Perfume Directory

Fougère Royale (1882)
by Houbigant


Fougère Royale information

Year of Launch1882
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 172 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerPaul Parquet
Parent CompanyLoft Fashion and Beauty Diffusion

About Fougère Royale

The very first fougère fragrance was created by Houbigant in 1882. Discontinued in the fifties, but relaunched in 1988. It was once again discontinued and revived once more in 2010.

Fougère Royale fragrance notes

Reviews of Fougère Royale

Fougère Royale (2010) is the ur-fougere reinvented for the post-IFRA world, fashioned together by Rodrigo Flores-Roux in the early years of the luxe-niche era as Houbigant sought to move upmarket.

If the word of those who knew the original well can be trusted, it's more polished now than it was in its classic form, though it's hard to say that this blend feels properly modern. It's to Rodrigo Flores-Roux's credit that this revamp of the classic formula belongs to no particular cultural moment: a fougere that straddles a century, but stands outside of time.

And it is that very same timelessness that I so admire about it and makes it my personal favorite of what we might call the Fougere Revival of the past decade or so (2010 saw the emergence of both Fougère Royale 2.0 and Sartorial, signifying the arrival of this new movement, which would carry over into stuff like Bracken Man and the Tom Ford retro-fougeres, which now may possibly work its way back into some true mass-market, mainstream releases if Beau de Jour turns out to be a true smash).

Appropriately, Fougère Royale feels closer to the original brief of the fougere form than most entries in the genre, insofar as it really does feel fern-like. It's fresh, herbal, and dark, with a smooth lavender heart. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, just gives it a new set of tires and puts it back on the road once again, and does so with aplomb.
05th April, 2020
One of the best "green" opening and mid flavors I've ever tried, but the version I sampled had too much vanilla in the base for my tastes. I prefer the drier "green" fragrances, but YMMV.

High quality product with great blending, would sure love to smell what the original release was like...

06th March, 2020
The word “fougere” apparently translates to “fern” in English. However, this doesn’t say much to most people. A fougere scent will come across as fresh, woody and distinctly masculine. Some may even use the phrase “barbershop” to describe the genre.

Fougere Royale was the first scent in the genre and this modern remake of the original is a superb rendition of the genre. It is a little hard to comment on how close this is to the original of 1882 as samples are... shall we say, a little hard to come by.

The modern version, released in 2010, starts off bold, citrus-fresh, herbaceous and punchy. It’s dry, sour even and lacks any hint of sweetness; perhaps a nod to its origin. There is also a distinct patchouli in the mix and this is apparent right the way down to the base. The fresh woodiness interweaves throughout the development stages whilst still maintaining the patchouli. The scent is particularly reminiscent of Amouage’s Bracken Man, although there are plenty of fougere scents out there that would equally compare to it.

Fougere Royale is an Eau de Parfum and lasts well throughout the working day. It can be enjoyed in all sorts of weather, but I can definitely see this being worn especially in warmer weather.

All lovers of fougere scents owe it to themselves to experience this scent.
21st October, 2019
Rudimentary but influential work that, with its lavender - coumarin - bergamot structure, inaugurated the fougère genre.

Vintage Fougère Royale is not a great perfume; it has moments of charm, but when compared to a modern fougère it feels a bit vague and lacking in direction. This is a structural problem caused but the lack of synthetics that were available to Paul Parquet when he invented the genre back in 1882.

Mitsouko is often thought to be Jacques Guerlain's perfected form of Coty's Chypre - which also invented a new genre; but over the years Fougère Royale has been graced with numerous Mitsouko's of its own. This is, ironically, due to the fact that the fougère has less character than the chypre and hence is more accommodating to the different interpretations that have been imposed on it in the last 130 years.

From a History of Perfume perspective Fougère Royale can hardly be overrated. But when it comes to the version I have worked on, the reality of the perfume doesn't support the mythologising that surrounds it. It's a good - and for a time - lovely scent, but not a masterpiece. For the real greatness of Fougère Royale it's necessary to look to some of its own Mitsouko's.


Vintage barbershop hair lotion in a non greasy, alcoholic base. 1950's or possibly earlier.
03rd October, 2019
Stardate 20190821:

I don't think I can add any thing new here. This is where "masculine" perfumery started.
Unfortunately I am not sure how the current one compares to the original.
Don't get me wrong. The current one is amazing. It is one fragrance everyone should have in their wardrobe. No excuses. Note that there are two versions out there - EDP and Extrait. Both are FBW. I find the EDP better (and more versatile) than extrait. Both can be had for under $1/ml.

But I wonder how the original one might have been. I have a bottle from 70s or so. It is called Houbigant Royal Fern cologne. But it is more of a EDC than a fougere. Nothing like (and,surprisingly, inferior to) what is out now.

21st August, 2019
Transcendent. What else can be said for this 137 year olde granddaddy of Fougeres? And it's amazing that it has as much to offer today as ever. It's as relevant today as any mens fragrance. Several other reviews have nailed down the details more eloquently than I can, but I will say this with confidence. Every serious fragrance loving man should have this in his collection.
26th February, 2019

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