Aftelier is the brainchild of Mandy Aftel, who creates perfumes from natural and botanical essences. This is the first perfume I have reviewed from Aftelier, but I hope it won’t be my last.
Aftelier Fig does not open with Fig. In fact, despite its name, this is not strictly a Fig perfume, although it has an important cameo.
Aftelier Fig opens with bold Pine (Fir) and brash Lemon, and initially reminded me of the smell of damp old stone. This is by no means a complaint: its one of my favourite smells. According to Fragrantica, Fig contains Castoreum (from our beaver friends) and Civet (often giving an intimate “skanky” smell). Neither of these presented themselves to me, but what I did get was a blast of outdoors and a good dose of old, antique dark wood.
Fig itself is one of those notes I grew to love gradually, thanks largely to the efforts of Jean Claude Ellena and his delectable Un Jardin en Mediterranee and also via Premier Figeur from L’Artisan Parfumeur (both reviewed on this blog). However its juicy over ripeness is almost absent from Aftelier Fig, or so you think before this beds down into the long, lazy basenote phase. With a whiff of Oud, a hint of Musk and a figgy juicyness that actually comes from Yuzu, not Fig, this has a deliciously woody, musty end phase that made me a big fan. It smells like the back of the wardrobe that leads to Narnia: all damp aged wood and fresh pine with the grown up juicy heart adding a hint of something delicious and tempting.
They should issue bottles of this with every book of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. If you get a hint of Mr and Mrs Beaver, even better. Interesting. Very interesting…