Ever since Olivia Giacobetti created the intensely green and milky fig accords for her L’Artisan Premier Figuier and Diptyque Philosykos fragrances, there have been more and more variations on this appealing theme, from the green fig branches of Hermès Un Jardin en Méditerranée to the ripe black figs of Thierry Mugler Womanity. It was only a matter of time before these vivid leafy notes trickled down to the home fragrance market. Diptyque Figuier, L’Artisan Parfumeur Interieur Figuier and L’Occitane Feuille de Figuier are my favorite fig home fragrances, both for their quality and the interesting perfumes. They capture the crisp, vibrant scents of crushed green leaves and the milky, pleasantly bitter impression of unripe fruit covered in sap.
Out of the three, Diptyque Figuier (Fig Tree) is my favorite for its vivid, bright aroma. Out of the jar it smells green and minty, but once lit, the illusion of a verdant fig leaf becomes complete. A hint of almond and a woody note of sandalwood and cedar round out the intensity of the fragrance. A subtle yellow plum note is woven through the green, bright scent to suggest the fruity sweetness of fig flesh. While Figuier, like most green fragrance, is not a strong fragrance, it has an excellent diffusion. Even after the candle is snuffed out, the clean, green scent pleasantly lingers in the air. 7 oz. $60
There is not that much difference between Diptyque Figuier and L’Artisan Parfumeur Interieur Figuier—both explore the same green stemmy and milky fruity accord that registers as fig. While I enjoyed Interieur Figuier for its grassy, green scent, I find that between the two, Diptyque’s candle has a richer scent and better diffusion. There is a stronger woody note in Interieur Figuier, which gives the fragrance a sharper quality. In general, the one advantage that L’Artisan candles have over Diptyque is that they retain their freshness much longer. I also prefer L’Artisan’s black glass jar packaging, which looks very elegant. 6.2oz $60
L’Occitane Feuille de Figuier / Fig Leaf makes for a good, lower-priced alternative to both Diptyque and L’Artisan, and for those who love fresh, clean fragrances, it is a good choice. I will not pretend that Feuille de Figuier is a better quality candle; in comparison to the high-end brands, its scent is sharper and thinner. However, the candle has a very appealing fragrance of grass and green almonds and burns cleanly. I like it for its ability to freshen up the space and make it seem cleaner and brighter, even if the fragrance itself is not as strong as that of Diptyque and L’Artisan. I also love the hexagonal metal container with its lid, which is handy for covering up the candle immediately after it is blown out to avoid the pungent scent of smoldering cotton. Before lighting the candle for the first time, I recommend trimming the wick to about ¼”, which will not only prolong candle’s life, but also will prevent smoking. 3.5 oz $18
All three candles would be perfect for freshening up a space, whether it is an office, an apartment or perhaps a kitchen area. For me, there is something very evocative about the scents of green leaves and sticky new buds, especially on a cold winter day. It may be snowing heavily outside, but when I light one of my favorite fig candles, my living room becomes filled with the scent of spring.
Availability: Diptyque candles are sold at Aedes, Barney’s New York, Saks Fifth Avenue as well as online at Beautyhabit, Amazon.com, Luckyscent.com, among others. L’Artisan candles can be found through their website, Barney’s, Aedes. L’Occitane candles are available from their boutiques and online.
Lovely photo of ripening figs from gardenweb.com.