Pacifica Mediterranean Fig : Fragrance Review

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Andy searches for a perfect fig perfume.

Each year, I anxiously await the summer fig season. For the few weeks when I can get my hands on really good fresh figs, I treasure each bite of the sweet, succulent flesh, and when the season ends, I am ready for the next to come. Luckily for me, I can experience the scents of my very favorite fruit, the fig, through perfumes, which fill my void for the rest of the year. While past trends have left a slew of beautiful niche fig perfumes, Pacifica Mediterranean Fig, an affordable alternative, remains one of my favorites.

figs

The word that comes to mind when I picture Mediterranean Fig’s main accord is sparkling, because when I wear it, I always imagine a fizzy fig mojito. In this case, rim the glass with salt, replace the mint with a generous bunch of crushed, fresh fig leaves, add twists of bergamot and lemon peel in with the lime wedges and sugar, and top with plenty of sparkling water. Set the glass down on the sands of a sunny beach, near a tangle of wet driftwood, and you have Mediterranean Fig.

As it fades into its base of creamy woods, I am reminded of the sandy pieces of driftwood I love to collect on seaside walks. For this reason, it remains my go-to “beach” perfume–it evokes visions of a Mediterranean seaside getaway perfectly. Unlike other fig perfumes, Mediterranean Fig has a lighthearted, fresh and breezy aura that is completely endearing.

While I haven’t finished my search for the ultimate fig fragrance, Mediterranean Fig remains the one that I want to turn to most. It offers a well-crafted progression through all the elements of fig I search for: green leaves, ripe fruit, and an appealing, lasting base. Though L’Artisan Premier Figuier starts off sunny and realistic, a seemingly picture-perfect fig, it leaves me wanting with its pale, almond milk base. Diptyque Philosykos at first places me into the serene shade of a fig grove, only to lead me astray into a forest of dark, masculine cedar that reminds me of a men’s body wash. And while I love the creamy sweetness of ripe figs, conjured in Hermès’s Un Jardin en Mediterranée, I miss the refreshing green thrill, the feeling of being utterly surrounded by sap-sticky fig leaves, which I get from the top notes of other fig perfumes.

At a reasonable price of $22 for 30mL, Mediterranean Fig holds its own among the high-end and niche figs. While its green fig theme is far less nuanced than the similar ones found in Philosykos and Premier FiguierMediterranean Fig also strikes me as very imaginative. It provides me with the kind of summery fig fantasy that I want to experience every time I wear it, one of sun-washed afternoons, of carefree moments on the sand. In a word, paradise.

pacifica mediterranean fig

Pacifica Mediterranean Fig features notes of fig, palm leaf, cyclamen, moss, clove, and sandalwood. Available at Whole Foods and Ulta stores.

What fig fragrances would you recommend for me to try?

Photography (top image) by Bois de Jasmin

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53 Comments

  • Farouche: In a word…”Yum!” I love fig fragrances, and this one sounds delectable. Great review. July 18, 2013 at 7:43am Reply

    • Andy: If you like fig fragrances, it really is worth trying, and the accompanying Mediterranean Fig products (body wash, soap, body butter, etc) are really nice too. July 18, 2013 at 7:53am Reply

      • Farouche: Next time I’m in Whole Foods… July 18, 2013 at 8:08am Reply

        • Andy: Yes! I love that these can be found fairly easily, in stores like Whole Foods and Ulta. July 18, 2013 at 9:12am Reply

  • Anka: Thank you for your inspiring review, Andy, I’ll keep an eye out for Pacifica Mediterranean!
    My favorite fig-fragrance is Flagrant Délice (Terry de Gunzburg) but it has this almon milk base you were writign / complaining about.
    Additionally due to this milkyness it is more of a winter-perfume.
    Another one I love is Fico di Amalfi from Acqua di Parma. It reminds me of Un Jardin en Mediterranée but exactly with the “refreshing green thrill” you are missing in it.
    Have a nice day! July 18, 2013 at 8:10am Reply

    • Andy: Thank you for your recommendations! I’ll have to try Fico di Amalfi, because I love Un Jardin en Mediterranée, and just wish it had a leafier opening. July 18, 2013 at 8:43am Reply

  • Phyllis Iervello: I second the Fico di Amalfi from Acqua di Parma. July 18, 2013 at 9:24am Reply

    • Andy: Thanks! Clearly this one is going to have to go into the category of “must-try” for me. July 18, 2013 at 9:32am Reply

  • Dana: So, I take it you wear this in the EDP spray? I have this in the solid perfume, even though I don’t normally wear frags in this form. I think I made this decision based on Victoria from Eaumg saying that she loves this fragrance, but only in solid form. She thought the two were vastly different and that sometimes Pacifica has that issue. I guess with the low price point I should just go for it! Thanks for the review. July 18, 2013 at 10:03am Reply

    • Andy: Yes, this review is based on the spray, though I don’t really know what the concentration is (I think it’s considered EDT, but I’m not sure). You bring up a good point, as the solid and spray bring out entirely different facets of this same fragrance (and many others in the Pacifica line). The solid is quite earthy and much smoother smelling than the spray, which I find a lot greener and sharper (and “sparkling”) than the solid. That being said, my favorite way to wear this fragrance is by applying the body butter and layering the spray over it. July 18, 2013 at 11:22am Reply

      • Dana: Thanks for the clarification! I think Pacifica has some great scents and are a very good value. July 18, 2013 at 6:45pm Reply

        • Andy: I agree. Mediterranean Fig, Nerola Orange Blossom, French Lilac, and Spanish Amber really stand out to me as great values, given their good quality and low price. July 18, 2013 at 6:54pm Reply

  • Marsi: I love this scent as a candle. Pacificas have great throw, and the price is very affordable for times when a Diptyque or Cire Trudon is just too spendy. July 18, 2013 at 10:47am Reply

    • Andy: I agree, the candles are great, especially the Mediterranean Fig ones. There are some Pacificas that I think really are much more appropriate as a home scent (like Tibetan Mountain Temple), but this is one that strikes me as equally nice on the body or in the room. July 18, 2013 at 11:25am Reply

  • zari: Hi Andy,
    I am not sure where you live, but if you have a backyard and are on the east or west coast of the US, you can grow your own fig tree. Once it takes root, it will start producing and the tree grows pretty quickly. And thank you for the review. July 18, 2013 at 11:51am Reply

    • Hannah: What about nearby Washington DC? I don’t think I’ve seen a fresh fig in my life, even though I eat dried figs almost daily. July 18, 2013 at 12:48pm Reply

      • Carlisle: Washington DC should be fine for fig trees; I’ve seen them growing in Philadelphia. July 18, 2013 at 5:37pm Reply

        • Andy: I live in a suburb of Philadelphia, and I do see fig trees growing here and there in yards around my town. Thank you for sharing your advice! July 18, 2013 at 9:27pm Reply

      • Victoria: Hannah, I have a friend in Washington DC who has a small fig tree. What’s more, you can use the leaves too. They have a subtle almond fragrance, and you can use them as wrap for fish or even chicken before roasting/grilling. It’s an all around useful tree. :) July 18, 2013 at 5:40pm Reply

        • Andy: You know, if I had a fig tree, I think I would love it as much for the fruit as for the beautifully scented leaves. When I can get fig leaves, I also like to use them to make a simple herbal tea, which tastes divine. July 18, 2013 at 5:42pm Reply

          • Cornelia Blimber: There are several figtrees in my street in Amsterdam, so I think it can not be difficult to let them grow. They are amazing: in the winter absolutely barren, and in the summer suddenly a luxuriance of leafs. The leafs smell heavenly, I can’t pluck them, but I collect the fallen ones, lay them on my bookshelfs to perfume my books.
            Success with the gardening! July 18, 2013 at 5:52pm Reply

            • Andy: I find fig trees beautiful too. Your part of Amsterdan must be lovely in the summer! July 18, 2013 at 6:52pm Reply

      • Karen: Figs do great around DC! You can plant them in a sunny space, preferably with some protection, just check with any local plant store near you. There are several varieties that do well in the region. If you get a tree now or in the fall, you will have figs next summer! July 18, 2013 at 8:16pm Reply

        • Andy: Thank you for sharing your advice with everybody. I too am now rather tempted to plant a fig tree! July 18, 2013 at 9:28pm Reply

      • zari: Yes, fig trees should thrive in the DC area. Fresh fig has a really beautiful inside (the color and little seeds), but it is too sweet for me for some reason. I do love dried fig, yum! July 18, 2013 at 11:02pm Reply

    • Andy: Zari, that is a great idea! I am an avid gardener, and I’ve considered growing my own figs for a while now. At nurseries this spring, I think I even saw some miniature fig varieties that can be grown in pots, for those with limited space. July 18, 2013 at 5:40pm Reply

      • zari: :) good luck Andy. July 18, 2013 at 10:59pm Reply

        • Andy: Thank you! :) July 19, 2013 at 8:35am Reply

  • rainboweyes: I explored the fig theme some time ago as I love this note in scents too. Unfortunately the rest of my family hated it, so I had to give my Philosykos bottle away (my kids refused to give me a hug while I was wearing it).
    Here a few more fig-centered scents that I sampled and liked a lot (besides Un Jardin en Mediterranee and Fico di Amalfi):

    Micallef Sous Le Figuer – with black currant, jasmine and tea notes

    Miller Harris Figue Amere – with angelica and narcissus

    Heeley Figuer – with rhubarb, tea and melon

    Profumum Ichnusa – with myrtle and hay

    Hope you’ll find something you like! July 18, 2013 at 3:26pm Reply

    • Andy: That is a shame that your family couldn’t stand Philosykos. To me, it seems so pleasant and inoffensive, but I guess everybody has their preferences.

      And thank you for all your recommendations! Figue Amere and Heely Figuier are especially intriguing to me (narcissus or rhubarb with fig seem utterly irresistible), though they all sound fantastic! July 18, 2013 at 5:51pm Reply

  • Rafael: The best fig I’ve ever worn is the original Marc Jacobs for Men EDT. July 18, 2013 at 3:29pm Reply

    • Andy: Thank you for the recommendation. I’ve been meaning to try this one and keep overlooking it, so I’m grateful for the reminder. July 18, 2013 at 5:57pm Reply

  • Jennifer: Mediterranean Fig is my favorite of the Pacifica fragrances. My bottle was a little neglected, so I’m wearing it today, as a matter of fact. I just have the spray of this one, but I need to try the solid too and compare. The solids and sprays can be quite different (Persian rose was like that. I have the solid but didn’t like the spray).

    I really like Philosykos, but I found Jardin en Mediterranee a bit underwhelming. It sounds like Fico di Amalfi might be right up my alley, so I need to look for it next time I’m somewhere that sells Acqua di Parma. July 18, 2013 at 3:34pm Reply

    • Andy: I find the solid of Mediterranean Fig quite different from the spray. The solid smells a bit earthier, and mostly lacks the sharp, citrusy green opening. I like it in both solid and spray, though. I’ve had the same experience, of liking one format of a Pacifica fragrance but not the other, with Tuscan Blood Orange. Whereas the solid is a pleasant, bright citrus fragrance, the roll on (I’ve never tried the spray) starts nicely before turning sweet and flat within a few minutes. July 18, 2013 at 6:05pm Reply

  • Austenfan: My fig experience is limited to the Hermès which I like, but am not mad about. Philosykos (edt) which I love. I am wondering about trying the edp but fear I may want it as well. I have also tried the Artisan, PF. I remember liking it, but preferring the Diptyque.
    Another “fig” that I haven’t seen mentioned is Ninfeo Mio. Probably my favourite in terms of fig in perfume. ( which reminds me of pigs in space, but that is just a random link in my end-of-the week brain).
    I have never seen any Pacifica fragrances in Europe, will have to google if they are sold overhere.

    I recently finished a pot of fig jam. It was delicious. Nothing beats the fresh fruit, but it is not that easy to get hold of good ripe figs where I live. July 18, 2013 at 5:17pm Reply

    • Andy: I’m not sure how I would like an EDP of a fig fragrance like Philosykos. What I like about these green fig fragrances (as opposed to more gourmand figs) is the refreshing, light aura they all seem to have. I like them for summer, so I wonder if an EDP would just feel too heavy for me.

      I’ve been meaning to try Ninfeo Mio too. From the description, it sounds like it would probably appeal to me very much.

      Earlier in the spring, I had a nice jar of fig jam too–it was nice, but I have to agree that nothing can compare to fresh figs. July 18, 2013 at 6:11pm Reply

      • Austenfan: Do try it if you can, it’s a wonderful fragrance and great for summer! July 19, 2013 at 5:08am Reply

        • Andy: I definitely will have to try it! July 19, 2013 at 8:36am Reply

          • Austenfan: Another fig perfume that gets a great review in The Guide is Heeley’s Figuier. I have never tried this one myself, but if it is anything as good as their leather fragrance it ought to be excellent. July 19, 2013 at 3:04pm Reply

            • Andy: I keep hearing these great things about Heely perfumes—I’ll have to start trying them soon! July 19, 2013 at 3:17pm Reply

  • EDUARDO LIMA: You should try Ninfeo Mio by Goutal and Fico de Amalfi. Awesome frags!! July 18, 2013 at 8:14pm Reply

    • Andy: Thank you for your advice! July 18, 2013 at 9:29pm Reply

  • Nataliya: What a coincedence this article about figs. Here in Italy is just a period of figs, perfect starter for dinner fresh figs and prosciutto crudo.
    By the way the last week’s issue of Italian Vanity Fair talks about the fig fragrances/cosmetics very en vogue now. Here is a link: (sorry only in italian)
    http://www.vanityfair.it/beauty/trend/13/07/tendenza-fico-profumi-frutto
    And I do love Philosykos. July 19, 2013 at 12:13pm Reply

    • Andy: I love to eat fresh figs with prosciutto, as I find the contrast of sweet and salty flavors is truly delicious! Thank you for sharing the link too—I loved looking at their fig-inspired product suggestions! July 19, 2013 at 3:13pm Reply

  • Nataliya: During my trip to Argentina I tried Fueguier by Fueguia. It is a very interesting interpretation of figs, too sweet for me, but defenetely worth trying. July 19, 2013 at 12:25pm Reply

    • Andy: Thank you for letting me know. I love fig perfumes, so all these suggestions I’ve been getting are much appreciated! July 19, 2013 at 3:15pm Reply

      • Nataliya: You are welcome Andy. July 20, 2013 at 9:52am Reply

  • Annikky: Andy, thank you for this – figs are my favourites, too, and I’ve just bought some fresh ones to eat with cheese later. I also love the jams, like Austenfan, and I like to add dried figs to lamb tagine, couscous and even pasta.

    I also think this note works beautifully in body care. Korres Fig shower gel is not terribly expensive, but really excellent. And I just bought Kiehl’s Fig Leaf & Sage, which I think you might like – not quite green and sparkling, it’s a more herbal take on the theme and it’s great.

    All the notewothy fig perfumes have been mentioned already, but I wanted to give a shout out to Caligna. It’s not a fig solifruit :), but I’m really taken with this delicate interpretation of Provance. If you like your figs complemented with gentle herbs and blooms, it’s definitely worth a try. July 19, 2013 at 1:12pm Reply

    • Annikky: Have to clarify that I bought the Fig Leaf & Sage shower gel, but there should be an EdT as well. July 19, 2013 at 1:14pm Reply

      • Andy: Thanks! July 19, 2013 at 3:24pm Reply

    • Andy: Mmmm…so many delicious ways to eat figs! I may have to go scour some farm markets today to see if I can find any, because my craving right now is incredible. Even still, those fig shower gels both sound pretty good right now too. Caligna hadn’t even crossed my radar, so thank you for the recommendation. A fig with herbs and blossoms sounds beautiful. July 19, 2013 at 3:23pm Reply

  • Sandra: Hi Andy… Loved this scent for years! Just read that Thymes has rereleased Fig Leaf and Cassis – really crisp and fresh – and affordable like Pacifica’s scents. July 20, 2013 at 9:24am Reply

    • Andy: Thanks for letting me know! There is a shop in a nearby beach town where I always sample Thymes products—I’ll have to check if they have it the next time I go. July 21, 2013 at 7:44pm Reply

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