Parfum d’Empire Fougere Bengale Eau de Parfum is a real romp from opening to drydown with an interplay of notes that start as black licorice before quickly morphing to ginger tea, hay, and maple syrup in the opening moments. It gets more honeyed, less gingery and spiced, over time but maintains a syrupy quality for sometime before drying down to softly-spiced honey.
- top notes: tea, ginger, lavender
- heart notes: hay, tobacco
- base notes: tonka bean, oakmoss, patchouli, vanilla
The opening was strong and intense, assertive with almost spicy black licorice. It grew warmer with strong, more herbal, ginger tea that was incredibly aromatic and drier with hay. Then it was like someone drizzled light maple syrup over everything and let it pour down the sides. The tea quality ensured that there was something that lightened the gingery, maple syrup.
Fougere Bengale drifted into a more honeyed stage, thicker and more golden, with ginger as an undertone, coupled with sweet tobacco in front of an earthy backdrop. It became drier, almost dusty, at times as hay and oakmoss intertwined, and sometimes, the whole thing smelled faintly curry-like, but to my nose, it was more ginger-maple through a bale of hay and nowhere near savory enough to suggest real curry.
The fragrance sweetened as it headed to its drydown; more honeyed, less spiced, and even the hay began to recede until it was a whisper of softly-spiced honey.
For testing, I used half of a 0.7ml sample vial dabbed to the underside and topside of my wrist area on my left arm. I used an unscented moisturizer prior to applying the scent as this is also my swatching arm (aka, incredibly parched at any given moment) as I found scent did not hold well here otherwise.
It lasted for six hours until it was a skin-scent and about 10 hours before it was quite difficult to detect on my skin. The sillage and projection were moderate with the sillage dropping faster than the projection within three hours of wear.
Though it’s not a note I’ve sought out in the past, but I have noticed that fragrances that have detectable tea notes often appeal to me. I really liked how the tea worked against the more honeyed sweetness, as I don’t find I am as enamored with honeyed sweetness as I feel like I should be! I don’t mind it, but it’s not my top choice. It’s a sample I’ll be keeping to re-wear later on but not something I’m dashing out to buy yet!
- 50ml for $115
- 0.7ml sample for $4