This is a little too pale, minty and aquatic for my tastes, but it's not a bad scent at all if you like those kinds of notes. I just wish that there was more tobacco and I'm not getting any of my beloved oakmoss. I can see the barbershop references totally, and it's not a bad thing, but I'm afraid that that reference may make women shy away from trying this when they shouldn't. Personnally, I think that placing scents squarely in masculine and feminine categories is getting a little outdated and senseless. If it works for you you should wear it. My friend (a guy) accidentally grabbed my vintage Norell edp because I had it sitting too close to the tray of "masculine" scents that I own and he, not looking closely, mistook it for Guerlain Vetiver. He shrugged it off and went on out the door. When he came back later he was hooked and now he purposely grabs the Norell from time to time, especially since he receives compliments.
Parfums d'Empire FOUGERE BENGALE opens quite boozily to my nose. In fact, I'd call this a woozy-oriental perfume! After a couple of minutes, the composition sobers up and some kind of forest green component comes into focus—something like fir, I'd venture to guess. This is another composition that would work for guys and gals with a penchant for all things oriental. Because of the forest element, FOUGERE BENGALE definitely seems much more fougère and masculine than chypre to me. It might actually be too dark green for me, and there is something in the drydown which smells slightly celery-like, but this is definitely an interesting composition well worth sniffing. This is not a sweet but a savory composition.
02nd July, 2011 (last edited: 11th July, 2011)
This is an interesting one! It has a very definite curry and vinegar note right up front. The vinegar subsides almost immediately, but the curry note remains throughout. It is a very spicy, warm scent. In fact, it smells much like an Indian restaurant would smell; fragrant, very slightly sweet, and earthy.
I usually like gourmands and since I over-sweeten most perfumes, I had high hopes for this one. Unfortunately, the sweetness and warmth came off as pure maple bacon on me. Seriously, I smelled like I had just fried up a big skillet of maple bacon! Not unpleasant, just too weird for me. After about four hours, the subtle, sweet floral laced with green spice began to emerge and it is quite lovely. However, I can't justify smelling like maple bacon for four hours to get a very light, close floral.
I can see how this perfume would be brilliant on someone. However, I would probably just get myself accosted by very hungry carnivores. However, it is certainly beautifully created and interesting enough to be a fun try.
With the ad copy talking of dandies and tobacco, I so much wanted to love Fougere Bengale. I liked the lavender and immortelle, but could not get past the "curry" note, which I found unsettling.
Coffee? I guess. …Chocolate? Maybe … but mainly I get a potent spicy opening that reminds me of a curry. The spices dominate from the start, and the background holds a rather quiet bitter note – coffee and/or chocolate. The backdrop keeps the curry and the whole accord from getting too out of control. To my nose the spices are conglomerate and I have a difficult time separating out any individual notes: It best for me to defer to Jenson on what the particular notes are. On my part, suffice it to say the fragrance presents a complex accord that has layers of spice and herbal notes. Until the drydown I find it quite linear. Fougère Bengale does not send a lot of sillage off my skin, but as light as the sillage is, the accord is deep, dark, and dry – foreboding, even. After quite a while the spices open up a bit to reveal drydown of tobacco. Unlike several other reviewers, I get no sweet through the entire long run of the fragrance. Ordinarily I enjoy deep, dark, dry fragrances, but this one comes across on my skin as pure, dark spice. If I could smell the patchouli and geranium and / or some of the sweet notes, I would appreciate it more than I do. I agree with Trebor about Fougère Bengale’s similarily to Dior’s Eau Noir, which is a fragrance I can’t tolerate. This one I can tolerate, but it takes a bit of resolve. Fougère Bengal is a complex, interesting fragrance, but it is not for me.
I actually like this perfume house, but don't love the scent. It is definitely interesting. It hits me with fresh, tropical grass, cardamom, and coriander then gets really sweet. Almost like honey was poured over the above ingredients and the pile was left to bake in hot, humid air.