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
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