Françoise Rapp

Fougère natural fragrance accord is a relatively new addition to the world of perfumery, unlike oriental or woody fragrances, which have been around for centuries. Before the creation of the first fougère fragrance, heavy and animal scents were popular. During the Renaissance, opulent musk, civet, and amber fragrances were famous, despite hygiene not always being a priority.

However, at the beginning of the 19th century, Napoleon I established a new fashion trend by becoming a fervent lover of Eau de Cologne, a fresh and energizing perfume. The chic, an almost dandy man of the 19th century, began prioritizing hygiene and self-care. As a result, the essential barber became a centerpiece of men’s grooming routines.

The Birth of Fougère Perfumes

The history of fougère perfumes dates back to 1882, with the creation of Fougère Royale by the Houbigant perfumery. Perfumer Paul Parquet developed the first fougère fragrance, which would become the leader of this new family.

Fougère Royale was a huge hit with men due to the scents of lavender, wood, and coumarin, which reminded them of the sensations of cleanliness when leaving the barber.

The Fougère Fragrance Accord

The fougère fragrance is an olfactory family mainly used for men’s fragrances, represented by an accord of aromatic or oriental essences.

The classic fougère accord begins with a fresh, top note that gives off a ‘clean’ feel. This top note is typically made up of bergamot, lavender, and lemon, which provide a crisp and fresh scent. The heart note usually includes pink geranium or rose. In the base, woody notes such as moss, tonka bean, cistus, or benzoin finish on a soft and enveloping note.

In addition to the traditional notes mentioned above, the fougère natural fragrance accord includes aromatic notes with green herbs such as mint, sage, basil, or thyme. On the other hand, oriental fougère tends more towards sensual and warm dimensions, thanks to adding spices, woody notes (vetiver, cedar), or oriental notes with resins like benzoin or frankincense.

Modern and trendy variations of fougère perfumes include more clearly flowery, marine, or fruity variations that give a youthful touch to this somewhat classic accord.

The Evolution of Fougère Perfumes

Fougère natural fragrance accords can be easily created in natural perfumery. This accord was initially made up of natural essences, just like the famous Eau de Cologne. Over time, this family has evolved to include powdery, leathery, citrus, aromatic, and oriental variations. In addition, it has modernized either for legislative issues or to target a younger clientele. Nowadays, fougère perfumes are used for unisex or even feminine fragrances.

In feminine fragrances, the fougère natural fragrance accord is worked with notes of geranium and rose, with citrus for a very fresh and energizing note, or softer and vanilla, almost milky, with tonka bean.

Learn the fragrant families in module 2 of the French Natural Perfumery Course. The session starts each first Monday of the month. 

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