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Maharanih - Great Queen, real woman (June 25, 2010 New Fragrance Listing)

Photo-wikipedia .com - Maharanih Ourmilla Devi of Jubbai, 1935

There’s an old neighbourhood near our home called Little India, a few city blocks of a close-knit community, lined with family shops which sell silk saris, jewellery, carpets, food, and of course, Indian cuisine. We love going there for dinner on a summer night, when business is done outside on the sidewalks, and the smell of the rich spices hangs in the air. Entire families from babies to grandparents walk the street, strolling slowly, talking, laughing, eating…close your eyes, and you’re in India.

Dinner at our favourite restaurant always ends with the home-made ice cream - orange mango ice cream for me.The intense colour and flavour is incredible and has an unusual ingredient, which I've decided is rosewater. It always makes me think of Maharanih, the great citrus scent by Patricia de Nicoläi.**

Maharanih translates as “Great Queen”, and the opening notes announce Her presence with a fanfare – bitter orange, spicy and fresh, is quickly followed by amber, warming and expanding the brilliant citrus into a pungent orange cloud. As the scent moves into the heart notes - rose, orange blossom, cinnamon, clove, and vanilla - I see a saffron-hued sari glistening,  dark eyes flashing, gold bangles and jewels sparkling. And then I begin to detect a very interesting shift in tone…..

Animalic and herbal -  base notes of musk, civet, geranium, patchouli change Maharanih into an earthy, sensual, sexy skin scent………slightly sweaty, languorous, with the promise of “more”, and oh so smooth and rich. This is a Great Queen…and a Real Woman!!

The scent deepens and warms with a hint of sandalwood, the sillage is tantalizing, and  Maharanih stays on the skin  – the Queen is in her palace!

Maharanih is a scent built on beautifully balanced contrasts.  Patricia de Nicoläi is a classically trained perfumer, and she has given Maharanih a refined, sophisticated Oriental structure, in the tradition of the great Shalimar created by her grandfather. But as an artist, she has injected a luminous quality into the classic  structure that lifts  Maharanih out of the ordinary – fresh but warm, sweet but bitter, floral but animalic, dense but bright, understated

She has made a gorgeous perfume – for a Great Queen, a Real Woman. I feel like both when I wear it.

Maharanih is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.


**Patricia de Nicoläi is the grand-daughter of Jacques Guerlain, who started her small company in 1988 with her husband. Their mission is to make fine perfume affordable, so the focus has always been on the product, not the marketing. She uses pure essential oils in her scents, and manufactures in her own factory – which results in perfumes of the highest quality, both creatively and technically (most other companies do not have their own perfumer, or do not manufacture themselves). And in their shops and online store they sell 30ml, 60ml, and 100ml bottles at reasonable prices, making all their fine perfumes truly affordable.