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.