A Celebration for the House of Houbigant
“It all began with just a basket of flowers in 1775…”
And for the following centuries of history, the House of Houbigant made continuous groundbreaking discoveries in the formulation of perfumes that have revolutionized forever the way perfumes are constructed. Without the House of Houbigant, modern perfumery as we know it today would not exist.
The company’s history is synonymous with past royalty. Houbigant fragrances accompanied Marie Antoinette in 1793 when she was executed by guillotine; 3 vials of perfume hid in her corsage to give her strength. Then Josephine, the future Empress of France, indulged in the liquid prestige. The fragrances continued on into Napoleon Bonaparte’s campaign chest during the years he was conquering Europe. During the time he was in Paris for “The Hundred Days,” he found the time to shop at the perfume house and today, the bill of sales is framed at Houbigant. In 1829, Houbigant was appointed royal perfumer to Princess Adelaide d’Orleans, in 1838 to Queen Victoria of England, and then in 1890 to the Imperial Court of Russia. Then there was the King & Queen of Holland, the Queen of Italy…
And eventually on December 1, 2010, the House of Houbigant voyaged to the luxurious Rose Club at the Plaza Hotel in New York City for a celebration. Festivities for a somewhat new beginning. Introduced in 1882, Houbigant’s Fougère Royale fragrance defined a new category of perfumes – fougère meaning fern-like. Today, the company has revived this outstanding classic in an elegant and contemporary style. The formula has been reworked masterfully in collaboration with renown perfumer, Mr. Rodrigo Flores-Roux.
As press, friends + other guests conversed with drinks, a model dressed as Marie Antoinette mingled among the crowd. Fashion + class & jet lag had the pleasure of being introduced to Mr. Gian Luca Perris, Executive Vice President of Houbigant and his sister Ms. Elisabetta, Creative Director. Out came the black, sleek cube to reveal the encased jewel. A bottle of Fougère Royale. And then with much affection, both brother + sister gave a presentation of the fragrance explaining the fragrance’s transition from the past into the revised contemporary experience of 2010. Also, the fragrance is currently sold out in NYC + San Francisco in regards to the USA market.
After having finished with Mr. Gian Luca + Ms. Elisabetta, fashion + class & jet lag sat next to the master perfumer, Mr. Rodrigo Flores-Roux, to feel all the passion that went into making such a prestige fragrance. One could see the euphoric energy behind his eyes as he explained the creation process, the adding + subtracting of certain notes + the wanting to retain the original aura of Houbigant while catapulting the company into the next century. Furthermore, he explained that the fragrance is neither specifically created for gentlemen nor ladies + that it smells completely different between two. Everyone is meant to enjoy Fougère Royale. A regal veil to anyone’s image.
The fragrance begins with refreshing top notes of bergamot + lavender & chamomile which give way to spicy, floral middle notes of geranium + cinnamon & Rose de Mai. Once dried, the base notes of Fougère Royale finish off elegantly with amber + patchouli & tonka beans.
Fougère Royale Eau de Parfum 100 mL – $170
Fougère Royale Pur Parfum 100 mL – $600
(pictures via Houbigant + the Plaza Hotel & Archives)