Ashoka by Bertrand Duchaufour for Neela Vermeire Creations 2013


Post by Val the Cookie Queen


Namaste Fragrant Friends!

It is hard not to be influenced by what you read, especially regarding a keenly anticipated new perfume, as Ashoka surely was. The fourth fragrance from Neela Vermeire Créations. I was so impatient to try it that I dropped Neela Vermeire herself a message, asking if I could beg, steal or have a sample. I was thrilled to receive a positive answer and in no time at all Neela had packed me up a small fragrant package and sent it on it´s way. It is clear to see that Neela herself is a perfumista, because she enclosed not only a spray sample, but a dab sample too! That really thrilled me. It offers me a much more intense impression of perfume. Top notes are so beautiful, and often fleeting and they linger on a little longer when dabbed.

Ashoka by Bertrand Duchaufour for Neela Vermeire Creations 2013

Ashoka Neela Vermeire Creations FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Surrender To Chance gives these featured accords in one line:
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, ambre gris, birch, Haitian vetiver, leather, styrax, heliotrope

Readers, as Jane Eyre would say, it was not love at first sniff. Exactly my point. The general impression that I had picked up was that it was, hmmmm, simpler, more approachable, soft, user-friendly …… Absolutely not. In fact, the exact opposite. It is so deep, and multi-faceted, that I have not been able to put pen to paper until nearly three weeks after starting to wear it. I have drained both samples. Love at first sniff, is of course, absolutely exciting and creates an instant lemming. This is a little like listening to music for me. If I love a song on the first hearing I find that I tire of it quite quickly. Instant perfume love does´t always last. I am generalizing of course, but it is often the case. What follows are the feelings I have after wearing the perfume until empty!

Ashoka Neela VermeireIndian_Peacock_Plumage WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Ashoka opens with an incredibly beautiful and bright burst of fig which is heavenly. It does´t take on a milkiness until about ten minutes in, if not more. There are so many other things going on, that I don´t have the words to describe them. Nor doI wish too. I don´t really care to dissect perfume. Firstly, I cannot do this, and secondly it takes away from the seductive pleasure, which is why I wear perfume. Suffice it to say though, I can detect a an enduring rose, especially with dabbing it. A soft leather accord slowly creeps in, mingling with it all. Now I am only just learning to detect leather notes, and had I not seen this listed, I don´t know if I would have noticed it for what it was. It is voluptuous and sumptuous, and makes the complete perfume an absolute delight. Indeed a fulfillment, which is what I believe Emperor Ashoka discovered on his road to conversion journey into Buddhism. How magnificently Neela Vermeire and Bertrand Duchaufour managed to convey this emotion.

Ashoka Neela Vermeire Dimitry B.  FlickrPhoto Stolen Dimitry B. Flickr

My parents split up in 1970 and my siblings, mother and I went to live with my grandmother for a few months. (London) My grandmother was an incredibly amazing, open-minded woman, who spent most of her life as a single-parent, divorcing back in the early fifties. She had a lodger living in her home at the same time as we were there. This lady was married to an Indian gentleman. He was a businessman and spent a lot of time away, visiting every few weeks or so. We never went into their room, located on the upper floor of my grandmother´s home. It was a great mystery to us kids! We would occasionally pass them going up or down on the stairs. Mr Ray, for so was his name, always smelled wonderful. Naturally I have no idea of what he used to smell that way. Whatever it was, some of it is in Ashoka. I can see myself as a ten year old small girl, captured by this elegant gentleman´s bouquet. He used to bring me sandalwood figures. How I wish I had kept them. Ashoka awoke a slumbering memory. I can only say thank you, and the three week journey was a trip!!

Ashoka Neela Vermeire Paolo Crosetto FlickrPhoto Stolen Paolo Crosetto Flickr

I have slowly grown to love it.

Thank you Neela Vermeire Créations for the opportunity, and the magic it created.

H. G. Wells wrote of Ashoka in his book The Outline of History, “Amidst the tens of thousands of names of monarchs that crowd the columns of history, their majesties and graciousnesses and sereneties and royal highnesses and the like, the name of ASHOKA shines, and shines, almost alone, a star.”

You can buy Ashoka at
Neroli Budapest 59,800Ft/60ml
LuckyScent $260/60ml
Surrender To Chance starts at $7/.5ml

A perfectly named perfume.


20 thoughts on “Ashoka by Bertrand Duchaufour for Neela Vermeire Creations 2013

  1. Love all that Neela does, she does her work great and the most important for me is that she’s very beautiful person herself. I need to try her new creation. Bombay Bling and Mohur are my favorites so far 🙂


    • Hi Victoria! I don´t think her fragrances, any of the, would be as beautiful as they are if she was not a beautiful person, not to mention a perfectionist!! Nice to see you here!
      Love, CQ Val xxx


  2. Lovely review, CQ!
    As I read your words I sprayed on my little sample of Ashoka. We use a lot of incense around here and after my first impression of fig leaf and osmanthus Ashoka takes on the character of two popular types of incense, Chandan (a sandalwood incense) and Nag Champa. It always amazes me how scent can trigger a vivid memory. Thank you for yours!
    Azar xx


  3. Lovely read Val. I too do not like to over-dissect a scent. Ashoka is Buddhism in a bottle, a fig in a floral forest. This house’s creative output is a welcome relief too, well, compared to almost everything else. As for the leather I have to say I could not smell this until after I read some of the reviews. Now it is unmistakable. Interesting. And Mr Ray? I am guessing he wafted up your grandmother’s stairs on sandalwood oil and jasmine sambac.


    • Hi Jordan! I wonder if Mr Ray would have had any idea what an impression he left on a traumatized ( from my parents split ) 11 year old girl?
      Hugs my dear!


  4. I love Neela’s perfumes and I’m sure this one will be a hit with me too when I finally get to try it. For me, Mohur wasn’t love at first sniff but I really grew to love it after giving it a chance.


  5. Val – lovely review. I keep meaning to get my hands on this. The fact that it’s from Neela means that it’s going to be a winner without doubt. Note to self….must try Ashoka….must try Ashoka!


    • Oh Wow! The Scented Hound. Yay! How cool. 🙂 Nice to see you. You are right, all her fragrances are very beautifully made. A sample will come your way sooner or later I am sure. The ones we really want always do huh?? Love, Val xxxxxxx


  6. Pingback: Limette 37 by Le Labo 2013 « AustralianPerfumeJunkies

  7. Pingback: Art and Olfaction Awards – Award Recipients | The Fragrant Man

  8. Pingback: Neela Vermeire Creations 4 x 8ml Discovery Set « AustralianPerfumeJunkies

Comments are closed.