Gandhara is the second fragrance I've tried from Neil Morris, and I must say, this line keeps on impressing me with its originality and depth.
Gandhara is, to my nose, first and foremost a very dark jasmine fragrance. Here the indoles are let out to play, and animalic side of jasmine springs to the fore. This is jasmine the tropical flower; a jasmine of long, hot, humid nights; a jasmine dancing right on the edge of decay. Here are many of the nuances of jasmine as a note - the dirt, the sweetness, the fruit and tea facets - all with the treble down and the bass turned up. This is certainly not a fragrance for you if you like your florals clean.
The mimosa note is an active presence in the top notes, amplifying jasmine's native fruitiness, but I must say that geranium and fig and not prominent to my nose at all, which is a good thing in my books. Never having encountered a scented lotus, I'll have to give no comment there.
In the drydown, jasmine becomes less of a star and more of a team player, joined by equal helpings of patchouli and musk, faint hints of tobacco and leather lurking on the edge of perception. Castoreum itself is very subtly woven into the blend, only noticeable as a discrete entity deep into the base.
Longevity is about average on me, with sillage slowly softening from powerhouse to skin scent.
GHANDARA opens with light mellow florals that have an earthy rotting vegetation smell in the background. Smells very much like India. The use of Mimosa, Lotus and Jasmine smells very pleasant at first but retains a rotting indole scent in the background. The indoles mix with fig and musks are very much like rural India. The flowers drifting on the wind, a rich green foilage mixed with a ripe vegetation smell. This is the world of nature in transformation! Beautiful but but mildly grotesque. I want to keep sniffing this over and over again. Very nice and quite a unique fragrance.
Every note in this glorious nectar is exquisitely mingled to create an aura of another place, in another time.
This is the scent to wear when you want to feel at peace, and start trying to attain a state of nirvana. The patchouli is the note that shows itself most prominently on me, but the fig tempers it and ads a sweet clean roundness. The floral notes adjust the tempo of the scent but never lead one to say, "oh, such a nice floral", they give it an aura of openness. Now the castoreum grounds the fragrance, it keeps it warm and comforting, never harsh nor heavy.
Neil has created a heavenly aroma for us to enjoy on this earthly plane.