Feminine to Masculine Exploring the world of The French Fern.

By Jo Phillips

You may love fragrance so much that terms like Chypre or Gourmand are second nature, if so then you know what is meant by a Fougère? Worry not if you don’t, as it’s a relatively old perfumery term taken partly from the French word for the Fern, think deep green, mossy, or woody notes. But, what is lesser known is that these notes so often considered masculine in our times came initally to the fragrance world as a womens scent. And if that were not enough the group is actually a set of notes, imagined rather than a real selection of garden plants.

Fragrances created and marketed for men are often refered to as being a Fougère style. This tends ot mean they will contain notes such as Lavender, Geranium, Vetiver, Bergamot, all extracted from plants we may smell when walking in a forrest of particularly green garden. Alongside are synthetic notes of Oakmoss and Coumarin (it can be found naturally in Tonka bean too). This is why in some senses it is an imagined scent because the actual fern plant scent is minimal.

The very first fragrance in the story was Fougère Royale, from Houbigant, in 1882, which sought to capture the scentless image of ferns in fragrant form. Initially, it was originally created for women but the creation quickly became popular amongst the men of the day.

The version of Fougere Royale on the market today is not the same as the original (it was reworked in 2010), but it’s still a solid fougere that shows precisely why it has never gone out of style.

But this important category is still much loved and much explored for modern-day interpretations. The new collection for Molton Brown does just that. Meet Wild Mint and Lavadin.

Created by Senior Perfumer Nathalie Koobus, this fragrance is a modern take on a classic fougère. Right away feel the woosh from a cool forest, where a crystal stream runs wild, dotted with wild shrubs and greenary.

Wild herbs of Mint and Basil shown themsleves vibrant and free glittering the area, alongside the most verdant of lavenders the Lavandin plant.

Sit by a shady bank and breathe in the wildness yet the cool and calming joy of the wild outdoors.

stimulating yet soothing, it imagines an exploration of a cool forest. The rush of a crystal-clear stream. Shady banks of shrubs, stalks and bushes. The freedom of off-grid adventure.

To get in touch with these magnificent scents the Molton Brown team has crafted a collection of products to enjoy

Wild Mint & Lavandin Eau de Parfum opens with dazzling Wild Mint, and herbaceous Lavandin that moves into the warm and powdery heart of warm Orris whilst the base brings the signature of a final flourish with soft spice of creamy Nutmeg and creamy wood of Tonka Bean. A naturally sophisticated elegant verdent yet warming scent. This perfume also comes in a handy handbag size.

Wild Mint and Lavendin EDT is a lighter fresher version Wild Mint, and herbaceous Lavandin heart with a base of Tonka Bean

For the Eau de Parfum, Nathalie picked creamy nutmeg as the signature note. A warm balance to tonic mint, it leaves a
dry down that’s addictive, takes hold and leaves a naturally sophisticated impression.

Maybe the scent inspires you to bathe or shower in the morning for a vigorous and enlivened morning clean if so the Wild Mint & Lavandin Bath & Shower Gel is just perfect. Get the same whoosh of wild greenness in a liquid wash.

“I wanted to capture the forest walks in my home of Provence, where nature’s invigorating air of verdant herbaceous shrubs is edged by purple fields of lavandin.”

Nathalie Koobus

Interestingly Natalie worked under a very important Nose (perfume maker) called Jacques Chabert who hs in the past created some of the more renowned fragrnces in the Molton Brown range.

Importanly the sustainably sourced lavandin oil is from Provence, France, where a collective of local farmers use innovative technology to harvest the plant in a way that benefits long-term land biodiversity, reduces water usage and improves the welfare of the community.

It is also good to note that all products from the brand are cruelty free and created in their carbon neutral factory in Hertfordshire. To help lower waste, almost all the bottles are made from 50% recycled plastic.

And on a last note the brand have a ʻReturn. Recycle. Reward.’ scheme in all stores in the UK and Ireland. Take back your Molton Brown bottles and enjoy 10% off your next purchase. Find out more here

If you cant get to the banks of the river with its free flowing waters and hebal gifts, at least get there from a offering in the Molton Brown new Wild Mint and Lavadin Collection.

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