Burning Ben 
Strangers Parfumerie (2018)

Average Rating:  2 User Reviews

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About Burning Ben by Strangers Parfumerie

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Strangers Parfumerie
Fragrance House
Prin Lomros
Perfumer

The fragrance is inspired by the South Korean movie "Burning" (버닝), and is part of Strangers Parfumerie LGBTIQ Collection.

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Reviews of Burning Ben by Strangers Parfumerie


Fragrance In Three Words: Cocoa Rubberised Espresso

I had to try this and Scotch Peat after lots of positive reviews on YouTube. Unfortunately the first time I tried it (and Scotch Peat) I got a really unpleasant ammonia smell. It could just be down to my skin's chemistry on that day.

For me it started off with a nice strong espresso coffee, very light cherry tobacco and a slight burnt smell from labdanum.

As it progressed I got more of a chocolate cake smell and what is described as burnt tyre. It didn't have the seductive burnt tyre of Bulgari Black (1998) or the potency of something like Beaufort's Vi Et Armis (2015) which does a black tar note really realistically.

Maybe it's down to the hype, but I can't help, but feel cheated. I know Prin Lomross is an incredibly talented and exciting perfumer, but it has too much of a throw everything into the mix feel. I was really letdown by the projection which was moderate; given the notes I expected a monster. Lasted around 5 hours which is good.

Price in the UK is £75 for 30ml which is OK for a niche perfume.

PS: something to watch out for is this (and Scotch Peat) might stain white clothing.

Scores: 6 out of 10.

1ml decant
May 12, 2021


Burning Ben is so, so good. You definitely need to love phenolic scents to like it, but as long as your fetish is smelling like beef jerky on a campfire, then Burning Ben will really do it for you. It runs along the same lines as Le Labo Patchouli 24 or Slumberhouse Jeke – basically big, billowing bombs of birch tar, cade, and lapsang souchong smeared over a sweet or boozy baseline. But it features an innovation so good-smelling and so damn right that I can’t believe nobody’s thought of before now: coffee! The burnt, aromatic ‘fresh roast’ coffee bean note lifted out of SM Café and grafted right on top of the burning cade-birch heart of Burning Ben makes for a smoky, tarry coffee darkness that smells fantastic.

At first, as you might imagine, it’s a bit too intense, like a billycan of coffee that’s boiled over on a campfire and is now sizzling meanly on the embers beneath. The addition of the coffee gives the birch tar leather a more masculine bent, and for part of this ride, I feel like I’m wearing my boyfriend’s leather jacket, infused with his scent of aftershave, manly musk, and general ‘maleness’ – this I find sexy in a cross-dressing way, and for people who find Patchouli 24 not masculine or butch enough, well, voila Burning Ben.

But before all of these intensely burnt, roasted flavors can run over into harsh or bitter, an oriental-ish and sweetly nutty base arrives to soften the edges. The basenotes are vague and amorphous in a way that makes you think, ‘Mmm, that smells good’, but also leaves you at a loss to define any one particular note or accord that’s making it so.

The best I can do is to say that it’s more like a texture than a taste, like those firm salted toffees whose pleasure lies mainly in the chew. Salty-sweet amber, toffee, beeswax, crushed hazelnuts – a sensuous mélange of silky, warm ‘brown’ flavors that are the perfect accompaniment to the sharper, smokier ‘brown’ notes of birch tar and coffee up top. Burning Ben is one of the Strangers Parfumerie scents that smells ever better the more it goes on – perhaps the forceful nature of phenolic scents in general is what ensures the richness doesn’t attenuate as quickly. Anyway, I love this category of scents, so it follows that I love Burning Ben. Beyond my general bias, I think that Burning Ben manages to pull off a bit of innovation in a genre that I suspect is rather a self-limiting space.
Apr 2, 2020

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