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Eau de Parfum

Ashoka launched in 2013, once again composed by Master Perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour, who brings his full wanderlust refinements to bear on a beautiful fig and osmanthus composition, dripping with lacteous fig milk, rooty vetiver and dewy water hyacinth. If this unusual note had a colour it would be that of a pale blue piece of beach glass, tumbled in sand.

Ashoka evolves at a pace, but the tropical, fleshy fig remains a constant delight throughout the perfume, softening down to a gossamer dusting of vanillic musks. As with all the NVC scents, so much beauty is held in the exquisite handling of haute level materials diffusing as a seamless palisade of textures and memories. The sheer quality of them radiates off the skin creating scented nirvana.

The perfume takes its name from the legendary warrior emperor Ashoka, the third Mauryan Emperor of Magadh. He ruled from 304-232 BCE and is considered hugely instrumental in promoting and spreading Buddhism across the Indian subcontinent. His story has a certain mythic quality, imbued with respect and wonder at his achievements. The perfume reflects the Emperor’s shift from warrior to the calm, non-combatant complex set of religious doctrines he adopted.

The Emperor’s transformative journey from conquering soldier king to a patron of Buddhism is interestingly reflected in the Ashoka’s structure and blending of materials. The fierce intensity of the perfume’s overture hints at King Ashoka’s acquisitional conquering of lands and peoples and then the perfume fades beautifully into the serenity and illumination of smoke, white flowers and dusky leather.

The two strands of Ashoka, the aqueous clarity and milky woodiness entwine around a sublime gathering of iris, honeyed acacia, ylang-ylang, osmanthus and jasmine sambac. The lustrous taction of these intoxicating flowers should be full on, yet Ashoka unveils a dusting of mauve powder that compliments the cream and honey sniff of baby head and fresh hay of cassie absolute.

It is an audacious perfume, brimming with intelligence and thoughtful love, created from materials which continually surprise as they move and settle on skin. What fascinates is Bertrand Duchaufour’s ability to use repeated key materials like rose, indolic white flowers, sandalwood, Indian spices, vanilla, vetiver amber and weave them into a collection of differing textures, hues, and elegance. The effect is one of familiarity veiled in unexpected wonderment. Ashoka's final fade of sacred incense, vanillic tonka and mournful myrrh is perfection.

Independent Award Winner, 2014 Art and Olfaction Awards


  • Lotus, Rose, Water Hyacinth, Fig Leaf, Parsley Leaf
  • Osmanthus Absolute, Cassie Absolute (acacia farnesiana), Iris, Incense Essence, Jasmine Sambac, Fig Milk, Geranium, Ylang-ylang
  • Fir Balsam Absolute, Myrrh, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Vanilla Accord, Ambergris, Birch, Haitian Vetiver, Leather, Styrax, Heliotrope

Perfumer: Bertrand Duchaufour, 2013

inci list: alcohol denat., parfum (fragrance), aqua (water), benzyl alcohol, benzyl benzoate, benzyl cinnamate, benzyl salicylate, cinnamal, cinnamyl alcohol, citral, citronellol, coumarin, eugenol, farnesol, geraniol, hexyl cinnamal, hydroxycitronellal, hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde, isoeugenol, limonene, linalool

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