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Vaara – My royal fantasy – September 2013 New Fragrance Listing

….Once upon a time, there was an Indian prince of the Royal House of Marwar-Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India. The prince was happy living in the beautiful ancient city of Jodhpur, noted for its indigo blue buildings and beautiful sunsets, which bathed his palaces in golden light at the end of long summer days. His summer palace was his favourite, and was famous throughout the land for its scented gardens, the Gardens of Balsamand, full of roses and exotic magnolia blooms.

Photo - Wikipedia - Jodhpur palace UmaidBhawan Exterior

When his little granddaughter was born, the prince was so happy! He wanted to celebrate her birth, in his most favourite place in the world, in a very special way. What could he do?  The prince had an inspiration! He summoned the most famous perfumer in all the world, The Great Bertrand, and asked him to create a perfume that captured the beauty of his gardens, the beauty of his city, and the beauty of his beautiful new granddaughter.

Undaunted by such an enormous task, The Great Bertrand set to work, and after many, many hours spent pondering, mixing, stirring, shaking and sniffing, one morning he presented the Prince with the precious juice in a small bottle with a golden bow. The Prince carefully removed the cap, spritzed the back of his hand and wrist, and breathed in. He smelled quince, the little juicy, jammy apple-pear fruit that almost tastes like a rose smells, mixed with a sprinkling of coriander and dusty creamy saffron ….it was a lovely light spicy accord….and then he smelled roses, the intoxicating unmistakable scent of fresh young roses, all thorny with spiky green leaves, rising up through the airy spices. “Yes!” he exclaimed. “Yes! You’ve captured my vision – you’ve …"

But his nose was back to his hand. He’d detected a bit of carrot underneath the roses, and now with another deep breath inward, he could see his beautiful summer garden unfolding before his eyes – the sweet magnolia, almost minty, the fresh yellow freesia, spiced peony, just a whiff of earthy iris, the scent of fragrant black tea being served, and then more roses – ahhhh, the magical roses.  The prince was overtaken with emotion, and tears began to fill his eyes as he sniffed his scented skin again and again.

“I must explain the dry-down”, said The Great Bertrand. “I included the honey of the bees, the musk of the skin, the creamy sandalwood, the resin of the cedar trees, and the sweet tonka bean and benzoin. I wanted your fragrance to end with subtle richness, and warmth  - to keep the roses blooming until the last rays of sun set on your gardens.”

The Prince declared “It is beautiful, it is perfection, it is blessed. I name this scent Vaara, after my precious granddaughter!”  And the Prince was so pleased with his beautiful new perfume, he confided to The Great Bertrand that he wanted to share it with the world. Before he could say “Shalimar”, Vaara appeared on the shelves and counters of the Penhaligon’s Perfumery Shoppe in London, England, the little bottle with the golden bow enclosed in a very fine box decorated with the colours of an Indian sunset in Jodhpur – deep orange, fuschia, peacock blue, indigo, and sparkles of glistening gold.

Photo - creativeroots.org - Penhaligon's Vaara packaging

Vaara was, indeed, beautiful, in every sense of the word, and it flew off the shelves of the little shop. The world loved Vaara, and The Prince was very happy…. and his little granddaughter grew up to become a very wise and beloved Queen.

Nice story? This story is based on facts, but is mostly fantasy – my fantasy. However, I assure you, the beauty of the eau de parfum called Vaara is not. I was expecting a spice bomb, an Indian banquet, a Lutenesque outdoor marketplace when I first put my nose to the little bottle with the golden bow, but Vaara surprised me. The perfume is spicy at first, but is also light and fresh smelling. The rose accord is the heart and soul of the fragrance, and it’s discreetly nuanced with the quince-saffron spice mix at the top, and then the honey-musk-sandalwood-tonka richness - in other words, the brilliance of  Bertrand Duchaufour. His artistic vision perfectly captures time, place, and person, making Vaara smell fresh, vibrant and exotic at the outset, moving into romantically floral, and finally ending with an inner core of tranquil wooded warmth.

The name Vaara in Sanskrit means one who is the best, or the blessed one. It’s a beautiful name to hear, and speak, and also, as it turns out, to smell.

Today, we’re adding Vaara to our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00.

Note: Sincere apologies to His Highness Maharaja Gaj Singh II, Bertrand Duchaufour, and Penhaligon’s for liberties taken.