PANAJI:The Goa police are investigating the possibility of rape in the murder of a famous perfume designer from Mumbai in her flat at Sangolda village in Goa Thursday night.
Monika Ghurde, 39, was well-known in the perfume industry circles for conducting ‘smell’ workshops across the world to create awareness about olfactory senses. She lived alone in the flat at Sangolda. The village is about 5 km from the famous Calangute beach.
Her naked body was found at her residence in Sangolda with her hands and legs tied to the bed. Marks on her neck indicate that she was strangulated, police said.
According to a media report, the murder came to light when Monika’s neighbour was alerted by her brother, who lives in Mumbai, after the 39-year-old did not respond to his repeated calls. Police found that the flat had been burgled. “The house was burgled but we can’t ascertain what things were stolen from the flat,” inspector Rajesh Kumar said. The building’s watchman said he did not see anyone entering her flat. The inspector said Monika’s body has been sent for a post-mortem. She was an independent perfume designer and researcher based in Goa. She used to work for a UK perfume firm before she founded her own company.
The artist called Chennai her home till a few years ago. In Monika’s view, the Indian scent memory is spiritual, with shrines on most streets. ‘‘Different cities have signature smells. For Madras, it is mallipoo, sambar, the distinct smell of the street leading to Kapaleeshwarar temple. It smells ancient and smoky with incense, jasmine, and camphor,’’ she had said.