Saturday, September 19, 2015

Neela Vermeire Creations: Discovery Coffret

Neela Vermeire's perfumes have been lauded in the perfume community for quite some time. She collaborates with the talented perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour to produce scents that hinge on certain periods or locations in India. Recently, she posted a promotion on Facebook that any purchase in her e-boutique would come with a free 8 ml perfume of her choice. That was my cue.

Her store offers a Discovery Coffret of four scents in 8 ml bottles (Trayee, Mohur, Bombay Bling, and Ashoka) for 125 Euros or $140 US. A full 60 ml bottle of any of these scents will cost 205 Euros or $232 US. I chose the Discovery Coffret so I could experience most of her scents (only her newest creation, Pichola, is not included). 

It arrived fairly quickly for having to travel from France and go through customs. I received my order after only about a week or two from ordering. My free extra 8 ml was Ashoka. Neela included a hand written note on a postcard, which is a lovely touch. I always appreciate when an artist adds the personal gift of their time and handwriting to their creation.

A sturdy informational card accompanied the beautiful purple box, it listed each perfume, the ingredients on one side and the notes on the other. This was quite handy to have. 

Unfortunately, as soon as I opened the plush parcel from France, copious amounts of rose came out of the bag to greet me. This did not bode well. Something had escaped its glass enclosure and was prowling about my royal box of expensive perfumes. If you look at the card, you see Bombay Bling's column has some juice smeared on it.

The culprit was Mohur. When I took it out of the box the entire bottle was slick with noir rose essence. The label was compromised and about a third of it was gone from me never to be worn on my skin. The bottle still leaks and I cannot get it to stop. Somehow the spray mechanism is not functioning as it should and keeps releasing my perfume at a slow leak around the neck. I was pretty bummed. I wished my free 8 ml had been in Mohur. 

I contacted Neela Vermeire through Facebook message where we had been conversing previously about the promotion (I wanted to double check that I had read right before I placed such a financially large order). I showed her a photo of the bottle and the saturated box. She said "the leak must have happened with air travel" and to "email us in the future as we are not always on FB." Hm. My excitement, and enthusiasm for this purchase took a big hit right then. Yes, of course it probably happened in transit. But the bottle sprayer is obviously faulty. I am sorry I went through the wrong channels. I can understand a business owners' frustration with being contacted through a dozen various platforms in this social media society. Social media must be a blessing and a curse for a business owner. Eventually, we did reconnect and she made the situation a pleasant one in the end. I precious Mohur was restored to me.

Trayee "Vedic Era"- Notes Include: Madagascar blue ginger, elemi oil, cinnamon bark, ganja effects, blackcurrant absolute, basil, jasmine sambac absolute, Egyptian jasmin absolute, cardamom absolute, clove, saffron, sandalwood, Javanese vetiver, Haitian vetiver, incense, sandalwood oil, patchouli, myrrh, vanilla, cedar, amber notes, Oudh oil, oak moss. 
Incredible scent list. The ginger, veitver and spices come through the most on my skin. These sharp and grassy notes are coated in the smoothness of the sandalwood and amber. It is a calming and serene fragrance.

Mohur "Moghul-East India Era"- Notes Include: Cardamom absolute, coriander seed oil, ambrette seed, carrot, black pepper, elemi oil, Turkish rose oil, Moroccan rose absolute, rose accords, jasmine accord, iris, hawthorn flower, almond milk notes, violet flower and iris effects, leather, sandalwood, amber, white woods, patchouli, Oudh oil, benzoin Siam, vanilla, tonka bean. 
Leather and roses, rose and amber, rose and velvet and candle illuminated nights. Elegant, dark, and solid. This is no ephemeral wisp. 

Bombay Bling "Contemporary India"- Notes Include: Mango, lychee, blackcurrant, cardamom, cumin, cistus, rose accord, Turkish rose, jasmine sambac absolute, Madagascar ylang-ylang, tuberose, frangipani, gardenia, patchouli, tobacco, white woods, sandalwood, cedar, vanilla.
This could also be Coconut Grove in Miami, or South Beach at night. Ripe fruits heavy in the trees, sultry humid evenings, clothes clinging to bodies in the tropical atmosphere. Night flowers sending out erotic messages to one another, swirling their refrains in the wake of passerby. Cuban cigars. Meregue. Laughter and crowds.

Ashoka "Imperial Buddhist"- Notes Include: 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, abmbre gris, birch, Haitian vetiver, leather, styrax, heliotrope. 
Figs, green and woody, not milky or overripe, smokey woods and incense. Green, fertile, peaceful. A verdant garden oasis tucked away in the mountains.  

These are all insanely gorgeous and highly sensual fragrances that do transport the body and mind to exotic locales. Which of these elegant beauties do you think you would gravitate towards? 

UPDATE: Neela Vermeire Creations has since contacted me and made the leaky and lost Mohur perfume right. My faith in their customer service has been renewed. There is nothing sweeter than a second chance. I am a satisfied perfume consumer. Thank you, Neela Vermeire.


  1. Such complex scents and alluring labels, I do love tropical colors. Silly on their part not to replace your spilled bottle. Even if you're a relatively new or small perfumer just starting out (which I don't know if that is the case). As though until it happens regularly, it's not their problem. And you still posted a nice review of their products.

    1. Complex indeed! But very very well crafted. I love Bertrand's work and he does these with such finesse. The perfumes themselves deserve nothing but the best review. They are inspired. But I do agree. I am not sure why it was not made right. NVC, I would not say is small or just starting out. She is quite established and well loved.

  2. Ugh. I am so with you about bad customer service. It's ridiculous regardless of the price, but with something so expensive, it's completely uncalled for. :( I'm so sorry!

    Good customer service goes SO far with me. I am always impressed with companies (small or large) who go that extra mile to fix a problem. I try to do the same with my humble etsy shop. I think growing up working in my parents' shop, where "the customer was always right" even in the mire of retail, is always with me.

    The woman who bought my first etsy sale later lost her house in a fire. Her family lost everything. I found out about it, and I re-sent the photos to her. It literally cost me like $3 or something, but I remember how grateful she was. That's an extreme case, but honestly, that's my standard.

    I hope you'll be able to enjoy these gorgeous scents regardless of the less-than-stellar service. They all sound incredible!!!!

    1. What a blessing you were to that lady. I can only imagine how devastating a home fire is. You gave her back something she would have otherwise never been able to recover. I worry sometimes my expectations are too high. But after reading your comment and Jean's I feel a bit better I am not being too harsh. I will absolutely enjoy the fragrances. They are indeed incredible. I just did a search and Luckyscent and Olfactif sell NVC stateside. But not the Discovery Coffrets.

  3. Nancy hit the nail on the head when she said customer service goes far. At the beginning of the post, I was worried the owner of this company wasn't going to make it right. Of course it happened in air travel, but coming from so far away, the only thing to do would be to reship a new one or refund your money. 1/3 of such an expensive product gone, that's a lot! I am so glad she made it right for you. These 'fumes are quite intriguing. Imperial Buddhist sounds like my favorite. I love jasmine!

    1. It really truly does. At the end of the day we are all people interacting with each other. That interaction makes all the difference. You would LOVE Ashoka I bet! It is such a fresh yet deep scent Lauren. A real beauty.