Carthusia Capri Forget Me Not : Fragrance Review

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As we recently talked about uplifting perfumes, we discovered that fig inspired scents can be terrific mood-boosters. So, Elisa reviews another fragrance with a fig theme. 

Fig fragrances usually fall into one of two camps: There’s the woody, leafy-green variety, best represented by Diptyque Philosykos and L’Artisan Premier Figuier (both composed by Olivia Giacobetti). Then there are the jammy, sticky figs, like Mugler’s Womanity and Byredo Pulp. I enjoy both styles, but I had started to feel that there wasn’t much point in trying new fig scents, since they’re always so familiar. We already own a bottle of Philosykos. Fig is fig, right?

capri

Wrong, as it turns out – Capri Forget Me Not from Carthusia, an aromatic, citrusy fig fragrance released in 2012, has reminded me that there are always new ways to use old materials.

The opening salvo is so bright and crisp it’s like throwing open the windows in your hotel room overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. (Not that I’ve ever had the chance to live out this fantasy.) When I first sprayed this perfume on paper, I had no idea what the note list was, but three notes ring out loud and clear: lime, fig, and mint. The lime is zingy and zesty, and puts me in mind of Fils de Dieu from Etat Libre d’Orange. But the mint note is the real surprise; it’s a vanilla-inflected mint – think white Tic-Tac’s, or mint ice cream. Breathe it in and you’ll swear your mouth feels cold. You wouldn’t expect this to make sense with fig, but it does – like the fig material stemone, mint is both bracingly green and sweet, and both have a cooling effect, like a breeze.

This is a light, sheer perfume – if you spray it on in the morning, it’ll be mostly gone by afternoon. But it’s so fresh and cheerful, it seems best suited to morning light anyway. In a line mostly known for its classical scents (some of the formulas supposedly borrowed from 14th century monks), it’s refreshing to find something so inventive, and beautifully done at that.

Carthusia Capri Forget Me Not is available in a 50 ml bottle from Lucky Scent for $140. It includes notes of lemon, lime, mandarin, fig, mint, violet, eucalyptus, bucchu, cyclamen, hyacinth, jasmine, artemesia, vanilla and peach. The nose is Laura Tonatto.

This review based on a PR sample sent by the company.

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34 Comments

  • Patricia: Oh, this does sound nice. I love citrussy fig fragrances and don’t have any with mint! December 3, 2014 at 9:24am Reply

    • Elisa: It’s actually hard for me to imagine anyone not liking this, unless they hate fig. December 3, 2014 at 9:31am Reply

  • Julie: Thank you Elisa, it sounds just wonderful. I’m putting this on my list for samples to try.
    This is one of the reasons I love this blog so much. The daydream of a Mediterranean getaway with a scent I never could have imagined. Absolutely lovely! December 3, 2014 at 9:27am Reply

    • Elisa: Thank you Julie! Hope it was a nice moment of escape in December! December 3, 2014 at 9:32am Reply

  • Phyllis Iervello: I own a few older Carthusia scents that I purchased at the actual factory in Capri both of which I have visited twice in my life. I also have an older scent by Laura Tonatto called Magnifico which is also fig based. Fig scents were once my signature scents. December 3, 2014 at 10:11am Reply

    • Elisa: Ooh, what was the factory like? I love the Carthusia packaging. December 3, 2014 at 10:13am Reply

  • spe: This sounds wonderful! Mint is one of those notes that just draws me in (herba fresca, geranium pour monsieur) because it is so unexpected. I want to try this fresh, crisp fig for Spring! Thank you for reviewing this fragrance! December 3, 2014 at 10:18am Reply

    • Elisa: It’s perfect for spring! Such an unusual use of mint and not at all toothpaste-y December 3, 2014 at 10:21am Reply

  • Aurora: You describe it so well that it’s a though I had experienced this scent already. The mint element makes it indeed original. December 3, 2014 at 10:19am Reply

    • Elisa: Thanks, Aurora! Who knew fig and mint were such natural allies? December 3, 2014 at 10:22am Reply

  • Bastet: I love Pacifica’s fig scent, especially for the price, although this one sounds much more unusual. December 3, 2014 at 11:36am Reply

    • Elisa: Yes, that’s a very good one for the price, in the mold of the woody/leafy ones. December 3, 2014 at 12:17pm Reply

  • Annette Reynolds: I’ve tried a lot of the Carthusia scents – wanting to love them all, but not having much luck with that…

    Now you’ve introduced another one to me that I didn’t bother trying because I just wasn’t sure it was something I’d like. I’m thinking I was wrong!

    Thanks, Elisa. I can’t wait to try a sample of this one. (And I’m all over that fantasy of yours… 🙂 December 3, 2014 at 12:26pm Reply

    • Elisa: I’m glad to have spurred lemmings in so many of you! December 3, 2014 at 12:27pm Reply

  • Hannah: I’ve been wondering about this because I was looking at fragrances with hyacinth on luckyscent/aedes and I like Io Capri a lot but it just seems to be missing something. I wanted to include it in a luckyscent sample order, but samples of it aren’t for sale at this moment. You don’t mention the hyacinth, though; is the hyacinth note distinct at all? December 3, 2014 at 12:44pm Reply

    • Elisa: I must say I didn’t notice the hyacinth; the florals are there but subtle. For hyacinth, I can recommend Paco Rabanne Metal, Jacinthe et Rose, Gucci Envy (if you can find it, sob!), Chamade of course … and Smell Bent Mirror Ball is an interesting hyacinth with incense. December 3, 2014 at 12:53pm Reply

      • Hannah: I’ll try it anyway, at least to compare to Io Capri.
        I think of Tubereuse Criminelle as a hyacinth perfume. I’m not sure if it’s just my chemistry but I think it’s the most distinct note after the opening fades. Once when I wore it a girl sitting beside me told me I smell like hyacinths, so I’m not crazy. December 3, 2014 at 1:07pm Reply

        • Elisa: Interesting! I will look for that next time I wear it. December 3, 2014 at 1:12pm Reply

  • Karen: Thank you for your review! Great fun to learn of a new-to-me perfume company! December 3, 2014 at 12:51pm Reply

    • Elisa: Thanks Karen! December 3, 2014 at 12:55pm Reply

      • Karen: Just reading about their other fragrances (on luckyscent), and will have to try a sample or two. December 3, 2014 at 12:57pm Reply

  • Hamamelis: Thank you Elisa, lovely review, and I will put it on the list for coming Spring, especially because I have lemminged a few perfumes you reviewed favourably (that did not break the bank), Frederic Fekkai Sensuelle being a top favourite, and EL Sensuous Noir. Clearly this is very different, but I love fig, and when I picked some fresh last summer whilst being on holiday in Spain, the white very sticky fluid that gets released smelled a bit minty if I remember well. Anoter lovely fig I recently (sniffed) purchased is 23 Janvier 1984 by Pozzo di Borgo, very fresh with cardamon and iris notes. December 3, 2014 at 1:20pm Reply

    • Elisa: So happy I turned someone else on to the Fekkai! Very underrated scent. The fig you mention sounds lovely and unusual too. December 3, 2014 at 1:32pm Reply

      • Hamamelis: Yes, number 1 fan of Fekkai! Such a really lovely orangeblossom. One of those perfumes I can even wear when I am very much under the weather. Fortunately you still see it online in the Netherlands, but maybe I should buy a back up bottle… December 3, 2014 at 3:06pm Reply

  • Andy: I am always looking for new figs to try. Like you, Elisa, I can enjoy both the sticky-syrupy and fresh, green interpretations of fig, depending on my mood. Even still, Capri sounds like something just a little bit different! December 3, 2014 at 1:43pm Reply

    • Elisa: Hi Andy, I’d be curious to know what you think of this one! It’s sweet but still very fresh, quite an arresting take. December 3, 2014 at 1:44pm Reply

  • limegreen: Thanks for the review, Elisa. I’m late to post but I read your review with my morning coffee before a long day and was inspired to wear Jo Malone Wild Fig and Cassis (the body oil). It was quite nice for such a dreary foggy day!
    I love the Carthusia fragrances that are citrusy (Via Camerelle has a green herbal note, maybe mint?) so this one sounds wonderful with the fig. Until I get a whiff of it, maybe I’ll spray Via Camerelle over Premier Figuier body oil tomorrow and see what I get! 🙂 December 3, 2014 at 8:35pm Reply

    • Elisa: Good idea! Wild Fig and Cassis is my favorite of the Jo Malones. December 3, 2014 at 9:37pm Reply

  • Claire: I can’t wait to sample this. The combination sounds really unusual, and refreshing. I love the idea of mint and citrus with fig. I am not always fond of of fig scents and my experience of a few have been unisex or too woody and just overly masculine with my chemistry. I do love Korres Fig Shower Gel and Korres Fig Body Milk ( but not the version manufactured and sold in the U. S.; I order it from the UK, from Greece). It is fruity, but not too sweet, and there is some dry wood but it is not overpowering or too masculine. It is earthy-sweet, very sensual and soothing. December 4, 2014 at 3:18am Reply

    • Elisa: I expect that you won’t find this one too masculine! But it’s not *so* feminine that a man couldn’t wear it either. December 4, 2014 at 9:27am Reply

  • Figuier: Thanks for this review – I love trying new fig scents, and would never have guessed from the name that this was one. And the brand isn’t widely enough distributed that I’m likely to find it in local shops; a sample order beckons.

    How does it compare to Ninfeo Mio? Or Nicolai’s Fig Tea? I love the idea of citrus and fig, but am finding it quite difficult to imagine… December 4, 2014 at 6:48am Reply

    • Elisa: When I first tried Ninfeo Mio, there was something in it that didn’t agree with my skin; I’ve been meaning to sample again as that was years ago. I’ve never tried Fig Tea.

      If you’ve ever tried Fils de Dieu, the lime note is very similar in the two. December 4, 2014 at 9:28am Reply

      • Figuier: Thanks Elisa – I’d recommend Fig Tea, it’s kind of tea cologne with a hint of fig, lovely for summer. & I do remember the lime note in Fils de Dieu, it’s zingy but also a little bit sweet, if I remember correctly. December 6, 2014 at 4:23pm Reply

        • Elisa: Yes, that’s accurate! Not a sour note. December 6, 2014 at 5:40pm Reply

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