“ Brand: Lancome / Type: Fragrance / Concentration: Eau de Toilette / Gender: for Women „
Group: Fruity floral
~ Introduction ~
Benghal Eau de Toilette is the second addition to Lancôme's 'Travel Collection' series that started with the launch of Tropiques Eau de Toilette in 2005. It was launched at airports and when going on holidays a couple of weeks ago I spotted it again. I've always wanted to have a try at it but thought the price was a bit high. This time however, Benghal came in a duo pack; well, not for the price of one but still for somewhat less than the two bought separately.
~ The packaging ~
The unique design of Benghal recalls the highly decorative, distinct bottle of Tropiques. It is made of clear-cut glass, including the upside-down triangular-shaped lid that has a slight curve on top just like the bottom. These 'spontaneous' curves and the hand-written name of the fragrance scribbled across it, give the bottle an inimitable, in the move feel, a dynamism that perfectly describes the fragrance itself. Hot pink, green, yellow and bright blue brushstrokes evoking the swishing swirls of the hem of a woman's sari complete this distinguished work of design.
The white box has the same warm, bright colours as the bottle and impressions of hand-crafted golden bead motives of a sari. The packaging is the epitome of playful elegance, simple sophistication and a hint of exoticness of colonial art.
~ The fragrance ~
- Top notes: ginger, mandarin
A fragrance that is truthful to its name, Benghal starts out with bright and juicy but tart notes of fruits and sweet, mellow mandarin. In the first few minutes the composition doesn't remind me of any fruit; it has a sort of sparkling champagne-y feel. In the next five minutes or so, I get a peachy hint that gets more and more defined by the minute and mingles in with the freshness, wateriness like a peach sorbet melting.
- Middle notes: osmanthus, jasmine, nectarine
After a good half an hour the bright, sheer top notes mellow down to a distinctly fruity but not overly sweet apricot aroma that initially was peachy, now it's mature, even nutty, like dried apricot. Benghal is an Eau de Toilette, so I use twice as much as I would from an Eau de Parfum to get the same staying power. When I first tried spraying the usual 4 - 5 pumps I do with an Eau de Parfum the middle notes barely developed. Now this delicious, nutty apricot smell lasts surprisingly long, well into the afternoon. Even on initial application, the fragrance stays balanced, subtle in a way and its sparkling notes break down gradually enough not to be overpowering.
I've applied the scent 6 hours ago and only the top notes have gone and there's no sign of the heart of the fragrance dying down anytime soon. The middle notes of apricot get gradually accompanied by a sheer, musky tone that fixes the lighter, fruitier notes. There's no hint of floral aromas on my skin in any of the three phases of Benghal, or so little that I'm not picking it up, being the apricot flavour so dominant. It is sheer and fresh first then it becomes greener and deeper almost spicy then mellows down to a powdery sweet smoky and sun-kissed skin-flavoured base.
- Base notes: musk, sandalwood
The delicate base notes only appear later in the evening, a veil of powder appears that is now deeper and muskier and is missing most of the fruity tones. I was initially disappointed by such an innocuous drydown and having not sprayed enough to start with, the short lived fruity phase just added to my disappointment. This didn't happen when I started out with a generous amount and got to enjoy Benghal's apricot heart for the whole day after which I didn't mind the timid, but nice, musky dry down beautiful in its simplicity.
~ Conclusion ~
This has been my experience wearing Benghal. We all have our own ever changing skin chemistry that paired with volatile perfume oils can produce a totally different experience from mine. Benghal isn't as well-blended and complex as Tropiques but it is still willing to work for you, provided you treat your skin with a generous amount.
I was expecting a deeper, heavier oriental, like Kenzo Amour Indian Holi but because it's an Eau de Toilette, I knew there's going to be a twist. It's light, airy, fruity and the most dominant on my skin is the ligthly spiced apricot from the first few minutes right till the end. Delicious, though somehow the apricot drowned out everything else, so it's a 4 out of 5 stars from me. Benghal is also available from online stores not just at airports so if you like the sound of it, give it a try!
There's also a third addition to the Travel Collection series: Cyclades (2007) Eau de Toilette.
~ Price / where to buy ~
Duty-free at airports and online stores / perfume discounters from £27
Amazon Marketplace: £25.03 / 50ml Eau de Toilette
~ Additional rating ~
Staying power: 3 / 5
Composition: 4 / 5
Value for money: 3 / 5
Overall value: 4 / 5
Thanks for reading.
©powered by lillybee also posted on Ciao! UK
A floral fruity fragrance for women