Floating Petals: Review – Neela Vermeire Creations Pichola

By Tara

Neela Vermeire Creations refract different aspects of India through the prism of French perfumery. The result is a quality collection of striking and evocative fragrances which are equally refined and complex.


The inspiration for Neela’s latest creation (released in April of this year) is the mesmerising Lake Pichola in the city of Udaipur, Rajasthan. In the centre of this picturesque body of water sits the Lake Palace, which was the summer retreat for a succession of Maharanas.


Tops notes for Pichola are cardamom, cinnamon, saffron, juniper, magnolia, neroli, clementine and bergamot. The heart contains orange blossom absolute, rose absolute, tuberose absolute, sambac jasmine and ylang-ylang. The base comprises benzoin, sandalwood, driftwood and vetiver.

I generally don’t get on well with white florals and feared I might struggle with Pichola. However it has actually turned out to be the NVC fragrance I’ve found the most enjoyable and wearable. Perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour has kept this floral with oriental touches, sheer and airy.

Juicy clementine and dewy flowers laced with soft spice makes for an enticing mix. Pichola combines those three elements with such a light touch; they seem to dance like sunlight bouncing off glassy water. It feels full without being in the least bit heavy.

Pichola possesses both radiance and serenity along with the line’s trademark opulence. It hints at the grandeur within the Palace walls as well as the tranquility of the lake that surrounds it.

Please don’t imagine that Pichola is aquatic and cold because it isn’t. It’s undercut by a warm current rising up from beneath the surface.

Moving into the heart, the seamless blend of tropical flowers are in full bloom. There’s a wonderful creaminess to the petals which lack any indoles or screech. I don’t register tuberose however I do keep thinking I smell coconut which may well be a facet of the natural absolute.

Gentle, pliable woods and vanilla tinged benzoin make up the smooth base. The effect is warm and cushiony but stays soft and elegant. I can still detect lingering fruit, floracy and spice.

There’s something very romantic and almost wistful about Pichola. It is lush and dreamy, like petals floating on still water. It never feels cloying despite having outstanding, all-day longevity.

It possesses a calmness and delicacy that many perfumes in this category lack. So even if you are normally put off by white florals or haven’t yet found a NVC fragrance to suit, it is well worth exploring.


I can see why Pichola was released in the spring because it has that fresh feeling of renewal which comes after deep reflection. All the same, I’ve no doubt it will flourish in the heat of summer.

What do you think of Neela Vermeire Creations? Have you tried Pichola?

See Olfactoria’s reviews of Bombay Bling, Trayee, Mohur and Ashoka.


About Olfactoria

I'm on a journey through the world of fragrance - come with me!
This entry was posted in By Tara, Floral, Fragrance Reviews, Neela Vermeire Creations, Tuberose and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Floating Petals: Review – Neela Vermeire Creations Pichola

  1. Tara,
    I love reading your writing. You so beautifully captured Pichola and I am thrilled you’ve found the gateway white floral at last. This could lead to BWF things?
    Now that you are traveling I think you should come on my next India adventure, we always stay at the lake Palace when in Udaipur and I know you’ll love it. We can spritz Pichola like crazy and swan around pretending to be rich & famous.
    Portia xx

  2. Ah must try this new one. I liked all the other ones but not enough to actually buy. Maybe I’ll give it a go again when I go to Paris in September.
    Tara, have you tried Baiser Volé Extrait de Parfum? The lily is maginificant, green earthy and very seductive. I would not have tried that myself. But I was in house of Fraser two years ago and kept getting wafts of that as I was trying sunglasses on the ground floor. I tried that and fell in love. The extrait is most expensive but you can find it cheaper online.

    • Tara says:

      Mahesh, do give Pichola a try. It may be the NVC for you.
      How wonderful that you are going to Paris in September. Have a wonderful time.
      I’ve only tried the original Baiser Volé which is lovely but I will have to try the Extrait de Parfum now. Sounds fab.

  3. cookie queen says:

    Bang on Tara. Lovely review. People say it is tuberose heavy but I don’t notice it at all. And I have just given myself a big spritz. The whole fragrance is utterly smooth and it’s beauty becomes more apparent with each wearing. It is fast becoming Hannah’s summer signature scent! See you soon. xxxx

    • Tara says:

      Thomas got lots but I really didn’t get what I would recorgnise as tuberose. All the better for me though 🙂
      Pichola is incredibly smooth. I’ve used up my sample so unable to wear it today sadly.
      Can’t wait to see you and Hannah in just a couple of weeks!

  4. Sandra says:

    Tara, Your review is just lovely. I have smelled this on Val and it is beautiful and perfect for spring and summer. My favorite NVC perfume so far is Mohur extrait. Xo

    • Tara says:

      Thanks, Sandra. Pichola really is a beauty and perfect for the weather we’re having right now.
      I really want to try Mohur Extrait.

  5. Vanessa says:

    I am wearing Pichola again today and in the warmer weather I note that I am getting more of a floral vibe, whereas when I first tried it it was more woody and vetiver-y and masculine leaning. I wonder if this is one of those shape shifter perfumes – like the sun on water, indeed. The very first time I tried it I got a sort of powdery chocolate orange accord would you believe, which must have been the clementine and spices coming to the fore. No noticeable tuberose, certainly, on my skin. Anyway, loved your lush review – made me want to rush and get my sample out!

    • Tara says:

      So interesting to get your initial impressions, V. I got the same each time I tried it – only the amount of sillage seemed to differ.
      I found it pretty feminine so fascinated to learn you found it masculine leaning first time round. The spices are gourmand so I can see you getting that chocolate orange vibe at the start.
      Enjoy wearing your sample today. The weather is right for it luckily!

  6. Asali says:

    Wonderfully evocative descriptions Tara. It definitely sounds like a perfume I should try. I haven’t tried Ashoka (if that’s the name?) either yet, and the first three I liked but didn’t love for various reasons, but in general it can possibly be summed up as B. Duchaufour, there’s just alway something raspy bothering me a bit. The only perfume of his that I’m really tempted by is Tralala, but the price :-/ AND the scary bottle…

    • Tara says:

      Thanks, Asail. There is something very evocative about Pichola which made it easy to write about.
      You know, I think you’d really like Ashoka because it has a lot of iris in it. I only tried it the once though.
      I know what you mean about BD but I think he does some of his very best work for NVC.
      A little bird told me Tralala is going to be significantly reduced so keep an eye out or let me know if I can pick it up for you. Not much I can do about the scary bottle though 🙂

  7. Suzanne says:

    Both that photo of the Lake Palace and your review of Pichola are dreamily enchanting, Tara. I’ve not tried this perfume, but if I ever come across it, I will spray some on and think about your evocative description.

    • Tara says:

      Suzanne, I think you’d enjoy Pichola. I hope you come across it at some point.
      My parents have stayed at the Lake Palace and I want to one day. There’s something so atmospheric about the setting.

  8. What a lovely review, Tara! I haven’t tried this one properly yet but it is on the top of my must-try list. Reading about the notes, I’m certain that I’ll love this one. It does sound like a dreamy and romantic fragrance. By the way, love the photos, I’d love to visit there one day. 🙂

    • Tara says:

      Thanks magpie! I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

      The Lake Palace is now a hotel and looks absolutely stunning. The Bond film Octopussy features it apparently.

  9. Annabel says:

    In March we were in beautiful Udaipur and wandered slowly across the lake by boat…if only I’d already got my sample of this lovely scent I could have worn it… (but I did find some great sandalwood in a great little shop down a small street in the city which pleased me greatly.)

    • Tara says:

      Annabel, what a wonderful thing to have done. A slow journey across the water would be the only way to do it. Wearing Pichola would have just made it even more perfect.

      Also very enivous of your sandalwood find!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s