What Does Fougere Mean In Perfumery?

When describing a perfume or cologne, if you hear the term "fougere" (pronounced foo-zhair) you will know it refers to a subfamily of fragrances that are characterized by the combination of fresh, grassy, and mossy scents.  They are commonly described as classic and timeless and defined by their green and herbaceous aroma, with a slightly sweet and woody undertone.  Fougere fragrances have an essential masculine structure but ironically, this fragrance subfamily was originally created for women in 1882. 

The word "fougere" itself is French for "fern," and the term was coined to help reflect the fresh, green, and slightly woody character of the fragrance. This type of fragrance is not one ingredient but an olfactory accord meant to evoke the scent of ferns in the forest. The perfumes that are categorized aromatically under the fougere description fall under the main Woody Fragrance Family.

They typically feature top herbaceous notes of lavender, sage, rosemary, thyme, and basil blended with traditional fougere accord complemented with bergamot, and other citrus scents; middle notes of geranium, coumarin, and other floral and herbal scents; and base notes of oakmoss, tonka bean, patchouli, and other woody and earthy scents making this fragrance subfamily an all-time favorite in men’s perfumery.