Ashoka was known as a tyrant who reformed his ways after converting to Buddhism, and in later life came to be seen as a benevolent figure. Neela said it was a challenge to produce a perfume to honour everything he stood for.
The new ‘Ashoka’ perfume was created by perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour who is responsible for the first three in the collection. Neela explains “It was very important to me when I started the collection that I had someone who knew India. Bertrand was the only perfumer who had been there a few times. He knows things that 90% of people don’t get. This line is about creating a bridge between India and France. I didn’t have to explain things to him and the India he knew was different to mine - he had his own experiences.”
Bottles from the collection have been redesigned by Pierre Dinand. Originally ‘pour’ bottles from an antique mould, the new bottles are similar, but have 24 ridges on them, which represent the 24 spokes/ chakras on the company’s wheel logo (The same Ashoka’s wheel design also appears on the national flag of India). The bottles now work on a spray system.
Also on show was the Extrait version of ‘Mohur’, which will be released in a limited edition, plum-coloured bottle in summer.