March 18, 2015

Pichola by Neela Vermeire Creations

evening sky over Lake Pichola, Udaipur, India. 
© Martin Rychen
Pichola, a perfume by Neela Vermeire Creations in collaboration with Bertrand Duchaufour, was inspired by an extraordinary fresh water lake created in the 14th Century in India, considered to be one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. 

Built as a fresh water reserve for the entire region, the setting is enhanced by the architecture around and within it, as small islands were created for the views and to experience the meeting of water and sky surrounded by the landscape.

This perfume is a pure beauty that opens with power, with a brightness of white floral and citrus, and that wondrous quality carries through the entire process of wearing.  It goes on to blend into sandalwood and saffron effects, maintaining its exquisite balance of aromatic powers from beginning to end. 

That balance is a form of reflection, but a soft one, as the contrasts enhance details in a similar way to the graduated differences between light and dark in this photo of the evening sky over Lake Pichola. 

This is one of those perfumes I consider to be Perfume (with a capital P). I would use it as an example of modern niche perfume of the most exquisite kind. 

It holds a reflective, luminous quality, a glowing translucent white on white atmosphere. The strength of the perfume and especially the tuberose joined with orange blossom and jasmine does not overpower, but it's calibrated to be strong enough to reveal the white flowers' facets, just as an insightful portrait might emphasize certain details to communicate inner character.

The notes are listed as cardamom, cinnamon, saffron, juniper, magnolia, neroli, clementine, bergamot, orange blossom, rose, tuberose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, benzoin, sandalwood, driftwood and vetiver.  

I wonder if it might not be the soft vetiver anchor that holds the white flowers and citrus brightness down to earth, eased there by the more mystical and elusive qualities of sandalwood, mediated by the driftwood and benzoin. 

The freshness of ripe clementine is caught and held close to the white flowers, tempered by cardamom and rose.  On final dry down an abstract elegance comes to the fore.  

The First Lady takes in the view 
as she cruises through Lake Pichola, India 
~ March 17th, 1962 (via Pinterest).
I found this photo of Jacqueline Kennedy in the early Sixties enjoying a boating excursion on Lake Pichola, and I can picture her as one of the greats of style and sophistication wearing this perfume. 

It has that complex vintage perfume mystery about it, which encompasses all aspects of aromatic beauty, both cultured and basic. (Barbara Herman's book Scent and Subversion has influenced my perception of vintage perfume for sure). 

I appreciate the modern clarity, yet it holds that air of the vintage French classics, in a composition that conveys worldliness, style, sophistication and pleasure taken with a dose of heightened awareness,  referencing history and culture, as a perfume experience that presents a world of luxurious sensuality before you. 

Pichola will debut at Milan this Spring, and then be available in the USA through Lucky Scent, and Tiger Lily in San Francisco. This perfume, and Mohur Extrait, are for me the absolute slayers of the NVC line, that contains such special examples of creative refinement, referencing and joining the classic elements of Indian and French aesthetics of perfume. Every single one of the perfumes in the line is a stunner of its own kind, and that is a rare feat. As with a few other rare birds of niche perfumery such as Vero Kern,  there is nothing that is not of the utmost refinement, creativity and exquisite execution.

I know I keep repeating that word refinement. That is the essence of this perfume for me, the ultra-refined result of a collaboration of sophisticated sensibilities.

The other day I tried it for a friend visiting from CA who generally avoids perfume of any kind, and got an instinctive OMG! I got that same reaction a few months ago with Mohur Extrait too, from someone who doesn't know perfume that well. It's a kick to blow someone away with such a special perfume experience, especially a fresh or even a cautious nose. Suddenly they understand my obsession and what it might encompass. 

Disclosure:  I was lucky enough to receive the sample from Neela Vermeire when she visited NYC,  and with Carlos Powell, meeting on New Year's Day.  We were both floored by it. Opening it was like unleashing an aromatic fairy tale. How lucky to have the chance to try something so exciting at the very start of this year. A good omen, for my first perfume of 2015.  

Please check in on the website at Neela Vermeire Creations for more info and especially for release dates. 

Copyright 2015, Lucy Raubertas, All Rights Reserved.
Photos above as credited.


deana sidney said...

I would be destitute if I bought all the perfumes that you write about that sound divine. This one does for sure. I must try a sniff one of these days -- I do hope small stores like Aedes in NYC carry it.
Beautifully written as always.

Lucy Raubertas said...

Deana this is one I know you'd love for sure. I know Lucky Scent and Tiger Lily in SF will have samples soon, it is yet to be officially released til after the Milan show. Now that would be a place to have quite an amazing experience of all the new releases coming up.

John said...

Thanks for giving an educative post. Spring is my favorite season. Your writing style is really nice.