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  1. #1

    Default LT's statement on the fougere/fern genre (from Perfume Guide book).

    There are more statements in the book, I think, but I wasn't going to read the entire book again. In the chapter on "Masculine" frags, under the title of "Ferns," LT has this to say about this "masculine" frag category (page 22);

    "The fougere (fern genre)...

    ...spans a wide soup-to-nuts spectrum with only two cheap materials...

    ...there are very few pristine fougeres around...

    Ferns are usually labeled 'lavender,' so try a few... and see which one fits you."

    Then comes a short passage under the title of "Aromatic Fougere," but there is no description of notes. The word "spicy" is used, but it's not clear if he means that the basic fougere/fern can't have a clear spice note, or that all aromatic fougeres must have one. He does say that these frags are "abstract," but doesn't explain exactly why he thinks this is the case. Obviously, one can read the review on the one frag mentioned, Paco Rabanne Pour Homme, but that review doesn't contain any detailed information either. In that review, however, several more examples are mentioned, so if one were to read all those reviews there might be a clear statement about the difference between the basic and the aromatic.

    My thoughts: The spice note is not the key distinction,IMO. LT implies that fougeres can be quite different, but then why aren't there sub-categories? Apparently, he thinks there should be at least one, the aromatic fougere, but it's not clear (especially to the newbie) what the difference is (though the newbie might think it is a spice note). LT has called frags "barbershop," perhaps as "barbershop retro" (I think it was Le Male or a similar one), so it does seem like he has a general idea about something I'd like to see stated as an explicit category, but I can't imagine why such frags are considered "fern"-like (another example of a non-fern-like fougere is Polo Double Black). Thus, my conclusion is that there is too much confusion and a lack of consistency in the use of the term fougere/fern, and that one of the major "experts" should be explicit on the subject, either agreeing or disagreeing with LT (unless it's LT himself, of course). That person would also need to explain exactly what the best way to understand the fougere/fern is, of course. My main argument, I guess (other than seeking more sub-categories), is that if this kind of frag can vary considerably, then the fern notion should be dropped, because if a fern had a scent, it would not vary so much, especially to the degree that it could smell like Polo Double Black. I'll be interested to hear what others think.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: LT's statement on the fougere/fern genre (from Perfume Guide book).

    I recently wrote a blog post on the different members of the fougère tribe. It might help define some territories. You can find it here.
    Yr good bud,

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    Default Re: LT's statement on the fougere/fern genre (from Perfume Guide book).

    Quote Originally Posted by JaimeB View Post
    I recently wrote a blog post on the different members of the fougère tribe. It might help define some territories. You can find it here.
    Really outstanding, JaimeB!
    Currently wearing: Augusto by Mazzolari

  4. #4

    Default Re: LT's statement on the fougere/fern genre (from Perfume Guide book).

    Too bad no "expert" could do what JaimeB did (excellent job). However, what about the idea of a Gourmand Fougere? There's Polo Double Black, and what about Rochas Man?

  5. #5

    Default Re: LT's statement on the fougere/fern genre (from Perfume Guide book).

    I will quote the section on 'Ferns' from 'Perfumes - The A-Z Guide' for the sake of clarification for readers who do not have it. If LT & TS object I will remove it - also mods, if you feel this quote is inappropriate please let me know

    Ferns

    The fougere (fern) genre has historically been the most fertile source of great masculine fragrances. Fougeres are built on an accord between lavender and coumarin, with every conceivable variable and elaboration. Great perfumery accords are like dominoes: when juxtaposed, the materials must have a number in common. In the case of lavender and coumarin, it is a herbaceous, green, inedible, soapy character. In the other directions, lavender has a fresh, thyme-like angle and coumarin a sweet, powdery, vanilla biscuit one. Fougere thus handily spans a wide soup-to-nuts spectrum with only two cheap materials. Further, each end of the accord can be varied, on one side with others herbes de Provence or citrus, on the other with vanillic and balsamic notes, without losing balance and clarity. Sadly, in part because the idea is very old (the first, Fougere Royale, was 1881), there are very few pristine fougeres around, and those that exist tend to smell cheap: Brut, Canoe. Once again, simplicity works best when the raw materials are luxurious. Ferns are usually labeled "lavender", so try a few, not necessarily expensive big names, and see which one fits you.


    The 'Aromatic Fougere' section goes on to describe a 'spicy variation on the fougere theme' etc. etc.

    Personally I find the quoted paragraph to be a reasonably informative description of the genre, particularly given the context - a book for general release to the public. Further elaboration and deeper technical and historical perspectives are available - many right here from other members of basenotes - fantastic. I don't own his books or subscribe to the website but I imagine Michael Edwards might offer further elaboration.

    I think coming up with other descriptions for fougeres apart from 'aromatic fougere' is fun, I'm sure new terms will enter the perfume vocabularly (if they haven't already) just as with chypres and orientals. If the reason for this post and the recent one of a few days ago which faded away is to discuss new terminology, great. If it is to, yet again, indirectly attack LT, for what? Not writing a dictionary? Then . . . boring, and the short quotes mentioned to my mind are disingenuous and the 'expert' thing is a cheap shot. The only difference between LT and many writers here and elsewhere with information and opinions to offer on this subject is that he got published - what's the big deal?

  6. #6

    Default Re: LT's statement on the fougere/fern genre (from Perfume Guide book).

    The "big deal" is that it is very confusing. He's got Fleur du Male listed as a powdery fougere and PDB is called a sweet fougere. I don't know how anyone could claim that either frag has anything to do with ferns, real or imagined. He could have at least mentioned this point, and it would not have involved more than one or two non-technical sentences. No other "expert" has done a better job than LT (to my knowledge) so I'm not singling him out. I just happen to own his book and no other one. I also cited wikipedia (in the other recent thread on this subject that I started), which is problematic too. He's done at least as good a job as any other "expert," AFAIK, but they have all failed, IMO, to point out that the category is now too unwieldy to be of much help, unless there are several new sub-categories, as JaimeB created. In fact, LT pointed out that the category is a "wide soup-to-nuts spectrum." He never claimed to be perfect and neither do I, so what's the issue with constructive criticism? If he thinks I'm wrong, he can write up a post here, and I would welcome it, even if I still disagreed with it. You may be from a more genteel world, at least in this context, but if you claim that my point about frags like PDB being called a fern-like scent is crazy, then we simply must "agree to disagree."

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    Default Re: LT's statement on the fougere/fern genre (from Perfume Guide book).

    A simple and excellent definition of fougère is in the glossary of Turin's book:

    -- "A mostly masculine genre based on the original Fougère Royale, an abstract composition of lavender, oakmoss, and the tobacco-and-hay note of coumarin."

    Of course, this has always been the case, because the basic fougère accord has always been lavender-oakmoss-coumarin.

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    Default Re: LT's statement on the fougere/fern genre (from Perfume Guide book).

    A lot of perfume typing is subjective. What one expert calls a fougère, another might class as an oriental. It doesn't mean that one is wrong and the other right; it's just a question of what theme seems predominant to one nose or another. The reality is that there's a lot of hybridizing that goes on, and fougères are so popular among men's fragrances that there are many subtypes, some of which seem to tend in the direction of other genres.

    I don't know about gourmand fougères, though. To my mind, lavender is such an essential part of the mix in fougère, and it does tend to "stick out" with its herbal and camphoraceous quality. I don't think it's possible for a fougère to seem "foody" in the traditional style of a gourmand with that almost turpentine-like sharpness of lavender, which I think would spoil any food associations. I've got to say I could be wrong about that, but in any case, I don't remember seeing fougère and gourmand mentioned in the same context...

    To be fair to Turin, in his individual reviews on well-known fougères, he does discuss some of the variants within the genre. It's such a vast and varied style that it's really hard to generalize about without getting down to specifics.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: LT's statement on the fougere/fern genre (from Perfume Guide book).

    "You may be from a more genteel world, at least in this context, but if you claim that my point about frags like PDB being called a fern-like scent is crazy, then we simply must "agree to disagree."

    Please don't put words in my mouth

    I did notice, however, that Michael Edwards uses four designationss for 'Aromatic Fougere', listed here with a few examples of names that pop up from time to time - this may be of interest to anyone new to his site.

    Crisp Aromatic Fougère

    Ciel Man
    MPG Garrigue
    Geranium Pour Monsier
    Lauder for Men
    Paco Rabanne Pour Homme
    Sander for Man

    Fresh Aromatic Fougère

    Azzaro Pour Homme
    Aveda Men Pure-Formance
    Cool Water
    Epic Man
    Eau Illuminee
    Fou d’Absinthe
    Green Irish Tweed

    Classical Aromatic Fougère

    Sartoriale
    1725
    English Fern
    Jicky
    Brut
    Canoe
    A Taste of Heaven

    Rich Aromatic Fougère

    Third Man
    Eqipage
    Havanna
    Kouros
    Royal Water
    Last edited by mr. reasonable; 29th December 2010 at 03:24 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: LT's statement on the fougere/fern genre (from Perfume Guide book).

    "A simple and excellent definition of fougère is in the glossary of Turin's book..."
    Right, which is why I can't understand why frags like PDB are called things like a "sweet fougere." PDB isn't even that sweet, when compared to many recent releases.

  11. #11

    Default Re: LT's statement on the fougere/fern genre (from Perfume Guide book).

    PDB is sweet and a fougere imho. i cant think of any other classification. i think, the black bottle is misleading you into overlooking the so called green accord.

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    Default Re: LT's statement on the fougere/fern genre (from Perfume Guide book).

    Quote Originally Posted by jenson View Post
    PDB is sweet and a fougere imho. i cant think of any other classification. i think, the black bottle is misleading you into overlooking the so called green accord.
    Yes - both the bottle and the piles of sweetness and powdery softness. For me, it's analogous to a bunch of powdered sugar dumped on something minty green. I think it comes down to individual taste, too, whenever you have something that strongly straddles the line between two classifications. Green tea ice cream is like that for me. Is it sweet or not? Is it green or not? I'm still not sure.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: LT's statement on the fougere/fern genre (from Perfume Guide book).

    Fine, but then the "fern" idea has to be dropped, because no one in their right mind would think that PDB resembles a fern smell, unless they already brainwashed themselves with the fougere/fern idea, IMO.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: LT's statement on the fougere/fern genre (from Perfume Guide book).

    I sort of see where you're coming from Bigsly.

    I don't think fougeres smell like ferns at all (and I've smelled a ton of ferns - my back yard behind my house is filled with them!). I never have conjured up that particular smell from any fougere scent. I still love fougeres though.

    When I see people here on BN (and Turin) using the term I think it is used less as a description of something that smells like a fern and more about the scent they are discussing compared to the definition of a fougere (fern) and also it's comparisons to the notes/pyramid of Fougere Royale.

    BTW: what is PDB?
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 30th December 2010 at 03:55 AM.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: LT's statement on the fougere/fern genre (from Perfume Guide book).

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    I sort of see where you're coming from Bigsly.

    I don't think fougeres smell like ferns at all (and I've smelled a ton of ferns - my back yard behind my house is filled with them!). I never have conjured up that particular smell from any fougere scent. I still love fougeres though.

    When I see people here on BN (and Turin) using the term I think it is used less as a description of something that smells like a fern and more about the scent they are discussing compared to the definition of a fougere (fern) and also it's comparisons to the notes/pyramid of Fougere Royale.

    BTW: what is PDB?
    I can't say I'm familiar with the genuine fern aroma like you Mike, but I understand what you're saying. I use the terms Fougere, Chypre and Oriental rather loosely and based on how I perceive their smell as opposed to note regimentation.

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    Default Re: LT's statement on the fougere/fern genre (from Perfume Guide book).

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post

    BTW: what is PDB?
    I believe it is Polo Double Black

  17. #17

    Default Re: LT's statement on the fougere/fern genre (from Perfume Guide book).

    For example, if you want to say that Tuscany Uomo is a fougere/fern, I have no problem with that. One can imagine that possibility. PDB is Polo Double Black, which LT calls a "sweet fougere." The mango, coffee, nutmeg, and vanillic woods are the strongest notes, however (for those who have yet to smell it). I think LT (and others) should say that it has a lavender/coumarin accord that is subdued, and hence is not a fougere frag, but rather incorporates that accord in a mild form as a "structural" or "supporting" element. At least that makes some sense.

  18. #18

    Default Re: LT's statement on the fougere/fern genre (from Perfume Guide book).

    Quote Originally Posted by JaimeB View Post

    I don't know about gourmand fougères, though. To my mind, lavender is such an essential part of the mix in fougère, and it does tend to "stick out" with its herbal and camphoraceous quality. I don't think it's possible for a fougère to seem "foody" in the traditional style of a gourmand with that almost turpentine-like sharpness of lavender, which I think would spoil any food associations.
    I think A*Men might be the exception here. Plenty of lavender and probably classified by some as a gourmand. Others might even classify it as a fougère.

    Really interesting topic. Thanks to all above for the discussion - Its not a topic I had thought a lot about until reading Turin's book, which raised the same questions for me as it has for many here.

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  19. #19

    Default Re: LT's statement on the fougere/fern genre (from Perfume Guide book).

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    Thus, my conclusion is that there is too much confusion and a lack of consistency in the use of the term fougere/fern, and that one of the major "experts" should be explicit on the subject, either agreeing or disagreeing with LT (unless it's LT himself, of course).
    The use of fougère for scent categorization is neither more nor less "confusing" as the use of terms such as chypre, leather, oriental or gourmand. LT is just following the tradition (a very ancient tradition in the case of fougères). The fact that 2,000 new perfumes are released every year doesn't help though. It wasn't the case in the heydays of Fougère Royale, Drakkar Noir or Paco Rabanne pour Homme. Since those times all sort of scented experiments have been tried and new notes have become quite popular (take immortelle, that some people compare to curry, maple syrup, licorice... at the same time!). LT dismisses the right for Parfums d'Empire Fougère Bengale to call itself a fougère, yet I wouldn't have a problem calling Dior Eau Noire an aromatic fougère.

    Dropping traditional categories because younger generations don't recognize them would be a bit unfair IMHO. These categories are not static, they are dynamic. All fragrances have a genealogy, they always come from somewhere and by using the term fougère we are nicely paying tribute to the venerable ancestor, Fougère Royale.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: LT's statement on the fougere/fern genre (from Perfume Guide book).

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. reasonable View Post
    [...snip...]
    I did notice, however, that Michael Edwards uses four designationss for 'Aromatic Fougere', listed here with a few examples of names that pop up from time to time - this may be of interest to anyone new to his site.
    [...snip...]
    Those four designations that Michael Edwards uses are not just of Aromatic Fougères. The crisp/fresh/classical/rich system he uses is meant to be guide to the intensity or density of a scent. They are graded in order from less to greater concentration. This gradation of intensity exists among Aromatic Fougères as it does among all other genres of scent. Edwards labels these fougères as fruity, green, woody, spicy, etc. within each of the four intensity gradations.
    Yr good bud,

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  21. #21

    Default Re: LT's statement on the fougere/fern genre (from Perfume Guide book).

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    When I see people here on BN (and Turin) using the term I think it is used less as a description of something that smells like a fern and more about the scent they are discussing compared to the definition of a fougere (fern) and also it's comparisons to the notes/pyramid of Fougere Royale.
    +1

    Try to look at it from the perspective of art. 1) Someone from the old French Academy would paint a vase of roses like a realistic, even idealized, vase of roses. 2) A cubist would look at the roses from many angles and incorporate all sides into the composition. 3) An abstract artist would go even further and remove all traditional references to roses, but something there would strike a chord…

    Fougere Royale was an abstraction, not a reconstruction, and it became a reference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    I think LT (and others) should say that it has a lavender/coumarin accord that is subdued, and hence is not a fougere frag, but rather incorporates that accord in a mild form as a "structural" or "supporting" element. At least that makes some sense.
    Going back to art, consider Monet's Waterlilies. They are landscapes. But many of them don't include trees, grass, hills, or any of the hallmarks of a classic landscape. Water and lilies. Should we now call them "aquatics"? (Please, no.)

    Fougere is a reference that noses and critics and enthusiasts can understand. Why not classify a fragrance according to its basic structure? Even if it does have some top-heavy ornamentation? Or pushes the genre in a new direction? At least "fougere" is a common point of departure for discussion and further classification. Let's pardon the noses and the critics for accepting that reference point.

    And what's up with Femenite du Bois being called an "oriental?" There's no vanilla!
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  22. #22
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    Default Re: LT's statement on the fougere/fern genre (from Perfume Guide book).

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    I sort of see where you're coming from Bigsly.

    I don't think fougeres smell like ferns at all (and I've smelled a ton of ferns - my back yard behind my house is filled with them!). I never have conjured up that particular smell from any fougere scent. I still love fougeres though.

    When I see people here on BN (and Turin) using the term I think it is used less as a description of something that smells like a fern and more about the scent they are discussing compared to the definition of a fougere (fern) and also it's comparisons to the notes/pyramid of Fougere Royale.

    BTW: what is PDB?
    Quite right. The name "fougère" for this genre is based on the name of its prototype
    Fougère Royale, which made its appearance in 1881 or 1882 according to various sources. I think the freshness the name evokes is meant to be suggestive of the atmosphere of a cool, moist forest glen, where ferns are more likely to grow than in drier, more exposed locations. Perfume names are often meant to be evocative rather than literal.

    The name "fern" came to be applied to these scents in English merely because that is the meaning of the French word fougère, and not for any real-world association with fern plants.
    Yr good bud,

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  23. #23
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    Default Re: LT's statement on the fougere/fern genre (from Perfume Guide book).

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    For example, if you want to say that Tuscany Uomo is a fougere/fern, I have no problem with that. One can imagine that possibility. PDB is Polo Double Black, which LT calls a "sweet fougere." The mango, coffee, nutmeg, and vanillic woods are the strongest notes, however (for those who have yet to smell it). I think LT (and others) should say that it has a lavender/coumarin accord that is subdued, and hence is not a fougere frag, but rather incorporates that accord in a mild form as a "structural" or "supporting" element. At least that makes some sense.
    AHA! I totally see the problem here.

    Analogy: You cover up waffles with most things, and they're <whatever>-covered waffles. Powdered sugar, maple syrup, maybe even sassafras or molasses. But even that's getting close to my point. You're not really smelling or tasting much waffle, although the texture and structure are there. But most of all - at least for me - you cover them up with chocolate syrup, and the waffle flavor is pretty much gone. Texture and structure of waffle remain, but little taste. Are they still waffles? They are to me.

    With PDB, I can still sense the fougere accord, rather strongly, once it is pointed out. For me it's almost a certain sensation. I don't experience the fougere note as I experience it in isolation. But I do experience it, and not just a bit. I get the feeling that you're just not sensing it very much.

    To me, this tells me that guys like Luca Turin and Michael Edwards, who have really spent a lot more time at this than I have, have a deeper understanding of something very cool - that classic structures in olfactory space can remain intact and detectable when "sprinkled" with things that may actually camouflage or obscure a lot of their characteristics which allow for easy detectability. I could object that they are wrong based on the semantics of their description - that only the two or three most overtly and individually detectable notes qualify for inclusion in the categorical description of a fragrance - but that teaches me nothing. Instead, by accepting the truth held within their tradition, even if not easy to understand at first, I have gained some of their understanding.

    I know this bothers you in some way, Bigsly, but I think that this tradition of description goes deep within the history of perfumery and the community of perfumers, and is not merely a "Turinism" that you can easily reject as his mistake.
    * * * *

  24. #24

    Default Re: LT's statement on the fougere/fern genre (from Perfume Guide book).

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    Analogy: You cover up waffles with most things, and they're <whatever>-covered waffles. Powdered sugar, maple syrup, maybe even sassafras or molasses. But even that's getting close to my point. You're not really smelling or tasting much waffle, although the texture and structure are there. But most of all - at least for me - you cover them up with chocolate syrup, and the waffle flavor is pretty much gone. Texture and structure of waffle remain, but little taste. Are they still waffles? They are to me.
    Awesome analogy! You've hit the nail on the head... and made me really hungry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    To me, this tells me that guys like Luca Turin and Michael Edwards, who have really spent a lot more time at this than I have, have a deeper understanding of something very cool - that classic structures in olfactory space can remain intact and detectable when "sprinkled" with things that may actually camouflage or obscure a lot of their characteristics which allow for easy detectability. I could object that they are wrong based on the semantics of their description - that only the two or three most overtly and individually detectable notes qualify for inclusion in the categorical description of a fragrance - but that teaches me nothing. Instead, by accepting the truth held within their tradition, even if not easy to understand at first, I have gained some of their understanding.
    +1
    Anakin: What was that all about?
    Obi-Wan: Well, R2 has been...
    Anakin: No loose wire jokes.
    Obi-Wan: Did I say anything?
    Anakin: He's trying.
    Obi-Wan: I didn't say anything!

    -ROTS


  25. #25

    Default Re: LT's statement on the fougere/fern genre (from Perfume Guide book).

    I notice that the simple inclusion of a prominent lavender note, is enough for many people to classify a fragrance to be in the fougere category. I don't agree with this practice personally. In fact there is a category of fragrances called the "lavender" category which used to be a much larger portion of the men's fragrance spectrum than it is today, and is separate and distinct from the fougere category. Caron pour un Homme, for example has for years been considered by many, including myself, to belong to the "lavender" family, not the "fougere" family. The term "fougere" has become a catch all to some degree. Jicky for example, is not at all a fougere from my perspective. It is an oriental; as is Maharadjah, even though each of these fragrances contain massive amounts of lavender. The concepts themselves behind these scents are not fougere in my personal estimation. After a point however, many fragrances are not easily classified, and much room for interpretation must be given to each person who attempts such a classification; however such interpretative exercises can be done from an educated point of view rather than willy-nilly as is often the case with so many fragrances descriptions on certain retailer's websites, etc.
    Last edited by mrclmind; 30th December 2010 at 07:08 AM.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: LT's statement on the fougere/fern genre (from Perfume Guide book).

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Bon Vivant View Post
    Awesome analogy! You've hit the nail on the head... and made me really hungry.
    LOL - Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by mrclmind View Post
    I notice that the simple inclusion of a prominent lavender note, is enough for many people to classify a fragrance to be in the fougere category. I don't agree with this practice personally. In fact there is a category of fragrances called the "lavender" category which used to be a much larger portion of the men's fragrance spectrum than it is today, and is separate and distinct from the fougere category. Caron pour un Homme, for example has for years been considered by many, including myself, to belong to the "lavender" family, not the "fougere" family. The term "fougere" has become a catch all to some degree. Jicky for example, is not at all a fougere from my perspective. It is an oriental; as is Maharadjah, even though each of these fragrances contain massive amounts of lavender. The concepts themselves behind these scents are not fougere in my personal estimation. After a point however, many fragrances are not easily classified, and much room for interpretation must be given to each person who attempts such a classification; however such interpretative exercises can be done from an educated point of view rather than willy-nilly as is often the case with so many fragrances descriptions on certain retailer's websites, etc.
    Yes - very much agreed. Lavender by itself is lavender - it does have a penetrating aromatic aspect, but (at least for me) it does NOT make a fougere, no way, no how. That piercing fougere note simply requires coumarin, IMHO.

    My wife's lavender hand cream is simply NOT fougere. No. Ugh-ugh. NO WAY.
    * * * *

  27. #27

    Default Re: LT's statement on the fougere/fern genre (from Perfume Guide book).

    As others have mentioned, abstraction is the key to what makes a fougère what it is. It's not just any fragrance with lavender, it's when the lavender note is transformed by other notes, usually coumarin, into a something more/other than just lavender. Turin once used a musical analogy, something to the effect, certain 3 notes, when played together, create a harmony that is called a chord. In fragrance, this is called an accord, notes that are in tune with one another.
    I'm going out on a bit of a limb here, but what also happens with a fougère is the initial accord stays present through out the fragrance's lifespan. It doesn't necessarily evaporate with three distinct layers, like a chypre often does. Of course the basic fougère structure can be ornamented with top notes that evaporate quickly, like in the aromatic fougère. Gourmand notes can be added to the fougère structure, too. So a fougère is like a waffle, a thing unto itself. Also, JaimeB, thanks for, "
    I think the freshness the name evokes is meant to be suggestive of the atmosphere of a cool, moist forest glen, where ferns are more likely to grow than in drier, more exposed locations. Perfume names are often meant to be evocative rather than literal." - I've never been to Cyprus, but I'm sure that everyone there doesn't smell like they're wearing Mitsouko.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: LT's statement on the fougere/fern genre (from Perfume Guide book).

    Quote Originally Posted by mrclmind View Post
    ...After a point however, many fragrances are not easily classified, and much room for interpretation must be given to each person who attempts such a classification; however such interpretative exercises can be done from an educated point of view rather than willy-nilly as is often the case with so many fragrances descriptions on certain retailer's websites, etc.
    Totally agree. I remember back when Cartier released Roadster, they marketed it in the PR material as a 'mineral fougere' and of course all of us Fougere Geeks got all excited thinking it was going to incorporate real elements of the fougere fragrances we know and love - and lo and behold Roadster neither evokes the smell of ferns nor can it be compared to Fougere Royale. It smells like mint. WTF?

  29. #29

    Default Re: LT's statement on the fougere/fern genre (from Perfume Guide book).

    "...I think that this tradition of description goes deep within the history of perfumery and the community of perfumers, and is not merely a "Turinism" that you can easily reject as his mistake."

    Sometimes (probably often) great "experts" make awful teachers. This is just one example of something stated in that book that is confusing to those who are not "experts." It's not about "mistakes," but about writing for a more general audience. You are asking a lot of most readers (me included, back in 2008) when you just cover the basics, but to tell someone that they should smell a "fern" in PDB is going way too far, IMO.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: LT's statement on the fougere/fern genre (from Perfume Guide book).

    For me, the purest fougères (Azzaro pour Homme, Paco Rabanne pour Homme, Rive Gauche pour Homme, Lauder for Men, vintage Loewe pour Homme, and others) have a distinct and zesty soapiness which is hale, clean, grey and aloof at the core. Turin talked about this kind of thing in his books, and even more so in other places. It should become clearer once you’ve smelled enough of them, but because of peripheral notes (as Turin desribed in his book) it’s often a matter of feel rather than any kind of exact scent. They are generally energetic, masculine, and uplifting. I feel/smell the fougère in Jicky, but it isn’t what I want in a fougère.

    Geranium has played a prominent role in fougères, and it’s known to be a powerful CNS stimulant that adds energy, euphoria and physical performance to athletes. Probably another why reason fougères have been so popular with men for so long. It’s also one of the reasons why women like to smell fougères on men. Geranium’s effectiveness is strong enough that it has been banned by the Anti-Doping Agency for athletes, and it’s also a main ingredient in many of the new party pills.

    Either way -

    Fougère: lavender-coumarin-oakmoss

    Chypre: bergamot-labdanum-oakmoss (patchouli was never a part of the original accord)

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