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Monday, August 24, 2009

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". 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. (, $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. (, $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.

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Anonymous Elizabeth said...

I have never tried a fig scent, apart from a quick sniff of Philosykos. So please enter me in the drawing! Thanks.

12:29 AM EDT  
Blogger nololulu said...

I am actually a big fan of Philosykos But it is really the only fig perfume I know and as I find it sometime a little overwhelming I would love to be able to discover the other ones. Please enter me in your draw.
You don't mention L'Artisan Parfumeur Premier Figuier Extrème, how is it ?

1:07 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favorite fig? MV5 by MAC - greens with fig and Napa Cielo. Thanks for entering me in the drawing. Alica -

1:25 AM EDT  
Blogger Tama said...

The Pacifica Mediterranean Fig is pretty nice. I am still trying Figuer Extreme and Philosykos.

Please enter me in the draw.

2:49 AM EDT  
Blogger CeyouOnB said...

So far, I really like the Jo Malone Wild Fig & Cassis.

3:13 AM EDT  
Anonymous lady jane grey said...

Last week I discussed on Gaia’s blog, how much I love figs. I mean to eat figs. Every year early September my HB and me spend a week or two in South of France, where I can eat them directly from the tree, soft and ripe and plain gorgeous. And I’ve been looking for the same gorgeousness in a fig perfume for years now – without leaves and woods, without tons of sugar, suppressing that fig aroma. The only fig perfume I can wear is Jo Malone’s Wild fig, which becomes a tiny bit smoky on me, reminding me the figs, we put on the hot grill, after the meat is ready – and the Provenc e hills are covered with the haze of early autumn.

3:23 AM EDT  
Anonymous Esz said...

Gosh I love fig! And that scone perfume
sounds like heaven. Please put me in the draw :)

4:39 AM EDT  
Anonymous Patricia said...

I have to be honest - I don't find fig note very appealing for my nose, except, maybe Bvlgari's The Rouge.Please enter me in the draw.Thanks.

5:45 AM EDT  
Blogger Ines said...

My favorite figs are L'artisan Premier figuier and Molinard's Fleur de figuier. It was a strange surprise when I discovered I like fig scents since I don't like eating them.
Please enter me in the draw. :)

5:48 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think I've tried any fig scents yet -- at least not to my knowledge! These sound interesting, please do enter me in the draw.

7:09 AM EDT  
Blogger thescentmuse said...

Fig is one fabulous scent note...I have tried many. Philosykos is darn near perfect with a cedary base. Un Jardin en Meditteranee is good, too. For earthy, salty fig, I go for Michael Storer's Kadota.

I would love to be included in the draw!

7:13 AM EDT  
Blogger Klara said...

My favourite fig fragrance is L'artisan Premier Figuer Extreme. It is not as green, so maybe you would like it as well.
Please enter me in the draw!

7:35 AM EDT  
Anonymous dremybluz said...

the tuscan fig sounds fantastic
please enter me in the draw

8:36 AM EDT  
Anonymous Fernando said...

The only one I've tried is Philosykos, which surprised me because I associate figs with the smell of the fresh fruit, and the perfume didn't smell like that. Instead, it reminded me of the candied green figs that were common in Brazil when I was growing up. So I'd certainly love to try these; maybe one of them gets it right.

9:05 AM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

LOVE the Slatkin !

Another gorgeosity, is Serena's Johri-
Woody fig with sunshine in it...
My, my.

9:08 AM EDT  
Blogger lutefisk said...

I have not tried many fig scents, but I will now based on what I have read.
Please enter me in the drawing.

9:12 AM EDT  
Anonymous Tara C. said...

I love fig scents! Napa Cielo is nice, and I think you'd like it based on your preferences. I also like Pacifica Fig (but think that you may not.) I have never tried any of the scents you mentioned, so I would love to be entered into the prize drawing. Thanks!!

9:21 AM EDT  
Anonymous pkim said...

I have never tried a fig scent eventhough I love eating fig. Please enter me in the drawing. Thank you!

10:08 AM EDT  
Blogger Robin E. said...

Fig is my absolute favorite note in fragrances. I cannot do true gourmands, but fig gives just that hint of rich comfort without smelling like a bakery. The only fig scent I've tried that I do not like is Halle. I don't smell any fig in it, and find it sugary and cloying.

My all-time favorite fig scent is Memoire Liquide Bois de Figuier (woody and spicy), but I also adore Philosykos and Premier Figuier (both versions). Other really good fig frags include Marc Jacobs Fig (for a cypress, citrusy take), Fresh Fig Apricot (a bit linear, but gooey and lush - awesome layered with Daim Blond!), and several of the Ava Luxe's are really good. Now, here's a plug for cheap thrills - one of the best fig frags ever, IMO, is Avon Mark's dc'd Fig Basil. No basil evident for me, but yummy, creamy, woody fig, in a gorgeous sandalwood base. VHTF, but as good as any niche scent. A newer nice one is Avon's Jet Homme - like a richer version of Marc Jacobs - very unisex.
Please enter me in the draw. I'm dying now for the Slatkin's.

10:31 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favorite figs are Cielo & Hermes Un Jardin en Mediterranee. Please enter me into the drawing!


11:25 AM EDT  
Blogger Cynthia said...

I'm actually in the same boat as you were, Marina - I've never found a fig that I liked, so I'd love to try these and see if I would enjoy them.

11:33 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You are in!

11:40 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You are in! Premier Figuier Extrème to me is as overwhelming as the non-extreme version, might be even more so.

11:40 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I need to try both of those. You are in!

11:44 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You are in!

11:44 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I need to re-try that one.

11:44 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Oh my, you are making me salivate :-)

11:45 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You are in!

11:45 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I hear you! You are in!

11:46 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am not familiar with the Molinard, on to the list it goes. You are in!

11:46 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You are in!

11:46 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

thank you for reminding me about the Jardin, I like that one too. And need to try Kadota.

11:47 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You are in!

11:47 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You are in!

11:47 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Very interesting. Candied green figs, mmm. You are in!

11:48 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Will look for Johri, thank you!

11:48 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You are in!

11:48 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I will make a point to try Napa Cielo! You are in!

11:49 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You are in!

11:50 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

How lovely to hear form a true connoisseur of fig scents! I will make sure to try Memoire Liquide Bois de Figuier!

11:51 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You are in!

11:51 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You are in!

11:52 AM EDT  
Anonymous leslieryan said...

hoping its not too late to be entered...this summer i was waaaay too late as a large bird ate every single fig from my backyard tree, save one early ripener. if i cldfind the scent of that fruit...well well....

12:01 PM EDT  
Blogger Dixie said...

I've only tried the L'Artisan Figiuer and I wasn't thrilled so I would love to try these! Please enter me in the draw!

12:04 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been looking for a fig to love, but the L'artisan and the Dyptique aren't doing it for me. I really like my Pacifica Mediterranean Fig candle, but have not tried the perfume yet.
I would love to be thrown in the figgy sample draw. Thank you!

Karen G.

12:08 PM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...

Not to get all "virgo" and pedantic on you but ...

In FIGuring out the confusion between fruits and flowers. A safe rule of thumb is that whilst not all flowers are fruits, all fruits (with a few exceptions) are flowers.

The term "fruit" as used in food preparation is not synonymous with the term "fruit" as used in biological classification.

So in essence, all fruit are the means by which flowering plants disseminate seeds. The presence of seeds being indicative that (with few exceptions) that the item in question is a fruit and that fruit is the flower of the tree from whence it came.

12:19 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Put me in the draw.

12:20 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You are in!

12:25 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You are in!

12:25 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Karen G,
You are in!

12:25 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

May I call you Roger from now on? As in Monica's boyfriend Dr. Roger, from the episode The One That Could Have Been? :-)

12:26 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

you are in

12:26 PM EDT  
Blogger Jen said...

Like you, I've never been able to get past the green, very plant-like notes of most fig perfumes. Thus, I would love to sniff the three mentioned here. Please enter me in the draw.

12:35 PM EDT  
Anonymous Aparatchick said...

Like Zeina, fig is one of my favorite notes. Philosykos, Un Jardin en Mediterranee, Pacifica's Mediterranean Fig - all excellent figs. My favorites though are Ava Luxe's Fig Leaf (very green) and Bois de Figue (warm, ripe, woody fig with a hint of tobacco and spice). Zeina, thanks for the Memoire recommendation - I'll look for that one.

I haven't tried any of the three, so I'd love to be entered in the draw!

12:49 PM EDT  
Anonymous Aparatchick said...

I must be half asleep - I forgot PdN Figue Tea (much more fig and osmanthus than tea), CBIHP Revelation ( another warm fig - with honey, wood, and amber), and Tokyo Milk Ex Libris (fig, magnolia, musk, cardmom).

So many fig scents, so little time....

1:14 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You are in.

1:17 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Yet another mention of Pacifica's Mediterranean Fig, I will not give it a sniff! And Ex Libris too.

1:17 PM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

I actually used to like Premier Figuier on my husband.
I have never sampled any of the fragrances you reviewed so I would love to be entered in the drawing.

1:24 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You are in!

1:26 PM EDT  
Blogger Alyssa said...

I must give a shout out for the underappreciated Fico di Amalfi, from Acqua di Parma's Mediterraneo line. Not what you are looking for, but I like it. A touch of fruit, with cypress, lemons, and salt. Keep meaning to do a proper review of that one.

For fruity, jammy, fig notes, I like the one tucked in the heart of Bois de Paradis.

No need to put me in the draw...

2:08 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Well noted! Bois de Paradis was one of my first big huge perfume loves :-)

2:10 PM EDT  
Blogger danush said...

Won't be too original - I LOVE Philosykos! It always recalls my childhood memories of summer vacations in Crimea. However,L'artisan's Premier Figuier didn't work for me, I smell more fresh cut grass than fig.I'd love to be in your draw. By the way, any ideas where one can sample Lisa Hoffman's frags?

2:16 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to love Premiere Figuier Extreme but it became too too somehow, too perfumey? Not sure. I swapped my bottle. I like the Lisa Hoffman but some days it's heavy & flat on me. Philosykos is just way too green. I'd love to re-try Coco Figue sounds very appealing, please put me in!

BTW ... always liked Satellite's simple little A La Figue!. I don't see it on LuckyScent, is it d/c'ed??

2:16 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh I do love fig! I've been aching to try the CSP you write about but haven't as it isn't as readily available as the other CSP.

My favorite figs, so far, are Philosykos, Premier Figuier Extreme, and the lovely and flowery PG's Jardin de Kerylos....I really think you should sample that one; you really might love it :-)

Please enter me in the draw,

2:29 PM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

I adore Fig in all its forms, so please enter me in the draw!

My favorite Fig "soliflore" is probably L'Artisan's, but as far as fig in combination with other notes, my favorite hands down is the syrupy, sexy Kadota fig in Lelong pour Femme. It is not at all green, just pulpy and sweet.

3:06 PM EDT  
Blogger K said...

My favorite fig is Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo - Fico di Amalfi. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks.

4:33 PM EDT  
Anonymous maitreyi1978 said...

I'd like to understand the appeal of figs better. The only fig I've really tried is some body shop thing. Please enter me in the draw.

4:42 PM EDT  
Blogger sunnlitt said...

well, I do love Philosykos. But, then, I love the smell of being under the fig tree, enveloped by the scent of the leaves and the figs. Now, I will have to try some of the other scents that people have suggested!! Please enter me in the draw.thanks.

5:30 PM EDT  
Blogger NewKidOnTheBlog said...

Sure... so long as it is not meant to mean Roger ... as in PHOEBE's Roger "I Hate That Guy" psychiatrist boyfriend.

Remember Marina ... Go easy on those figs ...they're just figs ...they're not love.

5:36 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I envy you your love for Philosykos :-)

5:47 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Lovely to see you here!

5:49 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Not sure about the Satellite. :-( You are in the draw!

5:49 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I think it's one of the new CSPs, so maybe that's why.

5:50 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

syrupy, sexy sounds good!

5:50 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You are in!

5:51 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You are in!

5:51 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You are in!

5:51 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

"I hate that guy!"

5:51 PM EDT  
Anonymous Janet in CA said...

I like the Parfums de nicolai Fig tea. The Hoffman's sound interesting!

7:09 PM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

I love figs, picking them, eating them, cooking with them, and smelling them! So this is one of my favorite times of year, as you can imagine. My favorite fig perfume is definitely Philosykos, although Premier Figuier comes a close second. I've also sampled Premier Figuier Extreme and Figue Iris, but neither of those are quite as figgy and delicious.

These sound quite different from the above, and I've never tried any of them. I would love, love, love to be entered in the draw! Thank you!

9:01 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm in one of those odd times where suddenly, everything bothers me--rose, melon, chypre, fig. I hope it passes, as I'd like to try a day-long fig extravaganza. But for now, I'll just read about what I'm missing.

11:54 PM EDT  
Anonymous article marketing said...

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3:39 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

I loved the IDEA of fig as perfume from the first, but putting that IDEA to work on me wa not as...fruitful. In the end I remmained with Phylosikos, in spite of what appears to be coconut (perhaps) in it. I hold in great respect the Figuier Extreme by L'Artisan. Neither of the twain are the final experience, just lovely fragrances. I could be easy prey for a truly irresistible fig fragrance.

8:19 AM EDT  
Blogger Michelle said...

I've not found a better fig (for myself) than Un Jardin en Mediterranee. It's such a comfort scent.

I'd love to be entered in the drawing. The Lisa Hoffmann scent sounds gorgeous.

9:48 AM EDT  
Anonymous Maha said...

Please enter me in the drawing!

A fig I've tried and liked is the Le Labo Figue 15 room spray, worn as perfume. According to the Le Labo Web site, it's a fig and black currant blend; I don't remember the black currant precisely, but I do remember it as being fruity and creamy, not green. Worth a try, if you're not a big fan of the more typically green fig fragrances.

2:36 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, please enter me! I like fig scents, and haven't tried those! Philosykos is a bit too twiggy, but I like it. My favorite is Jardin un Med, though it has so much else going on I hesitate to call it a fig scent. It is a great perfume though! Heeley Figue is wonderful, though I only have a wee little sample, so have never gotten to enjoy a jumbo spritz or two. The Artisans are nice, but to me not figgy enough!

3:06 PM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Have wonderful memories associated w/ eating figs and I like sniffing fig scents - but I still can't bring myself to enjoy wearing them. However, that said, I have been toying w/ the idea of getting the Coco Figue. Have a sample of it that I've actually found myself reaching for on a semi-regular basis. And the Black Fig and Absinthe is glorious in candle form.

3:38 PM EDT  
Anonymous Claudia0219 said...

Slatkin's Black Fig & Absinthe...OMG, my absolute favorite, extremely hard to find too, i stocked up on the body cream and shower gel of this one, i adore it. By far my absolute favorite fig fragrance. The absinthe gives it a twist.

11:38 PM EDT  
Anonymous Claudia0219 said...

oh yes...please kindly enter me into the draw

11:40 PM EDT  
Blogger Laurinha said...

I would love to be entered in the prize draw, as it features three fig scents I have not tried yet; my favourite so far are Premier Figuier and Phylosikos, both by the divine Olivia Giacobetti.

11:27 AM EDT  
Anonymous Tiara said...

I wanted to love Fig Tea as I was planning to bring it with me to southern Florida for a few weeks. But something about it turned me off so I left it behind. These sound much better - please include me in the drawing!

1:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Brigitte Smith said...

My fav fig is CBIHP Revelation, a Honeyed Green fig grove. The only other figs I have tried are Cielo and Premier Figuier, and I would love to be entered in your draw! Thank you.

1:37 PM EDT  
Blogger allN2beauty said...

I absolutely love Lisa Hoffman's Variations. They come in a beautiful leather case. I have the Japanese Agarwood. I haven't tried the Tuscan Fig yet, but now I am tempted to buy it. Her concept of the 4 different pulse point oils for different times of the day is genius. I love the way my sheets smell in the morning from the bed time oil I put on every night, so fresh and soothing. I highly recommend you try her fragrance out.

3:47 PM EDT  
Blogger allN2beauty said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:48 PM EDT  
Blogger Gator Grad said...

It's probably too late to enter the draw-- but I'm happy to add my favorite two figs:
1) Creation Mathias Figue -- freaking fantastic! I was lucky enough to recently score a fresh, sealed bottle and wear it frequently. It's warm figs, a touch of green, on a bed of smoky leaves-- warm, lush, and somehow airy. It invokes the feeling of a breeze blowing by. Good sillage, too. such a comforting scent. I'd say it's truly unisex, meaning that it's neither feminine nor masculine but totally fits to the wearer. I'm a girl and feel divinely cuddle-able in this fragrance.
2) L'Artisan Premier Figuier - a floral interpretation, with a touch of coconut milk on me. Also very nice, but fleeting in comparison to my first love...

9:45 AM EDT  
Anonymous RusticDove said...

Oh poo! Being that it is Thursday, I am probably too late to be entered into this drawing, which is such a shame as I adore fig scents. I love all aspects of the darned things - even the parts that aren't so desirable to you Marina. ;-) My faves are the usual suspects - Philosykos and Premiere Figuier Extreme, so I would LOVE to sample these examples reviewed here.

10:19 AM EDT  
Anonymous Step said...

The only fig scent I've tried is A La Figue and found it super coconutty, despite being a green fig fragrance. From what you said, looks like that is common. I have re-tried it a few times and just get hit with that smack of Malibu. Anyway, I'd love to be entered in the drawing! infa1 at cheerful dot com

3:19 PM EDT  
Anonymous Miranda said...

Sarah Horowitz has a great single note Fig in her Perfumer's Palette line.

11:17 AM EST  
Anonymous Fragrances Perfume said...

Nice shot!! Thanks for the nice fluent and informative post post. Your content is very natural, I like it very much!!!!

8:57 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

Have you tried the Fig and Pink Cedar scent by Nougat of London? It is light and fresh with a very distinct tone. Every time I have worn it, people comment on the beautiful scent. It has been difficult to find, even in the UK. If anyone knows where I can purchase more of this heavenly fragrance in the US, please advise.

Please enter me in the drawing! Thank you.

10:31 AM EST  

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