November 6, 2010
Fig centered fragrances have been a category where I have come to really like many of the different riffs on using it successfully. From Olivia Giacobetti’s green fig in Diptyque Philosykos to Isabelle Doyen’s fig tree accord in Annick Goutal Ninfeo Mio. The last few years have seen our best perfumers assay fig and create a fragrance around it. Now it is Martine Micallef’s turn for her M. Micallef line as she releases Sous Le Figuier (Under The Fig Tree). Mme. Micallef chooses to focus on the titular fig tree more than the fruit itself and that causes Sous Le Figuier to be sort of cross between the greenness of Philosykos and the woodiness of Ninfeo Mio. Mme. Micallef was inspired by the ancient family fig trees on the family homestead at Bastide Micallef. She successfully captures a sunny day in the shade of a big tree as the breeze blows through the branches.
That sunniness is evident right from the start as bergamot, and fig leaves mark a green opening stanza. Coriander and the hint of green fig itself progress Sous Le Figuier into the heart where a jasmine tea accord adds a lightly floral and herbal aspect to this fragrance. The basenotes are a light musk paired with a beautiful fig wood accord. This is a sun-warmed wood accord and it has a distinct feel of fig all around it. As Sous Le Figuier closes out I felt as if I could take in the whole fig tree from the highest branches right up to the trunk I was sitting against on the ground.
Sous Le Figuier has excellent longevity and modest sillage.
Like so many talented perfumers before her Mme. Micallef has added her name to the list of those who have made a successful fig fragrance. All she had to do was condense a sunny summer afternoon under the fig tree at Bastide Micallef and bottle it. Which she has admirably done in Sous Le Figuier.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample purchased from The Perfumed Court.
-Mark Behnke, Managing Editor