Fougère (pronounced fooh-ZEHR) is French for fern, and as you can see many words in fragrances derive from the land of 1,600 types of cheese. Maybe that explains it. A people with a taste for such variety in flavour would appreciate nuances in fine fragrance as well, and invent new words for them!
Ferns don’t really have a distinct smell of their own, but they evoke green woods and a sense of calm, so this fragrance family is reflected in products of male grooming. Fougères typically include lavender, the traditional plant which evokes cleanliness, as well as coumarin, an almond like material that smells of freshly cut hay.
These fragrances often evoke the barbershop; cool shaving cream, traditional green soap, and herbal accents with piquant spices thrown in for good measure to give distinction. They’re mostly the realm of masculine fragrances, although anyone, regardless of sex, can wear them.