Thursday, April 10, 2008

L'Artisan Parfumeur Premier Figuier

There are a number of fig (fig leaf, to be precise) scents out there worth mentioning such as Diptyque Philosykos (1996), Flora Napa Valley Cielo (date unknown) and this classic creation by L'Artisan Parfumeur, Premier Figuier (1994). Incidentally, the same master perfumer, Olivia Giacobetti, composed both Premier Figuier and Philosykos (Cielo was composed by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz of DSH Perfumes and Christopher Brosius of CB I Hate Perfume). To compare Premier Figuier with Philosykos, I think they're very similar in that they're leafy-sharp, fresh, green scents juxtaposed by sweet and mellow, beachy coconut (not listed in the Diptyque although I smell it) and woody base notes, but Premier Figuier stays true to its form the longest while the other fades to a white musk scent, at least on me. Some have said Philosykos is the drier and earthier of the two (and that might be a reason to become some people's favorite). I may find Philosykos slightly sharper than Premier Figuier, maybe due to a bold cedar base rather than sandalwood, but the real difference for me is the dry down stage when Premier Figuier, to my nose, shows itself to be a more well-rounded blend with a more refined finish. Which one you'll prefer will depend on your taste and chemistry.

Fig leaves are listed notes in Cielo but I don't detect coconut like in the other two; instead, it features grape leaves and honey on a woody-mossy base to bring to mind the vineyards of Napa Valley, California. Cielo also tends to fade quickly to a musk scent on me, but like the other fig scents, it starts out a refreshing, unique leafy green accord. For me, Premier Figuier smells like my ultimate dream of a Mediterranean vacation lounging at a beach resort in Greece. For now, I'll have to stick with Greek coffee, baklava and a spritz of Premier Figuier.

I also like the Extreme version of Premier Figuier, which is similar in scent to the original but stronger, perhaps more full-bodied and sweeter in its heart.

Yet another fig worth mentioning is Hermès Un Jardin en Méditerranée, but it's much more Floral than the above. All of these scents are available to sample at Fishbone96 Decants and Samples.