Fragrances have played an underpinning role in the sociocultural evolution of India. Being an integral part of rituals and ceremonies from times of Indus Valley civilization to Vedic period cutting across to the medieval era marred with invasions and colonisations until the post-independence present day, fragrances remain rooted in the cultural ethos of modern India. For someone interested to know more about pre-modern fragrance history of India, please refer to my earlier blog no 4 titled finding common ground between Grasse and Kannauj HERE. Listed below are six perfumes that embodies flavours inspired from India:
- Munnar Valley by Almah Parfums.
“A sensory experience representing freedom and nature: greenery, humidity, mountains, flora and fauna… Loneliness, the liberty and the majesty of a small part of the world, that is hidden in the mountains. The mountains of Munnar, in the northern Kerala region of South West India, hold the scents of various teas, coffees and peppers, all set within a region with trees, greenery and fresh tones.” Top notes: Bergamot, Cardamom, Galbanum Heart note: Virginian Cedar wood, Sicuan pepper, ebony. Base Note: Tonka beans, Frankincense, Siams Benzoin
- Calicut by Bombay Perfumery
“An ancient marketplace where flavors of the earth change hands and home, peppered with architectural souvenirs left behind by overwhelmed explorers.” Top note: Elemi, Bergamot, Cardamom, Heart note: Nutmeg, Black Pepper, Cedarwood, Base note: Vetiver, Patchouli, Oakmoss, Musk, Olfactive family: Spicy, Woody
- Un Jardin Apres la Mousson (A Garden after the Monsoon) by The House of Hermes
It’s a Woody Spicy fragrance which captures the scents of God’s Own Country Kerala in India. “Un Jardin après la Mousson explores unexpected aspects of India, when the monsoon gives back what the sun has taken from the earth and drives away the scorching breath of drought. In this novella, ginger, cardamom, coriander, pepper, and vetiver tell the story of nature’s rebirth, captured in Kerala in a world overflowing with water.”
- Cashmere Mist Eau de Toilette by Donna Karan
“A sumptuous caress of luxury. Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Eau de Parfum is an intoxicating sheer floral fragrance inspired by the feel of cashmere upon a woman’s skin. Combining the essences of Moroccan jasmine, lily of the valley and the freshness of bergamot, against a warm background of sandalwood, amber and musk, it’s a sensually soft scent that seduces the senses. Crafted with a high concentration of essences, it’s the perfect, lasting indulgence for all-day wear. Key notes are Moroccan Jasmine, Lily of the Valley, Sandalwood.”
- Omnia Indian Garnet by Bvlgari
“Inspired by one of the world’s most magnificent gems: the Indian mandarin garnet. Omnia Indian Garnet captures the magic and sensuality of tuberose and osmanthus flowers.”
- Shalimar by Guerlain
Shalimar is a perfume originally created by Jacques Guerlain in 1921 and currently produced as the flagship product by Guerlain. It is a tribute to the legendary love story between Shah Jahan, Mughal emperor of India and his wife Mumtaz Mahal. The fragrance contains notes of bergamot, lemon, iris, jasmine, rose, patchouli, vetiver, opopanax, tonka bean, frankincense, sandalwood, musk, civet, ambergris, leather, and vanilla and is considered to be one of the best perfumes inspired by India.
Sources: company websites, Wiki. Picture courtesy: Unsplash, Artist, Kyran Low