After trying Houbigant Fougere Royale, it's easy to understand why it's a classic men's fragrance. I'm trying the 2010 version and have no basis of comparison to the original 1882 version.
Like Ralph Lauren Safari and Tom Ford for Men (though spicier and less sweet that both, arguably), Fougere Royale epitomizes (to me) the "fresh spicy" genre, blending a fresh opening of lavender and citrus with a heart of florals and spices, and a base of patchouli, oakmoss, amber, tonka, and the very dirty clary sage.
It's a powerful symphony of notes that yield a strong masculine blend, so it takes time to appreciate the different elements involved. I imagine it can come off a little harsh to some, a little too spicy to others, but overall, it's a very interesting blend that merits trying by all men, seemingly ideal for formal nighttime occasions, with likely year-round wearability. Also, very good on performance for an EDP---not a projection monster but still very good on projection and excellent longevity.
7 out of 10
Impressive opening – the aromatics are spectacular. The opening is a traditional bergamot, chamomile, lavender, and green, but I don’t remember an accord with such impressive aromatics. When the aromatics subside, what remains is a rather traditional fougere opening complete with bergamot, lavender, geranium, and rose. The ingredients are top quality.
The middle continues the heart note florals into the opening. In addition to the mentioned rose and geranium, the florals are filed out with spicy carnations and lilac. To my nose the rose has already disappeared from the floral and the accord has been filled out with cinnamon, with patchouli and oakmoss already rising up from the base.
The base continues with patchouli, oakmoss, sage, and a bit of sweetener provided by tonka bean – those are the notes that I can identify, anyway.
Fougere Royale: Classic construction, excellent blending, quality ingredients, and distinguished history. What’s not to love?
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.