Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Wild Fern

The term "fougère" or "fern" is thrown around a lot by perfume enthusiasts.  It's a fragrance genre that's typically meant for men, and in fact, the word is often misused to describe any fragrance for men.  However, if you've always wondered what a real fougère smells like, when it's in its purest and most unadulterated, stripped down form, then you need to sample Wild Fern. 

Allegedly produced in the late 1800's, it's one of the very first fougères.  In fact, some people claim that Wild Fern was the first fougère, but I have no idea if that's true, nor do I care all that much.  I've heard all the boring debates about whether Fougère Royal, English Fern or Wild Fern was the first, and they put me to sleep.  What impresses me is how this classic, simple fragrance has kept on ticking for so long, disregarding all fragrance fads since that time.  Even if it smelled like shit, I'd be impressed with that fact alone.

A classic fougère is a perfume that's built upon a foundation of three ingredients: lavender, coumarin and oakmoss.  A perfumer can add countless other ingredients to that basic accord, yet it can still be considered a fougère.  For the past hundred years or so, there have been so many variations, it's easy to forget what a pure fougère smells like.  That's where Wild Fern comes in, because it's the baseline.  It also happens to be the best, most perfect classical fougère on the market today.

Wild Fern contains more than just lavender, coumarin and oakmoss, but it's those three basic ingredients that are most prominent.  Wild Fern's scent is big on the lavender end of the accord, and it's by far the strongest note.  It provides a dry, crisp, razor sharp edge to the fragrance that I love, as well as natural freshness; this smells more like French lavender than the sweeter, more powdery type of English lavender.  The coumarin, like with all fougères, provides a slightly powdery, subtly sweet foundation, and it buffs out some of the lavender's sharpness, as well as acts as a fixative so that the smell of the lavender lasts longer.

What I really love about Wild Fern is how green it all smells.  It's one of the greenest fragrances I know of, no doubt due to its use of basil (one of the greenest scents on earth!), geranium and clean oakmoss in the base.  Wild Fern is not of the brackish, algae-like green smell - it's a wonderfully crisp, fresh, grassy green scent.  Slapping this cologne on will hit you with a blast not unlike the sensation you get when you cut into a cucumber, or mince basil leaves or crush flower stems or grass in your hand.  It's the best kind of green smell.

If you love fougères, or think you love fougères, you have to try this.  If you love fougères and have an interest in the history of perfume, then you have to own this.  It's simply the best classical fougère money can buy.

MY RATING:  10/10

Fragrance House:  Geo. F. Trumper


  1. Thank you for doing Wild Fern, the best fougere I have smelled and I'm on to my third bottle, a fougere that really smells like a fern and the only drawback is that there aren't more like it.

    1. It's the best pure fougere I've ever smelled too.