L’Artisan Premier Figuier and Premier Figuier Extreme : Perfume Reviews

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Green_figs

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Although the fashion for fig notes in perfumery has resulted in a diverse range of fragrances, from the green and dry Diptyque Philosykos to the sweet and candied Parfums Delrae Bois de Paradis, Premier Figuier (1994) is the composition that started the trend. Created by perfumer Olivia Giacobetti for L’Artisan Parfumeur, Premier Figuier folds the green pepperiness of galbanum around the ivy note in order to create its signature fig accord.

Giacobetti’s rendition of the green notes is quite impressive, because while conjuring the intoxicating smell of sticky green buds, her orchestration does not have a raspy, aggressive element that characterizes many verdant compositions. The milky note reminiscent of broken dandelion stems foils the arrangement, providing an interesting floral counterpoint that harmonizes the green and woody accords of Premier Figuier. …

In comparison to its more streamlined sibling Philosykos, Premier Figuier is undoubtedly richer and more complex; however its intense verdancy might nevertheless require an appreciation for green notes. And yet, I find that few fig fragrances capture better the pungent green sap of unripe figs. In a quintessential haiku style of Giacobetti’s fragrances, the end result has a subtle abstract quality that turns Premier Figuier into a much more impressionistic composition than what it appears like at first.

While Premier Figuier does not completely conceal the intense greenness of the galbanum, Premier Figuier Extrême (2003) presents a gentler version of the original. Reasonably tenacious, as one might expect from the EDP, Premier Figuier Extrême follows the development of the EDT, however by the time one experiences the lovely sandalwood base, the figs are no longer to be found on the branches. While Premier Figuier teasingly conjures a vision of green figs oozing milky sap, the floral accord overlaid with fig in Premier Figuier Extrême is amplified by the fruity notes, with the result that the green milky quality appears as more transparent. While I prefer the top and middle notes in the original, the drydown of the EDP has more depth. Yet, while Premier Figuier falls unto a disappointingly thin base, the trendsetting status of its excellent fig accord should nevertheless be recognized. While it lasts, the effect is very enjoyable.

Premier Figuier includes notes of fig, fig leaf, milk of almond, sandalwood, and coconut. Premier Figuier Extrême features gorse flower, fig leaves, peach, sandalwood, almond milk, fig, stone pine, coconut milk, dried fruit. L’Artisan Parfumeur fragrances are available at Aedes, Barneys New York, Beautycafe, Bergdorf Goodman, Bluemercury, Neiman Marcus, Saks 5th Avenue, and Theperfumeshoppe.

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20 Comments

  • biagio: i personally own figuier extreme version i actually have to say that i really like it as summery fragrance i found it sweeter and a little bit flowery in comparison with phylosikos but i have to say that i detect more fig fruit in the dyptique creation . surprisingly i smell a lot of coconut and buttery cream in the figuier extreme dont’you ? April 21, 2006 at 7:00am Reply

  • marchlion: V, that is very interesting. I had assumed incorrectly that the Extreme would be … figgier, sharper and more sappy. I will have to go and sample it. Do you have any general feelings about L’Artisan you could share with me? Thanks. April 21, 2006 at 8:24am Reply

  • Karin: I never tried the Phylosikos one as no one has it around here. I like the one 10, from Capri too, it is especially nice. Fresh has one called Fig Apricot, and that is nice.

    I was looking for a way to layer up so it isn’t FFFFFFFFFIIIIIIIIIIGGGGGGGG…Jo Malone offers some various layering with her Fig, but none struck me at all.

    Trying a grapefruit with the fig was a no-go. Haven’t really figured anything out. Maybe YSL Cinema. April 21, 2006 at 9:16am Reply

  • Robin: Have all 3 versions (PF, PFE & Philosykos) and love them all, but love Philosykos the most. Lovely review, V. April 21, 2006 at 11:39am Reply

  • violetnoir: I am wearing Philosykos today. I think I like it a tad better than PF, which I own, too. If I want a “fig” fragrance, I spritz on the former. If I want something more floral, I spritz on the latter. Actually, they both smell really good together when layered.

    Hugs! April 21, 2006 at 12:05pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Biagio, I agree–L’Artisan’s figs are much more buttery than that of Diptyque. Philosykos strikes me as much drier, but I cannot work up enough enthusiasm over it. L’Artisan, on another hand, sometimes strikes me as too buttery and slightly powdery. It is definitely more of a fig leaf fragrance. April 21, 2006 at 1:03pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: March, go and sample them side by side. I think that both are quite lovely, although I have to say that neither strikes me as perfect. In general, L’Artisan fragrances are like vignettes on various themes–rose, patchouli, mimosa, violet. Even the darkest fragrances are marked by the trasparency, and in my opinion, they are like short poems, rather than long epics. In some cases, I like the results very much–Patchouli Patch, Navegar, Premier Figuier, Jour de Fete, Tea for Two, Bois Farine (this is probably one of their most complex), Dzing! (ditto), and in others, I find the compositions rather boring. April 21, 2006 at 1:10pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Karin, have you tried layering with a green floral? That might be a very nice combination. Another is to take something cedar or sandalwood heavy, because green ivy notes that make up the fig accords work really well with woods. April 21, 2006 at 1:12pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, what you think of Premier Figuier vs. the Extreme version? I have some of both, but I cannot decide which one I like best. Therefore, I keep both around. April 21, 2006 at 1:13pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R (violetnoir), I can see how Philosykos and Premier Figuier would work well when layered together. I might experiment today with this combination. April 21, 2006 at 1:15pm Reply

  • Tania: Victoria, I remember you saying that Marc Jacobs for Men started out as inspired by Philosykos or Premier Figuier. Do you consider the MJ a more interesting fig than these originals by Giacobetti? April 23, 2006 at 3:03pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: T, yes, Marc Jacobs asked for something similar to Philosykos in his brief for MJ for Men. I find the result to be much more interesting then Philosykos and more full bodied than either PF or PFE. Whereas Giacobetti’s compositions have lovely top notes and pale bases, MJ for Men maintains the fig theme throughout the development of the fragrance much better. April 23, 2006 at 6:22pm Reply

  • Agritty: My sister has worn this perfume (PF) for ten years, and while it smells absolutely awful on me (like all her favorite scents), I adore it when I smell it on others, as it reminds me so much of her. Your description made me miss her very much – we live half way across the world from eachother. April 23, 2006 at 6:37pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Agritty, it is wonderful to have a fragrance that reminds you of a loved one. One of my best friends wears Yves Rocher Mimosa, and whenever I smell it, I think of her. She is also half way across the world from me. April 24, 2006 at 2:21am Reply

  • Jonell: I bought a sample of Premier Figuier Extreme and really like it, however it doesn’t last long except on your clothing.
    I was orignally looking for Creation Mathias Figue, but can’t find it. Has anyone tried CMF and how does it rate with the other fig perfumes.
    Jonell May 7, 2006 at 12:52pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Jonell, Creation Mathias Figue is creamier than either L’Artisan or Philosykos figs. I would definitely recommend seeking it out. May 7, 2006 at 12:57pm Reply

  • BGfan: Divine smell of 100 ml of sap, but the drydown is extremely sensitive to changes of my skin chemistry during the month (to the point of extreme stench), I can’t wear it it in winter either, so it’s mostly used for home sniffing… Funny, my skin doesn’t change any other fragrances. May 24, 2007 at 2:31pm Reply

  • a.: it is the strangest thing but premier figuier smells like mangos on me while being very different on a friend of mine. the greenness doesn’t quite come through on my skin. instead, it settles surprisingly sweet. March 25, 2013 at 7:24pm Reply

  • angeldiva: Well. I sure like you, Victoria! But, I did not like this perfume! Fig? Blechk… December 23, 2014 at 7:17pm Reply

    • Victoria: Not sure what liking me has to do with liking or disliking Premier Figuier. 🙂 It’s a really well-made fragrance, I think, but it’s far from my personal favorite. December 24, 2014 at 9:55am Reply

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