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.
Mohur fragrance notes
- cardamom, coriander, ambrette seed, carrot, black pepper, elemi
- Turkish rose, Moroccan rose, Jasmine, Orris, Hawthorn, Almond milk, Violet
- Sandalwood, Amber, White woods, Patchouli, Laos oud, Siamese benzoin, Vanilla, Tonka bean, Leather
Where to buy
Latest Reviews of Mohur
The beginning of the rich sweet aromatic notes, the quiet gentle sandalwood, cedar end, the middle of iris, rose, almond holding hands jumping waltz, Mohur is like flying in flowers in colorful saris. There is nothing artificially sweet in Mohur. on the contrary, there is something bittersweet, and i mean this more emotionally than olfactory. I think about movies based on Jane Austen's novels.
If this is an "oriental" fragrance, it is certainly not rich or opulent like Guerlain's vanilla overdosed orientals. Nor is it spicy and resinous like Serge Lutens' classics. This is a light and highly wearable fragrance that is versatile and would do well in many situations.
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.
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.
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.
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.
But what to me really lifts this composition is what's juxtaposed over the rose, that veil, the spices, cardamom, sandalwood and oud. They act as a Gaussian filter over the composition, softening and romanticising the setting and adding context to the Indian story.
I love this stuff, it's one of those perfumes that transports you from the humdrum of everyday life to somewhere more spiritual, somewhere to reflect and be thankful for the goodness in life. On a side note, I'm a self confessed Duchaufour fanatic, and really this for me is the only thing that comes to exceeding Timbuktu.
This review is for the Extrait, but equally can be taken for the EdP which is completely similar except for lower strength.
It lingers gently through the day and is my go to perfume for noisy evenings with drink involved its quiet unwavering voice offers the still centre I crave on such occasions.