“A meditation on contentment.” That’s how I described Trayee, Bertrand Duchaufour’s perfume for Neela Vermeire Creations, back in March (click through to read the interview with Neela).

It was a surprise to me to go back and read that description when I started writing this post. I hadn’t worn Trayee in several months, until recently when I remembered its calming quality and put it into heavy rotation. Lately, each time I wear it I think of my Grandma N’s house. Newspaper, tea, cough drops, soap, vitamins, black coffee, honey, flower cuttings, library books, mouthwash. All my scent memories of her house juxtapose sharp smells against smells with much softer edges. Trayee does the same, pairing creamy cardamom with bitter herbs and sharp woodsy notes.

I often experience perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour’s fragrances as “hyper clear.” Each of the notes is distinct, but the whole is harmonious too. In Trayee, I smell cedar, cardamom, currant, jasmine, vanilla, and oud. The notes are not so much blended as stacked. You know how when you press a flower between the pages of the book, the paper doesn’t just smell like the flower or like a mix of flower and paper, but instead it feels like you are smelling the paper underneath the flower? That’s the effect.

Neela Vermeire Creations and other companies which worked with Duchaufour have recently been caught up a little bit in Duchafour’s unfortunate decision to create a perfume for the daughter of the dictator of Uzbekistan (you can follow the story from Undina’s comment on it). I hope Duchafour will make more conscientious choices in the future.

For more reviews of Neela Vermeire Creations Trayee, see Now Smell This and Undina’s Looking Glass.

Image courtesy Sample was provided by Neela Vermeire Creations. Reviews are never compensated, and posts are never sponsored. See my Media & Disclosure policy for details.

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28 responses

  1. What a wonderful review. I need to dig out my sample. Like Elisa, I love the way you compare it to pressed flowers in the layers of a book. It also brought back happy memories of the flower press I had as a child. I loved it and had forgotten all about it.

  2. “A meditation on contentment” is a perfect description of this one, Natalie. I loved hearing how it dovetails with your memories of your beloved Grandma N. and her house. Very nice!

    • Thank you, Suzanne! It was a surprise to see the connection between the two. It made me glad I had waited to write about Trayee, as I’m not sure I would have caught it otherwise. Thanks for still being around and reading. :)

  3. I loved hearing about your grandmother, it’s funny I also have very precise memories of the smell of my grandmothers, their houses their clothes, their lifes etc. I saw a perfume box on FB the other day that nearly brought me to tears, it was a zebra-ish striped box of vintage Gres Cabohard and I remembered that one of my grandmothers gave me a box just like that to play with when I was a child :)

    I also compeltely get what your’re saying that the notes of Trayee being “stacked” instead of blended. I used to think so when I first tried it. But now I don’t get that anymore. Don’t know if it’s me or Trayee that has matured here, but it has grown on me immensly during the months I’ve had it :)

    • What great memories, and I can completely relate to the association of the packaging and that tug at the heart when the memories come flooding in. Thanks, too, for weighing in on the “stacked” idea. I’m glad several others have found this effect, and I’ll be interested to see if it lasts or if I grow out of it like you did. :)

  4. Two reviews for the same perfume that I like within a couple of days… Now I want to wear it :)

    A couple of days ago I read on FB that Neela was wearing some “mods”. I’m very curious.

  5. Your reviews always capture me in the most delightful way. Your grandmother’s house smells so familiar to me from your description. Well done. Now I have to go read about that “princess” of Uzbekistan!

  6. I was also fascinated by the stacking concept, having also found the opening of Trayee pretty full on, like the contents of a kitchen spice cupboard broadcast in the olfactory equivalent of Dolby surround sound. : – ) Then as the scent wears on it is at that point that it moves into that lovely contemplative phase you pick up on – the drydown is my favourite part, also with Bombay Bling.

    • Love your description of Trayee as Dolby. :) I also like Trayee a little more after the symphony quiets a bit, but the opening doesn’t bother me. That being said, I know I like “louder” frags than you. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Mmm, this review is wonderful! Comforting just to read it. Of these NMCs I’ve been most eager to try Bombay Bling, but now I simply must smell Trayee as well! I also love your description of the notes as stacked rather than blended, and get a similar ‘hyper clear’ feeling from Duchafour’s work (which is some of my very favorite, so I share your hope that he makes more ethical choices going forward). “Co-sign!” may have been a more concise comment, but in any case, thanks for a lovely review.

    • Thank you so much! I’m glad you didn’t just opt for “co-sign.” :) It’s been great to hear others say they see this quality in Duchafour’s work, because I struggled to find the words for what I wanted to say. Thank you for commenting.

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