Saturday, March 5, 2011

Perfume Formulas, Part 1

FOUGERE, (pronounced foozsh-air) means "fern" in French.   This classic  perfume family is built on a base of lavender, coumarin, and oakmoss. Many men's fragrances belong to this family of fragrances, which is characterized by its fresh, sharp, herbaceous and woodland scent.  

Fougere Royale by Houbigant was made back in 1821, and Jicky by Guerlain came along a few years later.  

Here are some famous modern fougeres:

Faberge’s Brut, Caron’s Tabac Blond. Canoe by Dana, Clinique Wrappings, Kenzo Parfum d'Ete, Givenchy III.   Also Annick Goutal Eau d'Hadrien, O de Lancome, Yardley English Lavender. Paco Rabanne for Men, and Guy Laroche Drakkar Noir. The list would be incomplete without a mention of Davidoff Cool Water .

Although coumarin, is typically a synthetically laboratory produced material, the natural isolate is now available.  Both come in the form of white crystals.  Also, liatrix (deer’s tongue), sweetgrass, tonka bean, and vanilla contain enough of this sweet new mown hay/fresh field fragrance to be used successfully in an all natural blend.

The following is a very basic formula for a natural fougere base:
               Orange cold pressed oil 30
               Bergamot essential oil 75
               Labdanum resinoid 70
               Lavender essential oil 70
               Oakmoss absolute 50
               Vanillin natural isolate or Vanilla absolute 30

For those with access to aromachems, here is a formula for making a version of Fougere Royale:

Bergamot 120
Linalool 30
Lavender 70
Phenylacetaldehyde 10% 20
Methyl Salicylate 25
Phenylethyl Alcohol 60
Geranium 80
Ylang ylang 10
Anisic aldehyde 5
Oakmoss 50
Benzoin 50% 20
Labdanum resinoid 10
Patchouli 10
Vetiver 5
Amyl Salicylate 20
Coumarin 100
Heliotropine 30
Hydroxycitronellal 20
Musk* 60
Vanillin 5
Jasmine base** 100
*Musks used at the time were nitro musks. The modern perfumer can substitute with Ethylene Brassylate or any of the newer musks.
**Suggest Sampaquita, Hedione, or any of the newer jasmine bases.

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  1. Thank you so much for sharing this formula I will do my own perfume. Keep sharing valuable information. :)


  2. What great information, Shelley! It was interesting to learn that courmarin is now available as a natural isolate. I am going to keep this article in my archives.