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  1. #1
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    Default Houbigant Fougère Royale: A first sniff

    One of the outside reps at Neiman's had a roll-on sample of the much-expected re-issue of Houbigant Fougère Royale, one of the first fougère-style fragrances. I got a pretty generous application to the back of my right hand. The version in the roll-on bottle was the EdP; there will be a pure perfume as well.

    The 1882 version, according to Fragrantica.com:

    Fougere Royale by Houbigant is a aromatic fougere fragrance for men. Fougere Royale was launched in 1882. The nose behind this fragrance is Paul Parquet. Top notes are lavender, clary sage and bergamot; middle notes are carnation, orchid, heliotrope, rose and geranium; base notes are tonka bean, musk, vanilla, oakmoss, and coumarin.

    My informant (who knows the people behind the fragrance) says the U. S. press launch will be in October, with the juice in stores sometime in November.

    Impressions: Fresh, spicy, green. I've got to say the first whiff was just what I always thought a good fougère should be. As it dries down, it takes on a slightly oriental character. I'm not sure what that might be — I didn't see any list of notes, and neither had my informant. The most striking impression on drydown is the green and the fougère aspect. I have no idea how this matches up to the original. Nowadays, anything like the original would probably be impossible to reproduce on multiple counts... and yet, this smells something like what the original list of notes would seem to indicate.

    No idea of bottle sizes, but price points are $600 for the pure perfume, and $170 for the EdP. I've reserved a bottle of the former. Word is it will be a very limited edition.
    Yr good bud,

    JaimeB

    "Why spend life seeking that which does not satisfy? Why remain a slave, when freedom waits? Let your life shine; illumine the world with your truth!"

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  2. #2
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    Redneck Perfumisto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Houbigant Fougère Royale: A first sniff

    VERY cool. Do you know if this will go beyond Neiman's? I can't see springing for the pure perfume myself, but the EDP is within reason for such an historic fragrance.

    To think that I might have started with Brut, to eventually sniff this one!!!
    * * * *

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Houbigant Fougère Royale: A first sniff

    I know the launch will be at Neiman's. I don't know anything definite about distribution to other retailers. Maybe that will be clear at the time of the launch. The people who are reviving this are in Europe. Don't know about European launch dates either. My informant is here, but travels to Europe frequently, and has occasional contact with them.
    Yr good bud,

    JaimeB

    "Why spend life seeking that which does not satisfy? Why remain a slave, when freedom waits? Let your life shine; illumine the world with your truth!"

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Houbigant Fougère Royale: A first sniff

    Jaime, this is a very welcome post. I have been wondering about this relaunch, and I'm glad to hear about it. I'm one of the fortunate few to own and experience the real deal, in my case a 1960's version of the scent. It has amazing oakmoss in it and is a peak experience. Forest floor in a bottle... While I don't expect that the new version can match it, I am looking forward to trying it and appreciating it for what it is -- a fougere for the 21st century.
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Houbigant Fougère Royale: A first sniff

    ^^ Thanks, Jaime!

    ^ Wow - you have it already, Ody? And 50-year vintage at that. Very nice!
    * * * *

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Houbigant Fougère Royale: A first sniff

    I got inspired by this thread, and today I'm wearing my vintage Fougere Royale. It is incredible. Jaime's description links up with some of what I'm experiencing with the 1960's scent.
    "Fresh, spicy, green" -- yes. I find it very grassy, like a sunny meadow. But there are certainly green notes here, and the hay-like coumarin has a certain spicy treatment.
    "Slightly oriental" -- I see what Jaime means. The scent is so rich it is almost heady. There is a hint of vanilla but here, it works. The scent is NOT sweet. It is rich, it has floral notes, but I wouldn't call it sweet.
    The intensity of this vintage scent is incredible. So too its longevity. The juice is golden, like Scotch with a splash of water.
    Perhaps the modern parfum will approach this... though that price puts it out of my league. But I'll happily pay for the EdP, if I can locate some.
    As a related aside -- vonMises has started a fougere discussion group here at Basenotes. Check it out!
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  7. #7

    Default Re: Houbigant Fougère Royale: A first sniff

    I'm a fougère fiend, so a reissue of the granddaddy of them all will have a prominent spot on my radar. Hope to find a bottle when it's released.

    Jaime, did the SA mention what sizes the bottles will be? $600 for the parfum is a lot, but I'll still plunk down the money for it if it's of a reasonable size.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Houbigant Fougère Royale: A first sniff

    Quote Originally Posted by JaimeB View Post
    No idea of bottle sizes, but price points are $600 for the pure perfume, and $170 for the EdP. I've reserved a bottle of the former. Word is it will be a very limited edition.
    My source wasn't sure about bottle sizes...
    Yr good bud,

    JaimeB

    "Why spend life seeking that which does not satisfy? Why remain a slave, when freedom waits? Let your life shine; illumine the world with your truth!"

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    Let him who can hope for nothing despair of nothing.

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Houbigant Fougère Royale: A first sniff

    Wow I missed the news of this release. Sounds wonderful.

    A fougere parfum. How cool is that!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Houbigant Fougère Royale: A first sniff

    Quote Originally Posted by strifeknot View Post
    I'm a fougère fiend, so a reissue of the granddaddy of them all will have a prominent spot on my radar. Hope to find a bottle when it's released.

    Jaime, did the SA mention what sizes the bottles will be? $600 for the parfum is a lot, but I'll still plunk down the money for it if it's of a reasonable size.

    Join the fougerites here: http://www.basenotes.net/group.php?groupid=73 !!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Houbigant Fougère Royale: A first sniff

    Thanks to this thread, I had to go try it on today.

    I'll admit, I don't care that much for the fougere's I've tried (since when do ferns smell like lavender??).

    Oh. My. God.

    I REALLY liked Fougere Royale. It's leafy and green and deep and brown and moody in that way that only vintage French scents seem to be able to pull off. I can actually see how it's an artful rendition of a deep wooded spot with ferns covering the ground between the damp, mossy trees.

    Forget Wonderwood, Bang, Aventus, and all the Basenotes darlings. This and the L'Artisan vetiver are the official must-trys of the year.
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  12. #12
    odysseusm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Houbigant Fougère Royale: A first sniff

    I like what you are saying, rogalal!
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  13. #13

    Default Re: Houbigant Fougère Royale: A first sniff

    Does anyone know if this will be available in the UK, and if so, where? Cheers.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Houbigant Fougère Royale: A first sniff

    Jaime & Ody,
    could you compare your FR experiences with Penhaligon's English Fern, Trumper's Wild Fern and/or Crown Fougère, which to my mind are the last Victorian-style fougères around, albeit reformulated?
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Houbigant Fougère Royale: A first sniff

    @ the_good_life:

    Sorry, I don't know any of the ones you mention. The English fern accord is one I've heard about, but never smelled.

    Ody: Any thoughts?


    Yr good bud,

    JaimeB

    "Why spend life seeking that which does not satisfy? Why remain a slave, when freedom waits? Let your life shine; illumine the world with your truth!"

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    Fiat justitia ruat cælum.

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    Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus

    Qui nihil potest sperare, desperet nihil.
    Let him who can hope for nothing despair of nothing.

    Male irato ferrum committitur.
    It is an evil thing to arm an angry man.
    —Seneca

  16. #16

    Default Re: Houbigant Fougère Royale: A first sniff

    I have bottles of this, the oldest from the 50's. (Still hunting for older bottles. I'm your ultimate customer). Except for strength, all smell the same, fantastic and singular. I cannot think of anything current to which FR resembles. I am eager to test the re-launch with these older versions. I believe Fougère Royale was the first coumarin based fragrance.
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  17. #17
    odysseusm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Houbigant Fougère Royale: A first sniff

    Quote Originally Posted by the_good_life View Post
    Jaime & Ody,
    could you compare your FR experiences with Penhaligon's English Fern, Trumper's Wild Fern and/or Crown Fougère, which to my mind are the last Victorian-style fougères around, albeit reformulated?
    Hi, sorry to be late to respond! Somehow this thread escaped my attention until its recent revival.
    Well, I have all of the British scents and as I've said a vintage Houbigant.
    They all have a very similar style, variations on a theme really. Namely an aromatic lavender top, with a hay-like coumarin chord and a perky, almost soapy/rubbery tone from oakmoss. Trumper's is very green and minty-fresh, Penhaligon's has some spice, and the late lamented Crown is the most powerful of those three, with very woody and spicy notes. The Houbigant is much, much deeper and more forest floor due to the old-school application of copious amounts of oakmoss. But they definitely are all kissin' cousins.
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  18. #18

    Default Re: Houbigant Fougère Royale: A first sniff

    My Neiman Marcus just got in a tester bottle, but no stock of this today. I have to say it is absolutely wonderful. Whereas the original smells much closer to Trumper's Wild Fern (which who knows what it smelled like fresh, I only know from a decant of some very old juice). The new Houbigant Fougère Royale smells much more complex. It reminds me somewhat of a very smooth and refined version of Duc de Vervins (only somewhat). The dry down was very lovely and smooth. I can't wait to be able to get a sample of this and spend a bit more time with it, since one wearing doesn't give me enough time to wrap my head around it.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Houbigant Fougère Royale: A first sniff

    Yeah, the drydown of the relaunched Fougere Royale is really top shelf quality. It's another traditional masterpiece, like Vintage Tabarome, that I feel compelled to purchase even though though I know I won't wear it out. Impeccable bottle/cap/packaging as well. All around A+ for Houbigant. Eager to test more releases from them.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Houbigant Fougère Royale: A first sniff

    Quote Originally Posted by mrclmind View Post
    The new Houbigant Fougère Royale smells much more complex. It reminds me somewhat of a very smooth and refined version of Duc de Vervins (only somewhat).
    I certainly hope the connection with Duc de V is only 'somewhat'. Anymore than a slightly passing resemblance wouldn't a plus in my book.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Houbigant Fougère Royale: A first sniff

    Quote Originally Posted by SoGent View Post
    I certainly hope the connection with Duc de V is only 'somewhat'. Anymore than a slightly passing resemblance wouldn't a plus in my book.
    It is a fougere with a definite coniferous element, so they are in the same family. But all the rough edges are filed off in Fougere Royale... it's very smooth and elegant. I do like DV, but it is a bit of a rough ride by comparison with FR. I was expecting more of an English Fern or Wild Fern, but it is a bit more modern than either of those. The coniferous note is very apparent, but extremely pleasant with no sharpness at all.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Houbigant Fougère Royale: A first sniff

    This one is now off my short list and on the "to purchase soon" list. I really love it a lot!

  23. #23
    SoGent's Avatar
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    Default Re: Houbigant Fougère Royale: A first sniff

    Quote Originally Posted by mrclmind View Post
    It is a fougere with a definite coniferous element, so they are in the same family. But all the rough edges are filed off in Fougere Royale... it's very smooth and elegant. I do like DV, but it is a bit of a rough ride by comparison with FR. I was expecting more of an English Fern or Wild Fern, but it is a bit more modern than either of those. The coniferous note is very apparent, but extremely pleasant with no sharpness at all.
    thanks for the added info - sounds like it's at least worth a test

  24. #24

    Default Re: Houbigant Fougère Royale: A first sniff

    Fougère Royale is now for sale on Neiman Marcus's website. The EdP is in stock, the parfum is listed for pre-order.
    Rare, vintage, and niche off-site sales.
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    For me a work of fiction exists only insofar as it affords me what I shall bluntly call aesthetic bliss, that is a sense of being somehow, somewhere, connected with other states of being where art (curiosity, tenderness, kindness, ecstasy) is the norm. - Vladimir Nabokov

  25. #25

    Default Re: Houbigant Fougère Royale: A first sniff

    Good stuff. I ended up buying a bottle of the edp. Only wish is that it could be a bit deeper with more projection. I imagine that parfum stregnth would fit the bill. Anyone else that tried it had issues with projection?

  26. #26

    Default Re: Houbigant Fougère Royale: A first sniff

    Quote Originally Posted by strifeknot View Post
    Fougère Royale is now for sale on Neiman Marcus's website. The EdP is in stock, the parfum is listed for pre-order.
    Yep. Oddly listed as part of the "Quelques Fleurs Collection" and not simply "Houbigant". Also apparently formally called "Fougere Royale 1882".

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Houbigant Fougère Royale: A first sniff

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  28. #28

    Default Re: Houbigant Fougère Royale: A first sniff

    A review by Kevin has been posted at Now Smell This.

    He seems to like it, but isn't enamored with it. I've still ordered a bottle each of the Edp and parfum.
    Rare, vintage, and niche off-site sales.
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    For me a work of fiction exists only insofar as it affords me what I shall bluntly call aesthetic bliss, that is a sense of being somehow, somewhere, connected with other states of being where art (curiosity, tenderness, kindness, ecstasy) is the norm. - Vladimir Nabokov

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Houbigant Fougère Royale: A first sniff

    I think it is a fantastic fragrance - one of the best releases of the year.
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  30. #30

    Default Re: Houbigant Fougère Royale: A first sniff

    Quote Originally Posted by petruccijc View Post
    I think it is a fantastic fragrance - one of the best releases of the year.
    I agree!

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