Parfum d’Empire is a line where I have found many perfumes to love. It is well-edited, it offers something for everyone, but not everything can be right for me.
These two, Aziyadé and Fougère Bengale present challenges to me. I could just leave them alone and move on, but both smell so interesting! It is not that I would say, “Aaaargh, I hate this!” but I feel myself repelled and attracted in equal parts and any perfume that does that, warrants a closer look. Both were created by Marc-Antoine Corticchiato.
Inspired by the Ottoman empire, Aziyadé’s notes include pomegranate, crystallized date, almond, orange and prune, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, Egyptian cumin, carob, frankincense, vanilla, Madagascar vanilla absolute, patchouli, musk and cistus.
What I smell is incense-y pine with an overlay of spicy fruit in the beginning. Later the spices take over – with a vengeance. Aziyadé is reminiscent of Serge Lutens Arabie, but it feels drier, less opulent, less “juicy”. Cumin is a major player in Aziyadé and were it not there, I would be singing its praises, without a doubt. The drydown is soft, a vanillic and woody musk that is still impregnated with spices. Aziyadé is very longlasting on my skin. BTW, on paper Aziyadé is pure love, here the fruit notes are amplified and the spices are tamed. If I was made of paper, I would want a bottle asap.
“The warm and animalic notes of Fougere Bengale recount the famous Bengalese tiger hunts in the heart of the Assam jungle where the humidity is permeated with the odor of hay.” - from Luckyscent.com
That is a pretty descriptive ad copy. Fougère Bengale does smell like warm animal, humid jungle and decaying hay soaked in the good tiger’s urine. I wouldn’t wear Fougère Bengale, but I appreciate it, so much so that I persist in trying it.
Both these perfumes are well-made and unique. I know they have their fans and rightly so. A perfume that compels me to revisit it time and again, that inspires a fascination although I have so many fragrant distractions, which would make forgetting and moving on easy, is certainly worth the time.
What do you think of Aziyadé and Fougère Bengale?
What are your “can’t let go of it, although I don’t love it” perfumes?