After a karaoke all nighter with colleagues, walking up the hill this morning in the freezing dawn – it was my last day of term, if not theirs –  I find myself, this mellow Sunday afternoon, sprawled around the house in thick, orientalic amber mode, spraying like the last harlot; rich, spiced incense burning downstairs in the hall : no sheepish reluctance  with the unguent; resin, balsam,  for fear of lingering skin effects in the Japanese classroom: exposure to the innocents of the filthy musked horror of the untapped id. No. Christmas and New Year are coming, my seclusion :  and I want it hot and fragrant.


What better company for the Shalimar, Reve Indien, Unum Opus, my home-doctored, dangerous Saigon cinnamon Obsession, Vaniglia Del Madagascar, all those staples, than Bengale Rouge by Liz Moore, a mulled potboiler of glowing orientalia based on the classic Shalimaresque formula of labdanum, opoponax, tonka, vanilla; orris root powdering out from the core for inner architecture,  but dispensing with the flowers, the citruses and the Johnson’s and Johnson’s; ladling on the spices hard and deep beneath a big fist of honey : : sweet and moreish, skinclinging – as a dry, manly sandalwood joss stick unfurls stolidly somewhere in the distance behind your mind’s eye. The effect : a sturdying, galvanizing oriental that haunts your dreams with sensual suffocation if you wear it on the back of your hand and on your wrists as I did one night recently : interfering in the smooth running of my dreams – making them confused: more torrid ( as if that were even possible ).







Filed under 'Orientals', LUXURIANCE, spiced ambers

22 responses to “BENGALE ROUGE by PAPILLON PERFUMERY (2019)

  1. I own a bottle of Papillon Bengale Rouge and love it! However, I have never put it on the back of my hand before going to sleep and perhaps I never should.

    • Do you also dream intensely ? I honestly found that it was invading my thought processes and influencing them a great deal while I was sleeping as it is so thckly sensual. I quite like that in a way though . The great majority of people I encounter here say they hardly even dream at all in the first place – which must be so utterly boring

  2. I dream every night and always have since I was a child. I remember a lot of them as well.

    • Me too. It must be a very different life if you don’t I think.

    • Tara C

      Me as well, whereas my husband says he rarely remembers his dreams. Mine are intense and bilingual – sometimes in French, sometimes in English. Do you ever dream in Japanese?

      • Occasionally, even if my Japanese is crap. I don’t remember the precise content of my dreams usually after they have dissipated, but a huge humber of people I talk to in this country seem to think they literally DON’T DREAM AT ALL. Hardly ever. And what I hate about such discussions is that I am made to feel like a freak for having such a vivid dream life, when I instinctively feel it is the other way round. When I had pneumonia in 2002 I couldn’t sleep and was given a very strong sleeping pill which knocked me out like a tranquillised horse. I found it SO DISTURBING, my brain life sutured in my sleep so it was like a movie edit from falling down the sleep tunnel to being suddenly spliced to breakfast. I love the sense of travelling through something during the night, even if it can sometimes be a bumpy oneiric ride.

      • Tara C

        Well, if they never remember their dreams upon waking, that may be why they think they are not dreaming. But I’m with you, I find dreaming and remembering at least fragments is more normal. Perhaps it’s a cultural thing.

      • Yes: for some people. Perhaps dreaming suggests you are not working hard enough, as you are supposed to be so flayed-mule exhausted that having the luxury of letting your subconscious go a bit wild is an indication of slacking. You should be out like a light your head hits the pillow.

      • Tara C

        From what you’ve said about Japanese culture, I’m guessing you are exactly right.

      • But everyone dreams……….(don’t they?) I am basing what I am saying on permanently burnt out colleagues (plus, I must admit, permanently burnt out students….). Any other Japanese person reading this would be appalled that I could even make such a contentious suggestion.

        I know that my own dream life is extraordinarily rich, though – Duncan’s, for instance, is less over the top as we often compare notes. Mine are usually on an insanely grand scale.

  3. I enjoy most of my dreams. Sometimes they also help me make certain decisions.

    • Really? I have never had that. Mine are just outlandish every time – incredible (and Duncan loves hearing about them in the morning), but I can’t really get very much wisdom from them (I don’t think……..although obviously, sometimes inner truths are interestingly revealed within them).

  4. Tara C

    I’m wearing Bengale Rouge today – I love it, and I am not a fan of Shalimar. I love the spices and resins. Shalimar smells like petrol on me for some reason.

    As for dreams, I dream intensely most nights, sometimes in French, sometimes in English. My husband says he rarely remembers his. Do you ever dream in Japanese?

    • Shalimar doesn’t always work for me either, and I am quite fussy about the vintage – I have actively disliked modern eau de parfums for example; the bergamot/castoreum combo can be repulsive in modernised editions, whereas the original is just so creamy with no fault lines. Bengale Rouge is definitely more spicy and resinous as you say – more androgynous I would say, and it left a properly hefty sultry dry down on my me which was almost TOO erotic: I think this one needs to be worn with caution!

  5. Robin

    Love the idea of having dreams influenced by fragrance worn to bed. I unfailingly slather something all over my hands, backs and palms and up onto my wrists right before I get under the covers, so I’m lying in a thick cloud of scent around my whole head. I’ll even cup my hands, stick my nose right in there, and just inhale deeply until I fall asleep. I have pretty cosmic dreams usually anyway, but never drew a direct cause-effect connection. Hmm. Might have to consider it now.

    Bengale Rouge sounds like perhaps a little much right before shut-eye, if it interferes “in the smooth running of (your) dreams – making them confused: more torrid ( as if that were even possible ).” Still sounds like a fantastic fragrance, one I think I’d love with the right timing: safely removed from the realm of slumber.

  6. I am now so intrigued by your exquisite description of this that I must get some.
    I would most definitely parfum myself with it before sleep and see what tales unfold in the deep reaches of sleep.

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