Whiff of Indian royalty

Penhaligon's, a quintessentially British brand, established in 1870, have been perfumers to the British royal family for decades. This has earned them, not just one but two Royal Warrants over time. For the uninitiated, a Royal Warrant is a mark of recognition bestowed on those select few who have provided goods or services, for at least five years, to the households of HM The Queen of England, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, or HRH The Prince of Wales.

Now Penhaligon's can add to its royal customer base, yet another name, Maharaja Gaj Singh II of Marwar-Jodhpur, Rajasthan. The Maharaja commissioned a scent to commemorate the birth of his granddaughter, Vaara, after whom the perfume is named. He wanted the scent to reflect his family's deep love and connection with Jodhpur.

A spokesperson at the store in central London revealed that, "it all began when the Chairman of the Board visited the Palace Hotel in Jodhpur and met Maharaja Gaj Singh II or Bapji as he is referred to. The chairman was very taken in by the Maharaja and his lifestyle and the region itself. Over a dinner conversation they decided to make a scent for the Maharaja."

Master perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour, who has many scents to his name, took up the task of exploring and capturing this sentiment in a bottle. Bertrand travelled to Jodhpur to explore the life of a Maharaja; visiting historic forts, family palaces, exotic gardens and bustling city markets. His journey provided him with an abundance of inspiration for the fragrance and Vaara, captures the spirit of the colourful city of Jodhpur.

The fragrance's head notes consist of a blend of coriander and carrot seeds, saffron and quince: ingredients discovered during Bertrand's trips to local bazaars in Jodhpur. The heart of the perfume is inspired by the gardens of Balsamand, the Maharaja's summer palace, with roses blended with Indian magnolia, freesia and iris. The fragrance's base notes are a combination of honey, white musks and resins along with tonka, cedarwood and sandalwood.

Vaara only recently launched, in early July 2013, in the UK. Also, for the first time ever Penhaligon's will be stocked in India, exclusively at the Umaid Bhawan Palace Collection Shop.

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