Premier Figuier Extreme by L`Artisan Parfumeur was initially a disappointment because all I could smell was the lactonic sandalwood found in Bios Farine. The coconut-covered fig was screaming for help and the whole thing was becoming a little mushy; it just didn’t lift off the skin the way I imagined it would. It is true--PFE is lacking acidity and I can’t detect a fluttering floral note to save my life. I think that the problem is that after smelling the bombastic Technicolor creature known as Womanity, I expected the fig to punch me in the face and take over my soul. Unfortunately, I am not able to wear Womanity because the salty aquatic note turns into terrible cheese on my skin. So, as a fig lover, I am happy to wear PFE because it smells good and gives me a fig fix—it’s just a soft, sweet oriental that wears close to the skin, not a woody aromatic that leaves a bright green trail.
This makes me wonder about where the true innovation lies. Is it with the original 1994 PF or with the 2010 creature known as Womanity? Like it or not, Womanity is a memorable experience while PF seems understated and almost meek.
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.