Code Deco perfume samples
Code Deco perfume samples

Lounge Loves | Code Deco

A perfumery that bottles concoctions inspired by Enid Blyton characters and smoky jazz rooms

Scents and sensibility

There’s no way to tell if it’s marketing gimmick or obscure alchemy that makes it hard to identify the contents of Code Deco’s debut collection of fragrances. Astringent, metal-like notes spritzed out of Tasman in Grey are supposed to evoke the poetic imagery of a stormy, ice-cold sea; Eaux de Rose, a seemingly passé feminine floral has been tweaked several times over to smell exactly like a freshly plucked spring rose rather than the Rooh Afza and talcum powder-like varieties we are familiar with; and B Minor for men is a dry gin, citrus and vetiver cocktail meant to transport you to an underground jazz club.

Most of the six-month-old Singapore-based boutique perfumery’s falcons, sculpted in an art deco style, are unlike anything we’ve snuffed at supersized duty-free shops. Founder and creative director Gauri Garodia, an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, honed her talents as a nose at Hindustan Unilever and fragrance giant Quest International (now absorbed by Swiss manufacturer Givaudan) over 16 years.

At a recent promotional workshop held at concept store Le Mill in Mumbai, Garodia said her artisanal approach to perfumes affords her with two advantages over the big-name brands. The first is the ability to work on fantastical and avant-garde concepts—Garodia uses literary figures like the Famous Five’s tomboy Georgina Kirrin to create a ginger-and-vanilla mix, George, the olfactory equivalent of spicy-sweet gingerbread cookies. “In terms of our design sensibility, we are cheeky, slightly clever and slightly trippy," said Garodia at the beginning of the workshop.

The second, Garodia claimed, is that eight of the 12 perfumes that make up Code Deco’s current have cool temperature tones and fresh, sparkling top notes—Happy Blu, from the company’s Jazz series, has citrus notes, a Japanese-inspired minimal fragrance. Currently, Garodia is in the process of acquiring a trademark for “Decode", a matrix that classifies perfumes based on classic scent families like sheer, sparkling or warm in styles like vintage, modern, avant-garde and classic.

Code Deco perfumes are available at MoonRiver, D-16, Defence Colony, Delhi (41617103); and at Le Mill, Warden Road, Mumbai (23684461). Prices, 7,000 for a 50ml bottle, and 3,500 for a set of six 3ml sampler vials. For details, visit