A couple of months ago at the Elements Showcase, I had a chance to sit down with Neela Vermeire of Neela Vermeire Créations to ask her a few questions about her trio of fragrances inspired by India. A native of Calcutta, Neela currently lives in Paris, where she launched a line of three fragrances: Trayee, Mohur and Bombay Bling. The perfumes were developed by Bertrand Duchaufour, who was moved by Indian scents and Neela’s stories. I thought that it would be interesting to share with you what motivated her to plunge into fragrance development, what it was like to work with Duchaufour and how her memories of India shaped the perfumes.
What motivated you to start your own fragrance line?
I have always been passionate about perfumes and wanted to create a few based on my past. It was more organic than simply wanting to start my own line. There was a part of me that wanted to pay homage to the country of my birthplace, India. Having very close ties to it yet living so far away, I wanted to revisit parts of my life whilst I lived there with my family and all my travels back. I wished to pay tribute and also, in a way, to reconnect with the India I had left behind. This had to be done with a highly skilled perfumer who appreciates nuances and gives the best effect without excess—sumptuous, but never smothering, since some natural raw materials can be quite heavy and rich.
I researched three broad periods for the first trio. These will be the guidelines for the future, though there are so many other periods from which to draw inspiration as well. I developed my concept and delved into the periods – not just through history books but using all that is India for me: my olfactory experiences and memories from my childhood to the present times. In a way I wanted to create three perfumes for myself but also to share with others. These perfumes are meaningful to me because it is a personal journey.