Perfumers Dorothée Piot and Karine Vinchon-Spehner developed Figment Woman. Its notes include Sichuan pepper, saffron, gardenia, tuberose, jasmine sambac, orange blossom, lisylang (a fractionated ylang ylang), cassia, orris, papyrus, patchouli and incense. Here’s Kevin’s review of this one’s partner, Amouage Figment Man.
The Figment fragrances form the third “chapter” in Amouage creative director Christopher Chong’s second narrative for the house. According to the press release with my sample, Figment Woman has to do with Bhutan and opera and embroidery, with a special mention of antique enameled opera glasses.2
To me, Figment takes gardenia and tuberose, and instead of giving them the full-on Elizabeth-Taylor-in-an-island-garden treatment, eases out the flowers’ scent components, polishes them up, then reassembles them in a different way. So, rather than smelling the textbook tuberose-gardenia combo, you smell the snap of green beans, a waft of euculyptus, and an earthy, almost intimate, truffled note. Yet, it still smells like white flowers — but through the back door.
The tuberose-gardenia is framed with an interesting assortment of supporting characters that I don’t usually think of as tuberose’s pals. Cinnamon pops up, and I like it. It doesn’t smell gourmand at all, but it adds a subtle — really subtle, you have to pay attention to pick it up — and spicy frazzle to the fragrance’s edges. Figment has a minty whiff, too, but saffron gives it a “personal,” skin-like air that helps make sure Figment never smells like a guest bathroom soap.
If you’re wondering if Figment Woman has the incense-patchouli feet of many Amouage fragrances, it doesn’t, despite being listed in its notes. Figment Woman’s sillage is meaty, and as it dwindles over time, it doesn’t go woody or sweet — it keeps its non-traditional floral character. It lasts about five hours on my skin before it’s quiet enough that I’m ready for a refresh.
I like what Amouage is doing with their fragrances lately.3 Despite their overworked, yet heinously clumsy copy — stop it, Angie! — the fragrances don’t pander to the market. Amouage Myths Woman was a jolie laide perfume, and so is this one. To me, that makes them so much more interesting than something that’s merely pretty. Figment Woman isn’t my style, but if it’s yours, you’ll find lots to explore in it for wearings to come.
Amouage Figment Woman Eau de Parfum is $315 for 100 ml. For information on where to buy it, see Amouage under Perfume Houses.
1. L’Artisan Parfumeur Nuit de Tubéreuse is the grandma of this genre.
2. If you want to know more, you’ll have to look up the copy yourself, because I’m ashamed of the snark it brings out in me.
3. Except for Beach Hut. Ugh.