Fougère is one of the main, traditional families of fragrances. Meaning “fern-like”, it is characteristic of fragrances of this family to possess a basic accord, whilst featuring a top note that is lavender in essence and in aroma. Base notes of oakmoss, cumarin, and tonka bean, are also signature elements to a fougère fragrance. Other variations of the family can part ways with the non-essential nuances, but these basic elements must remain present if the fragrance is to be truly fougère. Aromatic fougère — a fougère inspired fragrance that possesses aromatic elements — compositions feature extensive usage of aromatic notes, from floral extracts, to woody notes, to herbaceous or spicy tones.
Modern fougère fragrances often include animalic notes, to impart qualities of warmth and heartiness. They are also quite commonly found to have citrusy qualities added to them, and even tendencies that linger towards that of green or floral. Bergamot is frequently seen as an additive to boost the sharpness of the lavender top note, and vetiver and geranium may be present as modifiers on the basic accord.
Fougère is also very popular in men’s fragrances.