Pichola by Neela Vermeire Creations

Hi there ULGers, There’s no secret that Neela Vermeire and I are close friends. We speak regularly on the phone, catch up whenever we find ourselves in the same cities and our husbands love each other too. I’m prefacing with this because the reason we even met was because I fell madly in love with Neela Vermeire Creations back in 2012 when her first trio was released. In 2013 the four of us happened to be in Vienna together and that was our first meeting. Yes, 10 years ago. It seems to have passed in a heartbeat. We had a couple of days overlap in London while I was there, as we stay in the same club we were both sprung on a super secret visit. Both of us were there for specific reasons and we didn’t catch up with most of our friends. Apologies to all that were missed. Hopefully Jin and I will see you all in November. Anyway, Neela passed me a decant of Pichola while we were there and I’ve been wearing it. Because Rahele and Mohur get most of the spritzes around here I’d forgotten this grand beauty. So I thought maybe you’d like to revisit it with me.

Pichola by Neela Vermeire Creations

Pichola by Neela Vermeire Creations 2015

Pichola by Neela Vermeire Creations

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Neroli Clementine Magnolia Cardamom Saffron Cinnamon Bergamot Juniper
Heart: Tuberose Orange Blossom Jasmine Sambac Ylang-Ylang Rose
Base: Sandalwood Benzoin Driftwood

Yeah, it reads like a mid 80s kitchen sinker. No, Pichola may have a shit tonne of listed notes but they have all gone in to make something clear as a bell. So poised and perfect that it’s overlooked for fragrances less serene that feel more combative, strange, beastly etc etc. A radiant white floral that smells in the same family as Elie Saab, Gucci Guilty and Rush. There are more but I think Pichola does it better.

The sharp brightness of citrus and juniper matched with smooth green herbaceousnous give the white floral opening a springlike lift. it’s both refreshing and foresty. There is also a scratchy dry ache in my throat that often accompanies pepper or tea and I’m surprised at their lack of inclusion. This makes the traditional radiant white floral seem simple and unsophisticated by comparison (yes, I love them too and have well used bottles of all the above).

The heart is a mystery to me. Sure there is a lot of white flower action in the bouquet but it’s given a broad twist. My nose says vanilla but I’m wondering if it’s the ylang and sandalwood working together to give that impression. They are common tropical tropes added to give that island nights feeling and added to the benzoin may well be playing nose games with me. There is a sensuality to Pichola that is making me smile while I write this post.

Pichola by Neela Vermeire Creations Lake palace

Driftwood is such an interesting note. It could be suggestion but I find the sandalwood/amber/white floral base to be lightly salted. This represents seaside to me, and yes, fantasy dreams of tropical islands. Funnily, Lake Pichola that the fragrance is named for is freshwater. If you ever get the chance to stay in Udaipur Rajasthan do go spend a couple of nights in the Lake Palace Hotel. It’s fabulous. Then spend another two nights staying in a hotel on the outside of the lake so you can enjoy the view of the Lake Palace Hotel as well. The above advertising picture represents the smooth bright golden feeling that Pichola has for me so well.

Did you, or do you, wear Pichola?
Portia x


13 thoughts on “Pichola by Neela Vermeire Creations

  1. Hi Portia
    Pichola sounds beautiful. Sadly, none of Neela’s creations have worked on me. I jumped on the sample set of her initial releases & they didn’t get thunked until I started the “Thunk it” project. We still didn’t click & I haven’t explore her work further. Intellectually I can appreciate them, but that x-factor just wasn’t there.
    Maybe I should sample her later creations when I have both sample & brain space?
    Ali x


  2. I think I did try it, but my attention was drawn more towards Mohur, Trayee and Niral. Neela is such a lovely person, i haven’t seen her since my last trip to Paris in 2009 but I hope to see her again some day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have several NVC favorites, and Pichola is one of them. After reading your review, I wore it yesterday just to confirm that 1) I like it and 2) I don’t recognize what you’re describing on my skin :) Don’t ask me to describe how it smells to me, but it’s different. And still, very enjoyable.
    I met with Neela many years ago: she’s amazing. We didn’t maintain the connection, but I follow her IG journey.


    • One of the things I love about fragrance is how different the pie and mental connections are for everyone Undina. It seems particularly apparent with better quality fragrance.
      Totally agreed, Neela is amazing. I cherish our time together.
      Portia xx


  4. Pichola was actually the last scent of NV’s I tried, and I remember testing it in the company of Sabine Cornic somewhere in Kensington – she brought it with her. My memory is hazy now but It was quite different from what you got – more offbeat and orangey maybe? Definitely interesting, and a scent I’d happily try again. Coincidentally I had a phone catch up with Neela while I was in France. It was an excellent antidote to the stormy weather on the day.


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