Launched in 2014, Œillet Bengale is the third fragrance from Aedes de Venustas (fourth if you include the collaboration with L’Artisan Parfumeur). ‘Œillet’ means carnation in English. Carnation has had a reputation as being old-ladyish and lame and had fallen out of fashion with perfumers. But with Œillet Bengale, nose Rodrigo Flores-Roux has found a way to make this old girl hot again.
Œillet Bengale is actually a variety of China rose – dark, nearly black, cluster-flowered and globular, it looks more like a carnation than a rose. This was the inspiration for the fragrance.
Œillet Bengale’s opening is a bracing blend of bitter bergamot and deep, earthy white pepper. It blooms languorously on my skin – a rose note is slowly revealed, spiced up by cinnamon, cardamom, saffron, turmeric, clove and set aflame with sharp black pepper. Smoky incense does a slow-burn down through the base where vanilla adds an exotic sweetness while Tolu balsam gives Œillet Bengale a sweet, ambery warmth. Ylang ylang is here too, to bolster the rose and extend the carnation effect.
The drydown is spicy, smoky and feral and perfectly unisex. It starts out hot and fiery and then smolders on my skin for hours.
Œillet Bengale is a rose disguised as a carnation, only carnation’s granny panties have been incinerated. She’s no longer the lame flower for the month of January, she’s Miss January the sexy calendar girl who brings the heat to winter.
Notes: bergamot, white pepper, rose, black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, saffron, turmeric, clove,Tolu balsam, labdanum, ylang ylang, benzoin, vanilla
Parfumeur: Rodrigo Flores-Roux