Fig leaf is a very distinct note, extremely green and fresh, and with a strange resemblance to coconut. Often it stands for mediterranean life style since the fig tree grows in southern Europe. The idea is to sit under a roof of those green leaves that shelter you from the sun and provide a subtle freshness.
It is not everybodys darling. Accordingly, there are not many fig leaf perfumes around, but I would like to recommend testing a distinct fig leaf fragrance to anybody. Like it or not, it is remarkable and worth knowing. I would like to share my experience with the fig leaf perfumes that I have come across so far, and I would like to ask you to contribute yours.
Let's start with the „real“ fig leaf perfumes, which I do not like that much:
"Philosykos" by Diptyque
This one is maybe the most popular of that kind. As already the name indicates, this is very straightforward fig leaf. For me, it lacks some contrast. It is simply green, fresh, and a little bit tart. It also lacks elegance, and it can get on my nerves.
"Premier Figuier" by L'Artisan Parfumeur
This is the no. 2 of the straightforward fig leaf fragrances, and it seems also quite popular. It is more discreet than Philosykos. It is softer, less tart, less sportive, and I would say, there is some beauty in it. Still, it is too pure for me, so I'd think about layering. There is also an Extreme version around which I do not know.
"Higo" by CanCarlos
This is fig leaf on speed!
CanCarlos is niche and with Higo, they show the courageousness that only niche brands can afford by leading the fresh character of the fig leaf into the extreme. They combine the fig leaf with very fresh and strong citrusy notes. It is an energy booster for any hot midsummer day.
"Macchia Mediterranea" by Monotherme
Straightforward fig leaf fragrance in the style of Philosykos and Premier Figuier. The good news: Macchia Mediterranea is inexpensive, so you should give it a thought if you do not want to spend the usual price for a rather special perfume that you might not want to wear on a regular basis.
Now, the combined fig leaf fragrances - personally, I think that fig leaf fragrances tend to be bland when focussed on that note, but fig leaf can be gorgeous if set up with the right contrasting note(s):
"Paul Smith London for Men"
My standard office scent several years ago. Discontinued. According to the fragrance notes known to us, there is violet leaf in it, not fig leaf. Yet, I get the impression of fig leaf. It is presented in a very urban style that abandons all impressions of green leafs or meditarrenean countrysides. I get a lot of coconut. It is neither green nor natural, indeed, it is a bit artificial and synthetic. But it is a great fragrance that embodies the discreetness of an urban office scent and the uniqueness of a seldomly used note.
"Salvatore Ferragamo pour Homme"
This is the best of all! It is my idea of an elegant, masculine fig leaf perfume. The elegance is achieved by combining the fig leaf with a darker, equally distinct note – vetiver! The pyramid contains a lot more, but it is this combination that Salatore Ferragamo is built upon. Sadly, it was discontinued and any leftover stock is hard to get.
"Private Line - Richard"
Limited edition perfume for the perfume shop Beauty Affair in Düsseldorf / Germany. Richard is the christian name of the shop owner, and it comes from Micallef. This brand always stands for high quality, and they seem to know that fig leaf needs something else in company. Richard is less robust and fresher than Salvatore Ferragamo. I hesitate to call it a fig leaf / vetiver combo. Instead, the fig leaf is embedded in a melange of different notes that are not easy to recognize. Great perfume for the warmer seasons!
"Marc Jacobs Men"
OK, this is widely available, and I have tested it today. It is not straightforward fig leaf freshness – there are some darker notes in it, especially towards the base – that at least partly bring out the elegance of the fig leaf. Marc Jacobs for Men lacks longevity. It starts with lots of sillage and then fades away within two hours. So, it is difficult to apply correctly, and presumably you should want to re-apply after a while. It is mid-priced, so I guess you have to compromize a little.
"Royal Gold pour Homme" by Charriol
Attractive fig leaf and vetiver combo in the top notes, but the rest is all oriental opulence. This gives it a completely different character to any other fig leaf fragrance that are usually more on the fresh side.
Now it's up to you: Can you complete this list? What is your opinion or experience with fig leaf?