International Women’s Month: Olivia Giacobetti

Welcome to International Women’s Month! Scents of Self will be celebrating with tributes to the female pioneers of perfumery all month long. First up: Olivia Giacobetti!

I want to keep Olivia Giacobetti in my basement. Wait, let me try that again: I want to keep Olivia Giacobetti in my basement so that she can make me an endless supply of her brilliant fragrances. (Olivia, where are you going? Come back! I don’t even have a basement! OLIVIA I WILL TREAT YOU HUMANELY.)

A Giacobetti fragrance is instantly recognizable. She favors light, graceful strokes of bold notes, like a watercolor painting with bright colors. But it’s not just her talent that makes me want to keep Olivia in my basement (or the attic! Like Jane Eyre!) I also admire her unorthodox path as a perfumer.

Giacobetti is one of the very few perfumers who works outside of the perfume industry’s traditional fragrance firm system, and inarguably one of the most successful. She created her own company, Iskia, at age 24, after beginning her career at Annick Goutal at age 16. After 13 years of creating fragrances for the likes of Hermès, Diptyque, and Byredo, Giacobetti launched her own line, IUNX. Despite a challenging beginning (the original IUNX boutique closed in 2006), IUNX triumphantly reopened at the iconic Hotel Costes in 2008. Respect, Oli-G.

Choosing a Top 5 for my very favorite perfumer was so impossible that it almost immediately became a Top 7 list!

7 Olivia Giacobetti Fragrances Every Human Needs To Smell

L’Artisan Parfumeur Dzing!


L’Artisan’s tribute to the circus has Giacobetti playing lion tamer, softening this wild creature of leather and sawdust until it purrs.

Diptyque Philosykos


No discussion of fig fragrances is complete without a mention of the gorgeously green Philosykos.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Safran Troublant

safran troublant

My #1. Saffron, sandalwood, unearthly beauty.

Frederic Malle En Passant


Tender, dew-soaked lilacs. Probably my favorite floral.

Lubin Idole


First name greatest, last name ever. Rum, saffron, and a souk’s worth of spices. I would trade an alarming number of organs for a bottle of the now-discontinued eau de toilette.

Honoré des Prés I Love Les Carottes


The carrot fragrance you never knew you needed! A very clever olfactory magic trick; crisp, rooty iris smells like carrots from a certain angle.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Jour de Fete

jour de fete

Cruelly discontinued. MAJOR party foul. Jour de Fete was the loveliest candied almond fragrance around.

In conclusion, the Giacobetti-Weinberg wedding will take place in June, our cat will be the ring-bearer, and you are all invited.

What’s your favorite Giacobetti fragrance? Did I miss any must-sniffs?

Disclaimers: This post is not sponsored and does not contain affiliate links. All fragrances featured in the post were purchased at full price by me, to my horror. 

8 thoughts on “International Women’s Month: Olivia Giacobetti

  1. I think this is a great project. You always come up with interesting themes.

    Embarrassing to admit, but I haven’t smelled any Giacobetti scents. Clearly I need to hang out with L’Artisan. Although, seeing she made Malle’s En Passant, I might start with that one. I love lilac and now that there are single travel sprays I can afford I can actually risk sampling it.

    Happy International Women’s Month!

    1. And to you, LL! I’m so happy to hear you like the theme- turns out I have quite a bit to say on the topic! 🙂 Do I have your current mailing address? I have an En Passant mini that I would be more than happy to send to a loving home. It really puts all other lilacs to shame. I can’t even look at Ineke After My Own Heart anymore.

      1. That is a generous offer and I will take you up on it. I was feeling greedy for a moment as I won a samples draw from you and a book draw, but I see that was back in 2011 and 2012.
        Sending you my address by email. I’m in Canada so if it’s too difficult I will understand.

  2. I am going to have to try I Love Carrots. Giacobetti and rooty iris are a combination I can’t resist. Since I tend to love everything she signs I will not pick one. In my collection I have Drôle de Rose and Premiere Figuier (Philosykos’s paternal twin).

  3. Must put in a word for my personal favorite, Passage d’Enfer! Its notas longlasting as I’d like, but I run to get a backup if its ever discontinued.

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