Fig perfumes, sweet & savoury

Fig perfumes, sweet & savoury

By Deborah Fulsang

Ever the innovator, Thierry Mugler launched his Womanity perfume as a sweet and savoury homage to the fig back in 2010.

That luscious fruit is in itself loaded with sexual innuendo, so perfect for a designer and perfumer who loves to provoke. It was the fig leaf, after all, that revealed that Adam & Eve had tasted of sin and then needed to cover up. The fruit also suggests the male genitalia when whole, a female’s when sliced open. Lush, salty, sharp, velvety, smooth. The innuendos just keep coming.

In perfumery, the fig is many things: Its flesh is sweet; its leaves and bark, green. Its sap, bitter and creamy. No wonder its many-faceted nature continues to inspire. Five years after Womanity, we know Mugler was on to something.

Where Womanity possesses notes of fig leaves, fig, fig tree and rockrose in contrast with sultry salty caviar, this season’s new fig-loving fragrances mix fig with ingredients reminiscent of the plant’s Mediterranean roots.

Elie Saab Le Resort Parfum comes inspired by the Mediterranean’s Amalfi coast so fuses fig with mandarin and orange blossom, white jasmine and frangipani and amber and cedar. Solar, sunshiny, and very of much the scent of a chichi beach. Elie Saab Le Resort Parfum, $113 (90 ml), 

Malin + Goetz likewise pays homage to the fig’s coastal Mediterranean roots with its new Moroccan Fig unisex scent. This is an aromatic mix of bergamot and green leaves, green pepper, fig leaves and flesh, fig bark, and a warm base of cedar, coconut and musk. Malin + Goetz Moroccan Fig $150 (100 ml),

The new Ferrari fragrance, Noble Fig, is a warmer spicier affair, with fig leaves in the top notes (mixed with mandarin and pink peppercorns) and an aromatic heart of cinnamon, clary sage and orris, and then a leathery-tobacco-y base of ambrette seeds blended with patchouli and wood. Delicious for him or her, with or without a sportscar. Ferrari Noble Fig Essence EDT, $105 (100 ml),

If you love fig, check out these other fig perfumes:

Armani Privé Figuier Eden

Kiehl’s Fig Leaf & Sage Aromatic Blend

For more detail on the history of the fig in perfumery, take a read on Fragrantica’s piece here.

PHOTO: iStock
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Deborah Fulsang has spent the last two decades as a journalist covering news and trends in the worlds of style—in fashion and beauty, design and décor, food and entertaining. Her long-held love of fragrance led her to launch The Whale & The Rose, a destination for all things perfume-related. Now, when she indulges in a crazy-expensive bottle of fragrance, she can do so guilt-free. Well almost. It’s all in the name of research after all.