Figs! Olfactory Journey To Greece

Hiya gang,

Figs are everywhere in perfume.

Photo Stolen from

The scentbloggosphere is also full of the fig journey. The Olfactoria’s Travels, Undina’s Looking Glass, and Now Smell This crews, among others, have all done splendid fig reviews. Recently I  looked at Aftelier Perfumes AH-MAY-ZING Fig and all this fig chat has had me intrigued. There are so many choices the mind boggles. What to do?

I went to The Posh Peasant and looked up figs. What caught my eye was a five pack of famous figs called Figs! Olfactory Journey to Greece. This way I could try the generally accepted best reasonably and if I LOVED some then I could think about a purchase. Genius! Here’s what The Posh Peasant says in their spiel;

Fig scented fragrances have been all the rage the past decade and for good reason. Some fig scents have a wonderful complexity of being both green/woodsy and slightly fruity. A good fig scent transports you to a fig grove in Greece (if you’ve ever smelled a fig grove you’ll know it’s one of nature’s most gorgeous scent creations).

Photo Stolen from PoshPeasant
What I’ve done below is give my initial thought words during top notes then gone on to discuss progressions.

Diptyque, Philosykos; Sharp, Twig, Torn bark, Earth, Leaves. This is a sparse and spare smell on me. Right from the moment I first wear it there is fig tree but not fig jam, and so much space between the scent that it is like you are dozing down the hill, in the shade, while up the hill the workers are picking the fruit, occasionally tearing leaves and maybe someone mowed the grass this morning and there has been a light sunshower after tilling some nearby earth. 6 hours later it is still there, linear and quite noticeable, which is surprising on my skin.

Hermes, Un Jardin en Mediterranee; Fresh, Sweet, Air, Sharp, Expensive wood, Roast chicken glaze. At first glance/sniff this feels like a fragrance I’d reach for regularly if it were in my collection. Bright, warm and inviting like toast and fig jam with a hearty meat smell like roast chicken fresh from the oven with a fruit glaze. As it warms up this is spicy fig jam. Of the 5 this is the best fit with our cool wet Autumn day in Sydney and my personal favourite.

Miller Harris, Figue Amère; Nutty, Citrus, Salty Fruit, Wood, Tangy Sweet & Sour. This is YUMMY! My nose is reading almost a Chinese banquet here. The fruit and leaves in Figue Amere are dried, salted, fried and flavoured, there is warm depth and it feels so extravagant and opulent. Like fig is not the main course here and is joined by the rest of the dishes. There is a note during the middle, unfortunately I can’t identify what, that smells like after salt water swimming shower sex.

Parfumerie Generale, Jardins de Kerylos; Warm, Fresh, Ozonic,, Fruit, Light but penetrating. It’s most fig smell during drydown, but a very dry fig, austere and cool. 1-6 hours later Jardins de Kerylos becomes a barely there hum on my skin, nicer smelling than me.

Jo Malone, Wild Fig & Cassis; Roots, Sap, Bitter, Leaves, Chewed grasses. This is a breath taking look at a pine logging camp of the unmechanised variety. I smell torn trees, earth, compost, grass and cowpats. A challenging, astringent, glorious riot of bitter green herbaceous life. This is what a Triffid would smell like.

Thanks for reading. Do you have a favourite fig? We’d like to know.

Portia xx

20 comments on “Figs! Olfactory Journey To Greece

  1. Ari says:

    I love the Hermes Mediterranee! But my favorite fig is Annick Goutal Ninfeo Mio. I’ve loved it from the very first time I tried it. So gloriously green!

  2. Dionne says:

    You’re a bit ahead of me, Portia, as my fig sampling is happening this summer, although I have tried three from that list; Philosykos, Wild Fig and Cassis, and the Hermès. (Being the OCD person I am, my fig list has 27 perfumes listed to try).

    Philosykos was an instant love, and the strange thing is how recognizable it was, despite the fact that there are no fig trees where I live and I’ve never been to the Mediterranean. Wild Fig and Cassis went a bit sharp on me, and uJeM didn’t have as much fig as I wanted.

    Have you tried Sonoma Scent Studio’s Fig Tree? That’s some gooood fig right there.

    • Hey Dionne,
      27 figs is a LOT of fig. you will have a blast. 5 scents took me 2 days.
      I think I may be missing some notes in the Philosykos, everyone is talking about it as the best but I can’t see it. Maybe my nose is too inexperienced or I’ve done some damage along the line.
      On reflection Aftelier’s Fig is my favourite, followed closely by the Hermes. Personal buy and wearability meter only.

      • Dionne says:

        I wouldn’t worry about not getting the Philosykos, lots of people don’t care for it. The way I see it, talking about the “best” in perfume is a bit beside the point, because after all is said and done about artistry and materials and the perfumer’s style, you have to take into account body chemistry and personal taste. Iris Silver Mist is a perfume I respect and appreciate, being an iris girl, but it’s not the first I reach for.

  3. Undina says:

    Jo Malone’s Wild Fig & Cassis and Sonoma Scent Studio’s Fig Tree are my two favorite figs. I think I’m done looking for a fig perfume at the moment because I’m content with these two.
    My bottle of Fig Tree is small (it’s a 5 ml purse spray half gone already) but I’ll send you a sample of Fig Tree shea butter with your package: it smells on skin exactly the same way the perfume does.

  4. […] our Posh Peasant; FIG! Olfactory Journey to Greece special we are putting in 1.5ml Posh Peasant decant sprays of Parfumerie Generale; Jardin de […]

  5. Mark Evans says:

    These fig fragrances use a large proportion of a material called stemone (leafy oxime) which literally smells like you’ve taken the branch of a fig tree, complete with wood, bark, green figs, leaves and sap and mulched it all together – it is an amazing experience to smell it in isolation. They also include other green smelling ingredients such as galbanum oil. For the sweeter ones, they add some lactonic or iris and vanilla notes. The dryer ones will have extra cedarwood and other woody materials such as palisandrol.
    At Evocative perfumes I am working on a Morton Bay Fig fragrance which would be a smell familiar to a lot of Aussies and a little different from other fig fragrances.

    Do you know if you can achieve the illusion of fig by combining mint and coconut notes?

    Just some interesting facts from your friendly neighborhood perfumer.

  6. Jordan River says:

    Most of the of the ingredients for Philsykos were also ancient medication for syphilis.

  7. Taka says:

    This page is awesome! Since I found Diptyque, I have been obsessed with fig’s smell 🙂
    Where can I find the fig Sonoma Scent Studio in Sydney?

    • Sorry Taka,
      You can’t get it here yet but if you go to SurrenderToChance I think they may have it or PoshPeasant has the sample set.
      If you have a friend in the USA you could get it sent to them and they could forward it on to you.
      Portia xx

  8. Taka says:

    Hi Porita,
    Thank you very much! XX

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