Fidji by Guy Laroche came out in 1966 and, according to Perfume Legends (p. 135), “pioneered a new generation of fresh perfumes: Norell (1969), Charlie (1973), Gucci No 1 (1975) and a hundred other fragrances following its lead”. The scent was inspired by the idea of a “happy island” – a mythical, faraway place that fit in very well with the trend of those days to travel to distant lands. The perfumer, Josephine Catapano, was fascinated by L’Air du Temps and wanted to create a modern version of it, “an outstanding floral”, with “an airy feeling” (p.136). Guy Laroche was known to me only for his J’Ai Ose. Back in my high school years, a friend had a bottle, and I’d often beg her to let me spray it. Fidji, on the other hand, despite its vast popularity, had never crossed my path until recently.
In spite of such an exotic name, Fidji is not a cliche tropical scent. It’s an alluring, colorful floral. The initial notes of ylang-ylang, galbanum, and rose are quite boozy and dense, tinged by faint clove. Tuberose and jasmine enter the scene a bit later, adding more oomph and floral sweetness. I must also add Fidji is one of the few perfumes where the green and floral notes are masterfully, seamlessly blended. The galbanum is there but not prominent, giving the fragrance a certain zest and that airy feeling. The drydown is ambery-balsamic, succulent, and blithe. Back in the day, Fidji had a lot of followers, and, sadly, today it seems to be quite obscure and underrated. The parfum version (which I used for this review) is highly superior to eau de toilette and very hard to come by. Although I deeply admire it, for me Fidji doesn’t seem to have any particular emotional connotations. In my imaginary vintage closet, Fidji will solemnly share the shelf with such timeless beauties as Chanel No 19, Lancome Sikkim and Climat, Givenchy III.
Fidji features the notes of galbanum, hyacinth, lemon, ylang-ylang, Bulgarian rose, clove, jasmine, tuberose, iris, spices, ambergris, balsam, musk, patchouli, sandalwood.
Image source: parfumdepub.net
27 comments April 25th, 2007