Fou d’Absinthe by Olivia Giacobetti for L’Artisan Parfumeur 2006

Hello Fellow Fumies,

Recently there was a sale here in Sydney on the L’Artisan range, I grabbed a few for a great price. Fou d’Absinthe was a one spritz buy for me, the green on the box had already sealed its coming home to live status and I love the L’Artisan aesthetic, ease of wearability and quite like the short lifespan of most of their fragrances because it means I can wear more then one fragrance in a day and top up if my choice is to continue with the L’Artisan.

Fou d’Absinthe by L’Artisan Parfumeur 2006

Fou d`Absinthe L`Artisan Parfumeur FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Black currant, angelica, wormwood
Heart: Ginger, patchouli, pepper, nutmeg, star anise, cloves
Base: Balsam fir, incense, pine tree needles

Can I be perfectly honest, I’ve never tasted or smelled Absinthe. Never followed the green fairy and never wanted to.

On my skin the sweet green woodsy, non urinous opening is so enjoyable. By the name I was expecting a searing alcoholic rush to open like Penhaligon’s Juniper Sling or Lubin’s Gin Fizz, Olivia Giacobetti has created Fou d’Absinthe in a much more stately vein, a calmer, cooler and more elegant ride. Though you can tell the herbs and spices are there it’s all about the opening woods, black current is backing player for me but it rounds out the initial rush by sweetening but not in a modern department store sweet way but a subtle crisp sparkle over the top.

When the herbs and spices take center stage they are never free of woody undertones and I read them as a Bouquet Garni rather than their individual players. Some times I think, oh there’s pepper or that feels anise-ish but really the feeling is a blending, a composition of these accords to create a seamless whole.

'Fou d`Absinthe L`Artisan Parfumeur Absinthe_Rosinette WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Later the composition skews pine/patchouli and this is my favourite part of the ride, it’s green and crackly, slightly earthy but also dusty and here is where I get a little of the booze I expected in the opening. Not in your face but a subtle growl of alcohol like you’ve just had a shot of something and that grrrrrr you make in the back of your throat at the dry, sharp whoosh that remains.

One of the things I like about Fou d’Absinthe is my own ability to dream that I am a part of the Moulin Rouge crew in Paris at a time when magic was happening. Fou d’Absinthe takes me into the  brilliant lives of the Parisian underworld towards the end of the 1800s which Baz Luhrmann so fabulously captured on film.

'Fou d`Absinthe L`Artisan Parfumeur Playingwithbrushes' FlickrPhoto Stolen Playingwithbrushes’ Flickr

My personal life expectancy for Fou d’Absinthe is around 4 hours when the soft woodsy incense trails off into nothing. An absolutely unisex offering perfect for most occasions, sillage is soft and projection slow but insistent. Sit down for about a minute with your friends and they will start to notice how lovely you smell. Fou d’Absinthe is not a huge compliment getter but every now and then someone will say you smell good when you give them a hello peck or hug.

Further reading: Perfume Smellin’ Things and The Non-Blonde
Neroli Budapest has €96/50ml
Surrender To Chance starts at $4/ml

Have you tried Fou d’Absinthe? What were your thoughts?
We hope you have a great 24 hours till we see you tomorrow,
Portia xx


14 thoughts on “Fou d’Absinthe by Olivia Giacobetti for L’Artisan Parfumeur 2006

  1. I haven’t tried Fou d’Absinthe, but now I wish I had! I have drunk absinthe though. Thoroughly enjoy it from time to time, and like you think about the heady days of Paris, Toulouse Lautrec, dear Oscar etc when The Green Fairy was Queen. It’s much like Pernod to be honest, but with a lovely green tinge to its milkiness when you add water (or bitter lemon – my favourite). And very refreshing!


    • hey Jilliiie,
      Ironically I have just arrived in Paris today. A glorious cool, springlike Paris afternoon. We walked to our hotel from the main train station and it is exquisite, maybe an absinthe tonight as an aperitif?
      Portia xx


  2. Hi Portia,
    Just returned from New Orleans where I enjoyed a Sazerac, made with a wash of absinthe — delicious! In 2012, Fou d’Absinthe was my mainstay, wearing it almost daily. It’s a wonderful fragrance for the stealthy fun-lover.
    Cheers from Santa Fe!


    • Hey there Jackie Rosen,
      Aha! Another lover of the Fou. Such an easy wear rag that I could imagine someone wearing it as a staple. I wish I had brought it with me.
      Portia xxx


  3. I’ve found most L’Artisan’s dead mediocre. Their strong following truly mystifies me. But Fou d’Absinthe caught my attention as something I might like. I have a sample coming soon. Timbuktu was the standout for me.
    I’ve had absinthe, straight up. Powerful stuff.


    • Hi Elia,
      Yes, some of the L’Artisans now look very mediocre but that’s because they have been copied to death. They were the first major fig fragrance, coffee fragrance, berry and musk fragrance and even their l’eau d’Amber was a trailblazer at the time. And yes, some of them are totally and utterly banal.too.Definitely trying Absinthe tonight.
      Portia xxx


  4. There are several gorgeous ones, Voleur de Roses, Timbuktu and Dzongkha are my particular favorites and yes they were indeed among the first few pioneers of European niche.


    • Hi there Lucy,
      No other fragrance house is so well represented in my collection except Guerlain. Voleur de Roses is a great frag, another beautifully wearable masterpiece.


  5. I have a few L’Artisans but for some reason I’ve never taken a sniff of this one, even when I was in Paris in one of the boutiques staring down the whole line of them. I suppose I thought it would be too boozy smelling. I will have to give this one a sniff the next time I find myself face to face with the line. You make it sound so enticing!
    Enjoy your time in Paris!


    • Hi there Tatiana,
      There are SO MANY L’Artisans that it’s easy to miss the ones you aren’t particularly attracted to.
      I am sitting in the lobby of the Hotel Banke and totally LOVING myself sick while responding to blogs and drinking a pot of tea. It doesn’t get much more lovely than this.
      Portia xx


  6. I find absinthe fascinating. I love the whole ritual, the chilled water in elegant fountains, the fancy spoons, sugar…. it is just beautiful. I don’t mind aniseed, and you can water it down to taste (which is the point). Once you have good quality absinthe you’ll never look twice at the horrible dyed-green stuff in the bottle shop! Hope you get a chance to try it in Paris, how gorgeous. If you don’t, come with me to the Absinthe Salon in Sydney. 🙂 it is potent stuff though, they limit you to three drinks per sitting.

    I haven’t tried Fou d’Absinthe, thanks for the review. I was interested to see what a perfumers take could be on absinthe, and I have tried Parfum d’Interdits “Absolument Absinthe” which gives a nod to the drink through the use of wormwood.

    xx Tina


    • Tina,
      That sounds absolutely fabulous. I will take you up on the offer even if we do sample it here.
      Wormwood, I wonder if it grows in Sydney?
      Portia xx


  7. The SO and I tried absinthe and found it vile and undrinkable, but then, we don’t like anise/licorice flavours, so no surprise there. 🙂 I do love Fou d’Absinthe, it’s been a coon’s age since I’ve worn it, time to pull it out again! L’Artisan is one of my favourite lines, I have tonnes of them: Dzongkha, Timbuktu, Voleur de Roses, Traversée du Bosphore, Nuit de Tubéreuse, Séville à l’Aube, Numéro 3 and Numéro 10, etc. Such a great house!


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