Barrister and Mann - Fougère Gothique - First Impression

Barrister and Mann

It's almost that time folks... Barrister and Mann Fougère Gothique #soap and #aftershave has started shipping, save for those orders with an #EdP or the various Limited Edition ceramics. You've read about the notes in the accord... But what does it smell like? Let's find out!

What would the Devil smell like if he walked among us?

I actually received a decant of Fougère Gothique Eau de Parfum (EdP) quite some time ago... But I hesitated posting about it until now. For one, it was unmacerated (steeped) so I wanted to give it some time - until secondly, it was closer to delivery and the "real deal." While it may differ ever so slightly from the final product that lucky EdP purchasers receive - it should be pretty much spot on.

Officially, the notes are lavender, oakmoss, tonka, bergamot, geranium, balsam fir absolute, vetiver, cedar, black ashes, smoldering flame, mushroom, sandalwood, leather, tuberose and musk. Generally, it's described as a smoky fougère and I would agree that that's the vibe one gets, but there's so much more going on here - both up top and on the base.

It has the hallmarks of a classic fougère in that it combines lavender, oakmoss, bergamot, geranium, and tonka bean. Think Houbigant Fougére Royale - the granddaddy of fougére and the one that started it all. Not too much unlike the recent Barrister's Reserve Fern scent, actually - but this one goes in a totally different direction.

Upon first application, it's fairly earthy and ashy. Not quite "smoky" in the traditional sense (and certainly nothing like Nocturne, Roam, Unforgiven, Texas on Fire, Morocco or Darkfall to name a few). That's the mushroom, ashes and flame. The middle reveals the classic fougère thread with its slightly floral, green hit (especially the lavender and oakmoss) - further tempered by the also floral geranium/tuberose and slightly bitter, citrusy bergamot. The warmth of the tonka bean seeps in and paves the path for what's to come... Once fully dried down, the base takes hold. It's the base that I think most people will really enjoy. It takes the green oakmoss cue and throws in some grassy vetiver, with support from cedar and sandalwood, leather and musk - for a green and woodsy, musky finish... The balsam fir adds just a smidge of twang. Absolutely gorgeous.

I will say up front that this scent, at first blush, might not be to everyone's liking. Yes, I know - people love to use the word "polarizing" especially when it comes to #BarristerMann scents. I wouldn't go that far, and I urge people to properly take in the olfactory experience from start to finish. The open, I think, is what might trip up most people. It's earthy, somewhat dank and "smoky." As it dries down however, it becomes a more woodsy, musky affair with the classic fougère vibe in between. It's a truly complex accord that takes an interesting journey, and I think the scentheads out there will "get it" and truly appreciate it. Will calls this his magnum opus and his first real foray into true perfumery... Personally, I think it's fantastic and will receive much attention. You guys are in for a real treat.

As for the EdP specifically, it has a stronger medium amount of sillage and very nice longevity of 8+ hours. The juice is green; a few shades darker than say, Guerlain Vetiver. No doubt due to the oakmoss and/or vetiver. You can see what it looks like in tomorrow's SOTD post.

Expect a lot of reviews and ruminations concerning Fougère Gothique in the coming days and weeks - there will be an in-depth review here shortly. But you already knew that, didn't you? See you soon!

UPDATE (10/19/17):

Check out the full in-depth review of the Fougère Gothique trifecta here!

Here's an update that went out earlier today on the Fougère Gothique orders, in case y'all missed it:

Hi all! We have some updates on the Gothique orders!

We've been busily packing and pouring and bottling and such to get all of the Fougère Gothique orders ready, so we wanted to give folks an update, since many of you are asking about your status.

  • We have now shipped most of the orders that do not contain any pottery (razor holders, coffrets, and brushes) or EdP. You can check the status of your order by clicking the button at the bottom of this email (or anytime by clicking the "Check Your Order Status" button in the navigation bar of our website).
  • It turns out that the ingredient list on the bottom of the Gothique jars is incorrect. We mistakenly listed the ingredients for our Glissant base (rather than the Reserve base that was actually used), and wanted to make it clear that these ARE Reserve soaps. We have cards with the proper ingredients on their way (they're expected in tomorrow), so send us an email if it bugs you and we're happy to send you a card with the correct ingredients. Apologies for the oversight!
  • We're picking up EdP boxes tomorrow, after which time we will bottle all of it (shouldn't take long!) and start shipping those orders either Saturday or Monday. We expect those to go pretty quickly.
  • There have been some delays with the pottery, but the first batch of 22 coffrets, as well as ALL of the razor holders, are currently on their way to us. The brushes are being knotted and set as we speak. We expect to have the remainder of the coffrets no later than this coming Wednesday (the 18th) and plan to get them all out by the end of that week. Thank you SO MUCH for your patience, everyone. We had planned to get these out to you rather faster, but, unfortunately, the delays were unavoidable (things kept exploding in the kilns). Rest assured that, as soon as we have them in hand, we will be filling them to get them shipped as quickly as possible.
  • Just a reminder that, in case you missed the Gothique pre-order period, we will have more stock of the soap, aftershave, and EdP, as well as 25 more coffrets, available at 12 pm EDT on Monday, October 23rd.

Hope everyone's October is going pumpkintastically! Please feel free to email us if you have any questions and thank you!