The resurrected Passion marries the brisk, refreshingly bitter green floral style that Annick Goutal exploits so well in Eau de Ciel, Le Chèvrefeuille, and Folavril to a lush arrangement of indolic tropical white flowers, centered principally on tuberose. With its minty top note and conspicuous galbanum, the result suggests a more demure and conventional variant on Serge Lutens’s iconoclastic Tubéreuse Criminelle. In fact, if the 1983 version of Passion smelled anything like today’s, it could well have served as Christopher Sheldrake’s template for the Lutens!
From its mint, tomato leaf, and eucalyptus opening, Passion moves on to a sweet, luminous, and somewhat fleshy accord of tuberose, green jasmine, galbanum, and ylang-ylang. Persistent traces of eucalyptus cool the floral accord, which holds a linear course for several hours before trailing off into a gentle clean musk and vanilla drydown. Sillage and projection are both adequate but never intrusive, and the entire composition has pleasantly relaxed and natural feel to it, despite the tendency of tuberose to indulge in high drama.
Whatever the genealogy, if you’re intrigued by the cough drop-plus-tuberose of Tubéreuse Criminelle but can’t quite bring yourself to wear anything so strange, (or if can’t get hold of a bell jar from the EU,) Passion might be just your thing. Likewise, if you crave tuberose, but feel overwhelmed by the traditionally buxom approach of Fracas and Amarigue, Passion offers a comparatively restrained and easygoing alternative.
You're about to take a trip without leaving the farm.
It begins at the farm where Grandpa is burning a pile of hoary leaves that didn't make the compost. They're comfrey and borage, sorrel and thistle, and the herbal smoke assaults your nose followed by the taste of bitter lettuce swirling in your palette. It blends strangely with your perfume, First by Van Cleef and Arpels. A worse combination would be hard to find.
At this stage it's, quite frankly, unpleasant. The floral joss sticks mentioned by other reviews are there in abundance, wafting the attar of the funeral pyre.
Whoosh! It's gone, you've dropped into the sultry air of the tropics, transported by a Matrix. Now you're engulfed by climbers, Mandevillea and Port St John creeper, the air treacle thick in the tropic of Capricorn. They exert their pressure on the jasmine as vines do on trellis work, insidiously twining. Passion is a boa constrictor.
The dry down is beautiful, and it needed to be after the previous two hours. Is it worth the struggle?
You must decide. Forewarned is forearmed.
Pros: Stick shift is always fun to drive
Cons: A challenge at the outset"
Passion by Annick Goutal, a fragrance released in the early 1980s, is a loud blast of spicy floral when sniffed strait from the bottle. During the opening, the white floral is tamed by oakmoss and something green and spicy (tomato leaf according to the note listing). When applied to the skin, however, Passion morphs into something entirely different, with a touch of musty smokiness confounding the senses. Finally, a previous reviewer called it out: floral incense sticks! Passion is a white floral with a timeless Bohemian elegance. Another reviewer pointed out that the floral note treads the line between tropical and seasonal; I think that is, right on, man.
The emotion passion has come to be confused with the expression of passion. Focussing on quixotic symbolic gesture, passion has come to mean any attention seeking act. With a vocabulary borrowed from the romantic comedy, it’s a very long short-hand. Set this in a culture where an action’s value varies directly with the number of people who witness it and passion loses its meaning as an internal state.
Annick Goutal’s Passion fits an older definition that describes an emotional state on the spectrum from enthusiasm to compulsion. Yes, there are objects of passion, but passion is what you yourself feel.
Passion, the perfume, is gorgeous. It’s a blended floral, a prospect that by itself is hit-or-miss, but it’s also a combination of tropical and seasonal white florals. A failure with this mix of genres could be a disaster, but Passion is exquisite. It is identifiable and has excellent form along with an ambiguity that lends itself to mystery rather than indecision.
Mixed florals such as Patou’s Joy and de Nicolai’s Number One show that the ‘prettier’ aspects of a flower, the sweetness and light, are important, but the expertise lies in the perfumer's use of the rawer, less obviously fetching side of the flower. Passion draws on this underbelly of the flower to paint a mixed floral, but because it used both classical and tropical flowers, it has a larger palette to draw on. I don’t find Passion overwhelming or oversized. It is buttery and textured and relaxed. Passion lets its hair down. As for us men, Passion leaves its shirt-tails untucked suggesting not so much informality as the desire for an easy range of motion. Again, passion isn’t about the reading. it’s about the inspired state.
White florals aren't my favourite and I gave this to my girlfriend, who loves it. I found its scent was vastly improved with heat ie after 10 min.s in the sun my body was wafting perfume, but before that, the scent was barely noticeable.