Delhi Duty Free recently organized a tête-à-tête with Vir Sanghvi about fragrances. It was delightfully titled “More To Perfumes Than What Meets The Nose”. I am a sucker for fragrances but I went to the event sceptically. I assumed it would a marketing pitch and that’s it.

Happy to report that I was wrong and how!

It was a DELIGHTFUL evening. A small set of invited bloggers and media and the very chilled out and informative Vir Sanghvi who not only explained how the fragrance industry works but also answered our specific perfume-related queries. It was an intimate evening with conversation, photo ops, and fantastic food at the Pullman Hotel in Gurgaon.

It was a mostly women in the group ( group was about 10 women total ), which I think is a larger market for fragrances than men although there are quite a few men I know personally who love their fragrances and are particular about what they wear when. Vir himself commented that he has about 50 fragrances that he uses singularly or layers them depending on where he is headed. I love layering my fragrances as well and it was a cool anecdote to identify with!

It was a nice breezy location right by the poolside. The club / location is called iKandy and they even have a ladies night every Thursday – for those of you in Gurgaon, it’s a lovely location, located right at the top of Sunset Boulevard and you can see the entire city of Gurgaon lit and twinkling at night.

I asked Vir what perfumes he would recommend for someone like me. I prefer men’s perfumes more than what’s usually out there for women and I always struggle with choosing. I was thrilled when Vir recommended Terre d’Hermès – I’m a huge fan of Hermès fragrances – have written about Un Jardin En Mediterranee and L’Ambre Des Merveilles earlier.

It was a candid chat about how perfumes are manufactured, how fragrances are marketed, where do companies spend the most, why brands develop fragrance products, etc. I learned a lot about the industry as well as the nuances of wearing fragrances. For example, one of the things Vir talked about was how it was better to check whether you like a fragrance by testing it directly on your skin, going for a short walk and then sniffing it off your skin and THEN deciding whether you like it. Instead of spraying the fragrance on strips of paper and getting a whiff of only the top notes. Absolutely agreed!

Fragrances are an intensely personal product for me and each perfume small so different on different people. There are perfumes that I have fallen in love with because I smelled them on someone but was then hugely disappointed when I bought them for myself because they smelled completely different on me!

A quick photo-op and then a quick drink before an amazing dinner spread.

Lovely poolside and look at where the DJ is situated ( below )!

Amazing prawns – forget what they were called but the flavors were South Indian – with curry leaves and mustard seeds.

Dinner was at La Riviera at Pullman.

Look at that table setting above? Cosy.

And the view from the table.

They had pork belly and gnocchi! Among other delicious stuff. The desserts looked real good but the main course food was definitely the winner in my opinion.

The chicken with wine reduction was so tasty my mouth’s still watering. We slurped the reduction from our plates after the pieces of chicken were gone 😉

Most of the desserts were just about ok – I wouldn’t order any of these except the Coconut Panacotta – THAT was really really good. Little cool bites of heaven. I love coconut and the flavor was not overpowering – left a lingering feeling of freshness in the mouth.

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( Disclosure : I was hired as a blogger to cover this event and I was very happy to be there. There was a cute contest where the team walked up to the bloggers tables, showed them what was to be won and then asked them fragrance related questions – whoever got it right got to take away the price – I got a cute travel-size bottle of Dior and they also gave away faux leather sling bags to each of the bloggers. Now I can’t wait to visit the Delhi Duty Free Fragrance store at the Delhi airport and check out their latest offerings! Gaaaah! I LOVE perfume! )