unique hay and tea
Maybe I've gotten too used to the flamboyant nature of some of the tobacco and leather scents that I love because I am having to rearrange my thinking to appreciate this. Or maybe the fact that I grew up on a farm makes me less astounded by its oddly familiar (to me) notes. I do love its utterly unisex approach and the fact that it smells as if you have just walked through a field of freshly harvested hay while cradling a cooling cup of tea. Truthfully, what other scent smells like this?
Perhaps though, these are just not the precise odors that I want to smell of, or perhaps, my expectations (of an equine-smelling nature) were simply too high. Either way, I can admire this most unusual and evocative of fragrances without wanting to wear it.
I would love to smell this hay+tea scent on someone utterly urban and urbane because the dissonance would be enchanting.
Utterly unique (and utterly not me).
*I actually find Goutal's Duel to be somewhat more interesting that this. Utter blasphemy, I know.
Pros: utterly natural
Fougueuse interests me because I am a Sagittarian - half man and half horse. Fougueuse is a highly unique and unusual scent - hay ,clean horse's mane , the outside air. It feels personal , familiar ...something I have smelt before ..almost subconscious but I have never smelt it in a perfume. Fougueuse is dynamic. The animalic vibe here smells like good warm skin not freshly washed but warmed by skin oils.
Rarely does a fragrance engage me beyond my sense of smell. Catching a whiff of L'HEURE FOUGUEUSE takes me right to the tops of some distant hills, where I sip on cooled smoky tea while enjoying the breathtaking views of untamed forests and mist-shrouded valleys below. One word probably best describes this creation of Mathilde Laurent: S U B L I M E .
Wow this is fantastic. It's a cup of smoking strong black tea or walking on wet hay, clean but very animalic, almost erotic.
It comes with an amazing longevity and a "WTF" price...
Mathilde Laurent is responsible for a handful of Guerlain offerings, two of which I like a lot - Herba Fresca & Guet Appens / Attrape Coeur (it was renamed when she left the company). There was also a Shalimar flanker that came and went fairly quickly that many think should have come and stayed.
The launch of Les Heures Collection at Cartier (of which this is a member) was very good news as Ms. Laurent was sequestered there behind closed doors composing bespoke scents for well-heeled individuals for a while. (Actually, probably time well spent given this whole new collection). I bought L'Heure Fougueuse when it first turned up here and am now onto my second bottle. This is not a good thing because the pricing is a far cry from my favourite Guerlain Eaux and that is pretty much the way I wear this thing. It has become a spring / summer staple.
The 'horse mane' concept is unique and outstanding. Maté or Yerbamaté seems to be central to L'Heure Fougueuse with it's hay-like / tea-like quality. My only real prior experience of this was in Goutal's Duel, which now seems quite sweet by comparison. L'Heure Fougueuse is a drier take and has a bright enervating vibe, a fresh slightly moist hay in a dry summer sun kind of enervating-ness. There is a natural, lived in slightly human (also mildly horse-like) scent going on, like a sheen of perspiration but not a cumin driven experience a la Declaration - it's quite different. That said, if you like Declaration and the path Ellena has followed in that vein you should try this.
In the early stages I pick up a light sheen of lacquer over the top. It feels like the fine lacquer you might brush over an oil painting - that's the best way I can describe it. It's subtle but gives the opening a kick - there's a hint of something oxidised in there, and, again, this could be construed as animalic if you close your eyes and squint a bit, I guess. It's attractive and somehow defines what I'm smelling as being a perfume rather than a tea-like infusion. High end definition is what we're talking about - you can sense the top end without any brittle shrillness and from that clear perspective you can see the space inherent in this piece of work.
I like the way Denyse describes this (Grain de Musc) as 'justesse'. It also has a 'rightness' about it for me. It wouldn't surprise me if this is one that some people adopt as naturally as the air they breath while the rest of the population just look on shaking their heads wondering what on earth we see in this thing. I am not after a 'signature scent' but this feels so incredibly natural that part of me finds it difficult to even include it amongst the other fragrances in my collection - it just seems like it was always around somehow, it has a primordial quality, an effortless, natural fit. Genius.
15th February, 2012 (last edited: 27th February, 2014)