Thursday, October 31, 2013

Neela Vermeire Talks and Offers Free Perfume Bottle Giveaway

What would Neela Vermeire of NVC do and say if she were a guest at my dinner party and we brought out the wine, the amuse-bouche and the board games for adults? I invited her over to have a Scent Game and she gracefully and playfully indulged me. So take thee over to Fragrantica to read our little game, where she describes her perfumes in dessert terms and not only (saffron kheer with bhang for Trayee for instance or rose & carrot halwa for Mohur) and post a comment here on Perfume Shrine to enter a fabulous giveaway she's offering to our European readers. The draw is open to European Union addresses and the generous (fabulous!) prize includes a classic flacon of NVC Mohur perfume with samples of Trayee and Bombay Bling as well as a glass sample vial of Ashoka. Submissions will be counted till Friday midnight and winner will be announced on Monday.

Now that we have gotten this out of the way, let me elaborate why I feel Neela Vermeire Creations is such a big deal. From the musky depths of the historically inspired Trayee to the delicate and graceful arc of Mohur right up to the fruity exuberance of Bombay Bling and the unusual Ashoka, Neela Vermeire Creations is among the best niche lines to grace the horizon in some time. Although I personally discovered it with at least one year delay, I consider it one of the brightest "a ha" moments in my course of scent writing. And those don't come often, let me tell you.

I was personally interested in finding out how and why the 4th installment, Ashoka eau de parfum, came to be, especially since it's such a multi-nuanced and unusual fragrance that seems both a little apart and at the same time very much in tune with the spirit that traverses through the Neela Vermeire Creations line. Neela obliged me: "The first trio were based on wide historic eras in India. We wanted to continue this journey and develop our India inspired collection with our fourth fragrance, Ashoka Eau de Parfum. Ashoka is a tribute to the internal/philosophical changes that occurred during the life of Emperor Ashoka (when he realized upon his conversion to Buddhism that wars were not the solution and compassion was the way forward). It is an important message for the world we live in and Emperor Ashoka has been of interest to us. After all our logo was inspired by Ashoka's chakra."
Indeed the fragrance presents a panorama of redemption and spirituality. You can read my review of it on this link.

The bottom line I suppose is that the success of the line lies not only on the deft handling of the concept by the perfumer (Bertrand Duchaufour) but first and foremost on the art direction of Neela herself; a dedicated person, an aficionado as well as a connoisseur, and an excellent communicator all around. It's been a true honor knowing her.


  1. First? (Yes, I'm 12 sometimes.)
    And, do count me in the draw. You know I'm all grabby hands.

    As an aside, no worries. While I'm mostly silent, I'm alive and kicking. Life just took a weird turn.

  2. Liisa,

    I was thinking of you the other day when I unearthed some Vere Novo. You know, I'm a worm for not checking upon you for so many months. My only excuse is I have had my hands full (literally; will mail).

    First!! 12 is good sometimes. :-D

  3. I am a huge fan of Neela's. I would love to be entered into this draw. Any idea when the Espirit de Parfum version of Mohur is coming out ?

  4. Anonymous10:54

    love this site. Not got much opportunity to try or buy so get my kicks here.

  5. Anonymous13:31

    Dear Elena,
    Thank you for sharing this!
    I've been reading your site already couple of years and your insights helped me a lot finding my way through perfume jungle :) Yes, I must confess, I am addicted now :) It would be great to try Neela's magic too! Please count me in!
    And greetings from Lithuania!

  6. FabioP13:39

    Really I enjoyed your back and forth with Neela!! Some how it is fitting that she will choose biography as favorite literary style as Ashoka is like a scent-painting of the famous legend..

    Would love to be entered into the draw..!

    Best - Fabio

  7. I loved the scent game in fragrantica site. Hope more will follow as they are entertaining and very insightful than "traditional" interviews.
    Thanks for another great giveaway.

  8. Dina5614:57

    I have read so many raving reviews of Neela Vermeire's fragrances and cannot resist this wonderful giveaway. Thanks.

  9. Ella15:50

    Just arrived in Sri Lanka (as close to India as I am going to get in a while) with tiny samples of Trayee and Ashoka in my bag. Just adore all of the NVC scents and am really looking forward to trying these two out in tropical climate.

    Thank you for a lovely giveaway!

  10. MissK16:34

    I love India and would jump at the chance to try Neela's interpretation of the country. Thank you for the generous giveaway!

  11. Anonymous17:28

    Kindly, include me in the draw! Looking forward to smelling a life story!

  12. Mimi G18:14

    Elena - please include me in the draw. I do also have a personal european address .
    I loved Trayee- so very special .

  13. Marcella18:50

    I would love to take part in the draw. I find all the concepts very inspiring and inspired. Thank you!

  14. I would love to be included in the draw. All the fragrances sound captivating.
    Love reading about perfumes I perhaps will never get to sample.

  15. Please include me in this very generous draw. I have tried Trayee and Mohur and I am considering wearing Mohur to my wedding next year. I am starting to save up for a bottle, but if I'm lucky I might win one! The colors she associate with each perfume are spot on!

  16. Oh my GOD!What an extraordinary prize!Would love to be entered in the draw, Elena!

  17. Please, include me in this wonderful draw. I have no idea why I don't know any of Neela Vermeire scents!

  18. Miss Heliotrope05:36

    O me!
    I have been going through a phase on Indian history, as well as looking at Buddhism & Hinduism. The life of Ashoka is one that contained one of the most extreme & stunning transformations of social & political policy, and yet he was all but lost to the world for so long -

  19. Hey there. Though I am in the US right now, I live in the EU. Whoop whoop!

    Thanks for yours thoughts on the Tauer thread. Made me extremely thoughtful all day. If perfume is not art, you are right. If it is art, I am. Basically, if art is an aesthetic category, it's you; if it's a social category, it's me.

    But it was very thought-provoking.

    Finally, I mad heart NVC. They are extraordinarily beautiful! Thank you for hosting the draw!

  20. Long live the roses! Please, take me into account :-)

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. How lovely. Please count me in.

  23. Elia09:11

    There's been a lot of mention about Ahoka lately and its three stages. I'm interested. I like the mango opening in Bombay Bling, fleshy tasty.
    ty for the draw

  24. Martinus,

    thanks for saying so! I'm very glad that my response was thought provoking; this is what I'm aiming at. Not converting anyone, just giving the nudge to see perhaps a different facet of the same issue. After all, this is what I reap off my readers' comment myself. :-)

  25. admiring this line from afar and regretting that is not available for a sniff in the uk. count me in.

  26. Gisela09:46

    Thank you for the generous draw and the fun read over at Fragrantica. I love those niche lines with their wonderfully edited and crafted scents and I don't mind saving up my pennies for a long time before owning a bottle when the perfume is gorgeous!

  27. What a stunning & intriguing prize........please count me in, in, in!

  28. Anonymous10:01

    Well, all I can say is: yes, please, that would be so nice!


  29. As a lover of NVC perfumes and as a reader of this blog I'm very happy when I find new articles about NVC and Neela Vermeire. I really recognize your love for NVC perfumes. Articles about them are very meaningful, so, after reading them, I have a new content to think about NVC perfumes. Just as some sort of expanded views. Wonderful perfumes but also your very interesting articles have become my reason for sharing them. I'm sure that your articles are one of the best ways to introduce Neela's perfumes to many people.
    When I talk about Neela's perfumes I usually emphasize highest quality ingredients, great stories behind them, Neela's collaboration with perfumer in all the stages of making perfume and my personal love for them. I like to point out her love and passion for creative process and a unique way of communication with customers and fans.
    Neela is well known as a lover of all the art forms but she is also an artist herself in the art of making perfumes.
    Thank you for this generous draw of Neela's favourite perfume.

  30. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  31. Eleonore11:42

    Waouh what a delightful treat and just for Europeans too! Thanks Elena! I enjoyed discovering Neela Veimeire's fragrances in the articles you devoted to her, she belongs to a niche brand (which means we can't find her in France except in Paris), so it is very important to know about her before...I felt attracted to her personality and her project preceding her creations...and I smiled when I read your interview Thierry Ardisson-like...much more captivating in this case: you were lucky to meet her, from what she reveals,Neela Vermeire is a truly beautiful person, une belle personne ..whom I'd love to meet too! can dream:-)
    That's why I'd love you let me take part in the draw , I'd love to get the opportunity to know her better thanks to her creation!

  32. I'd love a chance to try these creations.
    I've found oud to be a challenging note in perfumery, it would be fascinating to see how it plays out against the other softer notes in Mahur. I'm attracted to the idea of the warmth and comfort of Tonka bringing a much needed velvet glove over oud's iron fist. As for the carrot halwa, this I have to smell!

  33. Ellen14:36

    I am soooo jealous of your EU readers. What a marvelous opportunity. I wish I could considered for the draw, but live in the U.S.
    I have sampled the first three of her creations prompted by your blog and thought that all three were truly remarkable, each in their own way. I felt that some part of the essence of India had been captured in a bottle.

  34. I haven't had a chance to try Ashoka yet, but the first trio were absolutely fantastic.
    I still have Bombay Bling on my list of perfumes I need to have...

  35. Anonymous20:35

    Such beautiful fragrances. I would love to be entered in this draw.

  36. Anonymous20:43

    I'd love to participate into this draw. Please count me in

  37. Wow, thanks for the amazing draw, and thanks for the fun Q&A-piece on Fragrantica. I've only recently tried Mohur, even though I've had a sample of it for some time already. I was kind of avoiding it because usually roses aren't really my thing... but oh my what a gorgeous creation Mohur is! Haven't tried Ashoka yet, and Trayee and Bombay Bling only very briefly. Count me in!

  38. Anonymous22:00

    Last but not least to the draw?Ilias

  39. Anonymous22:21

    hi, elena! thanks for the fab chance to win these - this is another line i've been intrigued by but haven't had a chance (yet) to try.

    happy all saints day!


  40. Oh wonderful! Please count me in!

  41. @Ellen,

    thank you for chiming in, even only to say that you have been impressed by the line of NVC at my prompt. It means a lot to me your saying so.

    And hold out for next time!! ;-)

    @At all the others, thank you for the the opinions, be it positive (the overwhelming majority) or the quizzical ones (hope you get to try). I am reading all your comments with much pleasure!

  42. Carla Meiners12:34

    I would love to enter. I have not yet tried any of Neela's scents and am dying to do so. I love how Neela always responds so warmly to perfume reviews from others. She seems like such a lovely person!


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