From the refreshing scent of the first showers of rain to the heady fragrance of jasmine gajras, a new wave of home-grown fragrances will dabble nostalgia in you, writes Misbaah Mansuri
Fancy the salty air of Bandstand or Chai-inspired fragrances, a new wave of perfumes by the Bombay Perfumery is all about concoctions that evoke memory. Think addictive woody fragrances with unexpected masala chai gourmandise. Of memories and happy times enjoyed in the motherland these India-inspired bottles will take you through the country, one whiff at a time!
“My family has been in the fragrances industry for 35 years now, sourcing and supplying natural ingredients to perfumery houses across the country. After finishing my masters, I decided to set up my own business in Grasse, France to supply natural ingredients to leading perfumery houses across the EU and France. Fortunately, my work enabled me to travel to a lot of interesting, off beat destinations and further develop my understanding of how natural ingredients work in perfumery. It was during this phase that I decided to set up my own perfume label and bring it to India,” explains Manan Gandhi, Founder of the Bombay Perfumery. Another homegrown perfume brand is All Good Scents by Rajiv Sheth.
“To put a modern spotlight on Indian ingredients. Yes, we’re inspired by India – the ingredients, the history and culture, but we’re also inspired by the ethos of India, its diversity and its spaces between the lines,” says Manan. Another perfumer Rajiv Sheth, Founder of ALL GOOD SCENTS says that their USP is that the fragrances are modern international scents with a touch of the Indian soul.
Four popular perfume variants from the Bombay Perfumery:
Replete with the notes of jasmine, rose and violets balanced with white musk and cedar wood the fragrance is a calming and sophisticated floral fragrance.
Inspiration: A fragrance that brings to mind memories of a simpler, sweeter time
India connect: Indian jasmine is the queen of a perfumer’s palette and used in haute parfumerie for a long time for its undeniable richness. Closer to home, here in India it lends a hint of familiarity as the flower is so often used in Indian rituals and households
Ingredients: Bergamot, Mandarin, Tunisian Neroli, Rose, Jasmine, Violet, White Musk, Cedar wood
A fruity marine fragrance, Seven Islands is sure to make you think of cocktails by the beach, with the citrusy notes of orange balancing the sweetness of peach, grapefruit with vanilla and tonka beans at its heart
Inspiration: A fun fruity gourmand fragrance with marine notes reminiscent of sweet summer days at the beach
India connect: Inspired by the city we call home, Seven Islands is both nostalgic and comforting
Ingredients: Top- Orange blossom, grapefruit| Heart: Peach, frankincense, violet, jasmine| Base: Tonka bean, vanilla, oak moss, cedar wood, musk
Inspired by a cup of good, strong chai infused with lemongrass as the secret ingredient, Chai Musk is an addictive woody fragrance with the unexpected note of the Masala Chai gourmandise inside
Inspiration: A good strong cup of Indian chai infused with ginger and lemongrass. The inspiration to create a fragrance around chai first struck the perfumer Alexandra Carlin from the brand as she sat sipping a strong cup of chai at a local chai wallah in Mumbai. She discovered that the chai wallah was adding lemongrass to the tea to give it additional flavor and this inspired her to add a dash of fun to the fragrance as well
Ingredients: Top: Indian lemongrass, Madagascar ginger root, Green tea Heart: Chinese osmanthus, brazillian matte, roasted nut accord base: Spanish cade oil, Indian sandalwood, hot milk accord
The fragrance is inspired by the king of spices – black pepper
Inspiration: The distinctive nature of black pepper has inspired this fragrance
India connect: Black Pepper is also known as the King of Spices and has been integral to India’s trade system since time immemorial
Ingredients: Top – Elemi, Bergamot, Cardamom; Heart: Nutmeg, Black Pepper, Cedarwood; Base: Vetiver, Patchouli, Oakmoss, Musk
The perfumery scene in India
While speaking about the perfumery scene in India, Manan points out to the growth potential in the market. “I feel there is a lot of growth potential in this market as there is a large audience that is constantly on the lookout for genuine, appealing home grown products that don’t conform to the rules and have a distinct identity of their own,” he explains.