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Premier Figuier Extrême – Extremely evocative – May 21, 2012 New Fragrance Listing

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In 1966 Eau Sauvage was launched by Dior, Fidgi was launched by Guy Laroche and perfumer Olivia Giacobetti was born.

Devotees of this blog know that I am a huge fan of Giacobetti’s – after all it was her Passage d'Enfer that revived my interest in perfume. Some noses come to the profession as a second career, like Isabelle Michaud. Some, like Patricia de Nicolaï, are born into it, but for Giacobetti being a perfumer was a career she decided on at a very young age.

Daughter of famed French photographer and filmmaker Francis Giacobetti, Olivia decided to be a perfumer at age nine after seeing Yves Montand play one in the French romcom ‘Le Sauvage’. She never wavered from her decision.

By age seventeen she was working for Robertet, by age twenty-one she had signed l'Artisan Parfumeur's Premier Figuier.  At twenty-three she had worked with Jean-Paul Guerlain on the creation of a children’s fragrance called, Petit Guerlain. Over the years she has created scents for Hermès, Diptyque, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, Penhaligon's and L’Artisan as well as her own house IUNX. Currently she creative director at Lubin.

And Kay and I have written about a number of her creations: Le b., Vamp a NY, Dzing, Fou d'Absinthe, L’ether de IUNX, Safran Troublant, Costes and Idole.  But the one that I currently favour, that I can’t get enough of, is Premier Figuier Extrême.

Premier Figuier Extrême was created in 2004 and was designed to be a more intense version of Premier Figuier which was launched in 1994. The concept is that Premier Figuier or first fig tree, is the smell of lying beneath a fig tree in the South of France, in early summer. The warm air is filled with the scent of the tree – fruit, leaves, stalks and wood – and the greenness of it all.  Premier Figuier Extrême is the same experience, but the season is further along – the figs are riper, the wood is stronger and the green of early summer has faded. It’s the fullness, the ripeness and the depth of this moment in time that keeps me coming back for more.

It opens with green fig leaf tempered with a note of coconut from gorse flower so that the opening is rich - not strident or sharp. As it blooms on the skin, fig appears, succulent and lush, its fruitiness heightened by dried fruits – I smell peach here – gently sweetened and softened by creamy almond milk, while stone pine adds a camphouros note. It all rests on a woody base of sandalwood.

Premier Figuier Extrême is less about the green of the fig, though that certainly has a presence throughout the fragrance in sheer, transparent way, and more about the succulent fruit and wood of the tree. Deep, smooth and sophisticated, I spray it on my skin, but I feel it in my soul.

Lying under a fig tree in the heat of summer. I’m in France, there are umbrella pines here too. The figs are ripe, the tree warm from the sun, the vibrant greenness of spring is now a shadow….

Premier Figuier Extrême is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.