I was giddy with excitement when I first heard that Giorgio Armani was releasing a new fig perfume, Armani Privé Figuier Eden. Regular readers may have noticed that I love my fig in perfume as well as eating fresh figs until I make myself sick. And then I have another fig because I can't help it. The promise of the press release was alluring:
In the warm serenity of summer nights, Giorgio Armani collects the perfumed secrets of the fig tree. This tree of paradise reveals the raw freshness of its leaves, the creamy languor of its sap and the silvery satin of its bark.Ok, I had to stop imagining Mr. Armani in his favorite speedo collecting anything from trees if I were to take any of this seriously. But, yes, the press release has all the magic words: fig tree, leaves, creamy and sap. That's exactly want I want from my fig perfumes. Instead, I got a lovely (really, it smells great) fruity fig tea, perfect for summer and utterly delightful, but not necessarily the fig to end all figs for which I hoped.
People who dislike the popular pairing of coconut milk note with fig will rejoice at the Armani Privé interpretation. It also doesn't have even a hint of creamy woods, or much wood at all. This is not the olfactory representation of the lush Mediterranean tree or the wonderful aroma of its leaves, green and sappy, giving much needed shade and relief on a hot summer day. Instead, Figuier Eden focuses on the ripeness of the fruit, sweet and juicy, paired with mandarin orange and what smells like peach tea. The tea is very dominant to my nose, and I kind of like it- tea is a good way to do "fresh" in perfume without going aquatic.
Armani Privé Figuier Eden is wearable, sunshiny and immensely pleasing, it's just not fig enough, and I have to say that its main advantage on the lovely Fig Tea by Parfums de Nicolai. I adore Patricia di Nicolai's creation, but it's an eau fraiche and my skin eats it within minutes. Armani Privé Figuier Eden has a more assertive present (the husband says he can smell it from across the room) and it stays on for hours if I spray enough. I'd be thrilled if a bottle suddenly materialized on my doorstep, but given the price point and exclusiveness I expect (a lot) more.
Notes: bergamot, mandarin, pink pepper, tea accord, green fig accord, iris and amber
Armani Privé Figuier Eden ($115) comes in a pretty bottle of 100ml EDT and available from select Armani boutiques.
Art: Peaches and Figs by Horacio Cardozo, 2011.