Parfum d’Empire, Fougère Bengale

“Conjures both English clubs and the savannah where the Bengal tiger lurks…”

Parfum d’Empire website

Spritzing Fougère Bengale for the first time immediately brought to mind another scent: Histories de Parfums 1740 (Marquis de Sade): honey, tobacco, and immortelle (something I smell in both, though it’s not listed as a note in either) are common between them, though 1740 is heavier on the booze and lighter on the savannah. While I found 1740 to be intimately sensual, Fougère Bengale presents a different sort of sensuality: the allure and romance of colonial India to the English gentleman— less sex, more adventure.

I did not find FB transportive: it conjurers no genii for me. Whatever it is within a fragrance that achieves that quality (perhaps something linked to scent-memories?) is not present for me here; however, it is a profound pleasure to wear. Fougère Bengale smells beautiful.

Original and instantly likable, Fougère Bengale bears the distinction of being the first Parfum d’Empire fragrance to make my Full-Bottle-Wish-list, despite the fact that my travel spray is still nearly full (we need a term for this particular perfumista anxiety— anyone?).


22 thoughts on “Parfum d’Empire, Fougère Bengale

  1. Hmmm, Immortelle can be so hit or miss but I’ve heard that this one is a hit, I like the idea of ‘adventure’ and Memory of Scent also gave it quite a good review. Looks like this is another one for the to try list 😀

  2. I haven’t tried this yet but getting onto your full bottle wish-list is praise indeed! I do love Osmanthus interdite and Equistrius best ffom the line so far.

    You know you really make me wonder about 1740. You and B make it sound wonderful and something I would love too but I just didn’t get it. Must re-try. Maybe my nose was faulty at the time 🙂

    I so know that ridiculous anxiety of running out when you still have a decent amount left. I’m doing that with Lancome’s Cuir at the moment. It’s crazy.

    1. When I met Olga, and we shared samples and talked about perfume, I was amazed at how differently some fragrances smelled on her skin (we did side-by-side skin tests to compare). Then, Birgit and I did some blind testing (sent each other unlabeled samples) and found that we perceived some things very differently— as in, identified the notes similarly, yet described the total feeling of the perfume differently.

      1740 might smell completely different on you, not to mention your own perception of it!

      That weird anxiety doesn’t always hit me, yet with a few things it does— I don’t really get it; hopefully our resident psychotherapist will weigh in with some answers 😉

  3. I’ve been toying with the idea of purchasing the sample set from Parfums d’Empire, particularly after reading so many good things about their new chypre scent. There is just SO MUCH I want to try this year. sigh.

    I’m not a big fan of immortelle, though, so I don’t know if this one would work for me. I just tried L’Occitan’s Immortelle de Corse (on card, this baby wasn’t getting anywhere near my skin), which Kevin at NST and many others have raved about, and I found it nigh gag-worthy. However, perhaps gag-worthy is a good thing coming from such a mainstream house!

    1. Oh yes, that Chypre has been getting a lot of love— count me in on wanting to try it too! Well, you should sniff as many as you can, since you can write off all your testing as “looking for a wedding-scent!”

      Immortelle seems to be a polarizing note for people. Technically, it’s not listed as a note by the HdP folks for this scent, but that’s what it smells like to me; if it’s your kyrptonite, I’d say, save those precious sampling dollars for others in the line (but do try the line!).

  4. Good timing for this review! I just learned about Parfum d’Empire’s fabulous sampling program: 13 2ml sprays for 16 pounds with free international shipping, so it’s part of my January sampling budget (dude! that’s only 20 bucks Canadian – I spent more than three times that for 12 2ml sprays from Ormonde Jayne.)

    And fabulously, enough left in the budget I was over to pick up a half-price bottle of Verbena at l’Occitane and set it aside for summer.

    1. Dionne, it’s a great sampling program! I need to take advantage of it too, and snatch up “samples” of Equistrius,and Ambre Russe, since I’ve heard such good things about those too. It seems like a really good line, and price-wise they’re still in the more reasonable end of niche.

      Mmmm, verbena! Isn’t it nice when there is a little extra left in the budget? Such a feeling of satisfaction!

  5. Dee, I was so hoping that I would love Fougere Bengale, but it goes dry and sour on my skin, like vinegar. I can’t see the comparison that you make between it and HdP 1740, which I absolutely love, but maybe I’ll test the two side by side at some point. I think I still have a smidge of 1740 left in my sample vial.

    I have enjoyed hearing what others find in this scent, though … love to hear how Ines says it makes her want to roar. 🙂 Sounds like it inspires similar feelings in you, since you couple it to adventure.

    1. Wow Suzanne, that sounds awful! Dry and sour? Belch!

      I really need to do a side by side testing of the two, but I swear it’s that haunting immortelle note that’s not listed in either, haha. FB makes me too want to roar in general (like Ines), while 1740 makes me want to roar in the bedroom 😉 Grrrr!

  6. First I wanted to use Natalie’s approach (and no, Nat., BOTO is not the only place for that comment 😉 ) but I do have a comment! I hate Histoires de Parfums’ way of naming perfumes! Two times I found myself at the store that sold their perfumes and wanted to try Marquis de Sade but for the life of me I couldn’t remember what year it was and felt embarrassed to ask. So now I need to try two perfumes (but Fougère Bengale is much easier to remeber – I just need to work on my pronunciation 🙂 ).

    1. Undina, I completely agree— even though I love that fragrance, and it’s the only one I’ve tried from the house, I can never remember which year it is, and have to look it up EVERY time I reference it! Lol! It’s pretty annoying, but I forgive them because i like the juice so much 😉

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