It was one humid Mumbai afternoon. Nine-year-old Rajiv Sheth was fiddling with bottles of essential oils stacked neatly in his grandfather’s perfumery. He would smell one bottle after another, taking in the aroma, even as his grandpa would ask him to slow down. Minutes later, he was on the ground, unconscious. “I fainted due to the strong fragrances I happened to smell. Too much, too soon is a complete no-no when it comes to perfumes. The subtler the fragrance, the better it is,” Sheth says. As for this third-generation perfumer, the fainting episode was just the beginning of a lifelong affair with perfumes.
After studying and working at Grasse—the French town famous as the world’s capital of perfumes—and Paris for 15 years, Sheth returned to India in 2010 to create new notes with his brand called
All Good Scents.
After the initial success of his perfume collections, Sheth decided to broaden his offerings by creating fragrant candles for home. Like his perfumes, he chose unusual combinations after an extensive research to suit Indian smell sensibilities. “It took me one and a half years to create a well-balanced collection,” Sheth says. The result—litchi&candy, patchouli&oud and cranberry. The ‘nose’ behind the brand also gives tips to create perfect ambiance at home with the candles. He tells you how to create a mysterious aroma with patchouli&oud candles. “The woody fragrance of oud balances the strong minty smell of patchouli, perfect for a house or poolside party.” Or create romance with the fruity smells of litchi&candy candles.
Most days you would find Sheth in his laboratory in Ahmedabad when he’s not visiting his perfumery in Mumbai to oversee the final stages of manufacturing and bottling of perfumes and candles. By his own admission, working in India was overwhelmingly distinct from France. “Unlike Europe, modern perfumery is not a culture in India. The only relief is that India’s love affair with perfumes is as old as Egyptian civilizations,” Sheth says.
But the younger generation seems oblivious to this age-old love and Sheth plans to change that. With his affordable perfume range, unique candles, delicately designed turquiose gift boxes, and customised scentboxes he’s out there to capture young mind’s imagination. “This is why I chose to retail my products online on our website and other popular portals like Jabong, Myntra and Fashionara with an affordable price range (`650 for candles and `750 onwards for perfumes),” he says. His big move is to create a toiletry line based on the science of fragrance. How much of perfumery is heart and how much of it is science, we ask. “80 per cent of it is passion,” Sheth says.