Friday, June 18, 2010

Diptyque - Philosykos

Perfume: Philosykos
House: Diptyque
Nose: Olivia Giacobetti
Notes: fig leaf, fig, cedar

Cool sappy green twigs, ripe, sweet fig with a hint of creamy coconut milk and smooth dry wood.

Spray this on your arm on a hot day and rest in the shade of a fig tree on a Greek hillside. Philosykos gives me the feeling I've been there. The opening is crisp and green and smells like sticky sap from broken twigs. Then comes the ripe fig, smooth and fresh. Many people smell a hint of coconut in fig, and I smell coconut milk, creamy and sweet in Philosykos. This adds to the summertime feel of the perfume, and the fantasy that I am sitting under a fig tree in Greece, the sun bright as diamonds on the blue water of a faraway bay but where I am everything is shady and cool. The base note is cedar, a dry woody smell, like a smooth pale trunk behind my back.

Luca Turin, in his Perfumes The Guide, calls Philosykos "the first proper fig in perfumery" and gives it 4 stars. Olivia Giacobetti, who did Philosykos, also did Premier Figuier for L'Artisan Parfumeur. I'll write about Premier Figuier another time, it has a lovely floral character and a sandalwood drydown, but Philosykos is my favourite fig perfume.

Photo by Sean Wallis.

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