What does the word fig mean?
The fig, also known as Ficus carica, is a fruit native to western Asia that has been cultivated for thousands of years. Its name comes from the Latin "ficus" meaning "fig tree". This fruit is highly prized for its sweet flavor and melt-in-the-mouth texture, but also for its nutritional properties. Indeed, figs are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, making them a highly prized healthy food.
In the beginning…
The fig has a long history. As far back as antiquity, the Egyptians used the fig for its medicinal properties and considered it a sacred fruit. The Greeks and Romans also adopted it, and the fig became a staple in their cuisine. It was even considered a symbol of prosperity and fertility.
In the Middle Ages, figs were highly prized by monks and nobles, who grew them in their gardens. It was also used in pastries, notably in the famous fig tarts. Over the centuries, the fig has become an essential fruit in Mediterranean cuisine, but also in perfumery, where it is used for its captivating, sweet fragrance. Today, fig fragrances are best-sellers in the perfume industry, and continue to seduce lovers of refined, gourmand scents.
Furthermore, figs originated in Western Asia, where they have been cultivated for over 5,000 years. It was then introduced to Egypt, Greece and Italy, before spreading throughout the Mediterranean. It is the emblem of the Mediterranean basin. Today, figs are grown in many countries, including Turkey, Spain, Morocco, California and Brazil.
DID YOU KNOW? According to Greek mythology, the fig was considered a sacred fruit and was strongly associated with the goddess of fertility, Demeter. It is said that in the town of Knossos, fig trees were planted near temples dedicated to Demeter, and that priestesses devoted part of their time to harvesting and offering figs.
The creation of synthetic fig molecules
Figs are often recreated from synthetic molecules in perfumery for several reasons. Firstly, fresh figs are not easily available as a natural ingredient in many parts of the world, and their harvest is limited to certain seasons. By using synthetic molecules, perfumers can reproduce the characteristic scent of figs consistently and without seasonal constraints.
What's more, figs have a complex olfactory profile, with different aspects: skin, pulp and fig milk. Synthetic molecules make it possible to precisely reproduce these different olfactory nuances, giving perfumers more control over the creation of the fig note and enabling them to adjust it according to their artistic needs.
By using these synthetic molecules, perfumers can create olfactory compositions that capture fig's characteristic fruity sweetness and solar warmth, while offering greater creative flexibility. This also helps preserve natural resources, as the production of synthetic molecules avoids excessive exploitation of fig trees. Thus, recreating figs from synthetic molecules in perfumery offers a practical, consistent and environmentally-friendly alternative for capturing the essence of this delicious fruit and making it part of fragrance creations.
What do you know about figs in perfumery?
When figs are processed for perfumery, they can be used in a variety of forms: fig extract, fig essential oil or fig fragrance accord. Processing techniques include maceration, distillation or cold extraction to capture fig's characteristic olfactory notes, such as its fruity sweetness, green freshness and light milky note.
You're probably wondering, what do figs smell like? Well... Figs give off a sweet, fruity and slightly woody fragrance. Their scent is often described as warm, enveloping and gourmand. It offers notes of honey, ripe grapes and juicy fig pulp. Their aroma also evokes a certain green freshness, reminiscent of the leaves and sap of the fig tree.
As a result, fig blends harmoniously with many olfactory accords, creating rich, captivating fragrance compositions. Here are a few common fig accords:
• Woody accords: Fig pairs well with woody notes such as sandalwood, cedar or patchouli, adding warmth and depth to the fragrance.
• Floral accords: Delicate floral notes such as jasmine, rose or lily of the valley can complement fig's fruity sweetness, adding a subtle floral dimension.
• Gourmand accords: Gourmand notes such as vanilla, caramel or chocolate can accentuate fig's sweet, gourmand character.
• Fresh accords: Figs can be combined with fresh, green notes such as cucumber, basil or green tea to bring a sense of freshness and elegance to the composition.
• Spicy accords: The addition of mild spices such as cinnamon, cardamom or ginger can bring a spicy, warming dimension to figs.
Different fig species
In perfumery, there are several fig species used to capture the fruit's characteristic aroma. The main fig species used are:
• Ficus carica: This is the most common and widely used species in perfumery. These beautiful figs of this variety offer sweet, fruity and slightly milky notes.
• Ficus sycomorus: Also known as sycamore fig, this species is appreciated for its woody, green and slightly resinous notes.
• Ficus palmata: This species of fig has fresh, green and herbal notes, reminiscent of the fig tree's greenness.
Figs have many health benefits, thanks to their high content of antioxidants, fiber and minerals such as potassium, calcium and iron. Figs can help improve digestion and reduce inflammation in the body. They can also help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
In addition to its health benefits, figs also have cosmetic virtues. Fig oil can be used as an ingredient in skin and hair care products for its moisturizing and nourishing properties. It can help moisturize dry skin and reduce signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles. For hair, fig oil can help strengthen hair and prevent breakage by deeply moisturizing.
Some popular fig perfumes…
The allure of fig has captivated numerous brands, leading them to feature this exquisite ingredient in their perfumes. For instance: Fico Nero di Sardegna by Simone Andreoli, the sensual allure of Gris Charnel by BDK Parfums, the velvety elegance of Purple Fig by Vilhelm Parfumerie, the dreamy nostalgia of Yesterday Haze by Imaginary Authors, the harmonious blend of Fig & Lotus Flower by Jo Malone London, the intoxicating essence of Ichnusa by Profumum Roma, Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Fico di Amalfi and the iconic Philosykos by diptyque.
Other fig fragrances are:
• Presence by Maison Montblanc is an iconic men's perfume launched in 2001. This best fig perfume for men embodies timeless elegance with its fresh, spicy notes, combined with a subtle woody base, creating a distinctive, refined scent presence.
• Premier Figuier by L'Artisan Parfumeur combines fig leaf in the top note with fig in the heart note, finishing with coconut and sandalwood in the base notes, released in 1994.
• Fico di Amalfi by Acqua di Parma is an eau de parfum that captures the sunny, Mediterranean spirit of Italy's Amalfi Coast. With its fresh notes of juicy fig, sparkling lemon and almond wood, it evokes a feeling of summer vacation and fruity sweetness.
• Nerolia Vétiver by Guerlain is an eau de toilette that combines neroli and basil as top notes with fig as heart note and vetiver as base note with fig scent.
• ILIO by Diptyque, released in 2021, combines fig with notes of iris, jasmine and bergamot. If you're looking to add a fruity, elegant touch to your fragrance collection, fig is a perfect choice.
• Fleur de Figuier by Roger & Gallet is an enchanting composition that captures the freshness and sensuality of the Mediterranean fig. Juicy fig notes mingle with accords of white flowers and warm woods, creating an elegant, captivating fragrance that evokes the sweetness of a walk through a fig orchard in midsummer.
• L'Artisan Parfumeur Premier Figuier Extreme is a green, slightly sweet, and a fresh fig fragrance that beautifully captures the aroma of a fig tree. It's often considered a unisex scent and is suitable for both daytime and evening wear, particularly during the spring and summer months.
Fig X Bon Parfumeur
Experience the essence of fig with Bon Parfumeur's best fig scents: 01 diffuser and 05 scented candle. Our expertly crafted blend of green fig leaves, basil, and mint, yields an exquisite fragrance that exudes elegance and freshness, transforming your home into a sanctuary of best fig fragrances.
If you're seeking a fruity and sophisticated addition to your fragrance collection, explore the world of fig-based perfumes. Discover the myriad ways this versatile note can infuse perfumes with layers of complexity and depth, offering a unique olfactory experience that is both refined and enchanting.