Gettin' Figgy With It
I have always struggled with fig perfumes. Or rather, I have struggled with such paragons of green figgy-ness as Premier Figuier and Philosykos. To few notes have I such a strong, immediate negative reaction than to the powdery-green-coconutty fig of these two cult favorites. The only way for me to enjoy the scent of figs has so far been in perfumes which focus on the aroma of fruits, rather than on their leaves and the trees on which they grow. And there aren't many of those, so I've been delighted to discover Lisa Hoffman's Tuscan Fig. When I first smelled it, I thought, if figs were flowers, that's how they would smell, like very vanillic gardenias...then I googled and found out that "the fig is commonly thought of as fruit, but it is properly the flower of the fig tree". So...um...kudos to Lisa Hoffman to, obviously, being aware of that fact and running away with it by giving her version of a tree a very appealing tropical, floral-gourmand twist. From start to finish, vanilla and gardenia are the main notes in the simple and yet very luxurious composition, with fig hiding under the creamy lushness of the two notes...and that is fine with me. Hoffman's scents come in four "variations": morning, daytime, evening and bedtime. The Tuscan Fig I tried was "daytime", "a richer, fuller-bodied version of the scent", and I would be curious to try "light and refreshing", "more sensual and provocative" and "soft, powdery" versions as well. (lisahoffmanskincare.com, $95.00 for a set of four oil roll-ons)
Sorting through the chaos of my sample drawer I have also discovered the Baudelairian gorgeousness that is Slatkin's Black Fig & Absinthe. Forgive me, perfume gods, for I have sinned by ignoring this dark, brooding beauty. The sweet verdancy of fig compliments so well the boozy greenness of absinthe. There is a certain almost tarry smokiness in the blend that contrasts beautifully with the cooling, mentholated aspect of absinthe. I "see" this perfume as the darkest of greens, a shimmering, decadently rich color. It's Figue de Mal. My punishment for not having tried Fig & Absinthe for so long? Not being able to find it. It appears to have been discontinued.
My third little fig is Comptoir Sud Pacifique's Coco Figue. This might be the only green fig that I have ever been able to enjoy. Perhaps, because the verdancy is rendered so delicately here... this is the greenness of young leaves and unripe fruits, a subtle, fresh, grassy accord that is delightful in summer. I also like the light touch with which coconut has been used in the composition, there is just a hint of it, just enough to create a realistic fig scent and to compliment the vanilla in the base. In turn, vanilla, balanced by the green fig note, doesn't appear too sweet. The overall effect is light, translucent and summery. A carefree, joyful scent to survive the heat or to fight off the winter blues. (Comptoirsudpacifique.us, $85.00 for 100ml).
What is your favorite fig scent? If you would like to be in a prize draw for a set of samples of these three scents, please say so in your comment. The randomly chosen winner will be announced on Thursday.
Image credit, giusеppe mauriziо trеscоni on flickr.