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Passage d’Enfer - A new beginning.... - April 19, 2010 New Fragrance Listing

It started, again, with Passage d’Enfer. In a previous life, I collected fragrances, Rive Gauche, Joy, Shalimar….I wore them with abandon and sometimes nothing else.

I loved thinking about what scent would suit my mood I when I got dressed for the office in the morning or prepared for a night out. Who needed a signature scent? Why choose just one?

Then, my mother was diagnosed with emphysema. She became acutely aware of, and sometimes fearful of, scent – laundry detergent, cooking foods – all scents. My perfumes ended up in a box by the curb.

A few years after my mother’s passing, I was in New York with Kay. We were at the perfume counter at Barney’s. She was going on about Annick Goutal this and Serge Lutens that. Tired from a day of shopping, I sat down at the L’Artisan counter. “Can I help you?” asked a sales assistant. “No, thank you.” I said. But the names on the bottles looked so intriguing. “OK, sure.” I said. She brightened and asked me what scents I liked. I have always been drawn to rose fragrances, so I asked what they had in that line. She trotted out a few bottles, we spritzed paper strips, we sprayed the air, we sniffed. It was all very pleasant.  Then, I saw a bottle of Passage d’Enfer. Translated literally, it means ‘passage to hell’. I picked it up and sprayed it on my skin.

If the name doesn’t get you, then the scent will. Incense and frankincense hit you first, but before they get dark and heavy, lily and white musk emerge and lighten it up. All together it’s a very clear, uncomplicated scent that balances the feeling of dark ancient churches and light fields of flowers. It’s simply gorgeous.

It had been so long since I had worn scent and this eau de toilette transported me back to a previous life. I bought the bottle.

Today, we’re adding Passage d’Enfer to our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00.