En Passant by Olivia Giacobetti for Frederic Malle 2000


Post by Gabriella


Hello fragrance friends,

Do you ever get cravings for perfumes that you don’t have in your collection? This very thing happened to my last week. It’s actually very surprising as the scent in question was one of the very first perfumes to blow me away when I first started exploring niche scents and yet, after all these years, I still don’t have a bottle. Today, I’m talking to you about an oldie but a goodie – the fragrance I am going to discuss is the sublime En Passant.

En Passant by Olivia Giacobetti for Frederic Malle 2000

En Passant FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Lilac, surrounded by watery and green notes, cucumber and wheat

My reaction to the initial spritz of En Passant is one of feeling overwhelmed, but in a beautiful way. I’m enveloped in the distinctive yet delicate scent of masses of white lilacs. It is morning and their tiny petals are covered in tiny droplets of rain from an overnight shower. The rain has freshened the blooms, providing an ethereal aqueous quality. I don’t get the cucumber note that has bothered quite a few people with this scent. It’s just pure fresh and fresh lilac and quite linear, yet when the sun starts to peek over the blooms in the yard, you can just begin to smell the warmth of baking bread from a nearby kitchen window. Yet the yeasty aspect doesn’t overwhelm, it just provides a welcome temperateness to the green, watery quality of the lilac.

En Passant Frederic Malle lilac WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Even as I write, I’m conscious that my words don’t capture the loveliness of this scent. The perfume is an essence of time and place the story it tells is a very distinctive and emotional one. The best I can do is a series of adjectives: it’s diaphanous, it’s ephemeral, and it’s impressionistic and just plain beautiful. It is a story of lilacs, bread and spring What Giacobetti has done with these elements in perfume is akin to what Monet or Pissaro did with light and texture in painting.

En Passant is not powerful, its beauty is sotto voce and it’s a terribly personal scent as Portia has mentioned in her review. Despite its quietness, I still get a good 4 to 6 hours of wear; over this time, it just seems to waft gently from the skin like a breeze.

En Passant Frederic Malle White_Breeze guitarzar DeviantArtPhoto Stolen DeviantArt

Because of its discreetness, En Passant is something you could wear almost anywhere. But I find it’s best when I’m craving beauty and solitude. Oh, and the promise of spring that sadly, just quite hasn’t made it to Melbourne yet. Better satisfy those cravings and just get a bottle of this beauty.

Mecca Cosmetica has 3x10ml/$124 in Australia
Frederic Malle has €110/50ml
Surrender to Chance starts at $6/ml

Have you tried En Passant? What perfumes have left you speechless?

Until next time,
M x

9 thoughts on “En Passant by Olivia Giacobetti for Frederic Malle 2000

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