Penhaligon’s Vaara review – a spoonful of quince

Vaara launch

It was a fancy affair with vivid colors and vivid people prancing about a vivid set. Penhaligon’s launched its playful new fragrance, Vaara, with a lot of gusto at its Covent Garden store back in the summer. Commissioned by the Maharajah of Marwar-Jodphur in Rajasthan for his new granddaughter (a baby, by the way!), the fragrance orchestrated by Bertrand Duchaufour aims to capture that je ne sais quoi present on the Maharajah’s sprawling estates patrolled by peacocks…

Dead peacock

First the packaging is superb. A vivid monument to Indian joie de vivre – and I don’t know why I keep rolling out the French expressions for this review – and the sunny spirit of the fragrance. One would imagine the juice will roll out heavy spices and hard hitting incense notes. But no no no, this is breaking down the stereotypes to the bone. The Eau du parfum is light and airy and suggestive just enough. A sprite that leads you down the path of the garden full of freesias, magnolias and peony and walks you under the quince trees.

Pretty pretty pretty packaging

You really can’t resist this one. It’s holds you by the hand and asks for your love throughout the long drydown of white musks and smooth woods. Say yes to it! It’s definitely more accessible than visiting India.

Get it now from any big department store and the Penhaligon’s website from £85 for 50ml. It’s always exclusively available in India at the Umaid Bhawan Palace Collection shop.

The inspired Maharajah and the very inspiring perfumer