diem.
In my fridge there is always… a variety of vegetables, condiments, bacon, cheese, wines and champagne….
On my nightstand I keep… my precious copy of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, a few books by the Dalai Lama, Carl Jung, a few Perfumery books, lavender oil, lip balms, hand cream…
The perfect weekend starts with… a walk in Paris – for example up to Montmartre or another area of Paris or a drive outside Paris to see some nature. Extremes but that is how I love to spend some free time. My neighbourhood Parc Monceau is wonderful day to day and so is the daily food market area on rue Poncelet or rues Levis or rue Lepic. There are many wonderful areas just outside Paris and it is great to just get away for a day or two.
My role model is… (tough question) because I have admired and learnt from ALL the amazing women in my life or people I have met like late Mother Teresa, my paternal grandmother who was an amazingly interesting lady, my mother who has done several charitable things in her life for others and all the women I have known in all the countries I have lived in – they have always helped other women by being mindful mentors and also helped themselves by not being over competitive or ruthless with others. Thinking of others seems to be the key here. We need support and give support to other women in this world (much more than we can ever reach out and ask for or even imagine what people might need). We do not need to pull others down from climbing up – never understood the jealous mentality. We all have a place here but we can all get rather self-centered. We need to evolve in our minds, hearts and souls to achieve something worthy in life.
That was one long sentence!
Something I always want to be asked in questionnaires like this is… my sun sign and ascendant sign? Pisces ascendant Leo. And my favourite types of music? I love all but enjoy listening to the blues and baroque.
I’d love to spend a weekend walking through Paris with Neela, we’d have a lot to talk about.
Do you know NVC perfumes? What is your favorite?
I loved your long sentence Neelabenji. I loved every word. As you for Birgit, arguably would have no arguments from me and many others. This is the niche of niche. I’ll be dancing in September, on and on, under the Banyan Tree.
Niche of niche indeed. Come soon, September! 🙂
The words, the woman, the perfumes, the vision, and the utter dedication and refusal to compromise – it’s all the reason you need to adore NVC. And Neela, too! 😉
That’s it in a nutshell. Thanks, Sheila!
I met Neela once in Florence at the pittimmagine! She is such a lovely warm woman!! Love her fragrances! Cant wait to smell the new one
Neela’s joy and enthusiasm for perfume are so infectious – and most importantly: her perfumes are impeccable!
How can you not like someone who loves the blues and always has champagne in her fridge? So glad she did the questionnaire. I’m a Trayee fan but I do like the others as well and I too, can’t wait for September.
Neela seems to enjoy many of life’s pleasures and that makes her so sympathetic.
What an amazingly evolved and cultured woman.
I love that she’s a fan of Bois des Iles extrait and bacon – a woman after my own heart 🙂
I’ve just finished a book on Carl Jung so next I’m going to look for Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. A nice by-product of these interviews is that they’re broadening my horizons!
I feel the same! I learn so much interesting stuff and habits I want to adopt for myself.
What a lovely lady Neela is! Fun to know she’s a fellow Piscean! What a pleasure to read about her, thank you!
She is delightful!
Wonderful to meet her in Paris, a highlight of my trip there. What a conversationalist, and a great lover of beauty in all its forms. Too fun, and her perfumes are to die for. Can’t wait for the newest one to come out.
I admire Neela’s broad knowledge of just about everything and how she sees and seeks beauty wherever she is.
Glad you met her too, Lucy!
In both her replies and her photo, Neela comes across as very warm, down-to-earth and focused. What a beautiful smile she has!
Loving your series, B!
I love that photo of her, gorgeous!
Neela seems so warm, creative, loving and thoughtful and it’s a pleasure to read her responses. I especially enjoyed her comments about the women in her life and women in general; imagine a world where everyone honored women that way. Plus Neela would be a lot of fun to have coffee with. 🙂 I love all her fragrances, Trayee the most. Like everybody else, looking forward to September! Thanks for this series, Birgit, I really enjoy it.
That would be a great world indeed. Women are often their own worst enemies…
Ashoka is a dream, I’m sure it’ll turn out to be the favorite of many.
Like Lucy, I was fortunate to meet Neela on my recent trip to Paris – as Birgit and many of the previous commenters have said, she is very vibrant in person, warm and kind, as well as being an inspiration and ‘gee-er upper’ on so many levels. Yes, Neela is the sort of friend who would recharge your batteries when you met her and leave you feeling buzzing and revitalised, which is a very special quality in a person. And then of course there are her perfumes… 😉 Am really enjoying my sample of Ashoka at the moment – it is shaping up to be my favourite, though I also love Mohur.
PS I totally agree on the carpe diem thing. I am getting to that age when people in my circle (very sadly) are starting to disappear and it makes you realise you really should live in the moment. And drink that champagne in the fridge. 😉
I’m so glad you two met in person, you are both so dear to me, it’s just lovely imagining you together. (Over liver of all things!!!) 🙂
A gorgeously uplifting read.
Thanks for reading, Neil!
Not only her line, NVC, but Neela herself is a treasure. Her warmth and enthusiasm shine through and she is definitely one of my favorite people in the industry.
Her Mohur is probably among the most moving fragrances I have ever smelled, capable of emoting in the same way vintage L’Heure Bleue does.
Thank you for featuring her, Birgit!
I couldn’t agree more, Caro! She is a shining star in Perfumeland and many (*cough* especially some men *cough*) should take her an an example.
I love these profiles, Birgit! And now I am dying to try real sandalwood paste. I think that I am too young/got into perfume too late to have really smelled any “real” (Mysore) sandalwood in fragrances.
Pure Mysore sandalwood must be amazing to smell. I hope you get your nose in front of some. 🙂
Glad you enjoy the interview series, Ari!
It’s even more interesting to read replies from somebody I met. Great interview, Birgit.
My favorite perfume from NVC is Bombay Bling but I also enjoy Ashoka: it has an unbelievably beautiful drydown on my skin.
Ashoka is wonderful, I’m so happy you like it as well, Undina!
What a wonderful interview! I recently acquired her sample set, and now I’m even more excited to try her perfumes. And it’s always great to find another lover of baroque opera.
Glad you enjoyed it Laurels. Have fun exploring her perfumes!
Neela, is truly an inspiration and example for all. Lovely article.
Very true! Thanks Sandi!
Bless her for what she said with that “long sentence”. So true, so true.
It was one very good long sentence. 🙂
I already loved her fragrances and now I love them even more because she keep bacon in her fridge! Swooning for Neela in NYC!
Great read, Birgit! Thanks to you for the terrific series and to Neela for the excellent responses.
Bacon brings people together!!! 🙂
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