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Is your man wearing Lavender?

It may come as a surprise to many that our Jersey Gentleman’s Cologne contains 4% of Genuine Jersey lavender oil.

To many, lavender is still associated with women.  In fact, what most men may not realise, however, is that they are the ones who are more likely to be wearing the lavender!

Lavender is used widely as a key perfumery material. It’s fragrance is one of fresh herbaceousness: clean and fresh, but without being too floral. It is often used in soaps, bath products and refreshing fragrances. Although there are overt lavender fragrances on the market, such as our Lavender Eau de Toilette, there is much wider use of lavender as a “nuanceur” – discreet and in the background, but still adding an impression of cleanliness and natural freshness to a fragrance.

One key area, and possibly the largest use of lavender in fragrances, is in masculine fragrances within the “Fougère” (meaning fern) category.

This category of men’s fragrances is undoubtedly one of the most popular. The term was coined by Paul Parquet - the chief perfumer for Houbigant in 1882.

He discovered that if the ingredients lavender, oakmoss (a sticky resin extracted from a lichen found on oak trees in southern Europe which has an earthy, mossy, woody fragrance with slightly leathery elements) and Coumarin (synthetically produced, but also found in Tonka beans and having a sweet, herbaceous-warm fragrance reminiscent of cut hay) were blended together in a certain ratio you got an unexpected, appealing fragrance, which does not smell like any of the individual constituents. 'The whole is greater than the sum of the parts' would be an expression that sums up the effect of tblending these three ingredients. The blend (called an “accord” in perfumery terms) became the key for the original Houbigant Royal men’s fragrance.

Since then, the Fougere accord has become the basis of a whole host of best selling men’s fragrances. Although many of these fragrances may have this accord at their heart, when used with many other ingredients the Fougère category becomes very broad and can be broken into sub-categories such as Woody Fougère , Fresh Fougère, Spicy Fougère and Green Fougère.

Examples of successful Fougère fragrances include Brut (Faberge), Paco Rabanne Pour Homme, Kouros (Yves Saint Laurent), Cool Water (Davidoff), Drakkar Noir (Guy Laroche), Polo Sport (Ralph Lauren), Jazz (YSL), Amber and Lavender (Jo Malone) and, of course, our Jersey Lavender Gentleman’s Cologne.

So, ladies, the next time your man “turns his nose up” at the notion of lavender, just remind him that it may be him who wears the lavender and not you.

July 2007

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