Neela Vermeire (2011)

Average Rating:  13 User Reviews

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Mohur  by Neela Vermeire

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About Mohur by Neela Vermeire

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Neela Vermeire
Fragrance House

Known as Mehrunissa, the most powerful Empress of the Mughal dynasty, Noor Jahan was the favorite wife of Emperor Jehangir. She was the true power behind the throne while her husband lived, so much so that after his death her male relatives had her sequestered (in comfort!) for the rest of her life. In her confinement, she devoted herself to the art of perfumery as it had been passed down from her mother.

Mohur is a rose-based fragance, a combination of opulent mughal rose perfumes and a distinguished spicy leather bouquet that can only be imagined during a high tea after a polo match. To capture this moment, Mohur has been created as a refined rose-oudh alliance that pays tribute to Noor Jahan's power and talent.

The scent embodies, and is a dedication to, the mix of all the best of Mughal and the British Raj - a complex period in history for Indians which saw the flowering of unique gifts of the arts, music and education.

Fragrance notes.

  1. Top Notes

  2. Heart Notes

  3. Base Notes

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Reviews of Mohur by Neela Vermeire

There are 13 reviews of Mohur by Neela Vermeire.

Sharp and floral opening that reminds me of walking into a tiled bathroom early in the morning and flipping the lights on - bright, stark, the cold floor, smell of floral hand soap and eggshell blue and white towels.

Mohur settles down into a plush buff-colored bathrobe that is comforting, warm, and relaxing. Settles into a cup of hot milky spiced tea.

Comforting, lush, and soft.

ClaireV pretty much nailed it in her review, so I'm not going to reinvent this sublime wheel.

I recently was given a sample of this and got to know this beauty all over again, and I realized I did need this in my wardrobe. It is so beautiful and different from really, anything I own - even other creations by the NV house.

Tree of Hope, Keep Firm BY Frida Kahlo 1946

You know those cooking shows where people compete to make, say, the best gourmet hamburger, and they add a bunch of truffle and gold flakes and, in the end, they've made a really expensive hamburger, but it's still a hamburger? That's kind of how I feel about Mohur. All told, it's a fruitchouli. An expensive fruitchouli, but still a fruitchouli.

So what does it smell like? Well, it's that typical mix of rose and patchouli and berries that smells kind of like fancy perfumed jam. It's got aldehydes on top, so it calls to mind Feminite du Bois, and hints of rubber and woods, as well as a big shot of ionone violets, so it's bright on top and smells of suede in the drydown.

In my personal opinion, the best of this genre is CDG2, which uses inky vetiver and rubber to take the fruitchouli out of the mainstream and into the realm of high art. Meanwhile, Mohur seems to be gunning more for Portrait Of A Lady, confident that expensive ingredients will make it a collector's favorite (which seems to be working - people in the know really seem to love Mohur).

I guess I'm just jaded and really tired of this particular perfume cliche, but any perfume I can easily compare to Feminite du Bois, CDG2, and POAL must deserve a thumbs up, so that's what I'm giving it.

A delicate, milky, almondy, slightly vegetal rose, with a whisper of violet, this is a very pretty fragrance. If it were a colour it would be the pale pink of sugared almonds. Two hours in, the rose is sweeter & almost edible, like a rose-scented sugar icing. Another three hours later, it has more of a fruity, jammy quality, before sinking into a warm & smooth vanilla base, & fading to a skin scent. Twelve hours in it's just detectable.
Considering the lengthy notes list for this one, it comes off as quite a sweet & simple fragrance, but its subtle delicacy prevents it from straying into cloyingly sweet territory. Nice, if possibly a little too subtle for my taste.

I appreciate Mohur more for what it is not than for what it is. It is not, despite being comprised of 11% pure rose oils, a massive oriental rose fragrance (I love that category, but it's been done to death). Despite containing oud, it is not your run-of-the-mill rose oud accord (ditto). It is not, despite the novel-length note list of every Indian dessert ingredient ever, a heavy Indian dessert-like fragrance weighed down with vanilla, rosewater, saffron, and spices. Mohur takes every expectation you have and turns it upside down.

What Mohur is, in fact, is a handful of red rose petals strewn on the surface of a glass of cold almond milk into which have been stirred grated carrots, black pepper, and cardamom. There is a cold restraint to the fragrance that elevates it from mere prettiness to true beauty.

Not one of my four samplings were the same as the other – it is a strange, mercurial perfume that beats to its own drum. The rich abundance of notes seem to strain against a muslin cloth, drip feeding into the fragrance you experience on the skin and seemingly on a time-release mechanism, allowing the wearer to enjoy a progression of note impressions in a leisurely manner. There is light and air between the many notes. Thus Mohur achieves a remarkable balance between richness and clarity.

Straight onto the skin, I smell an austere oud note and a sourish leather, underpinned by a green cardamom note. Behind the sharpness of the opening accord, I sense some fruit and rose petals beginning to take shape. At first, the rose smells like the dried rose petals stirred into black tea that you can buy from Marriage Freres. Then, oddly, for about half an hour, I can't smell a thing – nada, zip, niente. It's as if all the opening notes have sharply withdrawn, leaving only a haunting impression of something enticingly boozy and sour on the skin.

Then, without warning, the fragrance seems to rev back up again, like a rusty old engine! Now underpinning the tart fruitiness of the emerging rose is the fuzzy, almost raw feel of a green almond freshly peeled from its shell and pressed to release its fragrant milk. The red rose petals lose their tea-like dryness and bloom into wet, jammy rose petals plucked straight from the flower. The sticky rose combines with the milky almond notes to produce something almost edible in its deliciousness. But the jam and milk notes are spread out on a foundation of earth and roots (carrots), powdery chalk (benzoin), and wood (sandalwood and cedar), so it never quite tilts into yummy gourmand territory.

The intense (but filtered, shaded) whirligig of spice and rose notes never really settles, even in the base – it just keeps on shifting through a kaleidoscope of impressions. At times, the base reads to me like a dusty, rose-tinted talcum powder – the combination of now dried rose petals and benzoin. In other tests, I got a full-throated, creamy sandalwood that tilted its sweetness towards a weighty vanilla crème, again, nuanced by rose but never dominated by it.

Mohur is simply beautiful – elegant but not staid, and full of little twists and turns that captures my interest in every wearing. Does it make my wish list? Yes, and I would buy it immediately if it were not for the times that I pick up on the baby talc accord in the dry down – it is a note that I can appreciate but do not love. I would like, however, to spend more time getting to know Mohur and her little twists and turns, so I might invest in the Neela Vermeire discovery set.

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