7 Things You Need to Know About Houbigant

You may not be as familiar with the name ‘Houbigant’ as you are with the likes of Guerlain, Chanel, and Caron, but when it comes to the history of perfume, this legendary house is arguably just as important. Without fanfare or fuss, Houbigant has been making excellent perfume for centuries – but not only making it, but they’ve also shaped the landscape of perfumery, defining one of its most popular families and forging an attitude that celebrates both quality and artistry in scent above all else.

Consider this post a history lesson on the world of Houbigant. You will learn all you need to know with seven key facts that I’m pretty sure will make you want to get to know Houbigant a little bit better. We’ll talk about genres defined, the fall of Queens and the adventures of military men – all accompanied by the sweet smell of Houbigant perfume. Hopefully, by the time we’ve run through all seven facts, you will know all there is to know about Houbigant.


Houbigant Orangers En Fleurs Eau de Parfum Spray 

#1 Houbigant was founded in 1775 

Houbigant is a historic house.  It was founded in Paris in 1775 by Jean-Françoise Houbigant. It is the only perfume house to have lived through four centuries, meaning that it has seen many, many things throughout its life, and rather surreptitiously “it all started with a basket of flowers”. On the day the house was founded, Jean-Françoise Houbigant hung a hand-painted sign of a basket of flowers of his rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré store and voila, Houbigant was born and it quickly became the favoured house of Kings and Queens.


#2 Marie Antoinette carried three vials of Houbigant perfume in her corsage for strength when she was taken to the, erm, guillotine

With Kings and Queens as customers, this one is no surprise. A lot happened before and during the French Revolution, with the execution of Queen Marie-Antoinette being one of the more famous events. Now, I’m sure you know a lot about Marie-Antoinette, facts about cakes, high treason and many unsavoury other things, I’m sure, but what you may not know is that in 1793, she is reported to have carried three vials of Houbigant perfume in her corsage for strength as she was taken to the, erm, guillotine.  I wonder which three they were.


#3 Houbigant fragrances were carried in Napoleon’s campaign chest

It wasn’t just Marie-Antoinette that made Houbigant her perfumery of choice, Napoleon Bonaparte was also reportedly a loyal customer of the brand. In fact, it is rumoured that Houbigant perfumes were carried in his campaign chest during the years when he conquered Europe. He was quite the fan, actually, and in 1815, when he was only in Paris for three months (referred to as “The Hundred Days” as a period in history), Napoleon took time out of his busy conquering duties to shop at Houbigant. Now that’s loyalty and proof that, no matter how busy you are, there is always time for perfume shopping – a fact that we are all fully on board with here at Escentual.


Houbigant Quelques Fleurs Eau de Parfum Spray

#4 Houbigant created an iconic floral bouquet

Some fragrance houses are lucky to have one iconic fragrance in their collections, but Houbigant is not just any old perfume house – it boasts many legends, not just Fougère Royale! Another of their icons is Quelques Fleurs. Created by perfumer Bienaimé in 1912, is reportedly the first ever multi-floral bouquet every created. I’d describe it as a buoyant green floral with a wistful lightness that is glamorous without being showy. Through a plethora of floral notes, Quelques Fleurs manages to create a sense of effortless elegance that really is beautiful.


#4 Houbigant created the first fougére fragrance

If there is one fact that in this list that you possibly already know about Houbigant I can guarantee it’ll be this one. It’s true that Houbigant is most famous for creating the very first fougère (fern) fragrance with Fougère Royale in 1882. Being the first of the genre meant that Fougère Royale (created by perfumer Paul Parquet) defined it, creating a style of perfumery that is to this day, the most popular fragrance family for men. With its synthesised coumarin (synthesised from salicylic acid) – a material usually found within tonka beans, lavender, geranium, oakmoss, musk, and vanilla, Fougère Royale created a sporty, handsome style of fragrance that has never gone out of fashion – and why would it?! It smells timeless!


Houbigant Cologne Intense Eau de Parfum Spray

#6 Houbigant still makes new perfumes to this day

We see Houbigant as a historical perfume house but that’s not to say that they aren’t still making new and exciting things four centuries on. Houbigant has released a number of fragrances in this century, in fact – fragrances such as the modern abstract bouquet of Quelques Fleurs Jardin Secret (2017), the sparkling herbal eau de cologne of Cologne Intense (2015), and the green, earthy and luxurious Iris des Champs (2014). Houbigant continues to innovate with perfumery that beguiles the senses and lives up to their founding principles of quality, beauty and a royal touch.


#7 We have a freebie offer on site!

Perhaps the most important thing to know is that we have some delightful Houbigant freebies on site (until stocks last). So if you buy a 100ml Fougère Royale Eau de Parfum or 100ml Fougère Royale Extrait de Parfum you will receive a free 10ml Fougère Royale Parfum spray. Or, if Iris de Champs is more your bag, you’ll be lucky enough to receive a free 10ml spray of the scent when you purchase the 100ml bottle of Iris de Champs Eau de Parfum. Now you know all about Houbigant, and you’ve been tempted by the offering of a freebie, there really is no excuse not to treat yourself to a bottle, or two – or three, if you’re feeling Marie-Antoinette levels of extra…


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