Here's a much belated summation of my impressions of Fougere Bengale
Fougere Bengale starts out with a rush of lavender, coriander, and a garrigue note likely caused by the tarragon, but almost more salty, like thyme. The effect isn't green, but rather a blend of herbs and spices, perhaps some strange fusion dish - half-Greek; half-Indian.
After the top notes fade, the curtain of lavender lifts, and the spices come into their own. Ginger becomes more noticeable, and I swear I get a touch of turmeric and cardamom too. There is a tea note here, as well as a touch of the animalic - the tiger mentioned in the ad copy, perhaps?
As the heat of spice and animalic notes fade, a rich hay and tobacco note emerges, accompanied by the most beautiful tonka note I know. All the culinary elements have departed, and I'm left with a warm, dry, hay-like foundation.
However, I could easily wish this whole transition was more gradual. From first application to disappearance I get about six, seven hours at best, and even then, after the first fifteen minutes the sillage is low and it becomes a "skin scent". It's rich, but compared to most orientals, it's quiet.
Still, credit where credit is due, this is very unique in my experience, and a somewhat genre crossing creation. It's not really a fougere or oriental or even a gourmand, though it's both dinner and dessert in the same fragrance. It smells distinctly international in its outlook - part Asian; part European, but a seamless blend of both; a Mata Hari fragrance on the edge of two fragrance worlds.
Something I should say is that, other than the fougere in the title, this is not in the least a "green" fragrance. Herbal, at times, but dry herbs - no dew, no fresh green leaves, and certainly no oakmoss to my nose.