Neela Vermeire Bombay Bling


Father’s Day is coming up, y’all! I know this because someone put a very Jesus-y card in my mail box acknowledging my “countless acts of love and sacrifice as a father.” About damn time someone did.


So in honor of this fine holiday, I wanted to review my father’s favorite perfume: Neela Vermeire Bombay Bling. I’ve mentioned before that my father broke his nose in a serious car accident before I was born. Because of the accident, or perhaps the resulting surgery, he lost much of his sense of smell. This has obviously made it virtually impossibly for my father to understand my interest in perfume. When I bought my first bottle of Guerlain’s legendary Après l’Ondée, I talked to him about the history behind it, and he was very curious to try it. I sprayed it for him, but all he could smell was “wet dog.” Most of my collection he can’t smell at all.

My father has been fascinated by India since visiting Mumbai on a business trip, so when I won a sample pack of Neela Vermeire’s first three fragrances in a giveaway, I forced him to try them. My favorite is Trayee, and he agreed that it smelled great, but he kept returning to Bombay Bling. “It’s really more of an experience than a perfume,” he told me. Bombay Bling is the first (and so far the only) perfume that has helped my father to experience perfume in the same way I do. Because of Bombay Bling, my father now knows that perfume can be more than shrill pink stuff that makes him sneeze. Special perfumes are just as much stories as they are smells.

Of course, perfumes are also just as much smells as they are stories! So what does Bombay Bling actually smell like? Bombay Bling opens with, and is dominated by, a vivid mango note. This mango isn’t tart, but it is very green. There is nothing else like this on the market, nothing. The other most prominent note would probably be the blackcurrant. There are some heavy-sounding base notes (patchouli, tobacco, cedar), but you don’t actually smell any of those things. They just add up to a woody smoothness at the end of the fragrance’s life. I also have to comment on the lasting power, which is nothing short of exceptional. Very few perfumes last for more than an hour on my dry skin, but when I spray on Bombay Bling, I know I’m committing to one perfume for the rest of the day.

I don’t like blackcurrant and I don’t like fruity scents, so I can’t really explain to you why I adore this perfume so much. All I know is that whenever I wear Bombay Bling, I get the distinct impression that my little sample vial is about to explode with the most dazzling colors and sounds.

18 thoughts on “Neela Vermeire Bombay Bling

  1. Beautiful review, Ari!
    Would I exaggerate if I said Neela’s fragrances are life-changing? My best (female) friend has favored men’s colognes all her life…until I made her sniff Bombay Bling and she went absolutely crazy over it. I could barely believe her reaction. She’s now saving her pennies to buy a bottle.



    1. Thank you, Lucas! Trayee remains my favorite, but I have been wearing Bombay Bling much more recently since it works better for the summer.

  2. This is my favorite from NVC! Although I need to spend more time with Trayee. I wore Bombay Bling a lot on my honeymoon so it brings back those memories for me!

    1. Oh, I can’t think of a better perfume for New Orleans! (Disclaimer: my impression of New Orleans may be disproportionately influenced by The Princess and the Frog.)

      1. yes! it’s very good for New Orleans. I may wear this tomorrow to get transported back… 🙂

        Also: I love Princess and the Frog!

  3. Wonderful story about your father, and I have to chime in on Bombay Bling too -I love it! I was lucky enough to win a bottle and it only took one sniff for me to become completely enthralled. I adore anything with mango, but BB is so much more than that. It is my “happy place” perfume, surrounding me with bliss whenever I wear it.

    1. I think I can speak for all of us when I say that everyone here is both very happy for and very jealous of your win, Flora!

  4. Beautiful share, Ari. Thank you.
    I’m a Trayee girl myself. And being that I’m in constant competition with my DH for perfume compliments (it’s getting old) and I’m down by A LOT, Trayee is the one scent I can count on for some positive feedback…even in his company. Without him I have a couple other sure things, but if he’s in the room I’m almost always snuffed. Boo hoo for me, fab for him!

    1. Thank you for both the sweet compliment and the warning, Sujaan- all of those times that I encouraged boyfriends to wear perfumes, I never considered that I might be creating competition! 😀 What are your husband’s favorites?

      1. My hubby actually has a signature scent, which so cracks me up because he’s never worn perfume in his life and now he is trailed around by woman and men to tell him how great he smells! It is EM Molecule 01, and I know it has its lovers and haters but honestly it’s fabulous on him. It doesn’t garner anything when I wear it, sadly (oh I’ve tried some heavy handed spraying).
        We have had people follow us down the street to ask what I’m wearing. Once they realize it’s actually his scent they were smelling, all their attention turns to him as if entranced that a man could smell so good. I stand by like an unscented wall flower waiting for the gushing to end. All my hard work and painstaking research and sampling and sniffing goes completely unnoticed. It’s so annoying! LOL
        So, yes, my little pretty, be careful what you wish for. 😉

  5. I *loved* the Father’s Day angle to your review of this explosively fruity number – I think I prefer the drydown of BB best, though its exuberant opening is growing on me. I have a tricky relationship with blackcurrant as a rule, but it does work well here. Plus I was unexpectedly impressed by the blackcurrants in Enchanted Forest, so who knows? BB could end up pipping Mohur for the top spot, though I fancy Ashoka may end up as my outright favourite.

    1. Thank you so much, Vanessa! Have you already tried Ashoka? I haven’t, but Birgit’s review made it sound just phenomenal.

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