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Thread: Fougere

  1. #1
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    Default Fougere

    A pet peeve of mine is how this word is thrown around so casually.

    Now any fragrance with a hint of lavendar is fougere.

    End of rant.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Fougere

    Or a "nugere"...


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    Default Re: Fougere

    Quote Originally Posted by alfarom View Post
    Or a "nugere"...
    ^^

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    Default Re: Fougere

    So what are the best examples of a fougere?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Fougere

    Quote Originally Posted by senore01 View Post
    So what are the best examples of a fougere?
    Good and tricky question!

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    Default Re: Fougere

    Quote Originally Posted by Reminiscent View Post
    Rive Gauche pour Homme
    This is exactly my point. The only element of fougere RG has is lavendar.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Fougere

    Quote Originally Posted by senore01 View Post
    So what are the best examples of a fougere?
    +1

    ...?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Fougere

    Quote Originally Posted by noirdrakkar View Post
    This is exactly my point. The only element of fougere RG has is lavendar.
    Well, it also has a coumarin base. This precisely this combination (lavender + coumarin or tonka bean) that defines the fougère family.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Fougere

    I personally don't worry very much about how people classify the scent genre be it fougere or other class.

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    Default Re: Fougere

    @ senore01 - Jules by Christian Dior, I own and enjoy it.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Fougere

    I love the new Fougere Royale by Houbigant, going to have to purchase this at some point.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Fougere

    And the classic Drakkar Noir, of course.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Fougere

    As LT has said, fougeres can go in at least two directions (herbal or "biscuit-like," IIRC), so there is no pristine example of a fougere. However, many men's frags have a mild fougere accord, but I don't think these should be called fougeres; that seems to be where the major problem lies. There are also frags that are hybrids, with a strong fougere accord at first which fades significantly over time. Again, there can be debate about what such a frag should be called. Some have invented new terms like fougeriental, which is fine with me.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Fougere

    For me, the reference fougere is Brut because that's the first one I knew.

    The original Fougere Royale is the model for all of them, of course, and if you can get your hands on some it would be useful as a tool for comparison.

    It's also excellent, by the way. The new FR doesn't really smell like a fougere to me at all, and I don't like it much. Penhaligon's English Fern is a reasonably well executed take on a traditional, no-surprises, high quality fougere, I think.

    Rive Guache is kind if a neo-fougere - definitely fougere-ish, but far enough from the center of the genre to be a sort of hybrid or offshoot of it in some way. I love it, by the way. Sartorial, by Penhaligon is a newer, more futuristic interpretation. Sort of a weird fougere, but the central accord absolutely achieves the fougere effect.

    Not all fragrances that have lavender and coumarin smell like fougeres to me. I don't get it with Drakkar Noir, or with many fragrances that are called fougeres today.

    Bigsly - I would say that the original FR is certainly the pristine example, with English Fern or even Brut as reasonable stand-ins.
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  16. #16

    Default Re: Fougere

    This is a very simple discussion here: "THE" fougere accord is perfectly illustrated in Penhaligon's ENGLISH FERN, which is a carbon copy of the original Houbigant Fougere Royal. (I had a 500ml bottle of this from the 40's I used to the last drop) Another pitch perfect illustration is "Wild Fern" by Geo. F. Trumper. These are the *only* literal illustrations of the fern accord left on the market. Study either one of these, and you'll know *EXACTLY* what a "Fougere" is, and yes: By all means. The word "Fougere" is most definitely the most errantly used word on this thread. The new Houbigant "Fougere Royal," which some might like, (personally, having gone through an half liter of the original, I don't find it even remotely close to the original) is not a good example to study, in spite of its name. The two cited above are the only two left readily available for analysis if you wish to have an understanding of the true nature of FOUGERE.
    "...a Chacun son Mauvais Gout."

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    Default Re: Fougere

    Quote Originally Posted by le mouchoir de monsieur View Post
    This is a very simple discussion here: "THE" fougere accord is perfectly illustrated in Penhaligon's ENGLISH FERN, which is a carbon copy of the original Houbigant Fougere Royal.
    I hesitate to question your nose, but I disagree with you on this point. I've tried the vintage FR and current EF together, and there are some differences. I could certainly tell that they weren't the same fragrance, although I would have a very hard time trying to identify them in isolation. No doubt that they are very close, and certainly the difference may be attributable to the difference in age. I liked the FR better, by the way.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Fougere

    Rubegon, I think current Penhaligons versions of their more longstanding scents (a la English Fern) have been affected over time by reformulations. I remember this one as being quite different a decade or so ago from what's on the shelves now. I don't find much joy in Sartoriale, Juniper Sling et al either - too clever, too redolent of the 'lab' they came from, I see men in white coats.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Fougere

    Quote Originally Posted by rubegon View Post
    I hesitate to question your nose, but I disagree with you on this point. I've tried the vintage FR and current EF together, and there are some differences. I could certainly tell that they weren't the same fragrance, although I would have a very hard time trying to identify them in isolation. No doubt that they are very close, and certainly the difference may be attributable to the difference in age. I liked the FR better, by the way.
    I probably should have "dated" this experiment: I found the 500ml bottle--big and square--green juice--in its box, with a fern print on--at the Clignancourt flea market in 1983. I had been using English Fern since I was about 7--so I only bought the giant Fougere Royal because it cost about 50F and the smell reminded me of English Fern: When I started using EF, it still came in ground glass stoppered bottles! At any rate: The English Fern of *Now* is not nearly as "deep" as the EF of my youth--it's sort of reminds me of the old after shave more than the actual fragrance. I assure you, though: At one point in time, they were so similar that you could barely tell them apart. The FR, though, the one that I had, must have been 40 years old--but it was well preserved and smelled *delcious.* As it's unlikely that any real FR could be found today (H pour Homme is NOT IT, btw) I'm afraid EF and Geo Trumper's WF are as good as it's going to get, because the current "re-launch" by houbigant smells NOTHING like it.

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    Also: These "true" fougere scents, while they do contain lavender, are not really lavender-centric, the way, for instance Drakaar Noir is. There is no "distinctly" lavender-fused flight. The general impression is more of a kind of forrest--a shady one--and all of the undergrowth and leaves. For a very long time *the only* Fougere that was listed "officially" as such (in our time) --(and baring men's scents)-- was Jicky by Guerlain, but Jicky is merely "inspired" by fougere as it contains a noticeable hint of it's DNA. In men's I can say that certain now-destroyed classics, like Canoe, -if you get a hold of a bottle that is from the 70's- are true fougeres. Brut as well. Jules by Dior is so wildly far removed from the fougere family that anyone who imagines that it's a fougere (I see it listed above) has been misguided. It's an AAL (Animalistic Aromatic Leather), not an F. The reality is that in the "Official" list of true Fougeres, there are precious few in production: People for some reason have latched on to this name and use it to describe what usually are AC's (Aromatic Chypres). In essence, as soon as anyone smells "green," they think it's a fougere and this is why you see that word brandied about all of the time. If I could find my Official Osmotheque handbook, where off and on I studied and worked for almost 7 years in Versailles and Paris, I would list them but I can't find it. I do remember, even though this book is over ten years old, that the "Fougere" list was the shortest of all the lists: Since this book was written and conceived for industry professionals and not the public, it is exhaustive and breaks each family into three and four, sometimes five divisions, so it is a very reliable source. Unfortunately, I know that it is now out of print and unavailable to buy.
    "...a Chacun son Mauvais Gout."

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Fougere

    My mature vintage Paco Rabanne is the closest to the Fougère genre in my collection.

    By the way: Anybody knows the one in the picture?

    TIM_3959.jpg
    Se son fiori fioriranno ...

  21. #21

    Default Re: Fougere

    Whilst the term Fougere is used a lot, and possibly used in an inappropriate way; the basic idea of Fougere is quite simple. Fougere is the French word for Fern, and whilst most ferns do not have a smell the original Fougere Royale was described as being the smell a Fern would have if it had one (!) All Fougeres (and I mean all) contain an accord that is made of Lavender, Geranium and Bergamot. The original Fougere Royale used masses of Coumarin (found in Tonka) and Oakmoss. All Fougeres contain elements of these notes. It is possible to bend this basic structure in many directions. Add spices, such as Cinnamon and Clove, and you get Imperial Leather. Add (originally) Nitromusks, or Polycyclic musks and other sweeter notes and you end up with Brut. Add other Citrus notes, especially Lime, with some Allyl Amyl Glycolate, plus some Ambroxan, and you get Cool Water. To this basic structure of Lavender, Bergamot and Geranium, you can add just about whatever you want, resulting the hundreds of Fougeres we have today.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Fougere

    Wow - I vaguely remember this thread from the old days (for me).

    David - thanks for your post. You don't see coumarin as a necessary component of the fougere accord?

    Can you give me a starting point for the proportions to combine the lavender, bergamot, and geranium in? It would be fun to tinker with this.
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  23. #23

    Default Re: Fougere

    Not all Fougeres contain Coumarin (as far as I am aware) although as Lavender contains Coumarin, I guess every Fougere does contain it! The proportions of the three oils (or Bases, of a mix of chemicals that make up the three notes) are not set in stone. By increasing one, or reducing another a different effect may be achieved. As a (very) general rule of thumb, I would go for 3 of Bergamot, 2 of Lavender and 1 of Geranium, and see why happens. It's Perfumery, you can play around to your heart's content.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Fougere

    Thank you David. I need to get some geranium oil, and then I'll play around. I just wanted a general idea of the correct proportions as a starting point, because otherwise I worry I'll get them so far wrong I wouldn't even know which way to go!
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