Thirty-nine-year-old Monika Ghurde who was found murdered in her home in Goa, was a perfumer, best known for her obsession with jasmine.
Nicknamed Lady of Smell, Ghurde had swapped a career in photography for one in perfumery, training at the UK-based Picot Laboratories.
Such was her keen interest in the scent of jasmine that it resulted in a collaborative work with author William Dalrymple to trace the history of the flower since ancient times.
The entrepreneur had moved from Mumbai to Chennai in 2009, had then to Sangolda in North Goa last July to establish her own company where she worked as an independent perfumer and researcher.
It was when she opened up Mo Labs in Chennai, that she earnestly pursued perfumery. Her work involved conducting ‘smell’ workshops for adults and children, where she would educate people on developing their sense of smell, as well as research on different fragrances. She was also researching on the effects of perfumes on human consciousness.
The globe-trotter travelled extensively to conduct her sessions, as well as take part in perfumer conferences and olfactory workshops, apart from visiting fragrance boutiques. She even collaborated with Vogue India to narrate her experiences.
A well-known name in social circles, Ghurde was found dead at her apartment close to Goa’s famous Calangute beach in a suspected case of rape and murder, police said on Friday. She lived alone while her husband stayed in another house nearby.