Since Paul Parquet's Fougère Royale for Houbigant introduced in 1882 which created the abstract proposition of the scent of a fern in a forest thanks in part to the adjunction of the synthetic coumarin, so-called fougere scents have become the signature scent of the masculine half of the population. A classical fougère accord is distinguished by notes of geranium, lavender, oakmoss, coumarin (hay). There are variations and sub-families.
Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle has introduced a new perfume composed by perfumer Dominique Ropion (winner of the International Cosmetic Valley Prize 2008) titled Géranium pour Monsieur in both a throwback to those classic men's perfumes linked to memories of his childhood and as a renewed take on them. The name of the scent is a reference to a key component of fougeres, geranium, which is to be found in the heart of the fragrance here together with Rhodinol which keeps only the fresh facets of Chinese geranium, and which Malle calls "fantastic."
A note to readers: many consider press release documents as suspicious literature, I tend to consider them as historic documents and advise skeptics to just read in-between the lines. Of note here is the fact that a trend that has appeared more and more in this type of material but which is shown in full here is a technical detailing of ingredients. Editions de Parfums is taking the lead in going further than most descriptions of perfumes nowadays by giving out not one or two synthetic molecules but a whole list...
This Géranium pour Monsieur is definitely different from his 19th century ancestor, but like it, appears to be a vector of modernity and benefiting from the progresses of perfume chemistry with gusto.
The perfume was composed on an idea proposed by Frédéric Malle who says that he was inspired by the scents of the luxurious soaps of his childhood. While working on his own soap Antérénéa, he took a renewed interest in the somewhat overlooked geranium notes and decided then to showcase them one day in a perfume.
"Later, I shared this idea with Dominique Ropion who was enthusiastic about it and quickly proposed to me a few leads around that theme.Some of the notes are: mint, geranium from China, Rhodinol, Anéthol, cinnamon, clove, white musks, incense, benzoin...
I then discovered that not only, that idea had meaning, but that associated with fresh aniseed-y notes and modern musks, it offered the possibility to create one of those perfumes that offer a tenacious freshness, typical of masculine perfumery, but offering a new form, far from those infamous "aromatic fougeres" to which some people feel they often have to go back to."
Stay tuned for more information. Here it is finally, my review of Géranium pour Monsieur.