Houbigant Fougere Royale

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  1. odysseusm
    Jaime, we are glad to have you here, and you are our pipeline for information on FR. I hope it doesn't seem too self-serving to say that if the Houbigant rep wanted to send me a small sample, I could offer a Basenotes comparison between the old and the new. Since I may be the only active member who has commented in the original, I'm happy to offer this service. I think the new FR has the potential to be something great.
  2. seasoldiermarine
    Hi Jaime, nice to hear from You. I will not rest until I try the Houbigant Fougere Royale
  3. MHV
    I've ordered a sample of vintage HFR from the Perfumed Court today. I chose the most concentrated form (oil). It's not cheap if you look at the price per mL, but it's rather cheap when you do so to acquire an education! Probably not something I will wear more than once or twice, but at least I'll have a brain imprint. Got vintage Jicky as well for comparisons.

    Reports to come...
  4. MHV
    I have received today my sample of Houbigant Fougère Royale perfume oil from The Perfumed Court, and to my astonishment, it's an absolute dead ringer for Roger & Gallet Fougère soap!

    The same sweetness, the same tiny mint note; from a cursory sniff, it seems that the closest available equivalent to this historical landmark is nothing else but a humble bath soap.

    More observations later after I give this a proper sniff.
  5. odysseusm
    Thanks for these postings, MHV. Very interesting! I like R&G soap very much, I think it is an amazing product. That the Houbigant lands near it shows the quality of R&G.
  6. jtd
    I'd be very interested to hear from those who've tried both the vintage and the new iteration. How do they compare? I think I've let expectation get the best of me. I tried the reissued FR and was underwhelmed. While the drydown had a pleasant soapy but dark quality that I love in fougeres in general, FR mostly seemed like a mild lavender fragrance, not the trombones-blasting, coumarinic feast I imagined. Again, my expectation, my problem. Still, in trying to consider FR on its own, it just didn't capture me. Had I not known this was the remake of a classic and had simply smelled it 'cold' i probably would have said, "Nice, soapy lavender. Nothing to write home about except that it gets better and shows a bit more complexity over time. No small feat these days." Probably.

    Not what I imagined, but lovely in its own right and thoughtfully made. I think if fougeres and chypres as being defined not only by their constituent notes but by their demonstration of classic evolution: top, heart, base. FR nails this.
  7. MHV
    I got a decant of the reissue HFR a while ago, and it was a bathroom disaster: never had my girlfriend responded so negatively to a fragrance. Probably something about the floral opening, which I found rather feminine.

    After that, it morphs into a more ordinary aromatic fougère, sometimes a bit woodsy, but more wood than foliage, and it never reaches the voluminous sweetness that coumarin gives to the original HFR (I got some perfume oil of it), the Roger & Gallet soap, or the Trumper/Penhaligon ferns.

    It's a very disappointing product, in that it does not capture the main point of the original fougères: sweet, fresh, and herbaceous.
  8. le mouchoir de monsieur
    le mouchoir de monsieur
    This is my first post in a group, and this is my first group: When I saw there was a group called "Fougerites," I knew there was no way I could not be a member. Apparently, not a difficult thing to join, as I just clicked and there I was. Now, there are some of you in this group who know me, others who don't, but to all and sundry do please take note that I am not a vindictive or bitter person. The following may have some of you wondering if this is an overstatement. Here goes: First, my credentials: Briefly, I own and wear every classic fern (and by classic I don't mean YSL Rive Gauche Homme) currently available and still in production. I have worn through perhaps 20 to 35 500ml bottles of Penhaligon's "English Fern" eau de toilette over the course of my life, and a truly embarrassing amount of Jicky, Mouchoir de Monsieur: So much that I will not even admit. I do own about five different bottles of the original Fougere Royale, three of which are the latter "H pour homme" version, two are Houbigant. To me, the closest thing available to these is hands down "English Fern" by Penhaligon's, preferably in a ten to fifteen year old vintage. I was so excited to learn that Houbigant would release this that I was on a wait list to own a bottle of the "parfum" strength before it even arrived for launch. Unfortunately, -and I promise I am now on my best behaviour as I can be MUCH more graphic-- This is *NOT* Fougere Royale, this is not even remotely similar to Fougere Royale, and this bottle was the very first I ever just gave to a BN cohort, free of charge, in spite of its RIDICULOUS price, so bitter was I that I had waited with baited breath to own it, pre-paid for it, then opened it up to find that the juice it contained was so common and so utterly unlike what I was expecting (One does have expectations when Houbigant puts it's name on something) that i had to "get it out of my life." I was so angry, that the tiny pyrex decant that I kept before shipping the lot off to one of my good BN pals, lacquer box and all, I also threw in the rubbish. The ONE TIME I had it on my wrist, I was so appalled I had to scrub it off within an hour: I was embarrassed to smell that way. Those of you who are now imagining I am a fainting snob, reboot: I will wear Canoe, Old Spice, the plastic bottled "family size" of Agua Lavanda--I enjoy smelling all different kinds of ways but i will not smell common. (And: No, I don't think Old Spice -original- nor Canoe -original, made in france- smell common) (A good example of "common," I suppose, would be "Bleu" de Chanel) So there you have it: My first ever group comment. I'm sorry it had to be so vitriolic. Any body reading this who may be thinking of blind buying this on ebay (they are out there--and they were out there VERY fast--very much like when some cult band puts out a dud CD and the second hand bins overflow with them mere weeks after launch date) My advice: Just Say No. -leMDM
  9. MHV
    I dig you, MdM. I had the exact same reaction to the reissue: why bother doing something so unexceptional when you had something like there's nothing else on earth in your recipes book? And I hear you on the difference between "common" and "cheap."

    I can't believe they even skipped the big coumarin note altogether. What's the point of having HFR if not for the coumarin??
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