There are times when it is extremely difficult for me to stifle a laugh when talking to a new brand. Usually it centers around the marketing language. One brand I had a difficult time keeping a straight face with, at Esxence 2015, was Malbrum. It was even harder when hearing the words coming out of a Norwegian man who could give Thor a run for his money based on looks. It was hard to know if Creative Director Kristian Malbrum was having fun with his over the top marketing copy or if he was serious. It was the description for Tigre du Bengale which had me chewing the inside of my cheek. Here it is off of the website, “The Bengal tiger urinates on a pile of bark. The scent transmits highly complex messages to other tigers about its sex, size, and social status.” I had no idea what I was in for when I lifted the strip to my nose.
Mr. Malbrum worked with perfumer Delphine Thierry on all three of the Volume I fragrances and the diversity among this collection is admirable. I am happy to report that Mme Thierry did not produce a perfume that smells like urine and wood. Tigre du Bengale is a warm comforting gourmandy oriental fragrance.
Mme Thierry crafts a Coca-Cola accord to open Tigre du Bengale. She combines juniper, cardamom, and bergamot to fashion an accord that smells of the soda. It smells more like a version where the carbonation has all been gone as it has a slightly syrupy quality without any effervescent notes to evoke the fizz of the soda. This moves into an opulent heart of myrrh and labdanum. The Coke accord lingers to mix with the resinous heart notes and it provides a different kind of subtle gourmand phase. The base is another unusual coupling as Mme Thierry combines licorice and leather. The herbal licorice matches surprisingly well with the leather accord. Tigre du Bengale ends on a predominantly leather note. Leather which has had a soda spilled on it and a few black Twizzlers ground into it. Both of the unusual gourmand notes murmur softly in the background all the way until the end.
Tigre du Bengale has 10-12 hour longevity and below average sillage as this is at extrait strength.
I am very happy that the promised randy tiger has stayed in the jungle. If there is a tiger here it is more like Hobbes of the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes. I found Tigre du Bengale to be a lot of fun to wear with the different accords Mme Thierry used throughout. I think it is one of the better leather fragrances I’ve tried recently.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample I received at Esxence 2015.