If like me you have been searching for a Catherine Earnshaw kind of fragrance all your life, then the options haven't always been that populous. Sure, there are some wild perfumes out there but they either (deliciously) run butch or raunchy (Bandit or Tabu), extremely sophisticated (Tabac Blond, Poivre, Coup de Fouet) or possessing that kind of French veneer that makes the Versailles what they are and not a rough stone house on the moors (YSL Opium, Coco de Chanel). I'm extremely surprised and overjoyed to find out that Oeillet Bengale, the third fragrance by Aedes de Venustas (the famous niche perfume boutique in NYC) is a Catherine-Earnshaw-by-way-of-India and that's mighty fine by me; this feral thing is so beguiling, one can forgive it a wandering spirit, even beyond the grave.
Oeillet Bengale like its namesake (the Bengal tiger) conjures the vision of a wild, fiery, untamed thing, oozing feline sex appeal and the sort of charm which keeps you on your toes rather than winning you over with an easy smile and pleading puppy eyes. It also conjures the temples of India, garlanded by flowers and smoky with woody-smelling incense, a sort of Kipling novela written in the register of smells.
Oeillet Bengale by Aedes de Venustas boldly goes where modern niche carnation fragrances go, that is more Vitriol d'Oeillet (Lutens) than Bellodgia (Caron). The spicy component, fresh and dark, like an electric storm in a land of immense skylines that go on forever, lends it well into night wear, while the combination of resinous smells and floral notes gives it a Queen of Sheba via a modern sort of vibe. This is a wonderful fragrance for either men or women who exude sophistication (or aim at doing so!) because the smoky pepperiness—with its incense-y ambience—doesn't lend itself to cooing over the latest chick lit volume. If you are the type to go gaga over Hello Kitty items (and not just out of childhood nostalgia) Oeillet Bengale will leave you cold. If you're a fan of spacious, yet richly nuanced, woody fragrances with a prominent spicy component (sans the expected Indian curry food notes!) and the growl of smooth and carnal labdanum, then the feral Oeillet Bengale is your thing.
In fact, if I were to sum it up, I'd say that the chord of pepper-clove-labdanum-incense is the "soul" of Oeillet Bengale, a smoky carnation for fiery spirits.
Composed by Rodrigo Flores-Roux, Oeillet Bengale by Aedes de Venustas includes top notes of turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom, cloves and saffron; middle notes of rose, white pepper, strawberry and floral notes; and base notes of vanilla, tolu balsam, benzoin and labdanum.
Related reading on Perfume Shrine:
Spicy Floral fragrances reviews,
Carnation in perfumes: the clove-scented buds of La Belle Epoque