It's immediately apparent that this one is quite different from the original Premier Figuier. It's much woodier, & I could swear there's patchouli here, or perhaps massoia bark. In fact I detect strong similarities with Hermessence Santal Massoia. It's not at all cool or green, but peppery. It quickly settles close to the skin, slowly becoming more creamy & fruity, & ever so slightly smoky, until it reaches a creamy sweet phase around ninety minutes in that I really enjoy. From here it fades to a woody base with a trace of dry coconut, barely there after eight hours.
I find this more on the masculine side than the original, & although I enjoy the drydown, the opening phase isn't what I'm looking for in a fig fragrance.
Not so much “extreme” when compared to the original Primier Figuier as sweeter and tangier, Primier Figuier Extrême aligns more closely with the fig-as-fruit style of Heeley’s Figuier and Parfumerie Générale’s Jardins de Kerylos than with Giacobetti’s woody, sappy Philosykos. In fact, I’d rate Premier Figuier Extrême as the most unambiguously crisp, fruity, and floral of Giacobetti’s fig triplets. That makes it by default my favorite of the three, for as much as I admire Philosykos, there’s something overly emphatic about its milky texture that sits uncomfortably on my skin.
This is very close to a real fig leaf. The problem with real fig leaves is that they have a hint of ash reminiscent of inhaling from an ashtray - almost makes me unable to breathe for part of a second. This, combined with the sandalwood, gives this perfume an overly smokey quality to my nose that goes all the way until the end of the dry down. I'm sure many will like it, but it's just not for me.
Premier Figuier Extreme by L'Artisan Parfumeur - Upon application, one is pleasantly treated to the sweetish greenness of fig leaves coupled with the coconutty floral of gorse flowers. This fascinating duet percolates a bit before segueing to the waiting middle. Here, in the aborning heart, a wondrous blend of galbanum, with its sour green and somewhat stemmy facets, ivy, with its pert and slightly savory character, almond milk, with its gloppy and nutty features, as well as sandalwood, with its creamy and spicy trait, gives rise to an illusion of budding figs, abounding with milky sap. Transitioning to the enhancing base, the swollen delectability of tree-ripened figs comes to fruition. A redolent, dried fruit accord, with elements of plums, apricots and peaches, commingles with the strong, camphor smell of stone pine. A hint of creamy, coconut milk flutters about to seal the illusion. A delightsome drydown ensues. This wonderful, all-season scent has good longevity, and, after an hour of radiating projection, settles to a skin scent. A truly awesome composition, it leans to the masculine side.
This green beauty reminds me of nothing more than the corner of my yard where my fig tree and grape vines coalesce, offering the tangiest pungence imaginable during the late summer. I remember reading George Washington longingly looking forward to retirement time spent under his "fig and vine"...this scent also leads me to invision the Persian Palaces of ancient times, with their fine poets, grapes and figs.
This is my "fig & vine" scent when I really want to relax and contemplate, go out to the ocean or sit under my actual fig tree with a good book. Here is depth without shock--regalness lacking the overbearing. A scent of mythical and biblical times, colonial times, and modern times. Fig Leaves first, a touch of (I had to focus on identifying this one) coconut which to me comes across as fragrant grape leaves/vines. I'm sure those who love the smell of these ripe leaves in nature will favor this scent. It is easily one of the most creative I have ever worn, although considering some of the other treasures from L'Artisan (such as the wonderful earth Dzongkha), not so much of a surprise.