UNCONQUERED BEAUTY ~ Mohur by Neela Vermeire


From the roof of the world Alexander descended through the Hindu Kush into fabled mysterious unconquerable India. This Greek who was worshiped as a god from Egypt to Bactria thought that surely this valley of the Indus was at last the edge of the Earth. When, not if, he took India, the world would be his.

 Hindu Kush

   India was unlike anyplace the Greeks had ever seen. The heat, the light, the jungles, the aromas of her splendors were seductive, not to mention the colors that streaked across the sky at dawn when her thousand gods turned as one to behold the land. India intrigued Alexander as no woman or man ever could and in the end would break his heart.

In the valley of the Indus River the true beauty of India unfurled before Alexander. There in the markets he tasted rare pepper, cardamom and coriander. In a Punjab palace garden the air was redolent with roses and jasmine iris violet and exotic patchouli more beautiful than those of the hanging gardens of Babylon or the fragrant pools of Karnack.


After the battle of the Hydaspes River Alexander feasted in the high chambers of King Porus under a roof of sandalwood and drank the wine of the defeated King.  Porus whom he had spared sat next to him upon a great leather couch surrounded by his court and slaves and watched with steely eyes there every move of the Greeks that surrounded him.

alxander in india

“How would you like to be treated?” Alexander said to the monarch.

Porus resplendent in silk and laden with precious stones nodded to the Greek, “As a king my lord.”

 alxander in india 3

“And so you shall be.”  He said with a smile that could ensnare the heart of Eros.

Late that evening as Alexander was bathed by his favorite Bagoas, he pondered the mystery that was India. The Persian rubbed aromatic elemi and benzoin into the golden battle scared flesh of his beloved conqueror scenting his body before sleep. Suddenly Alexander covered Bagoas’ hand with his own and halted the ritual. He turned and leveled his eyes on the courtier as he would a city he was about to take.

“Bagoas, I cannot understand it.”

“Understand what my lord?”

“This land, this India, it is so different. Greece is mind and beauty, Egypt is birth and death, Persia is a great bull god. But India, it eludes me. Why is it that I cannot understand this place?”

Bagoas smiled. “India my Iskander is vapor, it is a perfume. It fills the senses but can never be truly yours. It is not to be understood it is to be felt in the soul.”

And so it was that India conquered Alexander the Great.

dawn india 322 B.C


The wonderful Mohur by Neela Vermeire is like the India that eluded Alexander. It is soulful in its beauty.  The nose behind it is the very prolific Bertrand Dachaufour. He has blended a lovely perfume for Neela that is subtle, elegant and simply grand.

This is not a perfume that will overwhelm, not one that takes command of the wearer but one that becomes the one who wears it. It opens in a spice market of sweet cardamom, sharp pepper and coriander with a touch of carrot seed and musky ambrette.  There is a hint of elemi that adds a bit of aromatic lift to the opening.  This spicy mix shimmers like a shooting star that falls into a midnight garden of flowers

The heart notes here in this garden are dominated by the rose and jasmine. This combination is lush and romantic and finds support from just a hint of dark leather. There is moist earthiness of iris in the mix that adds to the fullness of the perfume.

The dry down is a sublime oriental creation of sandalwood, amber, benzoin, a touch of oud that is smoothed out by vanilla and Tonka bean. This is all wrapped in a nice layer of patchouli. In the ending it is a really gorgeous skin scent. This is where I fell in love with Mohur. It trails about the skin with oriental tendrils of smoky fascination.

This jewel of a perfume is multi-facetted that sparkles and ignites the imagination to dreams. Soft in its splendor it lasts about 6 hours on my skin and has a moderate projection. Mohur is not a conquering goddess but rather a wise beauty who wins her battles with a seductive allure.




  1. Night shoots, baby – my brain is in need of caffeine. Oh but this story, bracing and mysterious. You’ll have to introduce me to Mohur 😉

  2. “India my Iskander is vapor, it is a perfume. It fills the senses but can never be truly yours. It is not to be understood it is to be felt in the soul.” This is poetry, Lanier. “It is not to be understood it is to be felt in the soul.” I can think of many things that this one idea could be applied to. The story is mysteriously compelling, I agree with Vickie, and Alexander, as it turns out, is so very human.

    I’m always feeling seduced over here, lulled into an aromatic trance. I actually think my blood pressure changes when I read what you write.
    Thank you for this, kind sir.

  3. The story is beautiful. The perfume is beautiful. I can never decide if I like Mohur better than Traylee or vice versa. I really need a bottle of each. The rose in this is wonderful.

    • Oh by the stars above Poodle you are so right! I am going to be doing Trayee very soon..And Bombay Bling! I really love the line. Like my friend Hilary said today we have needed a line inspired by the colors and aromas of India and Neela stepped in and gave us just that with a touch of Parisian elegance in the mix.

  4. Dearest L

    I realise now, though it should have been obvious all along, what your reviews remind me of more than anything: the grand cinemascope historical epics of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

    You write with the confidence of a principal photographer framing his scenes with great sweeps across sets that thousands have worked on under the watchful eyes of the Art Director.

    And your ear for dialogue, just set at a pitch above the natural that the silver screen, especially when set in the past, demands, is unerring.

    Quite wonderful.

    Please can we have an ‘A Lion in Winter’ in the court of Alexander from fair Lanier’s hand?

    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    • I have to give credit in this case to the source of the dialog between Alexander and King Porus….it is actually reported in history to have been their very conversation. But thank you Dear Dandy! Now then there must be a perfume out there that will set my “cameras” rolling on the Castle of Chinon at Christmas time in the year of our lord 1183.

      “For you dear Alais…just for you….”

      • Now Mr Lanier, there’s something about the way you’ve handled that source material though that betrays the hand of an artist.
        As to Chinon, I’ve always thought there was something decidedly mediaeval about early versions of Kouros or even old Aramis…
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

  5. It’s a truly beautiful scent! I so appreciate your review and the sniff on your wrist…

    • Mary it was a real treat for me to run into you at Barney’s today! And so much fun to talk about perfume with you and Hilary!

  6. This is my favourite of the Neela Vermeire creations line so far. I have sped through 2 10ml and am working on a FB now. YUMMY!
    Portia xx

  7. I am in total, jawdropping awe of this absolutely stunning review! That it happens to be of one of the perfumes I’ve worn and fervently loved the most this past year makes it no less magnificent! Lanier – you tokk my breath away! Thank you!

    • Oh golly! Thanks Tarleisio I am so pleased you liked the review. You have made my Sunday extra special.

      • Which certainly never hurt a writer’s tender ego! 😉

  8. What a beautiful post, Lanier! I always love how you write about fragrance. The stories that you tell are always so evocative and perfectly paired with the scent. Thank you for this one. Fits Mohur to a T!

  9. What a beautiful review! It really fits the beauty of Mohur which I always think is the forgotten sibling out of the trio, but a sibling with such stunning beauty and elegance that I’m always thrilled when others love her too. Though I sometimes think Trayee is my favorite, a part of me always whispers, “No, Mohur!” And I think your eloquent review summed it all up perfectly with “India my Iskander is vapor, it is a perfume. It fills the senses but can never be truly yours. It is not to be understood it is to be felt in the soul.”

    As always, I’m awed by the poetic beauty that fills your very soul, my sweet friend.

  10. Sublime review for a sublime perfume. Trayee is still my first love, but Mohur is divine!

  11. Gorgeous perfume, and “unconquered beauty” really captures its essence!

  12. […] Perfume Junkies review by Portia Turbo All I Am – A Redhead review by Ines Scents Memory review by Lanier Mohur Esprit de Parfum review by […]

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