Post by Anne-Marie
Love at first sniff: Fig-tea by Patricia de Nicolai for Nicolai Parfumeur Createur 2007
Do you trust love at first sight? Or sniff? On the whole, I don’t. Still, when I smelled Fig-tea in a Nicolai boutique in Paris recently, there was no question that it was coming home with me.
Fig-tea by Nicolai Parfumeur Createur 2007
Fig-tea by Patricia de Nicolai
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Fig, osmanthus, artemisia
Heart: Mate, coriander, jasmine
Base: Guaiac wood, amber
When I was a kid we had an apricot tree in the backyard, and after a swim in the pool I would gorge myself on ripe apricots, water still dripping off me and apricot juice running all over my fingers. This was what I remembered when I first sniffed Fig-tea. I could see, smell and taste apricots so clearly I think I must have laughed with delight, right in front of the (very dishy) young male SA in the Nicolai boutique. He was amused, in typically cool Parisian style, but really I was paying him no attention. It was apricots, sunshine, and the kind of happiness you are still too young to treasure because life has so far delivered no stings.
Photo Stolen Flickr
Osmanthus is known for its apricot facet, so it must be is osmanthus that delivers me this powerful memory of apricots ripening in the sun. I’m probably the wrong person to review this fragrance because I smell no fig at all in Fig-Tea. Most people do, but not me. I know what fig smells like as fresh fruit and in perfume, but here I just don’t get it. So don’t ask me if the fig is nuanced with creamy coconut, leaves, earth, or just the fruit. I wouldn’t know.
A number of notes combine to prevent the apricot – so prominent for me – from becoming too syrupy-sweet: mate tea, coriander, and … ahem … calone. Do you hate calone? Yes, me too. Calone is not listed as a note in Fig-tea and you might not smell it at all. I can detect it in parts per billion and I do smell it in Fig-tea. But it’s subtle. It pulls the fragrance in a refreshing direction and after its opening few minutes, Fig-Tea is brisk and cool, slightly salty, and skews unisex.
For reference, Carthusia puts out a fig-tea fragrance named Io Capri. Here I do smell fig quite clearly, rather tart, and accompanied by notes of citrus, tea, mint and eucalyptus. ‘Seaweed’ in the base contributes a briny accent not unlike the calone in Fig-Tea. But Io Capri is rough, outdoorsy and a little strident compared to the walled-garden Parisian refinement of Nicolai’s Fig-tea.
Photo Stolen Wikipedia
Fig-tea was released by Nicolai as an Eau Fraiche but these days is listed as an EDT. Sillage is moderate, but longevity on me is about five hours, at least. Although a warm weather fragrance, at the height of summer I still expect to reach for the invigorating freshness of Io Capri.
Figs, apricots, tea, tangy breezes and sweet memories. It’s amazing what will come out of a perfume bottle.
Further reading: Best Things In Beauty and This Side Of Perfume
Luckyscent has $130/100ml and samples
What’s brightening up your life right now?
Until next time, keep spritzing!