Neela Vermeire (2013)

Average Rating:  10 User Reviews

Your ratings



Ashoka by Neela Vermeire

Fragrance Overview Where to Buy Reviews Community Ownership

About Ashoka by Neela Vermeire

People & Companies

Neela Vermeire
Fragrance House

Inspired by a legendary ruler, Neela Vermeire Creations’ new release Ashoka, is a tribute to an emperor who was conquered by his own compassion at the moment his victory was assured.

He converted to Buddhism and devoted the rest of his life to spreading the Buddha’s teachings, to truth, to justice and to compassion for all living creatures beneath the sun.

His own evolution from ruthless conqueror to benevolent emperor is reflected in Ashoka’s journey from the fierce opening to a softly floral heart and the gentle embrace of its richly complex drydown.

Fragrance notes.

  1. Top Notes

  2. Heart Notes

  3. Base Notes

Reviews of Ashoka by Neela Vermeire

There are 10 reviews of Ashoka by Neela Vermeire.

Ashoka is a light, fresh and milky melange of green, floral, fig, suede and wood notes. The fig here reminds me of Philosykos. In the heart, this milky fig melts deliciously into a gentle, buttery suede, which in turn segues into creamy sandalwood, all bathed in a light floral ambiance. Fluent and easygoing, but sadly not very lasting on my skin. It fades to a skin scent after about three hours. Still, while it's there, it's beautiful and refreshing.

This is a gorgeous combination of fig & mimosa, with a soft, suede-like leather hovering in the background. Together the mimosa & suede notes serve to give a delightful texture to the fig, which gradually becomes more milky & creamy over the first half-hour. The scent then remains fairly linear for around three hours, before drying down to a woody base with hints of sweet tobacco. Five hours in, it fades to a skin scent.
I don't detect any osmanthus, & thankfully no blackcurrant. I would say this fragrance is almost more about mimosa than fig, & although it doesn't come close to rivalling Une Fleur de Cassie, it is a lovely rendition of the note, & I think quite an unusual combination. I find the projection moderate to good; I just wish it lasted longer.

Historically, Ashoka was one of India's greatest emperors. Here the name refers to a fragrance that projects a warm woody floral scent with figgy/milky/creamy undertones. Don't ask me, I can't make the connection; there's nothing remotely regal in terms of style or presentation.

Exactly how floral is Ashoka? Apart from a powdery almost buttery iris/mimosa accord in the opening, the main floral accord is not overtly fragrant nor perfumey although there is a fleeting camphorous nuance that evokes certain indolic white flowers. But it's not significant enough to deter the average male fragrance user.

I don't find Ashoka particularly sweet nor gourmand either, counterbalanced as it were by a vein of dry cedar and sandalwood in the base. A hint of grassy vetiver on my skin signals the rather disappointingly rapid conclusion of this (non)epic. Wearing on fabric as Way Off Scenter had suggested earlier is therefore not such a bad idea.

Overall this is a nice, competently constructed fragrance, straining under the weight of expectations due in part to a wallet-busting price tag. Price tags are funny. Knock $100 off and it starts smelling better.

Genre: Woody

A fuller pyramid, from lotus, rose, water hyacinth, fig leaf, parsley leaf, osmanthus absolute, cassie absolute, iris, incense essence, jasmine sambac, fig milk, geranium, ylang-ylang, fir balsam absolute, myrrh, cedarwood, sandalwood, vanilla accord, ambre gris, birch, Haitian vetiver, leather, styrax, heliotrope

Ashoka opens on a powdery blend mimosa/cassie and iris, soon overlain by an accord of milky fig sap and incense, lightly sweetened by vanilla. It chugs along in a linear fashion before trailing off into a chalky/woody drydown. (Comparisons to Hermèssence Santal Massoïa are apt.)

Unfortunately, the base notes of chemically sweetened green vetiver and cedar wood are highly reminiscent of those encountered in Arquiste's Boutonnière No. 7. They were anticlimactic in the context of Arquiste's gardenia, and I find them equally disappointing and off-putting here. I enjoy Ashoka for the few hours that the fig and incense endure, but find myself wanting to scrub it off in the drydown. Much better on paper or fabric, where the drydown is postponed, than on skin.

Ashoka was one of my favorite releases in 2013 and was in my rotation for early spring this year.

I get sweet, fruity notes (osmanthus?), milky fig, an incense note, a mild plastic-leather note and a floral melange, all well blended and quite concentrated. After an hour or two, a salty sandalwood note slides in to anchor the whole thing, and it dries down as a milky fig / salty sandalwood combo. To me it is suggestive of Santal Massoia, Profumum Eccelso and aspects of its sib, Trayee. Projection is just moderate, but longevity is good.

The opening few minutes really are beautiful. Ashoka approaches my 'too sweet' limit, but stays just this side of the line. Winner!

A common thread to the Neela Vermeire collection (with the exception of Bombay Bling) is a certain luxurious milkiness. If Mohur is the most dreamy rose milk pudding imaginable (no, believe me, you do want to smell like one where Mohur's concerned), Ashoka extends the natural sappy quality of fig leaves into a pool of lactones. The fleeting opening flourishes of pine needles and leather (in the floral mode of Heeley's Cuir Pleine Fleur) quickly make way for the main event – a sumptuously milky and pale green fig, a thousand-fold improvement on the gaggle of sharp fig perfumes that followed in the wake of fine, fully realized, first-wave creations like Philosykos. Sandalwood (which also has a creamy aspect) and a touch of ambergris in the base make for a perfectly calming and gentle composition.
It's a shame that something so beauteous is so quiet, but there you go – that's another common thread of the Neela Vermeire range. Also, the deep base evolves into a more humdrum woody fig.

Show more reviews of Ashoka...

Add your review of Ashoka

You need to be logged in to add a review.

Log in here, or register


in the Community

From the forums

Recently Viewed on this device

Whatever your taste in perfume, we've got you covered...

catalogue your collection, keep track of your perfume wish-list, log your daily fragrance wears, review your latest finds, seek out long-lost scented loves, keep track of the latest perfume news, find your new favourite fragrance, and discuss perfume with like-minded people from all over the world...