Let me tell you right away: the smell of the perfumes of the “Fougère Family” has nothing to do with the smell of the undergrowth plant, called fern. It is rather the typically masculine and virile scent of colognes, in fashion since Napoleon I.
It is a fragrance that we associate with cleanliness and reminds us of the ritual of shaving. Indeed, the fern accord is also widely used in hygiene products, such as soap and shaving foam.
The “Fougère Family” category of perfume was established in the 19th century in men’s perfumery, with the arrival of eau de Cologne. It is Napoleon who put it in fashion, preferring its freshness and lightness (4 to 6% of perfume), to a heavy and animal perfume, as men wore until then.
Shortly after, in 1882, the perfumer Paul Parquet dares new scents in the perfume “Royal Fern”: he associates lavender, oak moss and precious woods. This new architecture of perfume for men will revolutionize the male perfumery, so much so that the perfume gives its name to the new olfactory family, the Fougère scent, which will be taken up by all perfumers until the 1960s.
The fragrances used in the architecture of Fougère perfumes have evolved. While they originally had a powdery, leathery, citrus or musky note, the Fougère family is now often dressed with an amber note or a fruity facet.
The Fougères category has been updated in the early 2010s: the accord is less vanilla and lighter, while remaining fresh and very masculine, to appeal to younger people.
The architecture of a perfume is composed of 5 to 10 components assembled. The scent, for example Fougère, when used as the main theme (or accord) is the soul of the fragrance, which defines its family, in this case the Fougère family. It is one of the 6 categories of perfumes for men and women, according to the classification of the French Committee of Perfume (CFP).
In the perfumes of the Fougère family are accentuated the odors of lavender, lavandin and bergamot. Are associated also pinkish, green and woody scents, as the geranium, the rose or the carnation, the vetiver, the oak moss and the tonka bean (and its main molecule: the coumarin).
Perfumes, toilet waters, shaving foams of the category Fougère can then be dressed with various notes or facets, which will come to complexify the top notes, heart and bottom of the perfume Fougères. Perfumes from other families can, likewise, be accompanied by a fern facet.
Nowadays, perfumes with a fern accord often have an aromatic or citrus top note, as well as a floral, orange or even solar facet heart note. Finally, in the base note, we can find amber, leathery or musky facets.