Houbigant is a French perfume house established in 1775 by Jean-François Houbigant (1752 – 1807) launched his perfume business at 19, Foubourg Saint Honoré, Paris. Named ‘A la Corbeille de Fleurs’ (The Flower Basket), the shop originally sold wig powder, perfume, pomade, fans and gloves.
An early client was Queen Marie Antoinette, and patronage by various royal families continued throughout the nineteenth century (Empress Joséphine, Emperor Napoleon, King Louis XV, Madame du Barry, Queen Marie of Romania, Queen Victoria). The legend has it that when Marie Antoinette was fleeing to Varennes to escape the French revolutionaries she was recognised as royalty because of her Houbigant perfume, which only royalty could afford.
With over four centuries of artisanship and craftsmanship under its belt, The French Maison is the only heritage perfume house continuously in production to this day. Quality counts, as does experience: Houbigant fragrances are superbly crafted, with an exquisite attention to detail that comes only from the act of practicing a single art over centuries. Houbigant’s Fougere Royale, for example, was the first fragrance of its genre and continues to be the standard setter in the fragrance world to date and Quelques Fleurs L’Original that was created in 1912 and was one of the first pure floral fragrances.
By the late 1920s, Houbigant had a base in New York, United States, and was selling its fine face powders in compacts. Compacts featuring Houbigant’s flower basket logo and vanities with abstract Deco designs are highly collectible.
Now French Maison Houbigant launches a new perfume for men, Bois Mystique. Bois Mystique is a modern and elegant fragrance, a worthy inheritor of this glorious heritage. What can be more thrilling than to emanate a mystical and intriguing aroma, truly masculine and woody. I adore masculine fragrances, they smell very strong, intense, and rich woody. The new perfume, Houbigant Bois Mystique is a pure example of a timeless elegant and at the same time very sensual.
Created by perfumer Luca Maffei, Houbigant Bois Mystique opens with a bracingly sour, juicy bergamot – a flash of the Italian sunshine – before warming it up with a hot ginger note that will have you licking your lips. A boozy, herbal davana note lends the cedarwood at the core an intense richness that recalls Port wine, leather saddles, and all sorts of sensual autumn aromas. A note of fresh, piney frankincense and bitter wormwood shimmers over ambery resins and the dried-grass note of papyrus, lending the scent a somewhat austere but mysterious character. At the heart of it all, a green cardamom note vibrates, sending out shockwaves of something both cool-watery and hot-spicy. A spice-laden delight that’s so light it seems to float on a wisp of smoke, this is spice done right.
Topnotes: Bergamot, Davana, Neroli, Cardamom, Fresh ginger, Pink pepper, Artemisia
Heart: Black pepper, Cinnamon, Incense, Cypriol, Orris root
Base: Gaiac wood, Cedarwood, Myrrh, Amber, Musk
The flacon recreates the unique though by René Lalique in the early 20th century for Maison Houbigant.
Houbigant Bois Mystique is available as 100ml Eau de Parfum and as 100ml Extait de Parfum.