Fig for Spring- Atelier Cologne, Figuier Ardent (2015)

I had started a few other posts, none of them seeming to want to finish themselves, when a small parcel from Atelier Cologne arrived, containing samples of their new line ‘Collection Azur’. Atelier Cologne has so far stood out by being a great entry-level niche brand, with accessible fragrances of great quality and beautiful design, perfumes with interesting twists on familiar themes, as well as already having a few fragrances asserting themselves as perfumista loves and stables. I expected these to be in the same vein, perhaps fresh summer colognes with a niche and Atelier thumbprint.

Of all of these fresh and summery looking fragrances, the only one that seemed to not be too opposed to the very showery Copenhagen ‘spring’ with the odd occasional silver-lining, was Figuier Ardent (Fiery Fig). Fig, for me tends to be too green and fresh, and even if I do like fig fragrances, I do not love Philisykos, Premier Figue, Figue Amere etc. So imagine my surprise, when the first sniff was pure and utter delight.

fig

Figuier Ardent doesn’t smell like the usual top note suspects of citrus and/or pepper, pink or otherwise. It smells straight off like Mediterranean green figs and fresh little fir buds. Something akin to really juicy greenness, with a sap like quality, and fluorescent green as only those first buds can be. Right underneath is a comforting fresh milkiness, not too sweet, mild rather, but invigorating and a little salty- somewhere between fig milk and fresh soft moss.

I’m unsure about when I was last so enthralled by top notes straight out of the sample vial. I went to instantly look up the notes, and it ‘clicked’- whatever gives the fir buds-like scent, those are not in the notes, but perhaps only in my imagination[i], this is however a fig-iris fragrance[ii]. If you like those two notes, well, chances are you’ll love this. I feel like there are all different layers of the fig as well as of the iris, each bouncing beautifully off each other, green to green, white to white, softness and edge in perfect measure.

There are supporting roles too, of bergamot to the fig, or cardamom to the milkiness, and even a little anise which in this combination reminds me just the slightest of the dreamlike quality in lends to Après L’Ondée. However to me none of these are very discernible but, like the perfect supporting actor, there to add layers to the leads. Only very late in the development, do I detect sweet powder zooming in and out between the basenotes. At this stage the cedar becomes ever more prominent, and even if I normally have a problem with some aspects of cedar notes turning a little rancid and too oily to/on me, here it makes perfect sense and gives a mossy feel, and is, again, a great platform for the smoothness of the iris powder and milky fig to stand out from.

Figuier Ardent, is a parfum concentration, so it has a lot of character and tenacity, but stays relatively close to the skin.

If, like me, for a while you’ve been sighing for an iris fragrance paired with something new and exciting, or indeed a fig fragrance with a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’, well here it is, and whereas it might not exactly be fiery, it certainly is one of the most unique and delightful fragrances that Atelier Cologne has produced thus far. Spring will smell great this year, come rain or come shine.

 

The feat by me, and the stunning tableau by Atelier Cologne.

 

[i] Having sniffed Figuier Ardent, and looked up the notes, I took out the Atelier design postcard from its envelope, to discover that although fir or spruce might not be in the pyramid, it’s on the gorgeous tambleau depicted on there. Perhaps I’m not all that crazy then.

[ii] My second thought was; why has no one done this combo before, because what perfumer Ralf Schwieger does with his two protagonists smells like perfect ‘twosomeness’. Well, somebody did have the idea before. Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Figue-Iris from 2000, but it seemed to play more to the green in the fig, and the light floralsy in the iris violet, before turning into Meterorites. Nice, but this one goes the whole way.

21 thoughts on “Fig for Spring- Atelier Cologne, Figuier Ardent (2015)

  1. Love your review ! It sounds very inviting this new fig fragrance from Atelier Cologne. Especially THE fig and iris combo.

    • I’m glad Esperessence 🙂 It’s not difficult to tell that I do love this one, and I think anyone who cares for this pair of notes will be enjoy Figuier Ardent. It isn’t often one is surprised by a new combination like this, and it makes you think that there are still many new facets to perfume to be explored.

  2. Sounds great! 🙂
    Even though I wondered if it might be for me because I like all those fig perfumes you dismissed. 🙂

    • Hm, those weren’t as much dismissals, as perhaps lacking the last bit of conviction, for me to feel the need to own any of them. You know; like not love 🙂 Would happily wear them if they were given to me kind of thing.
      I feel that since you love Iris Nazarena and you love fig-notes, this should really be your kind of thing, but perhaps you prefer the greener versions?

  3. Hey, I am a first-time reader here. I was led to this post by your post in a group we both belong to. 🙂

    That and the word “fig” piqued my interest. 🙂 I am, admittedly, into fig scents. I have learnt to discern the note when I smelled Philosykos — it was, however, infatuation at first sniff to me. So I guess I wonder how this compares to this fragrance… I think though that I have a pretty good clue, considering your post. 🙂

    I am dropping in too, to express my admiration towards your writing style. It is impeccable. Flawless.

    And the name of your website is a perfect cling of triangle to punctuate your wonderful manner of expression. 🙂

    Have a great one!

    • Hi Pia, thank you so much for your kind words. I’m glad you ‘found’ me, and enjoy it here. It’s always great to hear from people who read, even if I realise that one doesn’t necessarily always want to make a comment, but being in a dialogue I feel brings on new ideas and new thoughts, which this is all about 🙂
      About Philosykos, even if the two share a big fig and fig leaf note, they are certainly also very different. Most of it I’ve already mentioned, but apart from that, Olivia Giacobetti has this very sheer style, which is very different from FA’s parfum (they call it cologne absolut, but say it’s a parfum) which is a lot more compact in feel. If you do love fig, I should say it’s definitely worth a try.

      • And thank you too for taking that time to reply to me. 🙂
        As it is with readers who don’t comment, I also know that there are people who would just go through comments without replying — that you did, I truly appreciate it. 🙂
        I am also elated that I got more than an answer from you — what you mentioned was quite informative.
        I admit, I have always loved fragrances but I haven’t delved too deep into them. Oftentimes, I use them for inspiration to draw out images I wish to write.
        But I am truly a sucker for new information, and you did ‘teach’ me something new today. 🙂
        Quite recently, Atelier has been available in my country (I live in the Philippines) so I will definitely try to smell this *fingers crossed that this particular line will find its way on our shores*
        PS
        As I have mentioned to someone else that I have come to know in the community — I rarely leave comments myself. 🙂 I just do when I am moved. 🙂

        • Well, in that case I’m extra happy you did 🙂 and I’m glad if it was informative.
          I too read a lot more than I reply too, which doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it, but sometimes it’s just the way it is, and I completely understand that. It’s still very nice to hear when a post resonates with someone.

  4. That combo that you smell, and that is alluded to in Atelier’s photo, sounds really, really good. It actually sounds like it would make a great drink … I’m imagining a cocktail of gin paired with fig liqueur, and some sparkling club soda that could represent iris. 🙂

    Your post reminded me, too, that I don’t own any fig scents. I’m not sure why I don’t gravitate towards them, but this one sounds exceptional.

    • Oooh, a drink, that would be worth a try. I’m thinking of some of that Croatian Fig liqueur, and since I’m toying with amongst other things, a fir- tincture, perhaps a little could be used, if diluted?
      I don’t own any fig scents either, perhaps because most perfumes centered around a single note, can be nice but I tend to not wear them much. However, this one is special in that a lot is happening without it being crowded and as I keep saying, I’m really wow’ed by the combination, and the fact that this has not been exploited a million times before, it seems an obvious choice when you smell it. Ok, maybe you’ll be all disappointed now when you smell it, but I hope not 😉

  5. You have enticed me with a fig scent! Although i realise it’s the combination with iris that’s really appealing. I usually find them too milky.

    I bet it was a lovely “Ha!” moment when you spotted the fir on that postcard 🙂 Well done you for sniffing it out.

    Love the song “Come rain or come shine”.

    • Yes, it was a real ‘Ha!’ -moment, taking the card out of the envelope, turning it around… and the sound of the penny dropping 😉
      As for the milk, it’s definitely there, but I feel that it mixes with the iris softness. It might also turn a bit sweeter on you, although it really isn’t a sweet perfume, I’d be cvery urious as to how you’d like it.
      That song is gorgeous. I was looking for a rendition and must confess to really liking this contemporary one with a proper Big Big and Haley Reinhart, although I had no idea she was some ‘American Idol’ person.

  6. I loved your review, Asali, and now I know which one I should try first tomorrow (I just got a set of samples from a friend today).

    On a side note: both your painting and Atelier’s postcard make me hungry: I sooo miss figs!

    • Thank you Undina, and I’m very much looking forward to hearing your verdict. Hopefully I didn’t get your hopes up too high, after all I sniffed it without the expectation of being swept off my feet.
      Fresh figs are actually not very common here, I mean they obviously don’t grow here, but neither does 100s of other fruits, so the first time I tasted one was a few summers ago visiting Ines in Croatia. I think I prefer them dried, or/and in perfumed form, but the wonderfully exotic feeling of picking one ripe from the tree was very special.

  7. Hmmm, I don’t get on well with fig fragrances but a) knowing it’s from Atelier Cologne, b) your lovely review and artwork, making me feel like trying this. I love eating figs though. Have you tried figs drizzled with honey? Definitely recommended. 🙂

    • Thank you Magpie, well you should probably try this one since I don’t ever actively look for fig fragrances and I liked it very much (can you tell? 😉 ) As I wrote to Undina just now, fresh figs are not very common, and the ones I tried… Let me say, I think I need to become more acquainted with the taste, but honey! I love anything and everything with honey, so will try your suggestion next time 🙂

  8. Hmm, I don’t *love* iris (though I do appreciate Silver Iris!), but I do love fig, so I’ll definitely have to give this one a sniff sometime if I can! Atelier has been releasing so many new fragrances lately, it’s hard to keep up. Also – there’s so many varieties of fig, I think that can make a big difference in your enjoyment of the fresh fig. Sadly I’m not sure my fig trees survived this past winter as they have yet to bud. 🙁 Anyhow – I enjoyed reading your take on this, I’m excited to try it at some point!

    • I’m sorry about your fig trees, I hope they’ll make it, but thanks for the tip of trying different varieties, I’ll make sure to do that, and hopefully find ‘my’ real life fig, now I’ve found the perfumed equivalent 🙂
      As for keeping up with perfume releases, that’s just impossible, so I suppose it’s a lot to do with availability and how much the notes, or brand mean to you.

  9. Beautiful review – and illustration! – as ever. Big fan of fig perfumes here. This was also my favourite of the new collection – one or two of the others were a little astringent / grapefruity for my grapefruit-averse tastes. I liked Fiery Fig (somehow more amusing in English) a lot ,without really bottoming out what was in there, so it is interesting to read your take on the notes – especially the fir twist. The friend I was with at the time also liked it very much, and I ended up giving her my sample, as I am keen to draw her into perfume more than she is currently…;)

    • Thank you Vanessa, and good to hear it was your favourite, I would probably have had you down for the magnolia one, which I thought was quite lovely. Yes, I know there are many fig perfume fans out there, so I’m clearly in the minority, but FA I like, a lot. But I do understand giving away samples to people you want to draw into perfume, I do that too.

  10. Personally love the smell of fig, whether raw and green or more matured, dried and sugar-plum like. I just find the fig’s essence fascinating and unique. And the perfume subject of this post sounds very enchanting indeed. Thank you for this piece, as I’m very interested to try this scent!

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