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A guide to Fougère

Fougere means ‘fern-like’ in French and describes one of the main fragrance families that also include Floral, Oriental, Woody, Chypre, Gourmand, Fruity and Citrus. Fragrance families are ‘parent groups’ of scents that have been categorised based on their scent. Fragrances are classified by their dominant accord, which gives them their principal character, and then further subdivides their more nuanced components. For instance, a “leather fougere” means that the core character of the perfume is fougere, while ‘leather’ refers to the secondary key accent that defines the perfume but it is not its overall impression. Due to their subjective nature, fragrances are sometimes classed in slightly different families. Given the complexity of each Clive Christian perfume, you will see that they rarely fit into one singular family.

The very first fougere fragrance was created by perfumer Paul Parquet in 1882 for the house of Houbigant. He called his creation ‘Fougère Royale’ and with it started a new trend in perfumery. He was the first to extract the synthetic component Coumarin, an isolate from the Tonka Bean. Initially, Monsieur Parquet intended the perfume to be worn by women but his fougere creation soon became very popular amongst the dandies of the day. Nowadays, Fougères are mostly masculine fragrances with the Chypre fragrance family being its feminine counterpart. Having fallen out of favour over time, fougere perfumes are having a resurgence and increasing in popularity due to their classic nature with modern day perfumers adding new unique twists on this classic category.

Traditionally, a fougere perfume combines Lavender, Oakmoss and Coumarin. Lavender provides a wonderful sweetness whilst Oakmoss gives the fragrance a woody quality, freshness is added by the blend of Coumarin, which has a mild smell of harvested hay.

Alongside the traditional ingredients, modern fougere fragrances often include notes of Bergamot, Galbanum and Vetiver. Generally, fougere scents are very clean and natural smelling and are characterised by a dry, grassy, hay-like dry down. With a scent that’s both woody and fresh, fougere perfumes are very versatile and can be worn on a wide variety of occasions and should definitely be part of a full fragrance wardrobe.

Some of the most popular fougere fragrances today are sub-categorised into Citrus Fougere, Woody Fougere and Leather Fougere.

The most popular fougere perfume in the Clive Christian portfolio is Noble VII – Rock Rose. This classic Leather Fougère perfume is a complex, intriguing and dynamic blend that features Bergamot, Tarocco Orange and Mandarin in the top, Lavender, Rock Rose and Geranium in the heart and Sandalwood, Saffron and Cedarwood in the base.

A typical smooth Woody Fougere pefume from Clive Christian is Noble XIX – Cedar Leaf, other fougeres in the portfolio include the distinctly different Spicy Fougere fragrance Noble VIII Immortelle, the sophisticated musky fougere Noble XX  Papyrus and the warm incense spiked V Amber Fougere.

Discover all Clive Christian fougere perfumes and add this must-have fragrance family to your wardrobe.

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