Penhaligon's Vaara (2013): Inspired by the Maharadjah of Jodhpur Gaj Singh {New Perfume} {Celebrity Fragrance}


Penhaligon's will release a new fragrance from July 2013 called Vaara. It was composed by perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour who did a study of Jodhpur for it, more particularly of its Maharadjah, Gaj Singh and of the gardens of his Palace of Marwar-Jodhpur. For those who are familiar with the universes of distinct fragrance brands, the project seems to conflate the travel series of L'Artisan Parfumeur, a house incidentally owned by the same group, and in a novel touch, the celebrity portrait gallery one finds more typically at Creed's...

There is more often a mass-market way of approaching the celebrity portrait in perfume form, but there is also a niche attraction for the genre.  

Vaara is the name of the grand-daughter of the Maharadjah, symbolizing we are told his deep love for his family. 

Moving from a sense of place and personality to the genre of a travelogue perfume, the composition is said to capture the aromas and atmospheres of the North of India, of its markets, gardens, palaces and historic forts. 

The eau de parfum opens on top notes of quince, rose water, carrot seed, coriander seeds, saffron. In the heart we have Moroccan rose absolute, Bulgarian rose oil, freesia, Indian magnolia, and peony. In the base, there are notes of honey, white musk, cedar wood, sandalwood, benzoin resin, and tonka bean.

The composition appears to be both exotic and modern. Available from July 8, 2013.

Via press release 

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2 Comments | Leave a comment

  1. Dear Salamander
    An interesting take on the genesis of this perfume, but I wonder whether it has more to do with this house's own routes and those of British perfumery generally... ever chasing the exotic and oriental, obsessed with the orient.
    There is of course Penhaligon's own Hammam Bouquet and well as the recently recvered greats by Grossmith.
    All dating from many decades before L'Artisan was even thought of.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    The Perfumed Dandy (@PerfumedDandy)
    • Indeed, you're right to point out that Penhaligon's have been flirting with the Orient for well over a century. I think there would be a link here with the history of the British colonial empire. Hammam Bouquet was initially launched in 1872. What struck me with Vaara is the fact that the perfumer travelled in situ, while Hammam Bouquet is about Turkish baths in London. There is an effort at creating and drawing on a travelling experience at the same time which attempts to authenticate the composition. But most of all, I couldn't help but notice that this is the olfactory portrait of a living notable, something that the house is not that systematic about. Although there is certainly a parallel to be made with Blenheim Bouquet (1902), also about a seat of power, a "bloodline" and created for the Duke of Marlborough.

      Grossmith pre-dates L'Artisan originally, but I wouldn't treat it as an influencer on the history of exotic fragrances today, except perhaps indirectly as it came back in existence only a few years ago. So that now it postdates L'Artisan which have been quite consistent about their travel series. At any rate, L'Artisan and Penhaligon's are connected.

      Chant Wagner

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