What Does A Fragrance Inspired By A Ladakhi Quote Smell Like?
The Perfume Library launches Aphtoori, an exquisite perfume with notes of cool jasmine and warm musk
Perfumer Jahnvi Dameron Nandan—the woman behind Delhi- and Paris-based The Perfume Library—is compiling an archive that tracks fragrances forming part of a collective conscious and creating handmade perfumes with a strong Indian accent. Their latest scent, Aphtoori, is a heady mix of jasmine and musk with notes of tobacco, sage and tea. Nandan tells us how it all came together.
What sparked the idea of The Perfume Library?
Being a perfumer, I was constantly explaining fragrances, and I realised I wanted to form an archive of sorts… a collection of rare fragrances, combinations and formulas. I realised we needed to do this, because there is nothing like this, not only in India, but internationally as well. Plus, I wanted to create exquisite perfumes, limited in quantity, but where the art of perfumery is celebrated—so it’s all handmade and hand-poured.
The Memory Pod Project, where you attempt to design perfumes inspired by people’s memories, is part of this as well. How did this come about?
This project is so obvious that it felt like it has always been a part of what I do. Any perfumer will tell you that people relate to fragrances based on what it reminds them of. It could be a certain flower, time, place, or even food. This project collects these associations, so we can go on to create perfumes based on them. It’s to help identify what those universal memories are, and the smells behind them.
What inspired your latest creation, Aphtoori?
There’s a Ladakhi proverb that goes, “On a Spring day there are three colds and three warmths”. I have always been intrigued by it. The people from Ladakh believe that misery and happiness balance out in life, and that’s what I wanted to create. So, Aphtoori is my interpretation of the formula in the proverb, combining warm and cool smells. This tiny saying explains life as a mixture of good and bad. And while perfume might smell beautiful, it isn’t composed of beautiful things—it’s a combination of contrasting smells: some good, some terrible.
What sort of person do you see relating to Aphtoori?
Aphtoori is not gendered, it’s for people who love poetry and are lyrical in spirit. This fragrance is inspired from verse and it is an abstract smell, it’s communicating a certain idea and I think it will work for those who love abstraction.
Read more : Vogue