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Fragrance family: Floral Green
Gender: For women
Concentration: Eau de Parfum (EDP)
Perfumer: Olivia Giacobetti

Launched in 2000 by Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, En Passant was inspired by perfumer Olivia Giacobetti’s childhood memories of the wind-filled scent of lilacs.

En Passant opens with a bracing aquatic note that leads to a note of lilac. It’s a delicate spring scent that’s powdery, fresh, green and floral, with facets of two other spring flowers: mimosa and lily of the valley. The powdery mimosa plays up that aspect of the lilac, orange leaf bolsters its verdancy while the jasmine-like nuances of lily of the valley adds a soft animalic tone. I catch a note of wheat here; it gives the flowers a gentle spring warmth that gets deeper at the drydown. A note of cucumber supports the aquatic note at the opening and adds another green dimension to En Passant while at the same time giving it lightness and radiance.

En Passant opens with a bracing aquatic note that leads to a lush note of lilac – floral, green (from orange leaf) and animalic (from white musk). I catch a note of wheat here which shines through for a moment and then gets deeper at the drydown. A note of cucumber contributes to the ‘watery’ feel and adds another green dimension while at the same time giving En Passant a lightness and a radiance. And white musk conjures the soft scent of skin.

En Passant is a linear fragrance that doesn’t progress much on the skin, so you get the experience of lilacs in a moist spring garden all at once, rather than through the development of top, middle and base notes. 

En Passant means ‘passing through,’ and what Malle refers to as a ’floral wind,’ and Giacobetti has interpreted rather than replicated lilac’s fleeting essence in this ode to spring. It’s a stunning piece of perfumery from the mistress of ethereal fragrances.

Notes: aquatic, lilac, orange leaves, wheat, cucumber and white musk






 

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