Fougère Bengale by Marc-Antoine Corticchiato for Parfum d`Empire 2007


Post by Portia


Hi there Fragrance Fiends,

I have long lusted after the Parfum d’Empire perfumer. Marc-Antoine Corticchiato is a friggen hottie, so suave and handsome looking, so finished and grand. Here’s a photo to get you in the mood….

Marc-Antoine Corticchiato Parfum d'Empire

Fougère Bengale by Parfum d`Empire 2007

Fougère Bengale by Marc-Antoine Corticchiato

Fougère-Bengale Parfum d'EmpirePhoto Stolen Parfum d’Empire

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Lavender, tea, ginger, mint
Heart: Hay, tobacco, pepper
Base: Oakmoss, patchouli, vanilla, tonka bean

From Parfum d’Empire: Edwardian dandies scented themselves with fougère, a classic fragrance family based on lavender, tonka bean and oak moss. Fougère Bengale revisits the genre with a powerful, honeyed blond tobacco accord, and carries us off to India…

Smoky tea, spice and hay are what come through initially on my skin and honeyed sweet tobacco. I know there’s lavender here, my brain is saying lavender, lavender, lavender but my nose doesn’t smell it at all. The smoky tea goees pretty quickly and the spice changes, not so energetic and I really do feel like I’m about to light a cigarette in a hayloft.

Photo Stolen WikiCommons

Then the main notes take a balmy turn, everything smooths out and the honeyed sweetness that often catches in the back of my throat becomes a softer, suppler and more comfortable beast all together. All of a sudden I am in a cozy, warm fragrance that is still dappled with light but now it’s a less golden and more burnished copper. Calmer, sweeter, smoother and cuddlier. The tiger is now a kitten purring happily in your lap or cuddled in the crook of your arm.

Fougere Bengale Parfum d`Empire Tiger Moni Sertel FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

I still get wafts of tobacco and hay through the heart and into the base but they are quickly quelled by the lovely resins. To be honest I get very little of India in Fougere Bengale at all. It’s too clean and too European elegant, once the fireworks die down I get much more Professor Higgins library than Shah Jahan’s tiger hunt. Yet I find it both appealing and wearable, it’s interesting enough to keep me sniffing and the longevity is excellent.

Further reading: Scented Hound and Non Blonde
Parfum d’Empire has 120/100ml
LuckyScent has $145/100ml
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $3.50/ml

India! Have you been? Is it on your list?
Portia xx

15 thoughts on “Fougère Bengale by Marc-Antoine Corticchiato for Parfum d`Empire 2007

  1. Never been to India but hope to meet you at the Lake Palace one day, Portia.

    Fougere Bengale never appealed to me for reasons unknown but I love a hay note so should get over myself and check it out.

    No one comes up with descriptions of fragrances as good as you. I love “I really do feel I am about to smoke a cigarette in a hayloft” Brilliant.


    • OMG! Tara.
      I think I will be in India August 2016. It’s not official yet but Varun and I are talking about going to visit our ex flatmate in Azerbaijan. When we get back to India, or we could probably collect you on the way, I’d LOVE to go visit Udaipur with you. We could take Fougere Bengale and NVC Pichola and wear them every day.
      Portia xx


  2. Hi Portia!
    Yes, I went to India in the late seventies and stayed for a year. I became fascinated with the country when I was ten and we moved to London. I ate Indian food for the first time, and saw a BBC production about traditional Indian dance and got hooked. Then the Beatles went to India, and the philosophy and music entranced me. I dropped out of university to go, much to my parents’ dismay. As soon as I crossed the border from Pakistan into India, I had an overwhelming feeling of coming home. It was as mesmerizing as I had hoped, and I still long to return. Now that my son has grown up and my parents are no longer, I will go back. In fact, I’m considering it as a possible place to retire.


    • Hey Holly,
      Please go look before you make any big decisions. My first glimpse of India was in 2000 and since then it has changed beyond belief, you will hardly recognise it. Also it has become quite expensive in most populated areas. I can’t tell you how jealous I am of your travels there in the 1970s. What cities did you see?
      Portia xx


      • Oh gosh, I probably have at least five years before I retire, and who knows what will happen in the meantime? Wherever I end up, I will definitely prowl through and live for a while before committing.
        I took the overland route from Turkey though Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, then I traveled down along the west coast – Amritsar, Delhi, and on down to Pune where I ended up staying, with jaunts to Mumbai and Goa. There’s still so much to see…


        • Holly, you are so lucky. It sounds like a chapter from Michiner’s The Drifters. Amritsar is still so incredibly awe inspiring, breathtaking. Delhi has sprawled far & wide and added satellite cities which are filling up in minutes. Yes, so much to see, I’ve still not been to Mumbai & Goa, though I have done Kerala and Chennai (Madras) in the south.
          It’s still an incredible country.
          Portia xx


  3. Hi Portia ! Fougere Bengale never appealed to me. Due to THE fact I don’t like fougere as a fragrance family.

    India never appealed to me, I prefer South America or THE Mediterranean maybe due to my Spanish heritage. Quite strange as I do not like Indian food either, I always joke I must have had an awful life in India in a previous life. My BF loves it though, THE country and food !


    • Hi there Esperanza.
      I have still to set foot in South America. We dream of following Che’s Motorcycle Diaries one day and climbing Machu Pichu.
      Fingers crossed next year we will be going to Barcelona in February, it will be my first mainland Spain experience.
      Portia xx


  4. I’ve just realized that I don’t remember what I thought of this perfume when I tried it. I have a sample so I should definitely revisit it soon.

    I’ve never been to India and I’m not sure when/if I get there. So for now I’ll be experiencing it in perfume form 😉


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