houbigant-fougere-royale
* The bottle looks all elegant and refined, but on first spray, it’s an intense bang of lavender and bergamot. 

* It starts off smelling like a regular men’s cologne, nothing special, but just wait because it gets better or worse depending on your mood.

* On good days, I get a spicy floral mix which dries down to an earthy amber.

* On bad days, it’s an evil caustic vetiver that borders on chemical waste.  It then fades into a dirty, musky patchouli with a bit of skunk (in a  bad way).

Summary:  So, I’ve worn this nearly 20 times while testing it in the hope of trying to discern what triggers the different scent journeys.  I simply can’t predict which way it will go when I wear it.  When it’s good, it’s really amazing.  When it’s bad, it puts me in such a bad mood that I feel like torturing unicorns.  This is an update of a classic fougere that pretty much defined the category.  I’ve never smelled the original, so I can’t compare.  All I know is that you should test this several times before you consider buying it. Longevity is good at more than 10 hours either way it goes (either a blessing or a curse). Although a little strong at first, it is office-friendly.

Other opinions:

Now Smell This
The Non-Blonde
That Smell
Persolaise
What Men Should Smell Like

Houbigant fragrances are available through Lucky Scent and Neiman Marcus.

Disclaimer: Bottle given to me as a gift from a friend – no disclaimer needed. Image courtesy of Lucky Scent.

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