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Manan Gandi, the son of an essential oils merchant, grew up with the aromas of geranium, patchouli and rose drifting through his childhood home. In 2016, in honour of his father’s ventures, Manan established India’s first perfumery. The eau de parfums are Indian at heart – “Madurai Talkies” pays homage to the cities jasmine blossoms, while “Calicut” features the black pepper notes that engulf India’s ancient spice markets. The Bombay Perfumery scents can all be sampled and purchased at the Bombay Shirt Company in Bandra.
Fabindia has over two hundred outlets across the world – it’s popped up everywhere from Fiji to Nepal – so it’s hardly an under-the-radar tip-off. Still, the brand nails affordable, stylish homeware and that’s a point worth reiterating. You’ll use every last kilo of your luggage allowance for the bed throws and rugs – which look like they’ve been found in a downtown bizarre rather than an air-conditioned outlet.
Mangalda is a library of textiles. The sellers perch on wooden stools awaiting your custom, eager to recount the stories behind each fabric. You can choose from countless rolls, all with glorious details – hand-woven, spun and printed – ready to be skilfully fashioned into curtains, cushions, skirts and sarongs. Stacks of books, bags of spices and Indian sweets can also be found among the piles of fabrics.
Cherry Fig, Bandra
It’s worth furrowing through the racks at Cherry Fig. There’s surplus designer and high-street gems, all at knock-off prices. Cord levi jackets, Burberry shirts, Gucci socks and Zara skirts can all be found in the mix. Activate bargain-hunting mode and go nuts.
- +91 22 2642 3310
Conceived in Tokyo and born in Mumbai, Obataimu is a confluence of Japanese and Indian design. Noorie, the brands founder, is a native of Mumbai but spent her childhood in Hong Kong. Inspired by Japanese minimalism, she established Obataimu on her return and hired fabric artisans from the streets of Mumbai (taking them out of factories and sweatshops). The result is uber cool, ethical design – you’ll find crisp shirts with Mandarin collars, vintage sunglasses and coffee-table books that no one else will have.
- +91 84548 45854
Oshiwara Furniture Market
Word of advice: keep digging. Oshiwara Furniture Market is a bottomless gold mine. Scour for cool lamps, Bollywood posters and furniture as well as antique teak pieces displayed more purposefully along the main stalls. You’ll find pretty much everything here. The key to conquering the market? Haggle, haggle, haggle.
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