Never smelled the original, but this newer version is great. A nice barbershop vibe with this one. 8/10
Houbigant Fougere Royale 2010 is not properly an updated version of the original hyper-aromatic and truly green-mossy vintage formula but a sort of brand new "re-issue" which strikes for simplicity, discretion, mediterranean airy-tasty initial light greenes (culinary herbs), suave romanticism and "clean" modern balance (but also in my opinion for its lack of innovative inspiration despite there are no doubts the whole olfactory fatigue is masterfully executed). The aroma is not that aromatic green vigorous master-work which the original used to be since I detect far more a sort of general floral aqueous woodiness throughout (more than that herbaceous stout temperament several reviewers talk about and which I absolutely don't catch) in a way the juices jumping me in a while on mind are not properly renowned fougere a la Azzaro Pour Homme or Paco Rabanne Pour Homme (with all the huge respect for the hyper qualified Way Off-Scenter) but more markatedly ultra dry fluidy chypre a la Romeo Gigli Sud Est, Gucci Pour Homme, Nino Cerruti 1881 (ok aromatic mediterranean fougere finally ultra-cedary) and Cashmere For Men by Cristiano Fissore. The initial lavender/mediterranean herbs accord is pale (I detect far more bergamot at the beginning which conjures me indeed far more the hesperidic Givenchy Monsieur's opening than for instance the aromatic Drakkar Noir) and in a while you can forsee the "melancholic" floral-woody-soapy upcoming evolution somewhat pleasant but faintly articulated. There is by soon something like a sort of tea-chamomile hesperidic fluidity (well combined with rosemary in particular- but also with further aromatic herbs) conjuring at the beginning scents a la Bvlgari Pour Homme and Roger&Gallet The Vert. Woods, orchid, musks, may be cinnamon and heliotrope are soon hallmarking as finally rounded by a touch of vanilla while I hardly catch a noticeable herbal aromaric vibe (the herbs seem indeed by soon like diluted in a dry spicy woodiness). The dry down is dry, musky woody, warm, softly spicy, delicately floral (vaguely rosey), balanced and discreet. I appreciate this final outcome for measure and comforting warmth. An interesting "Chypre Royale" for us.
This is an excellent re-issue! I don't care what the original smells like since the current issue smells wonderful. It also probably 'updated' to make it a bit more 'modern' so as not to feel dated.
It is the prototype of a classical fougere with high quality ingredients which are very well blended.
My only wish is that it would be longer lasting. It lasts around half a day on me which is rather brief for EdP. But considering the plush and beautiful fragrance it is, I am going for a full bottle.
After months of sample testing, in hot and humid weather, It looks like Fougere Royal will become my Summer signature scent. I love this stuff, and the sillage and longevity are great - which is tough in Florida. I finally bought a bottle and have no regrets. The oakmoss and vanilla on the drydown just kept staying into the 6 hour mark for me, which is rare, as my skin absorbs so many perfumes. May not be the classic it once was, but it's what we have now, and for me that's great. I've received lots of compliments from both men and women
22nd July, 2014 (last edited: 29th July, 2014)
Never having smelled the seminal Fougère Royale of 1882, I must evaluate the contemporary reissue without reference to the original. Taken on its own merits, it is a solid, enjoyable aromatic fougère composition with strong family ties to such familiar 1970s genre entries as Paco Rabanne pour Homme (1973) and Azzaro pour Homme (1978). Specifically, it is less complex, dense, or spicy than the Azzaro, but less fruity up top, more obviously green, and more tightly integrated in its accords than the Paco Rabanne.
The reissue opens on straightforward top notes of bergamot, lavender, and rosemary, then evolves quickly into an appropriately classical herbaceous fougère accord. The lingering rosemary and lavender are bolstered by prominent geranium, artemisia, and clary sage in a pleasantly astringent and medicinal arrangement that comes straight out of the corner barbershop. A healthy dose of coumarin, that staple of the fougère style, rounds out the clean, well-tailored, bittersweet accord that carries the original scent’s name.
Once the fougère accord is established, it holds its shape consistently for several hours. A sharp vetiver, clean herbaceous patchouli, and a dollop of moss provide both a woody foundation and a crisp, clean drydown. The composition is moderately potent, projecting well from the skin, though less forcibly than the “powerhouse” fougères of the late 1970s and 1980s. I despair of ever sniffing the original Fougère Royale, but with its conservative, gentlemanly demeanor, this newcomer passes muster for what the granddaddy of all fougères might once have been.