What makes a perfume novel and different? Sometimes, it is a fragrant note that has not been used before, as is the case with many perfumes by the brand Imaginary Authors. Often it is a combination of fragrant notes, the so-called accord, that surprises and inspires us like candied ginger and tuberose in Twilly by Hermes. And very rarely, maybe once in a few decades, it is an accord so unique, characteristic and recognizable, that it gives the name of an entire family of perfumes. Its structure becomes the basis of thousands of other fragrances. One such revolutionary fragrance is Paul Parquet’s masterpiece – Fougere Royale.
The name Fougere Royale or Royal Fern is more of a metaphor, as the fern itself has no scent, nor is it used in perfume making. Fern or fougere stands for aromatic perfumes, with a very sharp and fresh, masculine smell that rests on the conjunction of coumarin and aromatic herbs.
Namely, Paul Parquet was one of the first perfumers who experimented with synthetic materials in perfumes production and thus opened the door to many creations that followed Fougere Royale and introduced perfumery itself into a new, modern era. The material that marked Fougere Royale in the first place, and then all other fougere perfumes, is coumarin, an isolate from tonka.
Coumarin in combination with lavender gives a new whole, which is more than its constituent parts, and this phenomenon is valid for all other accords in perfumery, as well as the rest of the known world. This is precisely what we call synergy. Thanks to the intoxicating power of these two fragrant notes’ synergy, legendary perfumes such as Azzaro Pour Homme, Paco Rabanne Pour Homme, Yves Saint Laurent Kouros, and Rive Gauche, Guy Laroche Drakkar Noir, and many others were created.
In modern perfumery, many perfumers have given their interpretations of fougeres, changing the traditionally used notes. One of the best examples of replacing coumarin with a fragrant note of hay can be felt in the Erawan by the perfume brand Dusita. And the replacement of lavender with another aromatic note of mint in the new, popular creation of Chanel – Boy.
Although based on prominent notes of lavender and coumarin, Fougere Royale’s perfume composition was subtly enriched with high-quality citrus and woody notes, making it tricky and almost impossible to reformulate. Namely, since this masterpiece of the Houbigant house from 1882 has been discontinued in the meantime, in 2010 an attempt at reformulation was made, which can be found in stores today. Unfortunately, unsuccessful. However, it is still a reference fougere that all perfume lovers must try to see the original structure of the fougere genre on an authentic example. The researcher will find everything that should be in it: lavender and bergamot, geranium and rose, tonka and musk, but without the X factor that the original exuded—the sad fate of once-great classic.[Fragrance notes] top notes: lavender, rosemary, chamomile; middle notes: carnation, geranium, rose, cinnamon; base notes: musk, tonka, vanilla, patchouli, sage, amber, oakmoss. [Fragrance group] fougere.
The perfume creator is Paul Parquet, and Rodrigo Flores Roux did the reformulation in consultation with Roja Dove.