Perfume Review : Pichola : Flower Power : Plus A Few Words With Neela Vermeire

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Neela Vermeire Creations (NVC) enjoys a cult following and is easily one of the most consistent collections in the niche perfume world. Each scent has a convincing character and is beautifully composed by Bertrand Duchaufour. They all smell divine. The Pierre Dinand bottles are classically elegant  but what makes these perfumes stand apart is that to my nose they smell expensive and you feel like you have your money’s worth here. There are obviously some top notch ingredients contained in these vials  and it seems like no expense was spared. That may or may not be true but that’s how they feel and smell. Pure luxury. Many brands charge top dollar for their perfumes but they don’t really measure up. These do.

NVC fragrances are all inspired by India in some shape or form.

Ashoka,  a fragrant fig perfume, is an ode to an Emperor, known as the Imperialist Buddhist.

Mohur takes its inspiration from the Mohur period to the British Raj and is a gentle spiced rose. There is also Mohur Extrait, a more intense concentration that I haven’t yet had the pleasure of smelling, but by all accounts is a simply stunning perfume.

Trayee, a veritable spice basket takes its cue from the Vedic period.

The smell of modern India and its incredible mish mash of contrasts in all its glory comes to life with Bombay Bling.

pichola for blog

It’s rare that I like every perfume in a collection and I can wholeheartedly say that with NVC perfumes it’s a home run. My favourite is Bombay Bling a juiced up mango that has one of the most delectable  openings in a perfume I’ve ever encountered. It’s joyously fragrant and is one of the best mood enhancers in the perfume world.  Neela Vermeire is a Creative Director who envisages the naturals for her perfumes and describes Bertrand Duchaufour as the magician who brings everything to life.

A Few Words With Neela Vermeire

picholaPichola is the first scent in the range inspired by a place rather than a period in Indian history. This time we are  transported to the fabulous Lake Udaipuchur (and no I haven’t been lucky enough to get there yet, or India for that matter). When I met with Neela at Esxence she told me that it was incredibly inspiring – the reflections on the lake, the different colours throughout the day and the multicoloured skies. Pichola is a perfume that is an interpretation of what she left behind and took away from this experience.

Neela recommends that her perfumes are best worn on skin as the blotter only lends an impression but “your skin will tell a story”. As her perfumes have been so well received, I asked her how she judges success. She replied that she doesn’t rest on her laurels and also revealed that it was tough to make a fifth perfume after the success of her other releases. She said that so much of her soul goes into the perfumes.  Neela is undeniably proud of Ashoka’s win at the Art & Olfaction Awards in 2014 as these awards are blind tested so judges are not swayed by allegiances to brands, people or sales data.

Neela’s Desert Island Perfumes :

Neela Desert Island

I asked Neela about her favourite Desert Island Perfumes.  She was limited to only three perfumes that she could pack in her luggage and wasn’t allowed to choose her own! Her choices are as follows :

Chanel‘s Bois des Iles Extrait, Chanel‘s No 22 Extrait and Une Fleur de Cassie from Frederic Malle.

If I was to sum these three perfumes up I would describe them as classic and classy.  Much like Neela herself.

Pichola EDP : Nose : Bertrand Duchaufour : Year : 2015 : Notes : Top : Cardamom, Cinnamon, Saffron, Juniper, Magnolia, Neroli oil, Clementine, Bergamot : Middle :  Orange blossom absolute, Rose absolute, Tuberose absolute, Jasmine sambac, Ylang-ylang : Base :  Benzoin absolute, Sandalwood, Driftwood, Vetiver from Haiti

pichola artwork

PIchola immediately has that NVC feel. It opens with that solidness  I have come to expect from this line. The florals are bloody blooming beautiful. The first sniff is intoxicating. There’s a lot that pops out at the beginning – a gorgeous mélange of flowers and a spiciness that invigorates. This is Flower Power dialled up to the max.  There’s some citrus too in the form of clementine and bergamot and a rosiness to the proceedings. The white florals are blended seamlessly. Yes there’s orange blossom, jasmine sambac  and tuberose.  They’re warm and beguiling and urging me to follow them down the garden path. The tuberose is not of the heady foot stomping stiletto variety but is a much more accessible rendition.

The spices help to bring India to the fore. They’re delicately wielded here but add layers of sumptuousness to the scent. Pichola in some senses has a quieter, less forceful disposition than others in the range. However it is a bit of a contradiction because there is definitely a strong presence here, but it’s slightly offbeat.  There is a solid feel to the scent. It’s warm, buttery and golden but with a peakiness on top that remains. The base is also gorgeous and I love the vetiver and the hint of  sandalwood that Neela adores.

There’s a sophisticated voluptuousness to the scent. Imagine petals being strewn all over your reclining body, with a touch of spice and woods, enveloping your senses. This is Pichola – it’s sensuous and so very fragrant. It’s an interesting and beautiful fragrance and keeps me coming back for more.

Read more about Pichola on :  CaFleureBonThe Scented Hound, Chemist In The Bottle and Australian Perfume Junkies

For where to purchase :  Please see the Neela Vermeire Creations website for further details. There is a great discovery coffret with 4 x 8ml travel sized sprays – Trayee, Bombay Bling, Mohur and Ashoka for 125€. This is highly recommended and you can will be able to sample each perfume with enough juice to last quite a while. Bottles are also available in a 60ml size for 205€.

Disclosure : Sample received from Neela Vermeire at Esxence.  Opinions my own.

Notes : Images : Photos mine : Featured image is NVC postcard with my sample : At Esxence : Other images are from NVC.

8 thoughts on “Perfume Review : Pichola : Flower Power : Plus A Few Words With Neela Vermeire”

  1. poodle says:

    Since I haven’t sniffed some of her newer ones, Trayee remains my favorite. I think I need to get a sample of Pichola one of these days.


    • Hey Poodle. I do think they’re all good and if you like white florals you should definitely try it. Trayee is the most potent of the lot I think and pretty amazing too. Hope the kitchen is going well …


  2. Pichola hasn’t won me over yet but I’ll return to test it again later since I know that some of Neela’s perfumes take some time to grow on me. For example, I recently realized that I liked Ashoka a lot – even though initially it didn’t impress me. Bombay Bling! and Trayee are still my absolute favorites but I think Ashoka moved to the third place.


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