Perfume Directory

Philosykos Eau de Toilette (1996)
by Diptyque


Philosykos Eau de Toilette information

Year of Launch1996
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 691 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerOlivia Giacobetti
Parent CompanyManzanita

About Philosykos Eau de Toilette

Reminiscent of a Greek summery day

Philosykos Eau de Toilette fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of Philosykos Eau de Toilette

I'm going to get right into this without describing Philosykos from top to bottom, as a lot of people have already done (and have done well) before me.

I get less fig from this and more fig leaf and fig tree. This smells very similar to your hands after pulling weeds. That fresh, semi-sweet, vegetal sappiness...that's what this smells like to me.

And it's recreated quite well. But that leads us to the most obvious question: do you want to smell like you just got finished pulling leaves off a fig tree? I imagine this is the aroma of the hands of a very erudite landscaper.

Impressive construction, but I can't imagine wanting to smell like this in public or private, for that matter.

04th September, 2019
let me start by saying I understand the focused nature of Philosykos (1996) as a primarily fig-based scent, and can appreciate the thematics too, but I'm not sure how wearable this is as a scent for more than maybe an hour or two, since it's so hellbent on fig that it's nearly off-putting. Perfumer Olivia Giacobetti seems to have a preference for both fig and rose compositions, and near-artisinal niche perfume making overall, as the bulk of her work is with L'Artisan Parfumeur, Iunx, Diptyque, and Honoré de Prés, plus she's never made anything for a designer house since her early days with Agnès Troublé's "Agnès B" lines. Philosykos let Giacobetti fully quench her thirst for fig it seems, and if you like that note enough to wear a fragrance built up around it, then this might be your new favorite. Diptyque describes Philosykos as: "The memory of a Greek summer at Mount Pelion. To get to the sea, there was a natural grove of wild fig trees to cross through. The sun at its zenith heated the earth, the dry wind carried the scent of the trees and their fruit. Philosykos is an ode to the entire fig tree: the green freshness of the leaves, the density of the white wood, the milky flavour of the figs." I take away from this that the scent is as much an ode to fig as L'Ombre dans L'Eau (1983) is to rose, but much more directly so. This stuff started a mini-trend in fragrance mostly leaning on the male side of the spectrum, with a gamut of designer scents featuring fig prominently or at least noticeably in the scent, until cheap body mist companies got a hold of the theme and drove it into the ground.

Philosykos opens with a challenging fig leaf and fig fruit note, being instantly musty like a bowl of the fruit left in a cool, damp basement. It's an unpleasant opening for me, but I've fallen in love with other juices that come across unpleasant at first only to develop magnificently later, so I stayed the course. Fig tree wood, coconut, and vetiver seem to comprise the middle, but this doesn't really abate the mustiness to me, and that fig tree wood is likely some modified cedar note, which is what it most closely resembles. The base seemingly just shores up the musty fig head, with Iso E super, a musk fixative, and some black pepper. I can't really say it was an enjoyable development on skin, and I like fig when it's blended in other fragrances like Avon Far Away for Men (1998) or Michael for Men by Michael Kors (2000) because it's better qualities shine through while the mildew smell of raw fig is held back by the other notes. I see this maybe working better in the cold, where my nose might be desensitized to much of the scent's intensity, and this is the eau de toilette I'm talking about here. I dare not explore the parfum if this comes across too much for me. Sillage is above the median, and longevity is plenty tenacious, as the fig lovers who wear it will also need to be.

I won't give a thumbs down for this because it is accurate in it's presentation of fig, so it's not a failure, but Diptyque seems to be a house based on olfactory accuracy in the recreation of the accords its fragrances capture, so I come to expect no less from them, and I also give kudos for keeping true to their "original meaning of niche" roots, and much like Lush or L'Artisan Parfumeur, Replica, and to an extent Le Labo, release what are mostly experiments in perfume upon the willing public, with a sort of "original hipster" vibe that I feel Lush borrowed from this house and took to the Nth degree with it's "bedroom perfumer" aesthetic. Philosykos begat less-intense (and to me more-likeable) designer fig fragrances like Salvatore Ferragamo Pour Homme (1999), which mixed in lots of vetiver and sandalwood, plus Vera Wang for Men (2004), which crossed fig with tobacco and peach, making the musty, powerful note hold hands with things I enjoy. People who love everything fig, like fig Newtons, figgy pudding, or the general Christmasy feel of the fruit might even get away with using this as a room spray, which incidentally is true to one of Diptyque's purposes as a maker of both personal and home fragrance, but I can't see a relevant time where this should be worn, neither home, office, out, or at night. Diptyque certainly aren't the most bizarre niche house, but this is one of their more bizarre creations. That's all I got. Not for me.
19th August, 2018 (last edited: 07th October, 2018)
At the Springtime of LIfe
Georges Laugée - 1890
25th April, 2017
Firstly, this review is based on only a few wearings and now that my small sample is finished i really want to decide if i get more. At this point it's in the i don't really care if i wear this again.
The verdict is really more based on the fact that i do appear to be indifferent to the fig note because there is certainly a great representation of fig here.
The other big (and important) factor for me is that it is just a tad weak and performance is not enough for me to invest in this. I am wearing the edt and not even sure if there is an edp version, but still.
Others obviously love it and i definitely don't hate it. Just don't want it.
22nd January, 2017
Holiday scents #6 - Diptyque "Philosykos"

A first try out of the famous fig and fig-lead fragrance, my sample in EDT version. Philosykos opens with plenty of milky fig. Thankfully, despite the 'milky', 'fig', and 'green' descriptors coming to mind, this is not a 'moist' rendition, but a rather dry affair, which makes for a pleasant opening. The next stage supports the fig with a hint of coconut. There is a green aspect to the top and heart notes, but this isn't the green of eaux-de-cologne, where this effect is provided by a mossy, grassy, or aromatic component. Here, as many reviewers have already noted, the green component is of fresh young stony fruit or nuts - a much gentler and creamier take on the idea. The base adds some woods, sandalwood rather than cedar to my nose. Sandalwood certainly seems to fit more intuitively with the other notes.

Although the ensemble is no doubt interesting and pleasant, it bears too much resemblance to sun cream, smoothies, and other toiletries and comestibles for it to be fulfilling in any conventional sense. It sticks to clothes in a pleasant way, but it has not left me wishing to pursue any other fig scents for the purpose of purchase; I probably would out of general curiosity.

It is a good scent for summer if you get on with it, and accessible given its genre. However, I can't quite bring myself to give it a positive rating. Therefore, a neutral rating here, based on originality, balance, realism, development, and just general 'niceness' on the one hand; as against lack of realistic application, and poor sillage and longevity, on the other.
09th August, 2016
Although this came out two years after the "first" fig scent, L'Artisan's Premier Figuier, it is an improvement on the original.

Philosyskos is much fruitier than Premier, luscious where Premier was dry. It has a wonderful sweet tartness that is very close to the original fruit when freshly opened.

The slighly medicinal greenness of the fig leaves is present as well, so the overall impression is extremely close to the experience of actually holding and inhaling the ripe fruit itself.

Hats off to this improvement of one of the most original scents in the fragrance world - for once a gourmand that recreates one of nature's most intoxicating achievements.
28th February, 2016

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