Bulgari's Indian seduction

Bulgari's Indian seduction
Model with Bulgari’s Omnia Indian Garnet fragrance.

The sun is shining on a garden party bursting with colour, and the beauty of the surroundings is not lost on the guests. This is, after all, Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan, India, and we are on the grounds of the beautiful and historic Rambagh Palace Hotel - the former residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur.

A sense of Old World grandeur is everywhere - sprawling, immaculate gardens, marbled corridors, lofty domes and large portraits of the Maharajas of old lavishly decked out in their famously stunning jewels.

Adding to the hotel's magical aura is word that Judi Dench and Richard Gere, both in India to film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2, are guests. And so, along with the juicy prospect of bumping into these Hollywood stars (for some of us, at least), a 100-strong international media gathered recently to witness the launch of Italian jeweller Bulgari's latest in its Omnia range of fragrances - the Indian Garnet.

This scent comes on the back of steady sales for Bulgari's fragrance unit, which makes up the next best revenue-generating category after its number one division - jewellery. Fragrances contribute 23-25 per cent of the luxury brand's total annual revenue, and sales from the unit are expected to reach 150 million euros (S$264 million) this year.

As with other scents in the Omnia family, the Indian Garnet's inception began with a precious stone and in this case, master perfumer, Alberto Morillas, being shown "an amazing" - and apparently very big - mandarin garnet.

The orange-coloured stone immediately brought to mind spellbinding India, with all its sumptuousness, glorious colours and incredible beauty.

India - and in particular, Jaipur - is also where Bulgari sources many of the gems that it uses in its jewellery. "I immediately found myself bathed in the light of India where, in the evening, everything is inflamed in this very distinctive shade of orange as the sun sets."

For the scent's heart notes, Mr Morillas was inspired to use the tuberose, the Indian mythical flower that is "emblematic of India and its femininity and sensuality", with its creamy, fleshy, floral note.

To this, he added the apricot-smelling osmanthus from China, to increase the scent's overall softness and voluptuousness. "The tuberose blooms at night while the osmanthus blooms in the day and I wanted to contrast the two."

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