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?