Weekly Fumes: Fougère by Murdock

John Preston

I always think of fougères – lavender dominated, earthy herbal scents, usually masculine – as the smell of uncles. The few men who wore scent (or aftershave as it was always referred to) when I was a small boy always seem to smell of this cheap and macho combination and it repelled me.

Brut, for example, is a fougère. Decades later, perfume curiosity has got the better of me and made me research this fragrance type and Murdock’s superb Fougère, actually named after the scent category it represents, is an excellent antidote to the uncle smell of my youth.

Murdock has strived to create a brand that revisits the quintessentially British barbershop, they have outlets in Liberty and Shoreditch and for the last few years have incorporated several scents and grooming products into their range, Fougère being my favourite. Upon application and for about the first 90 minutes a bright and soapy, wet lavender note prevails. It’s modern and supported by gentle spices and is synthetically amplified , hard to pin point exactly and I can’t compare this part of the fragrance’s journey to another scent – which is saying something.

Although invigorating and enjoyable, my favourite part of Fougère is the remaining five hours or so, and this scent is more than capable of withstanding a 9-5 day. I adore oak moss but due to EU regulations and its alleged tendency to cause an allergic reaction in about three people (maybe more, but it’s a tiny minority nonetheless), it is getting harder to find and iconic scents are being tragically re-formulated.

But Fougère is all about oak moss. After a couple of hours the earthy, dirt smell lingering on your wrists and wafting up from your chest is irresistible and very well done. The lavender is still there but it takes a back seat whilst the heart and base of this scent overtakes.

There are other elements here but this interesting and new lavender note and the more photo-realistic vibrant, ground-moss make Fougère a bracing interpretation of a sometimes fogey and aggressively hairy-chested scent option, and I can see no reason why a woman shouldn’t favour it for herself either.

Don’t worry about whether this is season appropriate, Fougère is as good on a hot August day as it is on a gloomy February Wednesday, I’m on my third bottle already. A fragrance for curious and stylish uncles (and aunties) everywhere.

Murdock, Fougère, 100ml £70

About John Preston

South London based music obsessive with strong opinions about most things. Doubts Madonna has another good record in her but would love more than anything to be proved wrong.