So far, I haven’t met a Diptyque fragrance that I haven’t loved. I can say that Diptyque Philosykos is my all time favorite fig scent ever. Ever. I’m a fig fragrance nut. I “collect” them even if I love them or not. It is a nostalgia thing. It makes me think of my childhood spending summers in the Southeast and my big move to the Pacific Northwest as an adult.

Philosykos is a great blend. It is fairly simple but it completely conveys the fig tree and its surroundings. This fragrance was meant to contain all “parts” of the fig tree including sap, trunk, and leaves in growth. It does. This is a “fresh” fig fragrance because it smells like a living fig tree. This means that it doesn’t smell like a fig dessert or the fruit or the bark or dried leaves. It smells like a living fig tree, plain and simple. When you spritz the fragrance you get the feeling that you are standing beside a few fig trees in the late of summer with a warm Southern breeze.  Or maybe setting near the sea on a large driftlog, feeling the warmth of sea pebbles and sand below your summer sandals, and thinking of the fresh figs you’ve just picked on the your walk down to the shore. It’s that simple. You smell the greeness of the leaves, the woodiness of the smooth bark, and the fig sap which sometimes has an almost latex-like aroma. It also contains white cedar and this grounds this scent beautifully and makes it longer wearing. (It is much more noticeable in the dry-down and reminds me of sea smoothed driftwood.) Like I said, this scent is fairly simple and very realistic. I love it for all-year wear. It’s light, not heavy, wears for about 5 hours (good for an EDT), and it is a “memory” fragrance for me.This is a must for a fig fragrance lover since it seems to “define” the fig fragrance as a genre.

It retails for $88 for 1.7 oz. It is available at beautyhabit.com and barneys.com.

This is a fragrance that I would have never of chosen for myself by reading the description. I am so happy that I’ve tried it (thank you Beautyhabit for the thoughtful sample). I find it very interesting. It is unlike anything that I own. The blend is fantastic and the fragrance oil is very long wearing.

Saffron James is a pretty cool company, with Hawaiian inspired fragrances. They are tropical but not in that beachy coconut or sickly sweet cocktail way that so many other companies flirt with. They are truly inspired by nature. Plus, I dig vintage tiki culture. These fragrances have that tiki vibe.

The Saffron James website states: PŪNONO (pooh-no-no): Filled with sunshine, ever beautiful; flushed red, as the skin (to blush). 2. To make attractive with bright or red colors, to dress or appear gorgeous. 3. An olfactory homage to the Puakenikeni flower. 4. An intoxicating scent with notes of Ylang Ylang, Pikake, Carnation, Vanilla and Tunisian Opium.

This fragrance is a little strange and that is why I love it. It isn’t strange like bizarre but it is different than mainstream fragrances. It has made me realize that I do not hate ylang-ylang at all. It is just that I have never smelled it used in such a wonderful way. I’ve under appreciated this note for too long. Bring on the ylang-ylang. The fragrance is an “homage” to the puakenikeni flower. I really need to take a fragrance adventure to Hawaii; I can’t comment on the actual aroma of this flower since I’ve never been and these things just don’t grow well in our cooler climate. I can only imagine, for now.  However, I do smell the whimsy floral top notes of gentle ylang-ylang and feminine pikake. But, this fragrance is “spicy” all the way through. Yep, it is floral but these otherwise heavy florals are not stealing the show (uh-um carnation). They are only enhancing the depth and mystery of “Tunisian Opium” which is otherwise an incensey head-shop fragrance by itself (which I like sometimes but it isn’t very every gal).  This is a very resinous incense scent that is made feminine by exotic flowers. I usually don’t love vanilla. It makes scents too foody or “sticky”; however, the perfect amount of vanilla is used in this mix. It makes the opium so well rounded, blended, perfect. This is not a “winter” fragrance. It is warm and spicy but totally appropriate for warmer weather and climates. It is really nice all year long or to be used for those “special” occasions. I would say that you would like this if you like Carol’s Daughter fragrances, tropical scents, or modern “oriental” ‘fragrances.

It retails for $85 for 30 mL (1 ounce). A little goes a long way and it last for like 12 hours on my skin. It does last a long time but very, very closely to the skin, so intimate and soft but always there. The bottle is simple and a has a cute wooden top. The bottle really completes the entire “vibe” of the fragrance. This is a fragrance that I have been using sparingly since I only have a tiny sample vial. When it is gone, I know that I am going to have to add this to my collection. It is very “me” since I have two real fragrance personalities: expensive heavy, white floral or no label head-shop oils. This is the perfect olfactory compromise. Must have it.

Weekly Cheap Secret:

I love this stuff so. I don’t wear it as a “tanning” cream (since I don’t tan) and I don’t really use it for sun protection. I just like to use it because I like the way it smells and the way it makes my legs look. I’m sure many of you know of this throwback or have used this stuff. This lovely gelee in the metal “toothpaste” tube was always around my house growing up since I lived with sun-worshiping ladies that were naturally tan and couldn’t get enough of that bronzed look. This is a must for “vintage” gals. (It was launched in the 40’s).

This contains an SPF 4. Really, that is enough sun protection for me since I’m not out in it very long anyways. The formula is “greasy” and really packs a shine. Since it has a tinge of orange/bronze, it evens out the complexion. This is why I love to use it on my legs. They look sleek and flawless. This stuff really moisturizes since it has a mineral oil base. It is more of a “treatment” and protects my skin from the drying effects of the elements. It is sooo emollient. I am in love with its’ classic fragrance. It is a heady, jasmine-ish like floral blend. It is an “exotic” floral. Imagine a jasmine and orange blossom blend, very Southern California. This fragrance is amazing and I often wear it souly for that. I use it on my pulse points as I would a solid perfume for a pick-me-up. (If you really love this scent, Demeter offers Suntan Lotion PMU Cologne.) This stuff is so nice; it is nostalgic. It is from a time when beach culture was such a “culture”, everybody was tanning sans the guilt. I love it because it reminds me of a 60’s teen twist B film or a Sandy Nelson or Dick Dale album cover. It is so retro Southern Californian youth. Think surfing and late night beach bonfires.

Since it is tinted, it may stain clothing, swimsuits, etc. I haven’t had a problem with this, but I do wear lots of dark shades. You won’t find me sporting white shorts or a white swimsuit. Just something to think about…

It retails for $9.99 for 3.12 ounces. This stuff can be hard to find; however, drugstore.com always has it.