Parfume d’Empire Fougere Bengale, Equistrius & Osmanthus Interdite

Parfume d’Empire’s three new scents hit with varying degrees of accuracy on my personal likes, but I found all three either interesting or just beautiful.  The one thing I can say for this line, I may not always like what they put out for me personally, but I always admire what they are doing, including, as March termed it, Rasputin’s armpit masquerading under the name of Ambre Russe.

Equistrius has notes of orris, violet, rice powder, chocolate, ambrette, sandalwood, vetiver, and grey amber.  This is a cross between Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist and something more gourmandy, which on paper sounds, well, pretty cruddy, but in practice is pretty nifty. It starts out very rooty, but the more gourmand notes of rice powder, chocolate and ambrette quickly chime in and soften it right up, and it almost folds over into more of a gourmand, but give it another few minutes, and it sharpens a bit, which is a good thing. I could have liked it fine as an iris gourmand, but I like it better with that bit of sharpness. This is my personal favorite of the three scents, but I do not get how it is in any way, shape or form related to a horse. Anyone?  But it’s very beautiful and very wearable.

Lee liked Fougere Bengale a lot, it was his personal favorite of the three.  Notes of Lavender, tarragon, patchouli, geranium, tobacco, tonka beans, vanilla. There is nothing in this perfume that is uninteresting. From the open with a blast of lavender and tarragon, buoyed up by patch to a meandering drydown into almost gourmand territory, with what smells almost like immortelle, pulling back and taking a trip to the hay barn or the tobacco farm and every now and then almost flirts into Borneo territory.  Agree with Lee, this is the most interesting of the three. I’ve tried it on three different days, and I’ve yet to really define it in any meaningful way or classify it absolutely. Those who love the more stout Ambre Russe and Cuir Ottoman from PdE should find great happiness here. Those who are horrified at how outre AR and CO may recoil from this one. I’m sitting in the middle on it. It’s not one I’d wear every day, but it is one I very much enjoy wearing because it changes many times throughout the day.

 Osmanthus Interdite has notes of Chinese tea, osmanthus, rose, jasmine, musk. This is just really pretty, and that sounds almost like an insult when I think there are far too few really pretty perfumes out there that aren’t a horrible cliche.  What’s not to love? Bright, fresh and pretty with just enough musk in the base to stay out of “too pretty” territory and keep it warmed up and a little sultry.  I expect to be reaching for this one with regularity, it is easy to wear and very enjoyable.

Depending on your personal taste, there’s really something in each of these three for everyone.  Well-crafted and interesting, despite my early and still horrified sniffs of Ambre Russe, I’ve grown to appreciate this line a lot.

Now for Patty’s horribly overpriced ridiculous buy of the week — maybe the month!  It’s a candle, of course.  Now, I defy you to read this description and not be thinking… wow, that sounds great, I should have one!

“The top note is a wonderful combination of pink grapefruit, orange blossom and mandarin flower.  The heart of this fragrance is a lush floral bouquet of fig, freesia, tuberose and white roses.  This fragrance ends with a flourish with notes that are a unique mix of cedarwood, sandalwood, incense, musk and amber.  Roma is a fragrance that is steeped in romantic and grand traditions but one that is also bold, modern and fresh.”

Yum!  But I’m going to take the plunge and sample it so you don’t have to!  It’s a Santuario di Bellezza Roma Modern Candle for … are you ready — $120. I know, right?! But it’s in a double blown 24% leaded crystal jar. Yeah, yeah, I know, but someone has to see if it’s any good, though I doubt anything can actually be worth that price tag.  Y’all owe me. Will report back next week. 

  • sybil says:

    Ok…they’re on my next order! And I’ll be waiting to hear about the candle! It sounds amazing. (if only for the price…) And I’m sadly glad to hear the Modern Alchemies don’t hold up. Now I don’t have to covet them anymore!

  • Rita says:

    This really makes me want to try Fougere Bengal! I haven’t sampled any lavender scents yet(or any PdE), but I do have a sample of Encens et Lavande on the way which I am very excited about. Surely the FB smells divine, if Lee’s nose said so. Patty, I hope you are enjoying the heck out of that candle. I used to burn scented candles, but now I feel they interfere with this new perfume addiction I have, I like to sample without the added fragrance floating about the house. Plus, DH would probably kill me if it smelled any more girly in here(girly is his word for anything that doesn’t stink.) Little does he know, he will be wearing Arabie tonight(evil laugh >:))

  • denise l. says:

    Patty’s “new budding perfumista” here, wearing Equistrius today! (And enjoyiing it…) Just wanted to say, I also have a sample of Fougere Bengal and I really like it, although I’m not sure I could wear it that often (agree with P, would love to smell it on the BF). It’s really interesting & lived up to Lee’s review.

  • Maria says:

    There ought to be a Get Real Perfume Nomenclature Board. Then we could say things like, “PdE, what the ding-dong does the actual scent of Equistrius have to do with horses? Where’s the hay? Where’s the hay-filled poop baking in the summer sun? Where’s the leather saddle? What are you stoned on?” The fragrance does sound like a must-try, especially since I like Cuir Ottoman and, even more, Ambre Russe.

  • violetnoir says:

    I agree with Kelly: The Osmanthus Interdite sounds, well, pretty, pretty, pretty. I love osmanthus and tea, so I must try this one soon.

    But girl, if you are raving about it, I have to see a picture of that candle. That must be some-ome-ome candle! 😮


  • sweetlife says:

    Giggling away at “Rasputin’s Armpit.” Y’all make me feel so decadent and sophisticated since Ambre Russe is one of my favs and I find it very easy to wear. It was the second decant I ever ordered: the first was Chergui.

    If we ever meet I promise to stand downwind. :d

  • tmp00 says:

    I am going to have to give in and sniff these, which will be pure torture considering that I have a vacation to pay for… :((

  • Tigs says:

    Have to second the L’A The et Pain d’Epice recommendation. Don’t know what the throw is like on the candle, as I have the roomspray – heavenly. A little more foodie, and less smoky than Tea for two, in my opinion – gorgeous! Also, PdN home fragrance is the bomb.

    How weird am I? Every time you say “More suited to the men” for FB, I think “Must get!”

  • Kelly says:

    Did somebody say tea?!? And Osmanthus, and roses, and musk? What’s this called “Parfum pour Kelly”? Gimme, gimme, gimme!:x

  • Anne says:

    Equistrius. Like no horse I’ve ever been near. Almost becomes a whisper on me within minutes. Reminds me of a slightly orris-y make-up, like opening a pressed powder compact. Meh. Osmanthus Interdite is like you said P, pretty, but I love/like it anyway because of the drydown. I’m not getting Fougere Bengale. Just tarragon, tobacco and… licorice? (my newbie-ness is showing!) and something very sharp. I won’t give up yet though, save this in my ‘must try another day!’ drawer. Coming into candle season, yeah!

    • Patty says:

      That’s a shame! I did wind up liking the OI more the longer it was on and the musk warmed up.

      FB is a weird one – interesting, but probably not something I want to go out smelling like most days. Now, Lee should smell like that.8-|

  • donanicola says:

    Have yet to sniff the PdE’s. I admire Rasputin’s armpit and the Ottoman’s saddle but haven’t needed to own a bottle yet. Maybe Equistrius is the one for me. But oh! Candles! The Roma effort sounds wonderful and Elle is right – at a dollar a burn, that’s a bargain. Anyway, let us know. I’ve just started lighting PdN’s Havane candle in the evenings – goodness I love it,it’s up there with Diptyque’s Feu de Bois and the L’AP gingerbread one. And its probably even more of a bargain…

    • Patty says:

      y’all are enablers, you know that? Well, okay, I realize that sorta goes both ways.

      Okay, talk to me about this pdn havane candle. I need to make sure to stop in their shop in Paris and sniff their other offerings.

      What’s the L’Ap gingerbread? That sounds great for the season we’re going into. I also ordered a Jonathan Adler Big Sur Forest candle, the Belasoc Wheatgrass and the Voluspa Fleur de Cocaoa and Cocao Tamarind one, which the two Voluspas I had small ones of those two before and loved them!

      • donanicola says:

        hahhaaa! Glad it cuts both ways! The Havane is described as like a box of cigars – it makes me think of Caron’s Tabac Blond (I think Lee might have had a moment wearing the room spray after he and March went to the PdN store in London?). Just tobacco-ey loveliness and a good throw. Do check out her candles when you’re in Paris though I realise they’re not the lightest things to carry back. The L’AP one is The et Pain d’Epice and is like Tea for Two in candle form. Bliss on a miserable winter afternoon/evening. (ok, bliss anytime something smokey is called for!)Hm like the sound of the Forest one and the two Voluspas….

  • Divalano says:

    I sit here in defiance of your poshie candle. La la la I can’t hear you, la la la! lol … well, it has rose, I’m sure I’d sneeze. Yes, that’s it. No $120 candle lust! lol

    Still haven’t sniffed these. CO is on my top 5 ever ‘fumes, I adore it. AR however … ugh. I wanted to like but it went all syrup on me & my sweet magnifying skin. I need to smell these but HOW did I miss reading about the lavender top in FB & the rose in OI?? I will be crushed if they make me sneeze. Perhaps load up on antihistamine, then go sniff? Phoo!! Crossing fingers. Maybe I’ll call, see if Aedes has them later in the week.

    • Patty says:

      Yeah, I pretty much despise AR, so I’m with you there., I admire it for being out there and not holding anything back, but… gak, I don’t want to smell like that.

      The rose in the OI doesn’t last very long on me. Very briefly on the open I was getting a Hermessence Rose Ikebana vibe, started to write about it, and then it disappeared. I expect Aedes should have them soon, if not already!

  • Judith says:

    I’m in between Elle and Marina here. I found FB interesting, but haven’t been convinced (yet) that I’d wear it a lot. For Osmanthus, substitute “pretty” for interesting, and try again in hot weather. Equestrius was nothing much on me.

    Candle, candle, candle!!! Wannna hear!:d

    • Patty says:

      I do think the FB will work a ton better on men. While interesting and fun to sniff, I didn’t find anything feminine in it at all.

      Wow, am I the only person Equistrius work on? Cool! It lasted great on me and stuck pretty nicely. I’m tickled. 🙂

      Will definitely report on candle after extensive testing. 😉

  • Elle says:

    FB definitely was the most interesting and I have a deep appreciation of interesting scents(I love Ambre Russe and Cuir Ottoman, but they only *just* made it over the line into my “interesting” scent category). I will have to retry the Osmanthus Interdite next July. I liked it, but it just didn’t inspire me enough to even think it was decant worthy. And will give Equistrius another try when maybe the planets are more favorably aligned for me to see its beauty.
    Can’t wait to hear your candle report! And, as far as the price goes, it says it has a 100+ burn hours. That works out to just about a dollar a burn. Please! Less than a cup of coffee. Obviously, you’re getting a real bargain.

    • Patty says:

      If that candle has enough scent in it, because i melt instead of burn, I could get several hundred hours out of it! So in that case, it is pennies a day. I should have gotten two.

      you make me feel so much better.

  • Marina says:

    I thought the three new PdEs were underwhelming, especially Equistrius. 8-|
    The candle, on the other, hand, sounds wonderful.

    • Patty says:

      Yeah, I wouldnt’ think that either Equistrius or the osmanthus one would work for you, but surprised the Fougere Bengale didn’t.

      I hope this candle doesn’t disappoint me. 🙂

  • Silvia says:

    Totally agree that the only horse-like thing in Equestrius is the name. I liked it though and found it the most appealing of the 3 but with very little staying power.
    Osmanthus Interdite was pretty, elegant and sheer and for those very reasons I (wrongly) dismissed it.
    Fougere Bengale had me glued to my wrist, intrigued by the opening, loving the middle part and detesting the drydown, which turned positively rancid on me.
    But they are all great fun to sniff, as the rest of the line.
    Enjoy the fab candle !

    • Patty says:

      Thanks, Silvia! I think that the Osmanthus one will be just stunning in summer, but the musk in the base appealed to me quite a lot.

      • Silvia says:

        I was so eager to concentrate on the other two that I did not pay enough attention to OI. Will give it another go now and in the heat, thanks !

  • Lee says:

    I love you for your splurginess. Been wearing Fougere Bengale for the past five days….

    • Patty says:

      You ARE smitten! I think it’s probably a lot better for men than women as far as daily wear. Hey, I should put some on Warren!

  • Cheezwiz says:

    Do report back and tell us how your candle smells Patty! The notes sound heavenly, but I am reluctant to drop $120 on a niche perfume never mind a candle! So I must know if you thought it was worthwile:)

    • Patty says:

      I will! It needs great throw for that kind of money. I made the mistake with the Modern Alchemies of thinking they had great throw, which they do for the first burning or two, and then they just lose their oomph. So I’ll do several tests with this one, especially for that kind of cash!

  • Gaia says:

    I wear both the Russian armpit and the Cuir, but what would you expect from someone who’d drink Miel de Bois and is right now getting high on Fumerie and Chergui (one on each arm, and considering these names for my next couple of cats). I really have to try these new ones, especially Lee’s favorite.

    As for the candle, you had me with “fig”. Can’t wait to hear how it smells to burn $120 😉

    • Patty says:

      Okay, all of you are freaks. I think of the poor new budding perfumista reading these blogs, then going to sample something like Fougere Bengal, which is a tad weird/strong/statement worthy and running screaming back to a nice Marc Jacobs, thinking we are all just plain nuts. /:)

      The world is whacky, though, when both march and I changed our minds on Miel de Bois in the same month without discussing it.