Closing the Summer with Philosykos
Figs are irresistible. Considered the fruit of Venus and Aphrodite in the Roman and Greek traditions, figs are believed to awaken a healthy passion and bring fertility. The sensuality of figs combines some ambivalence, just as sexuality can sometimes be both disturbing and pleasurable. And while the fruit is utterly seductive, lest we forget the leaves, who are responsible for the development of fashion for generations to come. And
This is perhaps why it took an Italian perfumer, Olivia Giacobetti, to recognize these intriguing traits in figs, and create the very first fig soliflore (Premier Figuier for l’Artisan Parfumeur). This green concoction opened with complementary (yet melancholy) notes of mastic bush, which accentuated the crisp and tangy greenness of figs, and was daring enough to pay attention to fig milk in the way of adding a coconut milk to the concoction.
But it wasn’t until Ms. Giacobetti has created Philosykos that the sensual experience of green figs was completely squeezed into a bottle. Anything from the very first aroma surrounding the trees baring the ripe (or not-so-ripe) fruit in summer can be experienced from first whiff of Philosykos. One can feel the fuzziness of the fig skin and the roughness of the leaves as they rub against a bare shoulder. One can hear the crumbling of dry wild grass underneath the tree as the eyes are set up to the branches searching for that paler, slightly yellowish waxy look of the just-ripe fruit. One can feel the surprising stinging sensation of the skin when the fig-milk drips from the slightly under ripe fruit’s stem, and crawls along a trembling finger and sticks to greedy lips and burning tongue.
Green figs are best eaten fresh. To be more accurate, they must be eaten straight from the tree, and not be washed at all. If they are dusty, considered the dust a gourmand addition from the earth itself. If the milk burns your lips, consider it a blessing of fire, as even the purest spring water cannot wash the milk away.
Many secrets were whispered below the fig trees, many warts were banished by the burn of the firey milk, and many summers were seasoned by aromatic green figs. When I can’t hop on the plane to pick figs with my brother along the sides of Road no. 6, at least I have Philosykos to marinate myself in, with it’s dry and green edible notes of green fig, coconut milk and cedar.