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English Fern cheaply?

Hi all,

I would like your help on finding a cologne that smells close to English Fern but without the high cost. I know, probably a product like this is most likely not out there but I thought I would ask as you all know way more about colognes than I do. Many thanks in advance. :w00t:

Trumper's Wild Fern is very similar. And I found that I even slightly preferred Trumper's Wild Fern to Pen's English Fern. The Pen's EF is still very good, but I did gravitate towards Trumpers and it was the one I bought in the end.


Check the bay - couple of them are nicely priced, still pricey relative to the department stores stuff, but less than what you would pay without shipping or tax at say Nordstroms
I should probably say that I strongly prefer Pen's EF over GFT's Wild Fern. They are similar, but are not exactly the same, and EF just seems to push certain buttons with me that GFT WF does not.

This said, both of these scents are fougeres, an abosulutely classic and forever popular basic style of men's fragrance. To me, Pen's EF may represent the purest and best execution of this style. But there must be hundreds of scents that work off of a somewhat similar formula. I am drawing a blank as to what smells most like these two. I suppose just having a look at the history of mens scents chart might help. Brut comes to mind, and Azarro, but they are not very close I know. But there must be something out there that is not too far off. Fougere means fern, as I recall!
This very issue has been my main mission over the past few months and here's what i got:
I have to disagree with statements that Trumper's WF is cheaper when you consider that WF is more diluted and doesn't last as long as the other ferns. I quickly devoured my WF 50ml, and THAT felt expensive.

100ml of Pen's EF can be found from reputable UK sellers on ebay for around $75 shipped (i have done this).

The other true "Fern" frags have been discontinued long ago: "Crown Fougere" and, the father of all ferns, "Houbigant Fougere Royale"

I am lucky enough to have a bottle of Crown Fougere and it is spectacular. Like Trumper's WF, but bolder, lasts longer and has a touch of cedar and some spice.

The Perfumed Court offers 2 fougere (French for "fern") sampler packs and i've tried both. Nothing in them was even close to Pen's EF or GFT WF, and nothing really got my blood pumping.

I have also been working on a home-made fern frag with some impressive results. However the raw essential oils and extracts have costed about $60 so there's not really a $ benefit. I can however make about 500ml of cologne though:lol:

Lastly, the word "Fougere" describes an entire family of frags, so don't let that word fool you when you shop around. Many many many colognes are categorized as "Fougere" without smelling anything like the above mentioned frags.
Definitely good post, Chuck. I did not mean to suggest that most fougeres would smell anything much like Pen's EF or GFT WF. I was just hoping that given the origin of this type of scent there would be some true ferns out there somewhere.

And no doubt that nothing in those two PC fougere samplers would smell like EF or WF!

I, too, have bought Pens EF from those EBay sellers. Very reliable.


I am wearing Pen's English Fern today, thanks to a trade with Phil, and loving it. Some coolness to it that I like, but in the heat of Memphis today, I hope it lasts and lasts
Thanks all and especially Chuck for the info. But that being said.........is there ANYTHING close that smells like WF. Sorry to say but $75 is just not in the budget right now........something around $20-30 I might be able to swing but even thats a push. :frown1:

Thanks all and especially Chuck for the info. But that being said.........is there ANYTHING close that smells like WF. Sorry to say but $75 is just not in the budget right now........something around $20-30 I might be able to swing but even thats a push. :frown1:


I am get rightfully flamed for this, but I would suggest seeing if Azzaro (the reg one not Chrome, etc.) or even Brut seems similar to these ferns to you. Azzaro is a great scent that has been showing up at places like Feline's Basement and Marshall's for very imexpensive. Brut in it various formats is widely available and quite inexpensive.
After dozens of trips to little boutique frag shops, pricey dept stores, and bargain places like Ross or Marshall's and even slumming it with aftershaves in the aisles of Target etc. I have found nothing similar the the true Ferns (I had forgotten to mention Roger and Gallet's Fern which has ALSO been discontinued)

Fragrance is so personal, it takes a lot of trial, error, time and money. Some of the guys around here that chime in on fragrance Q's frequently have amazing expertise and very articulate criticism and advice, but i can't always rely on someone else's taste matching mine.

GFT Wild Fern can be found online for around $50-60. Aside from that, maybe Cool Water, an excellent affordable frag very similar to Creed Green Irish Tweed.

Try finding a sample of "Crown Fougere" on eBay, as there are still some around. THAT'LL turn yer nose into a spoiled little rich girl who won't settle for BRUT ever again
I have never used English fern before if not why not try to find some one to split it with. I know you would be getting less but you would still be getting it. Just my 2 cents
I think that Booster's Mosswood Aftershave will get you into the same ballpark of fragrances.

I do have some of Boosters Mosswood and I like it a lot, but it doesn't stay with me very long. So something like this and with a little longevity would be what I'm looking for.

I think that Booster's Mosswood Aftershave will get you into the same ballpark of fragrances.

Really? Don't get me wrong I really enjoy the scent of the Mosswood but I can't say I ever thought it reminded me of Pens EF or GFT WF?

To the OP, if you can score some Penhaligon's EF go for it! :thumbup1:
It's harder to compare value in colognes than to price a good bird dog. Some of the more expensive scents are far more concentrated and last much, much longer, so in the end they may be roughly the same price or even cheaper because you need so much less of them. I have a sample vial of Trumpers Wild Fern here that will likely last me weeks, if not a full month. I have no idea how long even a small retail bottle would last, but I'm guessing a year or more even if I used it often.

I tend to bargain shop more for alcohol-based aftershave splash, because I like to slap it on freely. It gives me some immediate feedback on my shaving technique. :001_smile I absolutely count on it not having much staying power and won't use one that does, and so as long as I find the scent agreeable and brief then the much higher quality products aren't usually worth the big difference in price for the way I use them.
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Check out...wait for it...wait for it... Etsy.com.

Its a marketplace not unlike eBay, but, much more organic (most all of the sellers on there sell their own homemade goods).

There are several small scale, amateur perfumers on there ... I went through a woman with a username of ' Loreto;' she has an option to 'tell her how you want it' and the end product cost ~ $15+ shipping (I purchased a sample pack of her mens line and liked about 1/2 of them, so to me she makes pretty decent stuff). Heck, here you can get something similar to EF, and, if you don't love it, you can still like it and love that it was made custom for you! :001_smile
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