fig: 5 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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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?

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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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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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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.

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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.

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Diptyque L’Ombre Dans L’Eau, Do Son and Philosykos Eau de Parfum : Reviews

The intense green of sun warmed tomato leaves, the salty taste of red fruit, the bitter pungency of black currant buds… On my wrist was the smell of my fantasy summer, long walks in the park and lounging on the grass included.  When I reached for the new Eau de Parfum formulation of Diptyque L’Ombre Dans L’Eau, I didn’t expect it to be dramatically different from the original L’Ombre Dans L’Eau. Much to my surprise, it was!

The fragrance was so exhilarating and vivid that a single whiff won me over. I stepped out into the grey afternoon holding the perfume box wrapped in thin, crackly paper. It might have been raining, but as I pressed my nose to my wrist and inhaled the perfume of crushed leaves and earthy roses, I didn’t even notice.

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