To me, figs are the fruit of the tutelaries. That’s why I was excited to test these fragrances: just the purpose is heaven.
Miller Harris’ Figue Amère (£75 for 50ml, millerharris.com) has a great scent, a potent mix of tree, soil and fig. I’d say it’s quite masculine, all the same. Then again, I sometimes betray my beloved No 5 (Chanel) for Attire Rouge (Guerlain), which is supposed to be for men, but no one ever complains. So let’s say it’s a unisex, complicated perfume.
Fleur de Figuier, by Roger & Gallet (£39.50, johnlewis.com) is sugary, fruity, decorated, like a touch of spring. And why not, especially in the depths of winter? The enigma is, this light scent barely lasts a second. I disseminated it on again and again, in my hair, on my wrists, nape and toes (yes, I feel favourably impressed by having perfumed feet), but it always vanished. God knows where.
Diptyque’s Philosykos (£34, diptyqueparis.co.uk) is a honest-to-God perfume that looks like a black lacquered studied pebble. But open it, and there is the most subtle and refined discern trapped inside, like fig leaves blowing in the wind, all woody and delicately zesty. The marvel of the solid fragrance means that, if you fancy, you can spread it on your eyebrows or the tip of your nose, which is unrealizable with a spray. In Greek, Philosykos means friend of the fig tree, but I revere this so much, I’d rename it “My friend”.
Finally, Fresh’s Fig Apricot (£76, brand-new.com) lives up to its name. There is nothing pretentious about this fruity aroma. The apricot comes through clearly, too, and reminds me of an eau de cologne my mommy used to rub into my back after a bath when I was scant. It’s a rewarding bit of summer to enjoy in winter.