In French, 'fougère ' means 'fern' and this gives a very good clue as to the style of this Family. The eponymous original Fougère Royale was created by Houbigant in 1882. This legendary perfume reflected the mood of its time by advertising its heavy reliance on the new synthetics of the period. It also contained the now classic herbaceous ingredients of the fougère type: mosses, hay and plenty of lavender. So, aromatic and fresh but with a musky deep warm base.
Fougères are traditionally associated with male fragrance use, perhaps because their ingredients reflect the great outdoors, the darkness of woods and the dampness of earth. They have a chthonic aspect to them; nowadays they also have great appeal to women who find commercial perfumes overly sweet and cloying. Les Senteurs stocks Caron's Pour Un Homme, the iconic 1934 fougère which passes from one generation to the next like a sentimental heirloom. Wonderfully stylish and simple, Pour Un Homme is a suave, soothing blend of lavender oils, precious woods and vanilla.
As 21st century perfumery becomes ever more adventurous and free-wheeling, especially in the niche sector, fougeres intersect freely with other families. Moment Perpetuel by Les Eaux Primordiales is a delicious nostaligic fruity fougere: a blackberry picnic on a sunny moor. Fougère Bengale (Parfum d'Empire) strikes an Oriental note with accords of gingerbread and tea - a jungle fougere, with a whiff of tiger's tail!
Fougères are closely allied to the Greens but are softer, more powdery, less abrasive in mood. Fougères are reminiscent of the forest floor, a carpet of mosses, resinous pine needles and crushed fragrant bracken.