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  1. #1
    noggs's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    Houston, TX

    Default Houbigant Fougere Royale -- a modern substitute?

    Somewhere on Basenotes I read that the available scent that is closest to the character of the groundbreaking Chypre de Coty is Pour Monsieur by Chanel.

    Another famous scent, Houbigant's Fougere Royale, lended its name to a fragrance group that is arguably the most historically important one among male scents.

    Does anyone have any idea which available modern scent comes the closest in style to the original classic? Since there are so many fougere based frags available today I would think that one or even several of them are pretty close to the original.

    And what is the situation with Houbigant? Are they still in business, and if so, which frags do they produce?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Houbigant Fougere Royale -- a modern substitute?

    From what I remember, Fougere Royale was probably pretty close to Penhaligon's English Fern or Geo F. Trumpers' Wild Fern. Mind you, this is a memory from over forty years ago, so it might not be completely accurate.
    Houbigant was a great perfume house that only survives in name. You may still be able to get their products but they are not the quality they used to be. The examples that come to mind are Chantilly and Quelques Fleurs. The decline of the company is much like that of Coty.
    And I don't think that Chanel's Pour Monsieur is much like Chypre. Again from the Sixties, I remember Chypre to be much stronger, less sweet and sharper than the Pour Monsieur.

  3. #3
    noggs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Houston, TX

    Default Re: Houbigant Fougere Royale -- a modern substitute?


    I'm interested in the history of fragrances and the development of different trends throughout the years. I'm naturally interested in all the classic scents, and would like to try modern substitutes that come closest to the ones that are no longer made.

    In your opinion, since you have some idea of the character of the original chypre, which modern scent reminds you most of it?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Houbigant Fougere Royale -- a modern substitute?

    To be honest, I can't actually think of a current fragrance that would approximate Coty's Chypre. Maybe some of the other members could pitch in here?
    On second thought, you may want to give Chipre from a shot. It isn't a lot like what I remember of Chypre, but it does share some of the characteristic notes of the fragrance type. It is also a very good and extremely long-lasting.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Houbigant Fougere Royale -- a modern substitute?

    For what it is worth, Luca Turin traced Mugler’s Angel’s lineage to Houbigants Fougère Royale by way of Fabergé’s Brut and then Dana’s Canoé. What you currently obtain now as Brut has been much altered although as with Canoe it will cost you next to nothing.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Houbigant Fougere Royale -- a modern substitute?

    For those interested, a gentleman found an old bottle of the Houbigant Fougere Royal and reviewed it, comparing it to Penhaligon's English Fern.

  7. #7

    narcus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Königl. Preussen

    Default Re: Houbigant Fougere Royale -- a modern substitute?

    Fragrances in the plain fougère genre, accoding to the classification of the University of Dijon (late 80's or early 90's)


    20 Carats DANA
    Canoé DANA
    Flor de Blason
    Jicky GUERLAIN
    Le Trèfle Incarnat

    Fougère Royale HOUBIGANT 1882
    H pour Homme L'OREAL
    Heno de Pravia GAL
    Moustache ROCHAS
    That Man BIIDN
    Pour Homme YSL

    I am interested in male scenting habits in history, and came across the fougère track that way. I also suspect, or rather hope, that English perfumery still holds on to a few dated trends that have been abandoned in France. It is also noteworthy that during the 19th century more masculine scents seem to have been produced in England than elsewhere in Europe. And some of these are fortunately still available. The BN directory also mentions a feminine English Fern by Bronnley. Thanks for the reviews, levente!

    If you go into the various sub groups of fougère like f. fleurie, ambreé, epicée etc. there is a lot more even in our days, including Paco Rabanne pH and Rive Gauche pH.
    'Il mondo dei profumi è un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Houbigant Fougere Royale -- a modern substitute?

    Of the frags listed above, Jicky is *historically* the closest; it's an 1889 fougere which is a very early example of the use of synthetics (coumarin and vanillin). Fougere Royale is only seven years older than Jicky, and was the first to use coumarin. (I've never smelled it, which breaks my heart!)

    It's often possible to get Coty's Chypre on eBay or at flea markets. I'm not sure where Noggs is from, but I've found Chypre and l'Origan at French brocantes, so if you're ever in the country, it's worth a rummage.

    As regards Houbigant's continued output...well, they're still around, but in name only. You're most likely to be able to find their scents in discount perfumers; Beauty Base in Whiteleys in London was carrying Quelques Fleurs and some others when I visited just before Christmas.

    I'm dying to get my hands on a bottle of their discontinued Ambergris. If anyone knows of anything that comes close to that, I'll be eternally grateful!

  9. #9
    Basenotes Institution
    mikeperez23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Miami, FL

    Default Re: Houbigant Fougere Royale -- a modern substitute?

    Try Narciso Rodriguez for Him - to me, this is a modern day interpretation of Fougere Royale.

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