Who was Monika Ghurde, who was found dead in her residance in Goa Sangolda?

Goa, October 7: Monika Ghurde was an independent Perfumer and researcher based in Goa, India, who was found dead at her residence in Goa’s Sangolda village today.

Monika Ghurde had moved to Sangolda only in July this year from the neighbouring Provorim village. Sangolda is about 10 km away from Goa capital Panjim.

She was trained and worked under an english perfumer, before she ventured out on her own and started MO Lab.
Nowadays, she was involved in collaboration projects in Europe, India and New York.
These projects aimed at bringing her research on the subject of smell to the forefront of her creations.
Apart from her involvement in Art Projects and conducting various workshops to create awareness about Olfactory sense, Monika was also committed to a research project on Jasmine, one of the main ingredients in Perfumery.
She has initiated the project about two years ago collaborating with scholars and historians on the subject.
Inspired by avant-garde thinking and concepts she believed she has an responsibility in the tradition of alchemy to create fragrances which are for our time and resonates with our consciousness.
Monika was a photographer for over a decade and co-founder of Graf Publishing Private Limited, a publishing and design company, before she became a Perfumer.
Monika, has worked and travelled extensively in South East Asia and Europe, two continents she now calls home.

Monika Ghurde was firm believer in the fact that the fragrance one chooses to wear reveals a great deal about your personality and mood.

Once speaking to the media, she had said, “The power of smell can transport us back in time. People have memories attached to a particular smell. You might think you pick a perfume just for the smell of it, but you make a subconscious decision that could trace your childhood, where you grew up or remind you of some happy memories.” 

Monika’s career shift was an accident.

Before taking a keen interest in perfumes, Ghurde was successful photographer when her ‘nose’ was discovered and she decided to pursue perfumery.

She started off by setting her first lab in Chennai and there was no looking back.

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Monika Ghurde was known for conducting ‘smell’ workshops across the world.

In Goa too, she had conducted multiple workshops, including one at Sunaparanta Centre for the Arts.

Her workshops also helped participants understand the fragrance palate and choose a product best suited to their own personality.

Some of her achievements are listed below.


2000 – Dorling Kindersley. DK India Guide – Assistant Photographer
2000 – The World Heritage Sites of India (Coffee table book) Assistant Photographer
2002 – Bombay Gothic – India Book House – Assistant photographer
2003 – Indian Design (Coffee table book) Daab Publisher, Germany – Designer & Image Editor
2003 – Goa Aparanta, The Land Beyond The End – Assistant Photographer
2005 – Laya Project – Documentary film on Music and Folk Traditions of seven
tsunami affected countries. – Concept Team and Photographer
2010 – Wild Africa, (Coffee table book) Graf Publishing – Image Editor and Creative Director
2010 – Falaknuma, Hyderabad (Coffee table book) Graf Publishing – Creative Director
2012 – Rambagh, Jaipur (Coffee table book) – Graf Publishing – Creative Director

  • Photographer

    Monika Ghurde

    (12 years 2 months)


    2007 – Elle, Cancer Fundraiser – Photography Exhibition (Group), Bangalore

    2007 – ‘Faith’ – Photography Exhibition (Group), Forum Gallery, Chennai

    2008 – ‘Uncovered’ – Photography Exhibition (Solo), Apparao Gallery, Chennai

    2008 – ‘Impressions’ – Photography Exhibition (Solo), Apparao Gallery, Chennai

    2008 – ‘Sacred Chennai’ – Photography Exhibition (Group), Forum Gallery, Chennai

    2008 – ‘Beauty’ – Curated Photography Exhibition (Solo), Mandarin Oriental, Geneva

    2009 – JFL-Vastrakala for Bonjour India, in collaboration with Alliance Francaise –

    Photography Exhibition, Delhi, Bombay, Chennai, Bangalore


    India: Vogue, Elle Decor, Elle, Condenast Traveller, Verve.

    France: Connaissance des Arts, Air France

    Collaborations with Designers:

    Jean Francois Lesage (House of Chanel), Christian Louboutin, Anand Kabra, Blue Plate-New York, Satya Paul, Laboratory by Evoluzione,

    Commissioned Photography Projects:

    House of Lux, Diamond SA – Seychelles, Jouel Seychelles, Zil Air – Seychelles, The Seychelles Tourism Marketing Authority, Kingfisher Airlines, Murugappa Group, Ford Cars- India, Perfetti Worldwide – Mentos Asia, Ozone Group, Astad Deboo Contemporary Dancer, Jaipur Gems, D’damas, Cadence Design Systems, Tech Mahindra. The Park Hotels, Chennai.

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The Queen of fragrances was brutally raped and killed

Reportedly, there were no clothes on her body and her hand and legs were tied to a bed.

The police suspect that the 39-year-old was raped and murdered.

There are bruises on the neck that could indicate that she was strangled, according to the police inspector investigating the case.

Her flat had been burgled, said the police officer, Rajesh Kumar.

The police has been unable to ascertain what is missing from the three bedroom apartment that Ms Ghurde rented, as she lived alone.

The building watchman has allegedly told the police that he had no information on anyone entering the apartment. The police have rounded up several people from the village, which is 5 km away from Goa’s famous Calangute beach.

Read more: Who planned and executed the murder of Monika Ghurde, India’s best perfume designer?