When I need to escape the daily grind I frequently turn to certain fragrances to give me a slice of serenity. Philosykos by Diptyque is one that comes to mind for its uplifting and earthy qualities. I’m quickly transported to a magical shaded place underneath a fruit-laden fig tree where I’m sheltered from the smoldering sun overhead.

Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh leaves and fig fruits?

Closing my eyes I’m smelling dewey wet grass, juicy figs, wet fig leaves and lush, slightly tart greens. The fruit is ripe to perfection; a day longer and it would drop from the tree. There’s something I can’t quite identify about the greens but I’m imagining a twig ripped from a tree that’s still too fresh to properly break off, emitting a sharp, slightly sour scent.

I also catch a creamy and milky sap which is very faint and secondary to the main composition, serving to ground and balance the fruity/leafy/woody notes. According to a product description on Fragrantica, one of the notes in this fragrance is coconut, which is clearly where this is coming from. I don’t smell coconut at all though, just a lovely milkiness.

Yves Cousesiant, a Diptyque founder, recalled that to get to the sea in the heat of a Greek summer, one had to walk through a natural orchard of wild fig trees. Returning from Paris, co-founder Desmond Knox-Leet brought back a few fig leaves in a little box only to discover years later that the leaves had lost none of their fragrance.

From this the scent was born, and the result was one of the most realistic and delicious fig fragrances I’ve had the pleasure to discover.

Philosykos, which in Greek means “friend of the fig tree”, is an ode to the entire fig tree: the green, pungent freshness of the leaves, the wood warmed in the sun and the milky flavor of the fruit. (Nordstrom)


  1. Hammer says:

    Your writing is captivating and descriptive. I feel that I can actually smell the perfume!

    Philosykos by Diptique sounds really nice. I want to ask for your opinion, my wife loves perfume but nothing too strong. She likes a scent that is floral with a bit of fruitiness. She normally wears French perfumes with a pleasant but not overwhelming scent.

    Do you think Philosykos would be a good option or maybe something else?

    • Erica says:

      Hi Hammer,

      The purpose of my reviews (ramblings?) is to give you a sense of what the scent smells like so I’m glad it worked. If your wife goes for fruity floral fragrances then this might not be ideal. It would be helpful if I knew what perfumes she loves but two very different names I’ll throw out there are Thierry Mugler Angel and Vera Wang Princess. Good luck!


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