Have you ever stood beside a fig tree? If yes, then you must be familiar with the earthy-sweet aroma that it fills the air with. One of the most cherished memories of my childhood is that of a fig tree in my grandparent’s back garden. During my visits to their house I would go early in the morning to pluck the freshly ripe ones before the birds could get to them. They would then be washed and presented at the breakfast table to be enjoyed as my grandfather would tell us about the various health benefits of this heavenly fruit.
It is almost autumn in Switzerland and fresh figs have started to appear in the market. As I was passing by the farmers market, today, I came across a basket full of sweet ripe figs. Not being able to resist I bought a couple, and as I bit into the soft pink flesh, I was reminded of those precious moments of my life. It also made me want to write about a delicious perfume in my collection: Comptoir Sud Pacifique’s ‘Coco Figue’.
It starts on a warm and dry note of shredded coconut. Almost immediately the fig notes, both that of the sweet nectar and green leafy ones, appear closely followed by vanilla. The three notes appear in such rapid succession that it’s hard to separate them unless you are paying close attention. It continues to present creamy milky layers of coconut and fig sweetened by vanilla. As it settles down a pleasant subtle vanilla takes over with green fig notes appearing from time to time at the background ensuring the vanilla does not get overly sweet.
The coconut note is very real to life and the scent is so delicious it will make you crave a coconut panna cotta with fig and vanilla sauce every time. A little goes a long way as longevity is very good. A joyful scent to remind us, with its fruity, warm and lightly milky aroma, of the pleasures of summer and help ward off the winter blues.
I came across Coco Figue in a pharmacy by the lake on a trip to Lausanne with my sister and I immediately fell in love. It reminds me of those precious moments, as we sat by the lake on that lovely warm summer day enjoying salted caramel Ladurées, making this a permanent part of my memory box.
Coco Figue is available in Eau de Toilette form online at Comptoir Sud Pacifique’s website, where it is described as an exotic, cordial and sensual scent with the following notes:
Top note: Fig’s heart, Vanilla flower, Coconut pulp.
Heart note: Hot milk mousse, Coconut powder.
Base note: Fig leaves, sweet Cracking, Coconut milk, Vanilla from Madagascar.
Our sense of smell is probably more closely related to memory than any other of our senses. Scents are highly emotive having the power to trigger past memories and sentiments. Not only do they have the power to drift us into rippling waves of nostalgia, but also evoke certain emotions within us and the people around us, which is why perfumes play such an important role in my life.
I divide my perfumes into two sorts. One which I wear for myself and then some which are worn for others. The first type are very personal and precious. They are usually the ones that take me in the past to comforting happy memories, reminding me of special people in my life, or energise and accompany me through joyous activities such as gardening.
We have been having quite a cold and wet spring this year. I’m not complaining though as I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the fresh spring rain and the promise of life it brings with it. This has also given me the opportunity to enjoy a very special perfume in my collection, Après l’Ondée which means after the rain shower.
A magic potion that feels like taking a stroll through an enchanted garden. It begins with you stepping barefooted on green dew laden grass. At this point every thing is blurred, familiar and yet foreign. Like the earthy scent of newly dampened soil after the rain. As you wander further clarity sets in as notes of aniseed start to appear. Pure and transparent like rainwater itself. Just as you think things may be coming to an end powdery pastel violets and iris sprinkle in, while carnations line the borders. Sweet with just a tinge of spice. Spring, Renewal of life; Evanescent/ephemeral
“A violet in the youth of primy nature,
Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting,
The perfume and suppliance of a minute.”
– William Shakespeare
A garden of dewy delicate flowers that is predominantly palish purple in color and yet ever so lightly blue. And just like any enchanted garden there is a backdoor that leads you to a special place; as you inhale the different layers you are hit by a series of emotions. Joy, tranquility, melancholy.
This rapture continues for about a couple of hours and then, alas, its gone.
I usually wear Après l’Ondée in spring time or when I need something to rejuvenate or soothe. It remains for an hour on my skin during which time I like to spend some quiet time by myself, reminisce about the past and contemplate the future. My bottle of Après l’Ondée was a gift from a very special person, my best friend Ayesha, which makes it altogether even more special. A bottle of pure emotion that holds a piece of my heart.
Après l’Ondée created by Jacques Guerlain and launched in 1906 is today only available in Eau de Toilette form in selected stores. On Guerlain’s website it is described as a powdery floral that revolves around violet, iris and vanilla nuances.