*This is primarily a review of the vintage EdC of Fougere Royale with a side-by side comparison to the current EdP re-issue... Fougere Royale EdC (vintage) opens with very aromatic lavender and mild bergamot before quickly transitioning to its primary overall accord as the lavender remains, now coupling with a combination of oakmoss and hay-like coumarin rising from the base, with a very mild cinnamon undertone with mild herbs joining it. During the later stage of the dry-down the scent grows faint with hints of vanilla detectable underneath the rapidly receding herbal green accord. Projection and longevity are well below average, with the scent lasting only 3 hours on skin before it is nearly undetectable. Fougere Royale EdP (re-issue) opens with a sparkling bergamot mixing with a more subdued lavender than the EdC and a very notable cinnamon or nutmeg undertone. The scent has a very soapy vibe that is missing the oakmoss and coumarin the EdC features so prominently early, instead focusing on the bergamot, lavender and cinnamon solely. This combination holds for most of the scent's duration until the later dry-down, as very subtle oakmoss is revealed as the bergamot and lavender completely dissipate. Joining the just detectable oakmoss is a relatively dry amber that rounds out the scent's development. Projection is average and longevity is below average at about 4-6 hours on skin. Fougere Royale EdC (vintage) is a fine example of what many of the best old-school fougeres replicate. It is heavily driven by oakmoss and coumarin with aromatic lavender in strong support for the primary accord, and what an accord it is! I did find it a bit smoother and much more wearable than the rough around the edges accord I was expecting based on others who have smelled it before. That said, it was a very pleasant surprise as some of those rough scents like Crown's Fougere and Penhaligons' English Fern were both just too much for me and I really disliked them both. In contrast, Fougere Royale EdC is very wearable, much less vociferous and quite gorgeous and natural smelling with the oakmoss and coumarin really making the composition work. The vintage EdC is as rare as they come and a long since discontinued full bottle may be near impossible to obtain for anywhere near sane money on the aftermarket, but if you get a chance to sample this 4.5 star out of 5 juice that launched the Fougere genre, I highly recommend it. A brief comment on the EdP Fougere Royale re-issue... I sniffed the reissue first as I had my sample of that one before obtaining the vintage juice and was initially highly impressed. When analyzed as its own scent without the Fougere Royale legacy to live up to the EdP re-issue really does smell great. It is a relatively simplistic composition of bergamot, lavender and cinnamon over a lightly soapy base; nothing more, nothing less. A very clean and easy to wear scent that is stronger in potency and lasts longer than the original while projecting better too. That said, it just does not strike me as a true fougere and when you smell it side-by-side to the EdC its deficiencies are made all the more clear. It also is relatively pricey at $170 (or $600 for the lacquered box version) for 100ml considering it is such a linear simplistic scent no matter how pleasant. I love it, but I find it hard to recommend at that price point and also with the knowledge that it only is a faint shadow of the original EdC. Still, it earns a 3.5 to 4 star out of 5 rating in its own right.
Fougère Royale by Houbigant, 1882
Rated #2102 in Fragrances
A wonderful fresh spicy fougere with a lovely chamomile note running through the composition and it has a beautiful rosy floral heart. It's beautiful when it takes to the air when you are outside and surrounds you. A real quality fragrance that also has good longevity and projection.
A bright citrus and herb (lavender and chamomile) fragrance that doesn't stand above the thousands of other citrus based fragrances. The original formula has been around over a hundred years. I don't know how this compares.
Recently a work colleague, upon smelling my fragrance of the day, asked me "Oh, my... Where did you find that stuff? They haven't made it for years!". I was surprised... "I got a new bottle just the other day", I replied. "What?", she asked, "A bottle of Fougere Royale?" I laughed... "No", I replied, "this one is called Invasion Barbare". She was shocked. IB smells just like her husband did in the 1960's. I can't vouch for the reissue of FR - from the reviews below, it doesn't sound promising - but IB fooled an old bird with fond memories of the original.
Anybody who may be interested in experiencing a sketch of the original "Fougere Royal" by Houbigant should most definitely avoid buying the recent re-issue of this by Houbigant: It is so far removed from the original in every aspect that it defies logic that they would dare to slap this legendary name on a very expensive bottle, beautifully packaged, that contains a perfume so common, that, barring Serge Lutens "Muscs Kublai-Kahn, which made me vomit in the loo at Barney's, it is the only perfume I have ever had on my skin that, not only caused me embarrassment during the day I tried it, but eventually made me quite ill, and would not come off of me: I have a very high tolerance of fragrance, and have tested thousands of perfumes: Very seldom do I find myself trying everything imaginable to get one off: This was the case with the re-issue: Nothing would kill it, including, after soaping, scrubbing, alcohol rubbing, blasting with the strongest scents I own. It is so vile that it truly reaches "joke" territory, so common that I would sooner dump a plastic bottle of Brut "cologne" all over me in a drugstore than allow a single drop of this onto my dermis. I found a 500ml bottle of the original Fougere Royale perfectly preserved in it's box in the Clignancourt Flea Market in Paris in the late Eighties, and used it to the last molecule: Even setting the bottle upside down once empty then swabbing the screw-on cap with a Q-tip. Penhaligon's "English Fern" was a near perfect copy of this in the days prior to re-formulation. Today, it still is the closest I can suggest. The second closest would have to be Geo Trumper's "Wild Fern." Interestingly, if you can get hold of an original bottle of Dana's Canoe, which may only be "Made Bottled and Sealed in France," especially in its long ago disappeared "Extra Rich" formulation, while this has much more carnation in it than Fougere Royale did, somehow, I am reminded very specifically of this flea market bottle i picked up for a song that I so voraciously wore, that, when it was done, I found myself in a panic. For years I looked for another, and never found one. The fragrance "H Pour Homme," which regularly is passed off as "Fougere Royale" in ebay searches, is not the original, as I very sadly found out after buying an entire stock of it (18 bottles!). I can only marvel at the house of Houbigant, and, under my breath whisper "Shame!" that they could ever begin to think this re-launch could so much as suggest the original, which, buyers beware, it most definitely does not. Fougere Royale, R.I.P.
In my opinion, it is not like the original of which i own one bottle from the 50's to compare it to (taking into account that my old sample will have changed over time) but not miles apart. I actually prefer the new one to the old as it seems to have been moderinized through the use of newer ingredients. Does it need to replicate the original? Yes if we want to have that scent back in our lives and no if we want new scents added to our palettes. There are likely no people alive who would have smelled the orginal release from the 19th century and even if they were around you could not seriously expect them to remember a scent over 100 years old to draw comparisons. I agree with most of the other reviewers though that is it overpriced as is any perfum / cologne that cost more than $50-$60 per 100ml. What does Luca think of it?
I love this. It's a fresh, green, yet sweet and smooth masculine fragrance that a woman can enjoy wearing. Fougère Royale is a lavender, herbal, and citrus scent made WARM by a vanilla and tonka base. It begins as a clean, aromatic, soapy fragrance like a barbershop--like a steamed, white terrycloth towel smelling of herbal lavender, zesty bergamot, minty geranium and fresh clary sage. Then it gradually heats up and sweetens with vanilla, coumarin, and a touch of patchouli. This is great. This is going to make me go out and examine the entire Fougère genre because I need one in my wardrobe. If nothing else is as warm and approachable as this one, then I'm getting this one.
I've been wearing the recently released Fougère Royale all day today, and I must say I have not enjoyed it. I understand the historical significance of its previous incarnation. I understand it is complex and made of high quality ingredients. But in the end, I smell like the old man I was trying to avoid at the movie theater the other night. Fougère Royale is too strong, medicinal, and old for me.
Fougere Royale (2010) is a classic, spicy-aromatic fougere. No doubts! I honestly don't know how it compares to the original formula but my personal virdict on this iteration is not so positive. It smells good and collects all the chrisms of this kind of compositions but in the end it's not so distinctive nor particularly oustanding. Now, we shouldn't forget that FR was the first fragrance to open the doors to all other fougeres but this current version it's not the original. It's just a pricey reformulation that sounds a lot like a marketing product. Let's put it simpler: it's like seeing a Beatles reunion right know...do you know what I mean? Overall, FR (2010) smells good but nothing to justify the price tag. I give you three reasons why this is not worth owning: 1) this is not Fougere Royale (that's for sure considering IFRA's restrictions and different quality/source of the ingredients). 2) You can have plenty of classic fougeres doing exactly the same thing starting at 1/5 the price. 3) When you buy this, you don't get a piece of history. It's like buyng a Mona Lisa's poster in a fancy frame.
Fougere Royale burst forth in 1882 and became the progenitor of the entire fougere family that flourishes to this day. Azzaro, Jicky, Paco Rabanne, and A Taste of Heaven are among the countless offspring of Fougere Royale. Fougere Royale opens with a zesty blend of citrus, lavender and chamomile. The chamomile note is distinct and outstanding. The mid notes take on a floral-herbal accord, with geranium prominent. The base notes are classic fougere, oakmoss and tonka bean. Patchouli and herbs hold down the base. Fougere Royale is a fresh, spicy, woody fragrance that I admire. However, I don't reach for it often, as there are many of its children lurking in the ferns, each holding a special piece of my heart. It is for these that my wrist yearns.
Fougère Royale by Houbigant, 1882
|Top Notes||Lavender, Bergamot, Clary Sage|
|Middle Notes||Geranium, Heliotrope, Rose, Orchid, Carnation|
|Base Notes||Oakmoss, Tonka, Musk, Vanilla|
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