Neela Vermeire, a perfume lover herself, started her perfume house in 2011 in France. All her five perfumes are created and produced in France and have received very positive online reviews. The three first creations were Trayee, Mohur and Bombay Bling . They were made as a tribute to a different era in Indian history, the Vedic period, the Moghul British Raj period and modern India. Neela Vermeire perfumes were developed in cooperation with the perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour. Being honest, I have no connection to India, Indian food or Indian scents and was not interested at first. But as the positive reviews continued, I wanted to try the perfumes for myself. At this moment I am very glad I did.
Three samples were sent to me by Neela Vermeire with a personal hand written note which was very thoughtful. The three perfumes were Bombay Bing, Trayee and Mohur. Mohur got most of my attention as it is a rose perfume. Rose perfumes are one of my favorites but many times they are not intriguing enough. Some rose perfumes can be a bit boring if they are very linear and only smell like light roses as Jo Malone Red Roses. But Mohur is a very interesting oriental multifaceted rose perfume. My first impresion was of a very sophisticated, refined and feminine perfume. These notes are listed on the official website: cardamom, coriander, ambrette, carrot, black pepper, elemi, rose, jasmine, orris, aubepin flower, almond milk, violet, orris, leather, sandalwood, amber, white woods, patchouli, oudh, benzoin, vanilla and tonka bean. Personally I smell saffron as well but this is not mentioned.
Oudh was quite in fashion several years ago in perfumes as you might know and many perfume houses came up with their own oudh versions. You have to get used to the note of oudh as it can be quite harsh at times. Mohur is a very good start if you want to start appreciating oudh. The oudh note is not harsh or dominant but refined, soft and well blended into the perfume.
Oudh was used in Mohur because it was a key ingredient in perfumes in the Moghul British Raj era. Mohur was created as a tribute to the empress and perfumer Noor Jahan and to the Mohur coin under British rule, the Moghul and British Raj period. Personally I thought this to be a bit confusing, a tribute to different periods. Noor Jahan was one of the most influential women of her time living from 1577 to 1645. She was the favorite wife of Moghul emperor Jahangir. He gave her the title of Noor Jahan, which means Light of the world. During the emperors reign Noor Jahan had the true power behind her husband as he often was not able to reign due to substance addiction. After his death Noor Jahan was confined comfortably where she spent her time making perfume.
I compared Mohur to other perfumes with the rose, oudh and saffron notes such as By Kilian Rose Oud and Armani Prive Rose Orient. Both start as an eastern perfume but after a while they turn more western. Mohur does the opposite though. At first it does smell more western, but after a while the more spicy notes start kicking in which you would normally relate to India.
Mohur has many facets and changes continuously like a DNA strand which is moving and showing another aspects, moving upwards. Everytime I wear Mohur I smell different aspects, saffron, powdery rose, oudh, sandalwood. Probably more will come up during time while wearing it more often. The powdery rose note stays with you during most of the time. Others commented on the multifacets of Mohur as well. Wearing it makes me feel like standing on a mezzanine level in a house and seeing different aspects inside the house everyway I look. Surprisingly after applying it smelled very lightly on my skin. A few hours later though it smelled at its best and was quite prominent. Normally you smell a perfume best at first when you spray it on your skin and if you are lucky after a few hours but this is exactly the opposite. Just when you almost forgot you sprayed Mohur on, you are taken by surprise as you smell a wonderfull perfume ! Of all the rose, oudh, saffron perfumes I have tried, Mohur is my favorite. Not only is it more subtle but it is without edges as well, as if all notes have been rounded and all edges have been taken away. Its staying power is very good: about eight hours.
Try Mohur if you like Rose Oud By Kilian, Rose D´Arabie Armani Prive, Aoud Red Flowers Montale or if you are lover of rose perfumes in general.
Everything in the line of Neela Vermeire has been carefully been thought through. There is a sample set available with 2 ml samples to try the whole line out. She sells a Discovery Set for quite a reasonable price at 110 euro for 4 sprays of 8 ml. You cannot stop but notice Neela Vermeire´s passion for her own perfumes and the art of making perfume. An extrait version of Mohur was introduced as well two years ago, an even more glorious perfume.
Disclosure: I have my own bottle of the eau de parfum
Photographs of Neela Vermeire perfume: courtesy of Neela Vermeire Creations
Photograph with rose by L’Esperessence
Read more about Neela Vermeire and her perfume line in this interesting article in The Perfume Magazine.
Published: August 1st, 2012
Updated and re edited: April 26, 2015