|Image: a Ragamala painting by Kailash Raj via exoticindiaart.com|
There's no way around it: Pichola is a very sexy perfume.
I've been alternating between this new perfume from Neela Vermeire Creations and Maharanih Intense by Parfums de Nicolai, trying to assess the differences and similarities beyond the obvious: Pichola is a white floral, Maharanih Intense is a spicy oriental, both have an Indian theme. So why do I think of them in a similar context? Complexity, sensuality, a juicy opening that leads into the core of the fragrance, yet maintaining its pulpy flesh. And a smooth sandalwood that brings it all together.
But above all, Pichola is a sultry white floral featuring Queen Tuberose. It's neither heady in the familiar sense nor buttery. Instead, the strong bouquet of lush white flowers is round, rich and full of sunshine, which goes well with the infusion of clementine juice that gives them even more body. It's a drinkable, almost chewy tuberose-jasmine blend (there's also some ylang-ylang, orange blossom, magnolia, and rose in there, but to me this is a tuberose game) that also gives me a tactile feeling. The texture is almost palpable, and its appeal to many senses is nothing short of delicious.
The smooth transition of Pichola's development adds another layer of sensual pleasure. This is probably the most noticeable difference from Patricia de Nicolai's perfume. The latter remains intense all the way through, and I love that, but the magic of Pichola is where it's transformed into a milky musky smooth wood that enhances the way my skin smells, adds a touch of spice, a sprinkle of benzoin, a veil of the sunny flowers, now less fleshy but still luscious and more golden than white. It all comes down to skin chemistry, and mine is as embraced by the cashmere touch of the dry-down as it is by the radiance of the floral element. Pichola is just sweet enough to deliver a light oriental touch, but this isn't a tuberose pudding. It's more romantic than yummy, and have I mentioned sexy? It really is.
Owner and creative director Neela Vermeire, the woman behind the India-inspired brand (see my reviews of Trayee, Mohur, Bombay Bling, and Ashoka) has been consistently successful in her collaboration with perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour. While his work for L'artisan is often influenced by his travels to faraway lands, there's no mistaking the uniqueness of Neela Vermeire Creations. They couldn't have come from anyone or anywhere else, and that includes Pichola. The fantasy of a mystical country, exotic, colorful, vibrating with the sound of bells and gongs; it's all here, and it's inviting and tempting.
Neela Vermeire Creations- Pichola ($235, 60ml EDP) is available from Luckyscent. The review is based on a free sample.