Perfume Review – Mohur Extrait de Parfum by Neela Vermeire Créations: A Queen To Rule Them All

Va-Va-Voom! Mohur has put on her ball gown and is ready for a gala! The new Mohur Extrait** de Parfum by Neela Vermeire Créations (“NVC”) takes the existing Eau de Parfum formulation up a notch in sophistication, richness, luxuriousness and creaminess. It is — quite simply — spectacular.  **[UPDATE 10/20/13 – This article was originally written when the perfume was called Mohur Esprit de Parfum, but the name has subsequently been changed to just Mohur Extrait de Parfum. I believe legal and trademark issues were the reason. Consequently, I’ve changed this post to reflect the new name.]

Mohur Esprit de Parfum. Source: Fragrantica.

Mohur Esprit de Parfum. Source: Fragrantica.

Mohur Extrait de Parfum (hereinafter “Mohur Extrait” or “Extrait”) is a new concentration of Mohur and the very first pure parfum offered by Neela Vermeire. It will be released in early Fall of 2013. [Update: it will now be released in Winter 2013 or in 2014.] The perfume was recently shown at the Milan Esxence show, and a European friend got me a small vial. I don’t know if the Extrait has had any slight alteration in notes, or if it is exactly the same perfume in a greater concentration, but something about it feels a little different.

I’ve always felt a little badly for Mohur Eau de Parfum. Trayee is the mysterious, seductive older sister; Bombay Bling, the happy, innocent, playful, joyous baby sister. Mohur is the quiet, reserved, elegant one. Like many middle sisters, Mohur EDP always seemed a little overlooked and forgotten in the company of her much more exuberant or forceful sisters. I myself loved Mohur, but I was just a little more bouleversée by Trayee. While something about Mohur EDP stayed in my mind, inching its way further and further into my heart with time, it could never quite compete with the force of nature that is Trayee. Until now. Until Mohur Extrait de Parfum.

It may be useful to briefly refresh your memory of Mohur’s notes, at least for the Eau de Parfum. The incredibly long list — twenty-three ingredients in all — includes:

Top: Cardamom absolute, Coriander seed oil, Ambrette seed, Carrot, Black Pepper, Elemi oil;

Middle: Turkish rose oil, Moroccan Rose Absolute, Rose Accords 11%, Jasmine accord, Orris, Aubepin Flower [hawthorn], Almond milk notes, Violet Flower, Leather vitessence:

Bottom: Sandalwood, Amber, White Woods, Patchouli, Oudh Palao from Laos, Benzoin Siam [resin], Vanilla, Tonka bean.

rose de reschtI tested Mohur Extrait de Parfum side by side with Mohur Eau de Parfum. One on each arm. Twice. The differences are merely of degree and are not substantial — but they are there. Mohur Extrait de Parfum opens with a considerably greater degree of sweetness. The roses are concentrated and heightened, tinged only subtly with the other notes, instead of sharing equal space with them. The flower is touched with carrots, followed then by violets, all atop a lightly ambered base with muted almond milk. There is a much stronger note up top of lightly powdered iris and a quiet hint of white woods. In contrast, Mohur Eau de Parfum has the rose note well mixed in with the other tonalities. The carrot accord is partnered side by side, but the rose never full dominates in quite the same way. There are also much more noticeable spices, pepper and elemi right at the front with the EDP. The violet note is considerably more subtle right at the start but, later, it deepens more and is a much more consistent vein throughout the Eau de Parfum in its subsequent development.

Mohur Eau de Parfum is also much sharper in its opening minutes. Now, I have never thought Mohur to have a sharp note whatsoever. Until I put on the Extrait de Parfum. Side by side, on both occasions, the EDP has a sharper, thinner aspect to the initial opening minutes. In contrast, Mohur Extrait was deeper, stronger, richer and with significantly increased sweetness. The Extrait also has, quite naturally, a greater sillage and power. We’re talking Fracas levels of potency if you apply a lot!

As time passed, other changes were perceptible, too. The Extrait seems more ambered and spicy. The woodsy notes and oud are stronger, though the latter is still not a significant part of Mohur for me. It is far too well-blended and sheer a note as a whole; it adds subtle depth to the fragrance — in both formulations — but I would never consider Mohur to be a real or hardcore oud fragrance by any means. With the Extrait de Parfum, I also detected subtle hints of the leathery undertone which has always been negligible for me in Mohur EDP. The latter seems more purely floral, much more violet infused and slightly milkier. It also feels as though there is less noticeable patchouli in the EDP, whereas it’s a plush, velvety, almost mossy companion to the sandalwood that begins to come out within the second hour of the Extrait.

Lastly, Mohur Extrait differs in terms of both sillage and longevity. I applied the same quantities of both fragrances from a dab vial. While the EDP became close to the skin about 4.5 hours in, the Extrait de Parfum became a skin scent after 8 hours. Mohur EDP lasted approximately 9.5 hours on me. The pure parfum concentration is, naturally, much stronger and lasted almost 13 hours on my perfume-consuming skin.

"Proserpina" by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

“Proserpina” by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Again, the olfactory differences between the two versions seem, for the most part, to be very minor and just one of degree. But those differences somehow make Mohur Extrait de Parfum a much more sophisticated, more grown-up and regal version of the perfume in my mind. More importantly, they have taken away some of the wistfulness that seemed so much a part of Mohur EDP. Unlike her sisters, Mohur has never been a perfume that evoked India, one of my favorite places on earth. In my review of the EDP, I consistently compared Mohur to one of the slightly melancholy, pale beauties of Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s Pre-Raphaelite paintings, or to an ancient princess of long-ago, mourning a lost love. She was Iseult of Tristan et Iseult, Guinevere, or one of the countless maidens of legend whose beauty was tinged with loss. 

"Boreas" by John William Waterhouse.

“Boreas” by John William Waterhouse.

Mohur Extrait de Parfum is different. The melancholic heart seems lessened; the spicy sandalwood, oud and woodsy foundation seems stronger; the milky opening notes much milder; and the roses significantly sweeter and more concentrated. The violets which underscored the Eau de Parfum and which evoked, in my mind, faint parallels to Guerlain‘s 1906 masterpiece, Après L’Ondée are still very much a presence in Mohur Extrait. They are definitely more concentrated at the very top of the Extrait, particularly in the first thirty minutes. Yet, the note doesn’t create quite the same sort of haunting, brooding, and bittersweet thread throughout the long-term development and life of Mohur Extrait as it did in Mohur EDP.

The problem in attempting to ascertain minor differences is that Mohur is a brilliantly blended perfume in both formulations. Its prismatic nature means that the minor differences I smell today may not be the same ones I smell tomorrow, if I even smell them at all. When perfumes throw off different notes like reflective rays off a crystal chandelier hit by sunlight, the facets are sometimes mutable. But I definitely sense a difference in degree that goes beyond mere richness and depth.

The best way that I can explain the differences in feel, to me, between the two perfumes is through photos. The woman in the new Mohur Extrait starts off as:

Sarah Jessica Parker in Vogue, March 2010. Dress: Dior Haute Couture. Photo: Mario Testino. Source: Vogue.com

Sarah Jessica Parker in Vogue, March 2010. Dress: Dior Haute Couture. Photo: Mario Testino. Source: Vogue.com

She then turns into:

Dress: Rami Kadi Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2013. Source: FlipZone and Tweets.seraph.me

Dress: Rami Kadi Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2013. Source: FlipZone and Tweets.seraph.me

She is no longer quite the restrained, reserved, quietly elegant, haunting sister, living in the shadows of her more forceful sisters. Mohur is now full diva, a glamourous star in her own right, luxuriating in her femininity and richness, dripping with opulence. The wistful princess has now become a powerful queen. She may well rule them all. 

[ED. Note: You can find a review for the new, upcoming Neela Vermeire perfume, Ashoka, which will come out at the same time as Mohur Extrait here.]

DETAILS:
Cost & Availability: Mohur Extrait de Parfum is extrait de parfum concentration. I have no idea as to pricing or size, particularly as this is the first pure parfum released by Neela Vermeire Créations. I will update this section when information becomes available. 
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31 thoughts on “Perfume Review – Mohur Extrait de Parfum by Neela Vermeire Créations: A Queen To Rule Them All

  1. Spicy sandalwood and faint parallels to Apres l’Ondee caught my attention (just had the pleasure of sampling the latter in vintage and it was LOVE!!!). I had always assumed out of the three I would like Bombay Bling the best were I ever to sample…but you have taken Mohur up a notch…one of these days I will give all three a try 😀 !!

    • The parallel to Apres L’Ondée are striking (to me at least) in the EDP. I did not find them here, with the pure parfum Esprit version. The melancholy of the violets is not as prominent and it was that note which really triggered the mental association for me. 🙂 That said, both perfumes are exquisite, in my opinion, and the differences very subtle. I think you’d have to really test both out at the same time to detect the nuances in questions, though the potency, richness and deepness of the Esprit is apparent from the start. I really hope you do get the chance to try all four — no, make that now FIVE — fragrances. I suspect you, in particular, will like Ashoka and Mohur the best. 🙂

  2. Wow, I only heard of this yesterday and then this morning I read this comprehensive review. Interesting to read the side-by-side comparisons. Mohur Esprit de Parfum is a beautiful name too. You look great in the Diva-Drama dress. Is that what you wore for the 13 hour test? What a night that must have been.

    • I was in a tux, paying obeisance to the Queen. Luckily for me, I’m an insomniac. LOL. I agree about the name. Mohur Esprit de Parfum is a lovely way to go about it, not to mention more creative than just calling the new concentration something like Mohur Pure Parfum or Mohur Extrait de Parfum.

  3. Too many perfumes too little money. Neela is going to put me in the poor house this fall. This is tempting because it seems to be a richer version of the original. That lasting power on you is impressive too.
    That second gown is pretty amazing.

    • It’s a stunning dress, isn’t it? Apparently the chap, a new Lebanese designer, is making quite a few waves in the fashion world due to his Haute Couture collection. After seeing that dress, I’m not surprised. 🙂 As for the longevity of Mohur Esprit, can you imagine would it would have been liked if I’d had a spray and didn’t just dab it on? It would probably have lasted even longer. I suspect the longevity on someone with normal skin would easily be 16 hours when sprayed (depending on amount, of course), if not far longer.

  4. I keep meaning to get the Vermeire Discovery Set. But I keep getting distracted by other scents. Now I really have to do this. The Mohur Espirit sounds just completely spectacular.

    • I hope you order the set just to experience the existing trio thus far. 🙂 As for the Mohur Esprit, you know, I’m not generally one who is gaga for rose scents, but this one is truly stunning.

  5. I am so jealous you got to try the new Neela perfumes. 🙂
    I am also one who overlooked Mohur as it seemed very prim and delicate and not something I would go for with Trayee and especially Bombay Bling by its side. But the Esprit sounds much more enticing. 😀

    • I think, from the few things that I’ve read from you elsewhere, that we have some overlap in our tastes, Ines. We don’t mind the skanky, animalic scents, and are drawn to much richer, more potent or intense perfumes. So, going by that, I think you would definitely appreciate the Mohur Esprit. I’m not generally one for rose perfumes but this one has such depth, luxuriousness and opulence, it really is lovely. Plus, the spicy heart and sandalwood…. well, it’s just like the colours of that last dress. 🙂 I look forward to hearing your impressions of it when you try it. 🙂

  6. I don’t know…. I already want (and will get!) a bottle of Bombay Bling. And the less I have left in my travel bottle of Trayee, the more I like it. So Mohur was the only one where I was content with the travel sized bottle. What are you doing?!! 🙂 (well, of course it’s a good question for NV but you’re not helping – just take a look at all those lemmings!)
    Great job! 🙂

    • LOL! First, I’m glad that Trayee is slowly wielding its way more into your heart; I know how much Bombay Bling owns it. 🙂 Second, I can’t wait to hear what you think of Mohur Esprit when you try it. Though you have some issues with oud, the other parts of this perfume may well overcome that for you. Then again, you really don’t like Oud very much and I know that was one reason why the Mohur EDP wasn’t the biggest draw for you. We’ll see in the Fall. 🙂

  7. I was thinking I could resist this one until you posted those dress photos… 🙂 Along with the new Ashoka, Fall is looking to be a great one for perfumes! Thanks for the wonderful reviews of these two NV creations!

    • You’re very welcome. And I’m glad you liked the reviews. 🙂 As for the dresses, they’re lovely, aren’t they? I think the 2nd one, in particular, reflects the development of Mohur Esprit with the spices, gorgeously rich sandalwood, ambers and elemi in its later hours. Mohur Esprit is definitely a very diva, Va-va-va-voom fragrance as compared to its more restrained, possibly prim EDP version. Thank you so much for stopping by, Dubaiscents. 🙂

  8. Hi, Kafka! I would venture to say I regard both Mohur and Mohur Esprit de Parfum as two different fragrances. Both of them are equally beautiful. The images of those two couture dresses are eloquent enough.
    Mohur Esprit de Parfum suits me better, although I’d like to be more like original Mohur 😉
    xoxo

    Caro

    • Caro, were the differences between the two concentrations so great on your skin? How did they compare and what was so different? I’m glad you liked the dresses, by the way. I think the 2nd one, in particular, really reflects how Mohur Esprit became in its later development with all those beautiful spices, sandalwood, woods, and amber. The colours fit, if you will. As with you, the Esprit version definitely suits me better. (What does that say about us??! LOL).

      • Do you remember that I once mentioned original Mohur as my friendly ghost, because it seemed to appear and disappear on my skin? It is beautiful, but a bit too pale for me, like a watercolor. I kept reading reviews where people mentioned a technicolor rose and that only became evident to me with Mohur Esprit de Parfum.

        Of course there’s enough place for both of them in my life 😉

        • Ah, yes, I do remember now. My God, do you have difficult, perfume-consuming skin like me? We are more and more alike — from Puredistance M, to the Mohur Esprit to our skin! The Mohur EDP was definitely pale in comparison to this one, but I think the differences are of degree and concentration, as opposed to being two completely different scents. I think that is where your original comment threw me a little. But I can definitely see how the stronger concentration would permit the underlying layers and notes to shine forth on skin like ours.

          Sounds like you’d want a full bottle of the Esprit. Me, too, though I’ll have to see how much it is. Damn my expensive tastes! 😉

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