Greatest Hits : Olivia Giacobetti

Olivia Giacobetti is one of the great names of perfumery. Famous for creating the very first fig fragrances, a trend that is still massively popular and finally gaining steam in the mainstream, naturalistic impressions, cool incenses and translucent woods, and responsible for much of the output of early Diptyque. Giacobetti owns her own perfume house, IUNX, and creates under her company ISKIA.


Click ‘next’ to see Olivia Giacobetti’s Greatest Hits

Premier Figuier by L’Artisan Parfumeur

Premier Figuier (original bottle)

The very first fig fragrance to hit the market, Premier Figuier demonstrates Giacobetti’s ability to conjure naturalistic photorealism.

The scent of fig trees, from sticky fruit, green leaves, to the woody trunk and the shade cast beneath it, Figuier is a fig tree from about 10 metres away.

En Passant by Frederic Malle

En Passant

A whisper of a fragrance, En Passant is a gentle summer breeze carrying lilac down a country lane. Cucumber and wheat add freshness and warmth, respectively, but En Passant is incredibly fleeting and all the more beautiful for it.

Love les Carrottes by Honoré des Prés

Love les carrottes

Giacobetti demonstrated control over the carrot facet of iris roots in Hiris for Hermes, but in Love les carrottes, she was able to run free and represent the vegetable in all of its orange glory. It smells like carrots, seeds, and earth.

Tilleul by Parfums d’Orsay

Tilleul by Parfums d’Orsay

Tilleul is a refreshing take on the blossom of the linden tree. Again, Giacobetti creates the naturalistic impression of sun drenched tree blossoms just “over there” – a distance that few perfumers are able to create.

Idole de Lubin

Idole de Lubin

Who would have thought of infusing rum with incense? Idole is a rich, dense woody oriental with a slightly foods edge, demonstrating Giacobetti’s brilliance with an incense note at its peak. (Also worth a sniff are Elixir, where the mineral facet is played up, and Passage d’Enfer, where it’s set against a cold spicy lily.)

Préparation Parfumée by Andrée Putman

Emblematic of Giacobetti’s overall style, Préparation Parfumée (now known as L’Original) is a delicate scent that smells of sun and driftwood. Stunning.

L’eau Sento by IUNX

Giacobetti’s brand, sold exclusively at the Hotel Costes in Paris’ rue St. Honoré, contains beautiful examples of her work. L’Eau Sento is simply a personal favourite: woodsmoke and incense in her typical watercolour style.

About the Author

  • Nick Gilbert

    Nick has been working in the world of fragrance for over 15 years. He is co-founder of Olfiction, a creative scent agency offering fragrance development, training, copy and content production. He is frequently quoted in the press and has provided perfumery training globally, from London to Seoul.

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