Earlier this year, Boucheron launched Jaïpur Bracelet for women, a flanker to Jaïpur (now discontinued1). According to Cosmetics International: “Boucheron has taken inspiration from its heritage in the Indian city of Jaipur” (a jewelry hub); Jaïpur Bracelet’s bottle is a "reworked" version of the bottle for the original Boucheron Jaïpur, which according to Women's Wear Daily was “inspired by a type of bracelet called a nauratan, which comes from Jaipur, India.”2
I didn’t know what a “nauratan” was, so I asked a friend who grew up in Delhi. Nauratan means "nine gems" and Indians usually spell the word “navratan” or “navrattan.” Navratan describes a piece of jewelry (a ring, pendant, bracelet or necklace) that incorporates nine auspicious stones. The nine sacred gems are arranged in a set order and represent planets in Vedic astrology. The gems and their arrangement bring the wearer astrological “balance” and good luck. On my friend’s navratan pendant shown below, a ruby (sun) is at the center, and around that stone are (starting at the top and going clockwise): diamond (Venus), pearl (moon), coral (Mars), hessonite/cinnamon stone (north lunar node), blue sapphire (Saturn/Shani), cat’s eye (south lunar node), yellow sapphire (Jupiter) and emerald (Mercury). In order for the navratan to “work,” all gemstones must be of the highest quality.
The Jaïpur Bracelet bottle design (resembling a cuff-style metal bracelet) doesn't look like any navratan I can find in books or online; and the bottle does not aim for a true navratan composition (the Boucheron bottle has only one “stone” — a faux blue sapphire). Too bad Boucheron didn’t follow the lead of cooks (there’s navratan curry with nine special ingredients: fruit, nuts and vegetables) and use the “nine gems” approach to carefully highlight nine fragrance notes with connections to India or the auspicious gemstones of navratan jewelry. As it stands, the Boucheron-India connection is superficial — when it comes to perfume.
Jaïpur Bracelet was developed by perfumer Carlos Benaïm and includes notes of bigarade, petitgrain, violet leaf, verbena, basil, hyacinth, carnation, lily of the valley, cypress, Cashmeran and iris (some lists include marigold).
Jaïpur Bracelet begins with the scents of sweet petitgrain and violet leaf. Almost immediately, hard-candy “flowers” arrive; they are “shiny” and bright. In the rich, but somehow still “see-thru,” center of Jaïpur Bracelet, all floral notes merge into a well-blended, glistening “ray” of perfume. It’s as if hyacinth, carnation and lily of the valley have been genetically taken apart and then assembled into a strange, new flower.
Jaïpur Bracelet’s floral-candy notes sour somewhat in the dry-down as citrus (and “berry”?) notes (acidic peel and juice) become apparent, and the high intensity of the opening notes diminishes — with “honey” replacing the glittery, crunchy sugar. As the fragrance enters its final phase it becomes a bit “talc-y” with citrus, musk and Cashmeran dominant (all blending to become a sunny amber accord).
Jaïpur Bracelet has excellent lasting power and sillage (one spray was sufficient to scent me all day and that one spray outlasted a bath). Though the final phase of Jaïpur Bracelet reminds me of Jaïpur Homme, the fragrance is super-feminine to my nose: a high-wattage fruity-floral perfume. With Jaïpur Bracelet, Boucheron seems to be trying to attract a younger perfume customer. The fragrance does feel “youthful”…it certainly possesses no “mystery” — it “exposes” itself immediately.
The sweetness and power of Jaïpur Bracelet make it ideal for cool weather or summery outdoor wear: a beach, with its sun and wind, would be a perfect place to wear it. If you don’t like unrelentingly sweet floral perfumes, don’t bother with Jaïpur Bracelet.
Boucheron Jaïpur Bracelet is available in 50 and 100 ml Eau de Parfum ($106/136).
1. Boucheron’s perfume license went to Interparfums last year (2011), and all Boucheron fragrances except Jaïpur Homme, Boucheron Femme, and Boucheron Homme were discontinued. Other Interparfums brands are: Balmain, Burberry, S.T. Dupont, Jimmy Choo, Lanvin, Montblanc, Paul Smith and Van Cleef & Arpels.
2. First quote via Cosmetics International, 4/13/2012; second quote via Women's Wear Daily, 12/19/1998. Per the New York Times, 7/18/2012, "[Jaïpur Bracelet's] bottle is a soft pink, inspired by Jaipur’s nickname as the Pink City, and is in the shape of a nauratan bracelet, which is given to Rajasthani brides for good luck."