Fou d'Absinthe was launched in 2006 by L'Artisan Parfumeur. Absinthe’s reputation for inducing hallucinations is what made it so popular with 19th-century Parisian bohemians. It turns out these properties of the green fairy are pure myth, but it’s this reputation the inimitable perfumer Olivia Giacobetti plays off in Fou d'Absinthe.
It opens with a shot of bracing icy cold alcohol backed with the smell of bitter, intensely herbaceous wormwood. It’s not at all sweet, but it is dry, like the slam, bang, tang of a sip of absinthe, and so pungent it’s heady. A nod to hallucinations? Perhaps. As the headiness subsides, the sweet, rooty, woody smell of angelica flower emerges. It amplifies the verdancy as it links to a note of blackcurrant buds; green and woody faceted, it tempers the pungency while giving Fou d'Absinthe a gently fruity dimension. As it moves to the middle notes, things heat up. Star Anise appears, adding its soft spicy warmth and floral, licoricey nuances. The spicy warmth expands when nutmeg, clove, ginger and pepper show up, joined by sweet, dark, earthy patchouli. The juxtaposition of cool, dry, bracing top notes and warm, exotic spices and sweetness in the heart makes Fou d'Absinthe so addictive and irresistible to anyone who comes near. The base is green and woody from dried pine tree needles and balsam fir beautifully blended with warm, musky labdanum. The languid base is the perfect counterpoint to the excitement at the fragrance's opening.
Fou d'Absinthe dries down to an elegant, captivating skin scent that has the luminous quality Giacobetti is known for. It’s a gorgeous fragrance from one of my favourite perfumers.
Notes: wormwood, angelica and black currant, star anise, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, pepper, patchouli, pine needles, Balsam fir and incense.