Bombay Bling opens with a fruity-floral, aldehydated vanillin accord, slightly spicy too. The freshness provided by the fruity accord is breezy and pleasant, after a while the vanilla-tonka base gets denser and more prominent, also with a white musks roundness, and the rose-floral accord emerges ore clearly, while losing the fruity "freshness" of the beginning. To be honest this smells a bit like a slightly richer and more Oriental version of some mainstream scents like the more recent (and duller) Guerlain's, or Coco Mademoiselle and similar ones - that type of "sophisticated" magazine-inspired gracefulness. So it's pleasant and stuff, but a bit negligeable – plus with a really weak persistence. Not bad, but that price is quite a joke.
This opens up on a charming, fizzy note of effervescent mango, lime, and what feels to me to be stone fruit - either plums or peaches. The fruity top notes act together to form the impression of a dollop of jammy, intense fruit puree added to a glass of champagne. It is incredibly buoyant and cheerful. At this stage, I have to say that it is slightly too fruity and too sweet for my taste. What saved this perfume, for me, was the creamy sandalwood and cedar base, which rises up to support and soften the piquant, acidic red and orange fruits up top after a couple of hours. The effect is to mellow and soften the entire composition, making the dry down comfortable and luxurious. Unlike in Shalimar, where the clash of cream in the vanilla and the sharpness of the bergamot (citrus fruit) creates a rather curdled or "rancid butter" effect at the top of the perfume, here, the cream of the base and the bright acid fruit of the top blend smoothly and without incident. Longevity is good, at about eight hours. Projection-wise, this is not a loud scent, but it is not a skin scent either - a pleasant sillage, I would say.
I am glad to have my sample, but I would not shell out the big bucks for it simply because fruity-florals are not something I reach for often, and when I do, I have Jardin Sur Le Nil to fill that gap. However, I would rate Bombay Bling! over that perfume if money were no object, for a few reasons. First, although both scents feature green mango, there is no sourness to Bombay Bling! and I do find the dry down of Sur Le Nil to be quite sour/astringent. Second, although I appreciate Ellena's minimalist style and the watercolor effect he achieves in his Jardin series for Hermes, I think that Neela Vermeire does an even more impressive job of corralling a quite vast array of notes and accords and blending them into a harmonious whole. This would suit a young girl in her twenties who goes to lots of parties and who wants a fruity-floral scent that rises heads and shoulders above the crowd (mind you, this young girl would also have to have a pretty hefty wallet, but we are talking fantasy situations here).
BB is bang up to date – dayglo and juicy, this would be pure Bollywood were it not done with such sophistication. Indians love their frooti smells, and here’s a perfume worthy of that love. The mango that opens it makes me go weak in the knees – so light, delicate and fresh, like the rarest varieties which seem more perfume than fruit almost. And to offer support with the rosy siren song of litchi and the tart, green, almost pissy edge of blackcurrant is a masterstroke. Long after these three headliners have blended into each other this creation just keeps smiling and waggling its saucy hips. There are hints of dirt in the mix, like drinking a Mangola on the pavement wet with monsoon rain and wafts of blossom like frangipane and jasmine that breeze through rather than overwhelm.
BB was the least liked of Neela Vermeire’s launch trio – a shame really, as it’s such a happy-go-lucky thing.
Projection is modest.
The first approach on the skin is weird and captivating. I detect by soon a note of Mojito (mint, boozy/fizzy notes and lime--or eventually is this just an olfactory illusion aroused by a powerfully earthy/grassy realistic floral whiff?) and I feel all at once a fizzy/candied (full of additives/colours like) sort of "cherries/raspberries/plum/violet" type of "juice" i used to taste while savouring the coloured fruity candies many years ago at time of the childhood or primary school. The aroma is not properly synthetic but by soon juicy, pungent, crazy and almost sparkling with an exotic sheer sort of bursting aura (exotic flowers, sparks, mystic spices, ripe unknown fruits). I suppose this feel i talk about is aroused by the interaction of mango, herbs, "a touch of spritz" and spicy/peppery blackcurrant with the ylang-ylang support. Along the minutes the exotic fruitiness recedes a bit as well as a deep floral vibe starts soaring for us. I detect overall tuberose and gardenia and the aroma is yet vanillic and spicy. I feel indeed for sure the gassy/carnal/soapy (really intense and enveloping) effect from the combination of spices (pepper and cumin), tonka and balsams which is a sort of main and distinctive trait of the aroma and in this phase i feel some Cacharel Loulou olfactory flashbacks (although this aroma is darker, more fruity/floral, spicier and slightly less vanillic). A dark (and cuminic) note of rose/patchouli ( sultry/ambery a la Stella by Stella McCartney or a La Petite Robe Noir Guerlain) rises gradually taking part to the ceremony with this carnal amount of musky tobacco, the dominant floral vanilla and with the boisterous gassy spices while i frankly do not detect in particular any woods that are probably veiled and overwhelmed by the huge amount of spices and vanilla. The aroma is interesting (in particular along the top notes) but frankly a bit too much spicy, sultry/exotic, fat, carnal and probably unbalanced for my full pleasure. I prise anyway the sensuality (this juice is erotic for sure) of the aroma and the Duchaufour's attempt to offer an olfactory transposition about the spices, the odours and the deep exhalations of a far mystic land.
Pros: Carnal and mysterious.
Cons: Too much spicy and vanillic."</p>
25th September, 2013 (last edited: 06th September, 2015)
I sleuthed out some Bollywood videos to see the inspiration for this unusual perfume:
Pros: Makes you want to dance
Cons: Makes you want to dance for over 12 hours"