Made In France, Calcutta-Based Perfume Brand Santieb’s Is Sniffing A Whiff Of Success

A French perfume brand owned by a Calcuttan, Santieb’s Vie de Luxe spells luxury with its fine fragrances in lacquered black bottles. The perfume brand started by Vishal Bamalwa of the Nemichand Bamalwa Jewellers family of Calcutta along with his production manager in France, Alen Habibic, is produced in Grasse, the perfume manufacturing hub of France, for retail in India. On a trip to Grasse for a walk-through of the perfume manufacturing process, Vishal and Alen gave t2 a low-down on Santieb’s.

How did you guys meet and how was the brand conceived?

Vishal Bamalwa: I was doing masters in luxury retail management at the University of Monaco and Alen was doing his BBA there. We had common interests and we became friends and this idea was born. Once we started our research and development, we began sharing ideas and it just got better and better.

Alen: What pushed us into this industry is that we stayed so close to Grasse. That made us discover this industry, see what it is made of, see how we could make use of it to create a brand which we would actually export to India.

We really like the French aspect of perfumes. Because we studied here, we saw all the luxury brands that are around us on a daily basis. So we really wanted to create a brand that would meet these expectations of the big French brands. Usually people in India travel abroad to buy French perfumes; we wanted to bring French perfumes to India.

Vishal: The idea started in 2015 and in 2017 we had the products out. We started with Calcutta, with an atelier (24 Camac Street, Camac Square Mall) where we do our display and workshop as well and we retail from there. Now we are finding exclusive dealers in different cities.

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