The figs on the box of Diptyque Philosykos always looked to me more like mutant hazelnuts than as my favorite fruit. But that's the only imperfection in this Olivia Giacobetti creation that set the standard for fig perfumes.
Philosykos has all the elements we usually find in a fig scent- green leaves, bleached dry wood, a little sap and just a hint of barely there sweet creaminess without going fully into coconut milk territory. The secret of Philosykos is in the careful balance between all these elements. I'm not brave enough to test myself on blind identifying each of my fig perfumes. I'd like to think that I can- each one of them highlights another aspect of the tree and its fruit. Philosykos would probably require the most attention because none of the notes takes center stage for very long. It's the most synergistic of the ever-growing bunch.
Philosykos maintains a crispness that makes it appealing for men and women alike. It has cool green leaves and smooth warm wood in a perfect (here's that word again) balance. I like my fig fragrances in winter, when they remind me of long summer days to come, just as I love them as the easiest choice when summer days finally arrive and one needs a perfume that can stand up to them.
Philosykos ($88, 50ml) is available from all Diptyque stockists- Luckyscent, Aedes and Beautyhabit, as well as Barneys and Saks. There's also a travel set and body products. I've been eyeing the body cream for a while now, so maybe it's time I do something about it.
Art: Study of a fig tree by John Singer Sargent