Fig: 12 posts

French Fig Jam

Jam has become such an industrial, mass-produced product that it might be hard to imagine making it at home. This is not the case in France–or much of Europe, for that matter. When I visited my friend on her farm in Burgundy, we drove around for hours only to discover that all of the stores were out of preserving supplies. We ended up ordering a case of jars from an online shop, because the figs were ripening fast.

My friend follows a recipe that has been in her family for several generations. We cut figs into quarters and weigh them to determine the amount of sugar. It’s 2 parts fruit to 1 part sugar. Figs are sweet, so we add lemon juice. As their juices melt into sugar, the syrup becomes pink, then purple, then burgundy, like the famous wines of the region. The green perfume of figs transforms as they cook. The fragrance of natural coumarin in their peel, the aromatic that smells of toasted almonds and cherries, becomes more pronounced and richer. The lemon zest gives the fig jam a twist reminiscent of Shalimar.

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Atelier Cologne Figuier Ardent and Figgy Favorites

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Patricia is in search of interesting fig perfumes.

There are many perfumes that for me weren’t love at first sniff, but which I grew to appreciate over time. Most notable are Chanel Coromandel, whose earthy patchouli was definitely an acquired taste, and Chanel No 5, which I’m approaching sideways through the more modern and wearable No 5 Eau Première.

figuier-ardent

However, I haven’t had many fragrances that were initially a hit but later a miss. Atelier Cologne Figuier Ardent from the Collection Azur has proven to be one such fragrance, and I’ve been trying over the past several months to recapture what I saw in it at the beginning of our relationship. Its opening promises much, but it doesn’t deliver.

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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.

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Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Limon Verde : Perfume Review

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You never know what you’ll get with Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria fragrances. Some of them are fascinating and quirky like Pamplelune and Herba Fresca and others are unexpectedly bland like Lemon Fresca and Tutti Kiwi.  Limon Verde, with its promise of the Brazilian drink, caipirinha, blended with creamy fig should have been squarely in the first camp, but in the end, it’s neither surprising nor interesting.

limon verde

The first sign of trouble with Limon Verde is its razor sharp green accent. It is there to shore up the lime, but I can’t shake off the paint thinner association that some intense leafy notes have. A delicious lime, zesty and bittersweet, stands no chance and surrenders.

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Neela Vermeire Creations Ashoka : Perfume Review

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Patricia talks of emperors and leather miniskirts.

In one of my favorite comics, “Rose Is Rose,” the title character, a mild-mannered housewife and mother, has an edgy biker chick alter ego complete with big hair, thigh-high boots, a leather miniskirt, and a rose tattoo. This character pops up when Rose is stressed, conflicted, or otherwise feels the need to exert some power in her life. This kind of power is what I felt on first application of Ashoka, Neela Vermeire’s fourth fragrance, created in collaboration with perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour.

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Ashoka (304-232 BCE) was an Indian emperor of the Maurya Dynasty. Through his frequent military conquests, he eventually ruled over what is present-day India. A fierce warrior and leader, he converted to Buddhism after witnessing the mass death and destruction of the Kalinga tribe, and he played an important role in making Buddhism a world religion. This perfume, which honors him, follows the same trajectory: from strong opening, to floral heart, to a quiet complexity of earthy notes.

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