My favourite winter fragrances


Clockwise from top: Jo Malone Jasmine Sambac & Marigold; Givenchy Organza; Hermes Un Jardin Sur La Lagune; Byredo Black Saffron; Coco by Chanel.

Oh my god. Its so good to be writing my first post for VBeauty after what seems like centuries. But in reality it must have been a year since I actually wrote anything for my blog, my first priority. Anyhoo, lots has happened in the past year or so, I’ve written my first book, which was published by Penguin Randomshouse (Glow: Indian Foods, Recipes and Rituals for Beauty, Inside and Out), am consulting with a few brands, and more than anything else, I have been giving myself a much-needed break.

While I’m now being seen as a wellness expert, I’m still massively attached to my first love: Luxurious cosmetics and fragrances. Years back, when I was working as beauty director, my favourite beat used to be fragrances. Our sense of smell is so deeply connected to our emotional well being. Just like red lipstick, a beautiful fragrance makes me feel like a better, more beautiful, and much wealthier version of myself. (Yes I’m satisfied with what I have blah, blah, blah, but who doesn’t want to look and feel better?) So with that in mind I present to you my favourite fragrances that I’ll be wearing all winter. Do keep in mind that I have worn these at least around a year. So in no particular order:

1) Jo Malone Jasmine Sambac & Marigold: This fragrance was inspired by and created for the Indian market and its now my favourite fragrance from the brand. This is the most elegant jasmine that you will find - it is fresh but has powdery undertones that makes it very refined. Combining it with herbal notes of marigold is genius. The reason I think this works so well for winter (despite being a white floral) is that it is a very warm fragrance and has the tendency to cling to the skin. I love it.

2) Givenchy Organza: I first discovered this perfume in 2002 and I haven’t stopped wearing it since. I get compliments on this fragrance every time I wear it, and honestly this works beautifully in any season, night or day. It’s really on elf the most opulent white floral with tuberose, gardenia and jasmine made warm with a soft vanilla base.

3) Hermes Un Jardin Sur La Lagune: A touch of floral but mostly warm and woody, this fragrance was the surprise package of last year. It smells mildly of oud, which normally I cannot bear. However this is a highly unusual fragrance - it smells very strong on the first whiff but dries down to be very soft and well-rounded. It is a strong fragrance, so don’t spray more than a couple of times.

4) Byredo Black Saffron: I know, I know, this brand is famous for Gypsy Water, but I did not like that fragrance at all. I much prefer Black Saffron - its warm, spicy, smells of leather and tobacco. It also contains violet, which is my favourite powdery note. Because of this the fragrance smells a bit old fashioned like a 1930s Guerlain fragrance but in a modern avatar.

5) Coco by Chanel: Please, please, please PLEASE do not confuse this with Coco Mademoiselle. For heaven’s sake don’t. I do not like the Mademoiselle version, which sort of reminds me of the duty free. The original Coco from the 1980s is however another story. It’s strong yet feminine, spicy and flowery, and meant for women who have their shit together (or want to create that impression). I first discovered it in college and have been wearing it since 1999. With notes such as rose, jasmine, sandalwood, amber, vanilla, and civet (yup, from a cat’s anal glands), this perfume will make you the centre of attention.