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Article: A [Concise] History of Fig Perfume: Allure, Fragrance Notes, and Where to Find

A [Concise] History of Fig Perfume: Allure, Fragrance Notes, and Where to Find

A [Concise] History of Fig Perfume: Allure, Fragrance Notes, and Where to Find

Indulge me, lover, in the captivating story of the fig - a lush, alluring symbol of human culture, religion, and art, intertwined with a rich history and mythology.


From ancient Greece to Egypt, and through the Bible, fig has represented abundance, prosperity, and fertility, and has been used in cosmetics and perfumery for its sweet, fruity scent. In Rome, it was a part of Bacchus' revelry, while its traditional medicinal uses include diuretic, laxative, and anti-inflammatory properties. In ancient Egypt, the fig was considered a symbol of fertility and was used in cosmetic preparations.


Today, fig continues to captivate the senses, with its warm, comforting, and sensual notes making it a staple in modern perfumery, and its moisturizing and antioxidant properties making it a go-to ingredient in skincare. The fig tree's enduring symbolism and captivating mythology continues to inspire artists and writers, making it a luscious reminder of humanity's love for sweetness.


In this article, we will take a look at the history of fig perfume, and what makes these perfumes so irresistible.

What is the history fig perfume?

The Ancient Origin of the Fig

Figs are one of the oldest cultivated plants by humans and have a rich history in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions, with archaeological evidence suggesting they were domesticated over 11,400 years ago in the Near East.¹


These fruits were an essential part of ancient Greek and Roman diets, as well as the Middle Ages, where they were traded as valuable commodities.²


There are hundreds of fig varieties, each with distinct flavors, textures, and colors. Today, California is the world's largest producer of figs, primarily grown in the San Joaquin Valley,³ with many other countries growing the fruit.  As one of the oldest domesticated crops, figs continue to be an essential fruit crop, not only because of their storied history but also because of their versatility and high nutritional content.⁴


  1. Science Daily, "Fruit from the Sands: The Silk Road Origins of the Foods We Eat"
  2. NPR, "How the Fig Was Domesticated"
  3. University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources, "Figs: Safe Methods for Consumers to Preserve at Home"
  4. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, "Figs: Production, Post-harvest Handling, and Nutrition"

"O excellent! I love long life better than figs." -William Shakespeare

The Popularity of Fig In Contemporary Fragrance

Fig perfume, which features the sweet and fruity scent of fig, has a rich history in perfumery and has risen in popularity over the past few decades. Fig perfumes have been around for centuries, as the fig was a prized ingredient in ancient Greece and Rome.¹  However, it wasn't until the 1990s that fig fragrances gained widespread popularity in the perfume industry, with L'Artisan Parfumeur's "Premier Figuier" and Diptyque's "Philosykos" leading the trend.²


Today, there are countless fig-based fragrances available, ranging from warm and comforting to bright and fresh scents, making fig a staple in modern perfumery.³


Fig's popularity in perfumery can be attributed to its unique scent, which is both familiar and exotic, with an enveloping, comforting quality.⁴

  1. Theoi Project, "Ficus"
  2. Perfumer & Flavorist, "Philosykos: Diptyque's Beloved Fig Fragrance Turns 20"
  3. Basenotes, "The Scent of the Fig"
  4. University of Chicago Press, "The Fig: Its History, Culture, and Curing, with a Descriptive Catalogue of the Known Varieties of Figs"

Fig Fragrance Notes

Have you ever wondered what makes the scent of fig so alluring in perfumes? Like a forbidden fruit, fig has a mesmerizing quality that lures you in with its unique combination of sweet and earthy notes. Fig fragrances are warm and comforting, yet exotic and mysterious, with a complex mix of scents that range from green and herbaceous to creamy and fruity. 


So, what are the notes that make up a fig fragrance?


Fig fragrances are crafted using a sophisticated blend of top, middle, and base notes to create a captivating scent that evokes the essence of the Mediterranean. The note of fig is part of the fruity notes and has a complex scent of green, bitter, milky, and ripe fruit nuances.

  • Many fig perfumes feature top notes of Mexican yellow mandarin, Italian bergamot, French rosemary, and eucalyptus, providing a fresh and zesty burst of energy. 

  • The middle notes of Corsican immortelle absolute and marine accords add a unique depth and complexity to the fragrance, with a hint of salty sea air that transports you to a tranquil beach. 

  • Finally, the base notes of essence of cedar from Virginia, essence of amyris from Haiti, and essence of vetiver from Haiti ground the fragrance with a warm and earthy finish. 


The combination of these notes creates a sweet and ripe scent with fresh, woodsy, and green nuances, allowing you to experience the intoxicating allure of the fig tree in a single whiff.

Different Types of Fig Fragrances

Fig fragrances have been around since Ancient Greek times, and they come in various types and notes. Generally, fig fragrances can be classified into three categories: fruity, citrus-fresh and creamy-lactonic.

  • Fruity fig fragrances are usually composed of scents like green notes and citrus fruits like lemon and orange, which helps to boost the fruitiness.
  • Citrus-fresh fragrances are composed of scents like grass and galbanum, which helps to replicate the bitter green leaves of the fig.
  • Creamy-lactonic fragrances are composed of scents like vanilla and coconut, which helps to replicate the lactonic creaminess of the fig.

Each type of fig fragrance has its own unique characteristics, but all of them provide a luxurious and sensual feeling. Your unique skin chemistry will also play a role, so it is best to sample a variety of fragrances.

What are the benefits of using fig scents?

1. Perfumes made with figs are often considered masculine but can be worn by both men and women.

Fig-based fragrances are luxurious and vary in scent depending on the other notes used. Commonly, you will find floral, musk and woody notes combined with fig, which can create a range of scent profiles. Some fig-based perfumes offer fresh and clean scents, while others are more intense and exotic.


2. These scents are often considered refreshing and can help to ease stress.

Fig scents can help relieve stress in a variety of ways. The sweet and creamy notes of fig are known to be comforting and calming, making them a great way to relax the body and mind. Additionally, the unique aroma of the fig can help to create an atmosphere of peace and serenity in the home, aiding in relaxation and reducing stress. Furthermore, because fig is seen as a symbol of luxury, wearing a fig-based scent can give the wearer a sense of confidence and well-being, helping to ease stress and anxiety. Finally, research has also found that certain fragrances related to fig can evoke positive memories, which can help to reduce stress and create a feeling of wellbeing.


3. Many fig scents have a long-lasting scent that can stay on the body for hours.

The longevity of a fig scent on the body depends on the type of fragrance and its concentration. Generally, a fig scent will last around 4-6 hours on the skin before fading. The type of notes in the fragrance, such as vanilla, sandalwood, and cedarwood, can also influence the longevity of a fig scent on the body.


4. Fragrances made with figs can help to bring a sense of calm and relaxation to the wearer.

Fig scents can help to bring a sense of calm and relaxation to the wearer due to their unique and complex fragrance. The sweet and creamy notes of figs can create a feeling of comfort and warmth. Furthermore, the earthy and musky notes of figs can help to evoke a feeling of connection with nature, providing a sense of calmness and peace. Additionally, the use of figs in many classical sculptures is suggestive of luxury and sensuality, which can also contribute to feelings of relaxation and contentment. Therefore, the use of fig scents can help to bring a sense of calm and relaxation to the wearer.


5. Many of these scents are complex and can be enjoyed by those who like to explore scents.

Fig scents tend to be complex and popular due to their unique notes that make them irresistibly inviting. The juicy and syrupy notes of the fig are often combined with floral and musk notes to create a luxurious aroma. Notes of sweetness and bitterness found in fig leaves also contribute to the complexity of fig scents. These fragrances evoke feelings of luxury, beauty and sensuality, making them popular among many fragrance lovers. In addition to being used in perfumery since Ancient Greece, fig scents are now in high demand due to their trendiness. As such, many leading perfume houses are creating fragrances with fig at their heart.


6. These scents can be found in a variety of different perfume forms, including sprays, lotions, and candles.

Fig scents come in a variety of fragrances, ranging from classic to modern sophistication. The classic fig scents will typically have notes of creamy and sweet fig combined with floral notes, providing a luxurious and feminine aroma. For a modern twist, try a fig scent blended with smoky leather or musk notes for a unique and bold scent. There are also fig scents combined with vibrant citrus and herbal notes, providing a crisp and invigorating aroma. Bridal perfumes often incorporate a combination of floral and fig notes to create a timeless and sophisticated scent, perfect for a special day.


7. Many of these scents are often considered unique, so those who wear them will stand out from the crowd.

Unique scents are those that are distinguishable from the typical fragrances used by most people. They have the power to make an individual stand out in a crowd and leave a lasting impression. Fig-based fragrances are a prime example of this phenomenon, with their distinctively sweet, earthy, and warm notes that are perfect for cooler months and formal occasions. The unique scent profile of fig fragrances is not the only factor that makes them desirable. Many of these scents have a compelling narrative behind them, adding an extra layer of fascination and intrigue. These qualities make unique scents not only stand out from the rest, but also add an individualistic flair that speaks volumes about the wearer's personality and style.

Cardamom and fig milk bewitch like moonlight on the swelling tide. Jasmine, sandalwood, and leather are the narcotic depths of night.

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