In 17th Century three French men: Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, Francois Bernier and Jean Thevenot decided individually to travel to the East in order to visit India and witness its splendour. Even though their trips were set apart in time, ways of these three travelers eventually crossed with each other (Tavernier met both Thevenot and Bernier on his journey). Even though they were of different professions (jeweller, physician, linguist-botanist) all 3 shared great passion for India.
They were also skillful historians who through their written words preserved own impressions and observations of court life in India for future generations. Finding inspiration in travels of these 3 French men and among pages of their voyage journals, Neela Vermeire Creations came up with an idea for a new perfume for her brand. Neela Vermeire, founder of the brand named it Rahele which also means “traveller” in Persian. I think she couldn’t come up with a better title for this scent.
This new fragrance literally blooms on my skin the moment I spray it. Composition opens with a delightful smell of osmanthus blossom. On my skin it’s the powdery facet that comes up first to my nose and after 5, maybe 10 minutes it becomes richer, stronger and starts to resemble ripe and juicy apricot. At this early point of development the osmanthus accord turns even stronger so that it finally smells flowery in a delicious manner. Powdery and apricot-like elements step to the background while floral notes are in full bloom. Rahele fascinates me with this beautiful balance of undertones. One moment it smells on my skin like a green tea infusion, which is simply lovely.
After a while composition of Neela Vermeire Creations Rahele becomes more complex with added depth and dimension. With more focus from my side while smelling it I could smell rose and it’s the same rose we know from earlier releases from the brand. It’s rich and quite dense yet not overpowering. Furthermore there is a hint of jasmine to enhance the floral bouquet. What easily comes to my attention is that accords are blended seamlessly in new NVC, they overlap.
As hours pass a floral part of Rahele weakens, becoming more transparent and lighter. That’s when the fragrance reveal its other side. At first light but gaining power with time is a leather accord. It always remains well-behaved and doesn’t smell like a tanner workshop. It’s still more leather than suede but it’s been rendered by a perfumer in a softer, more feminine way if you can put it like that. In addition to that there is a chypre element in the composition in a form of oakmoss. This particular note makes Rahele more edgy because of the dry, dusty elements introduced by oakmoss.
Rahele is also a woody perfume with a solid sandalwood aroma blended into its structure. In this perfume it smells really substantial. It’s almost as if you could touch a piece of it and feel under your fingers that the surface is not smooth but rough. Things get spiced up when a handful of indian spices appears in the composition. It’s hard to distinguish what spices are in this colorful blend but there is one particular spice that comes to my mind when I smell NVC Rahele after a couple of hours – it’s turmeric. Just remember that is solely my impression, such spice is probably not there.
When drydown of the perfume finally comes to my attention, many hours after I sprayed Rahele on my wrist, leathery facet subsides and is replaced by more earthy and spicy one with a lot of warmth to it. Even though it’s quite light on my skin at this point, I can’t deny the Indian character of it. As soon as I close my eyes smelling it, I could easily envision a spice bazar where spicy aromas blend with smell of fabric used to make colorful scarves and with variety of other stuff you could get there.
Rahele by Neela Vermeire Creations is a beautiful perfume. It has a lot of charm to it, not to mention its development is really interesting and complex. You can call me a simple guy but I like to see this fragrance in a way of this easy comparison – flowers: osmanthus, jasmine and rose represent West while leather, spices, sandalwood represent East. Rahele is a marriage of these two distant cultures, their influences. It is literally a perfume in which East meets West.
In order to craft this fragrance Neela Vermeire once again worked together with her friend, perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour. Through Rahele they both managed to express their heartfelt feelings for India. From my side I’d like to add that when I smell this new NVC fragrance I realized that it’s easier to approach compared to previous perfumes from the brand. Perhaps it’s due to many European influences in it that the perfume feels like it’s easier to wear than Trayee or Pichola. Rahele definitely is one of my top 5 perfumes I smelled at Pitti Fragranze in September 2016.
 NVC Rahele will be available for purchase in the following months. Specific date is not defined.