Green, minimalist, and enlivening, PG16 evokes a Greek cliffside garden with fuzzy fruit adorning gnarly old trees.
Fig, sycamore, white peach, tuberose and musk.
Parfumerie Generale are one of the mainstays of niche perfumery, producing a strong, wide range of scents that tend towards being classy and elegant, on the whole.
The brand is the brainchild of Pierre Guillaume who produces the Huitieme Art and Cruise Collections, as well as encompassing the Phaedon brand. We’ve reviewed lots of PG perfumes before, including Shermine, Aqaysos, Bois Naufrage, and Jangala.
For years, our founder laboured under the opinion that she wasn’t actually that into perfume. The reason for this was that she had only experienced High Street scents. It’s akin to saying you don’t like art because all you’ve seen are those invariably weird prints that they put up in hotel bedrooms.
Now, there are two things – in our opinion – that niche perfumery does better than High Street: the first one is use scent to paint a changing picture of a moment, memory or place (i.e. to connect on an emotional level with the wearer); the second is to evoke greenery in a way that we have not yet come across in a High Street brand. Maybe it doesn’t sell so well? Maybe it’s just not fashionable? But ‘green’ in High Street never seems as vivid and real as it does in more niche lines.
Straight out of the gate PG16 begins as a green scent. As soon as you spray it, elegant wafts of verdant fig lift from your skin, sweet, ripe, and very green. There’s a wateriness to the scent of fig fruits which is present here for sure, but the most delightful thing that we noted was the real fuzziness of the scent. It is just like biting into the skin of a fresh fig, you almost get that sensation of the velveteen skin on your tongue, that’s how gloriously evocative this is.
And yes, if you don’t like fig then it’s likely you aren’t going to like this one. Thankfully, here at The Sniff we absolutely love it. It’s one of those sticky, glorious, moreish scents that we really just cannot get enough of. It’s sweet but not sickly, green but warm, and there isn’t really anything else that compares to it. Good fig is a wonderful thing.
Once the fig calms down a little, the woodiness comes through. The perfumer has been skilful in selecting a wood that is warm and damp in the same way that the scent of the fig is warm and damp. As a result, the two harmonise beautifully and it’s difficult to decide where the fig ends and the woods begin, but slowly it becomes apparent that what you are smelling has taken on a darker, browner hue. It’s a bit like pushing through undergrowth tangled around the base of the fig tree. The wood element edges the scent towards the slightly drier and cooler, and the garden that the title references becomes a wild jungle of foliage rather than just a manicured lawn with tidy borders.
And then, just when you think this scent is going down a dark path, a little ray of sunshine starts to peep through the foliage…
A warm, fruitiness emerges in the base of this scent. It has a creamy, almost floral quality about it at times, despite being fruity. It’s juicy, sensuous, and gradually becomes more and more identifiable as peach.
The more we have thought about this perfume, the more we have come to appreciate the skill that has been taken in the – albeit minimalist – blending. Sitting at the centre is this beautiful fig note, but the perfumer takes us on a tour: on one side of the fig, and blending into it, we have the woody note that melds with the drier, browner notes of the fig. On the other side we have the peach, which blends into the fig by way of the juicer, fruitier but also fuzzier-skin evoking notes that the fig contains. This balances the perfume wonderfully and leaves it poised, with no element out of whack. It’s clever, minimalist blending, and we are real suckers for a clever scent.
The impression that you’re left with after a couple of hours wear is a bowl of peaches and cream, warmed by sunlight. It’s really lovely and definitely one that fans of fig-based or fruity scents will really enjoy.
The other stuff
The longevity of the scent was good, it definitely gets a lot quieter as the day wears on but lasted well into the afternoon on multiple testings.
The scent had a minimal to moderate projection. It was noticeable, but not very ‘shouty’, so will suit those that like their scents to follow the clean, minimalist and inoffensive lines of their furniture.
PG16 is a wearable and versatile scent, the downside of it is that it wasn’t all that surprising and there are other similar scents out there that have a strong fig element. It’s wears like a good quality scent though, in terms of depth of scent and longevity, and that for us makes it a worthwhile purchase.
In our opinion, this wears more like a feminine fragrance than a masculine one, although the fresh and vibrant fig would be great on male skin, the peachy creaminess towards the end may be a bit too ladylike for the menfolk. Try it and let us know what you think though!
PG16 Jardins de Kerylos is available from Bloom Perfumery London, who very kindly provided us with a sample. At Bloom it is priced at £132 for 100ml EDT.
You can also buy this scent from the Parfumerie Generale website and there you will pay €146 for the same size.