Victoria’s Secret, the American beauty and intimate wear retailer has launched D2C operations in India. As of now, the world-famous label is only selling its beauty products online. A range of fragrances, body care, accessories, has been brought to India by Major Brands, which retails brands such as Bath & Body Works, Aldo, Charles and Keith and La Senza as well. Victoria’s Secret is also set to launch experience stores in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru, starting summer 2022.
While loyalists of the brand go gaga over finally finding their signature scents, like Bombshell, and Shimmer Fragrance Mists in India, there are consumers who are open to experimenting with new homegrown brands. Listing luxury fragrance options for those who are vocal for local and want to try quality brands, that are made in the country.
Homegrown brand Ajmal Perfumes is now a global name, present in 45 countries. Its founder Haji Ajmal Ali created the brand in 1951, and as a trader of oudh and its oil, he opened his first store in Mumbai in the 1960s. To celebrate its 70th anniversary, the brand introduced – MII Fragrances – a range created especially for Millennials and Gen Z in India.
Spritz on: Ajmal India Prose Eau De Parfum for Men, a woody and refreshing scent from the new collection. It opens with the fresh waft of lemon, mandarin and spearmint leading to an aromatic heart of lavender and anise. Leather in the base notes is the leading ingredient of this composition, making it the perfect bold scent for the festive season.
Dimple Fouzdar, a part-artist, part-scientist, a full-scale creative perfumer, established her luxury brand, Maison de Fouzdar after 3 years of R&D. Fouzdar carefully combines the fragrance of oudh, reminiscent of the sultry souks of the Middle East, with the glamour of the West to create unisex perfumes, that could be worn with equal ease in Paris or Dubai.
Spritz on: Their Oud Impérial is perfect for the winter season, with notes of white oudh and musk lending it a warm lingering scent.
Founded in 2016 by Manan Gandhi, Bombay Perfumery is a contemporary fragrance house. They focus on sourcing quality ingredients from around the globe, vetiver oil from Haiti, patchouli oil and nutmeg from Indonesia, cinnamon from Sri Lanka as well as native ingredients from Coonoor, Kannauj, and Tirupati. The brand aims to use India’s rich perfumery heritage to create unique scents while working with talented perfumers.
Spritz on: Bathe in the scent of chai, the perfect companion to the cold weather. Notes of lemongrass, ginger, green tea, sandalwood and Osmanthus flower, shine through with Bombay Perfumery’s popular Chai Musk fragrance.
The co-founder and managing partner of ISAK Fragrances, Vidushi Vijayvergiya’s realisation of the potential India-made perfumery led her to start ISAK. ISAK (/IS(e)K/) is derived from the Hindi ‘ISHQ’. The fragrance house is based in Lucknow and has over a century-and-a-half of experience in the industry, starting with Shri Chhunnamal Vijayvergiya, whose concoctions were loved by nawabs of the 1850s. The brand is dedicated to the creation of niche Indian artisanal fragrances with rare notes and blends, using traditional, handmade infusion and distillation techniques. Each essence is a 100 per cent vegan, and is still measured, blended and formulated by hand, as it was a century ago.
Spritz on: This wedding season spray some of ISAK’s Cosmic Dance scent. This unisex fragrance has underlying notes of sweet chocolate-y oudh with leather and tobacco.
Gobind Ram Kahan Chand, in the year 1805, carefully curated and preserved the secrets of the scents of Mughal empress, Nur Jahan. These secrets were passed down generations, and were perfected by Dr. KL Bhatia, who started selling his fragrance blends in an Old Delhi shop. His grand-daughter, Pallavi Bhatia, took this one step further and launched Olfa Originals. After six years of R&D with her grandfather’s journals, courses and blending workshops at the Fragrance and Flavour Development Centre, Kannauj and packaging expeditions to Paris, she launched her brand. Bhatia uses oudh as the main ingredient for her perfumes, which is a precious, fragrant resin derived from the infected part of the Aquilaria tree wood. This is then combined with an array of handpicked ingredients like white jasmine, saffron, cinnamon, vanilla, smoky leather, to create signature blends.
Spritz on: Walk out the door with a scent of oudh, musk and leather trailing you everywhere. Olfa Originals’ Oud Noir has a heady note of rose, heart notes of geranium, clove, ylang ylang, and base of warm oudh, silver musk and smoky leather.
This artisanal perfumery makes fragrances crafted with exquisite ingredients, grown in-house at distilleries in North India. With local Indian herbs and spices, and floral oils from the Northern Europe, Egypt and Indonesia, NASO uses natural Indian attar as the base of their essences. Founder Astha Suri’s goal is to stay true to the ancient practices of Indian perfumery and make the process 100 per cent sustainable.
Spritz on: NASO Profumi’s Saffron Infused In Musk & Amber is a transportive scent that takes you to the valleys of Kashmir. Musk oil and amber extract are mixed with strands of saffron for an earthy, and intoxicating fragrance.
Kanelle by Kanika Jain is a new entrant to the fragrance scene in India. The fashion brand’s first fragrance collection – Scentsationally You, is based on the art of perfume layering. The collection’s three Essentiale scents and two Signature scents can be worn individually or together to create a unique fragrance. The concept is an allusion to the Kanelle women, who is ever so multi-dimensional, with many layers that change, adapt and evolve.
Spritz on: A scent that will bring comfort to your olfactory senses is Silken Musk. Top notes of pink pepper, lychee, transition into rose, suede, cedarwood and amber musk.