Destination: India

Destination: India

From Bollywood actors to cuisine to politics, India has moved increasingly into the pop-culture spotlight over the past few years.

No wonder its charms have likewise seduced perfumers. From high to low in the fragrance world, we see the images of Marrakesh, the spices of the souk and the mystique of ancient Indian temples at play.

Canadian beauty icon Lise Watier was so inspired by her recent travels to India, she concocted a toilette to remember it by. Her aptly named olfactory homage, India, is a heady jasmine-loaded floriental in an indigo-hued bottle trimmed with a gold lid and gold-hued Indian-esque drawings. Even its name is etched in a Sanskrit-inspired font.

There’s also Avon’s Mark label, which debuts Marrakesh toilette this season and dubs it “instant vacation” front and centre on the package. It delivers a more-sweet-than-spicy combination of jasmine, neroli blooms, cardamom, fig and mint in a very I-dream-of-Jeannie bottle.

Boucheron’s Jaipur Bracelet also channels the gem-laden world of a Rajasthan princess via its floral, fruity and Kashmir wood notes, but for or those who really want to visit the moodier, darker, spicier side of India, look to Byredo. The line’s Encens Chembur fragrance captures founder Ben Gorham’s memory of India, the birthplace of his mother, with a spicy yet fresh, dark yet sweet, recipe that is utterly seductive. Imagine ginger with incense, bergamot with labdanum, amber with musk: It’s a lush, brooding scent to suit a romantic heart.

Byredo Encens Chembur EDP, $145 (50 ml),,
Boucheron Paris Jaipur Bracelet EDT, $122 (100 ml),,
Lise Watier India EDT, $57 (50 ml),
Avon Mark Marrakesh EDT, $26 (50 ml),

PHOTO: FlickrCC/Nick Kenrick
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Deborah Fulsang has spent the last two decades as a journalist covering news and trends in the worlds of style—in fashion and beauty, design and décor, food and entertaining. Her long-held love of fragrance led her to launch The Whale & The Rose, a destination for all things perfume-related. Now, when she indulges in a crazy-expensive bottle of fragrance, she can do so guilt-free. Well almost. It’s all in the name of research after all.