Loved by gods, Neela Vermeire Creations Ashoka

In September 2013, a 2012-founded French niche perfume house of Neela Vermeire Creations will show two new fragrances to the world. One of them will be Mohur in higher concentration simply named Mohur Extrait. The other one is a completely new perfume project inspired by an Indian Emperor Ashoka, who ruled between 269 and 232 BCE. He reigned over most of present-day India.

The very moment I apply a tiny miny dab of Ashoka on my skin I am immediately greeted by a pretty and unusual iris accord. This is not a typical iris, it’s the one of many faces. There’s something slightly carroty about it on one hand and on the other hand it has the undeniable rooty charm. 5 minutes later a voluptuous buttery texture appears. It’s delicious, mouthwatering and addictive I think. I know many irises but neither of them had such a complex personality. After another 10 minutes the wonderful iris stage slowly subsides and Neela Vermeire Creations Ashoka turns into warm and spicy being.

The moment iris hands over the leading role to tonka bean the entire perfume immediately warms up and gains a delicate spicy sensation. There’s also something creamy about the use of tonka bean in NVC Ashoka. I tried to figure it out what kind of creaminess it reminds me. It definitely wasn’t a whipped cream. Then, suddenly I got enlightenment. Tonka was just like a kogel mogel here.

After a while the creamy softness becomes a tender sweetness with a light yet noticeable smell of caramel or melting sugar. It shortly turns into something a little bit more woody. A quick look into the notes of Ashoka suggests vetiver and I think it is the right one. It’s woodsy, without a rotten roots context which is a great thing for those who are usually not lovers of vetiver, just like me.

At 1st hour mark the perfume starts to shift a little bit. The first proof of this is a green and sappy milkiness. It comes from a fig, or actually a fig leaf that was used in the process of perfume creation. The smell of this note is really lovely and it lacks those bitter, tanine-like smell that sometimes pairs with such materials like fig and its leaves. On my skin Ashoka remains in this stage for over than hour. Then other chords appear. After around 4 hours of wearing I start to notice the hints of aromatic ingredients. There’s definitely some fir balsam along with a transparent smokiness of incense.

In the drydown some floral aspects of the perfume come forth. There are delicate, velvet rose petals, paired with a sweeter osmanthus blossoms reminiscent of a light-brewed tea. Something powdery also emerges from the underneath. I believe these would be white and pink lotus flowers which are listed in the notes. Come to think, can a powdery feeling come from mimosa? I’m not much experienced with this note but I think it can sometimes be like a powder.

Another two hours into fragrance development lets Ashoka from Neela Vermeire Creations reach it’s final form. In this stage I sense a light dose of sandalwood – smooth and polished one. There’s also a tiny touch of myrrh (yay, it doesn’t bother me here!) plus a balmy scent of styrax, with its resinous but also a little bit sweet aroma. Just like this the fragrance lays on my skin for next 6-8 hours. In summary the fragrance features the following notes:

  • leather, fig leaf, pink lotus, white lotus, mimosa, osmanthus, fig tree, rose, vetiver, water hyacinth, styrax, sandalwood, incense, tonka bean, fir balsam and myrrh.

Ashoka the fragrance was developed in collaboration of Neela Vermeire and perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour who is also responsible for other scents in NVC line. The fragrance wasn’t released yet. It is expected to be officialy introduced in the Fall, probably in September. The sample I used for this review was sent to me by Neela as a prize in a Facebook draw at NVC page.

Astonishing 14 hours was the time NVC Ashoka lasted on my skin. I bet it would last longer if I didn’t have to take a shower in the evening. The sillage of this perfume was moderate and going low after a few hours. The perfume is really easy to wear. I won’t be surprised if Ashoka will become a bestseller when it’s launched later this year. Well done Neela Vermere and Bertrand Duchaufour.

The perfume will be available in 60 ml flacon of a new design. The column bottle has 24 ridges to match a NVC logo (inspired by Ashoka wheel), which is embossed in the cap. The new flacon was designed by Pierre Dinand specially for the brand.

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33 thoughts on “Loved by gods, Neela Vermeire Creations Ashoka

  1. Undina says:

    It’s interesting that you smell iris in Ashoka. Now I’ll need to test it again to try and figure out what you perceive as iris accord because I don’t remember thinking of Ashoka and iris in the same sentence.

    I enjoy the opening and the drydown stages of Ashoka. Something in mid-development bothers me (not every time though) but I didn’t try it enough times yet to figure it out. I’ll keep testing.

    • lucasai says:

      It was interesting to me too that I smelled iris but now I’m assured that iris is present there (got a message saying I’m right)

      I don’t find anything bothering in Ashoka so I hope that the thing that bothers you will stop doing so very soon.

  2. I can’t wait to test this. The initial NVC trio was exquisite…I can only imagine how much I’ll love this too 🙂

  3. Jordan River says:

    Sounds semi-divine. With fig, I have never got past Philosykos which I love. This sounds enticing and it will be interesting to see if it keeps up with the last 3 which were all way up there in terms of quality, niche and uniqueness.

  4. What wonderful writing, and just when I said I’m through with sampling! But, if a sniff is worth a thousand words, conversely your words certainly suffice, lucasai! I had to look up kogel-mogel, surprised I had never heard of it given the Yiddish scholars in my family.

    • lucasai says:

      Thank you Giuliana! Believe me, it’s hard to be through with sampling, I feel like I’ll never get through things I have and more still keep on coming.
      Kogel-mogel is a simple and delicious dessert, my Mum used to make it for me when I was a kid.

  5. Hilary Randall says:

    Really interested in smelling this! Michal, Are you able to smell this in Paris this summer?

    Enjoy yourself! Hilary (green with envy)


    • lucasai says:

      Ashoka gets a lot of curiosity as I notice. Don’t know who Michal is but I’m afraid he won’t be able to smell it in Paris this summer, the fragrance won’t be available earlier than in September.

  6. mgmstar says:

    Hilary, This is the one Neela tried to send to me from Paris to test but it got lost in the mail. Along with some Parisian chocolates she was sending!!!

    Hey Michal! In Paris! How fabulous. If you run into Neela give her a hug for me. She has been nothing but kind and generous with me and I think she is a great lady. Tell her I said hello if you see her. Have a ball in Paris. We miss you here but who cares? You are in Paris!

    Hugs to you all. Michael “Lanier”

  7. Kafkaesque says:

    I knew you’d love this! It’s very you and I fully agree that it will be a blockbuster hit when it is released. I love the milky tones in Ashoka’s start. It’s such a wonderfully comforting, soothing fragrance as a whole. As for the longevity, wow, 14 hours cut short only by your need to take a shower. I have to say, one of the many (many) things I love about NVC perfumes is how long they last even on my crazy, voracious, wonky skin. But my favorite is always that signature NVC thread through all her perfumes, including Ashoka: real, genuine Mysore sandalwood. I hope every one of her future perfumes continues to have it, because you can’t find that sandalwood in most things today, only that the sour, fake, weird ersatz rubbish.

    • lucasai says:

      And it has an iris note in it! It’s not listed there but I know from th knowledgeable source that my nose was right about smelling this note.
      Yes, 14 hours, and it was just a couple of dabs! I can’t imagine how much longer would it last when sprayed!
      Neela doesn’t cut the costs of the ingredients, she uses the best essences available.

    • hajusuuri says:

      Hello. T-shirt. Sandalwood Snob.

      • lucasai says:

        What is it all about? 😉

        • Kafkaesque says:

          Our dear friend has been trying to make me admit to the fact that I’m a total snob about sandalwood and hate anything but the real Mysore kind that Neela Vermeire uses. I resisted for a while, but then gave up. It’s the truth, I *am* a snob and don’t think much of any of these modern kinds that they claim to be “sandalwood” because they’re really not at all the same thing, in my opinion. I think Hajusuuri should send me that t-shirt for Christmas. 😉 😛

      • Kafkaesque says:

        HAHA! Did you see I finally admitted it and confessed in a recent review? I so thought of you. Yes, I need that T-shirt. I really do. “I am a sandalwood snob.” *grin*

  8. hajusuuri says:

    This sounds absolutely divine. I can’t wait to try it.

  9. […] है. बोतल में केमिस्ट (The Chemist in The Bottle) – अशोक के 14 घंटे CaFleureBon – मार्क Behnke अशोक उन तीन पहले […]

  10. […] Reading Kafka – feels like a mother’s loving caress Chemist in The Bottle – 14 hours of Ashoka CaFleureBon – Mark Behnke says Ashoka is better than those three earlier fragrances. A lovely […]

  11. […] – feels like a mother’s loving caress Chemist in The Bottle – 14 hours of Ashoka CaFleureBon – Mark Behnke says Ashoka is better than those three earlier fragrances. A lovely […]

  12. […] – feels like a mother’s loving caress Chemist in The Bottle – 14 hours of Ashoka CaFleureBon – Mark Behnke says Ashoka is better than those three earlier fragrances. A lovely […]

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