En Passant (2000)
by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

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En Passant information

Year of Launch2000
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 280 votes)

People and companies

HouseEditions de Parfums Frederic Malle
PerfumerOlivia Giacobetti
PackagingFrederic Malle
Parent CompanyEstee Lauder Companies

About En Passant

The name translated to English means 'In Passing'. The fragrance is a fresh composition with notes of orange leaves, cucumber and absolute wheat.

En Passant fragrance notes

Reviews of En Passant

Personally I'd like to put these three FM floral perfume in one family:

En Passant, Eau de Magnolia, Carnal flower.

En Passant is that innocent young sister, simple, linear, transparent.

Eau de Magnolia is the educated older sister, much more refined, an impeccable sweet young lady.

Carnal Flower is their femme fatale mother (let's assume femme fatale also have kids, for whatever reason), who probably murdered their father and inherit his fortune: sensual, attractive, deep, full of unexpected turn.
24th July, 2017
En Passant is a consummate spring scent. It balances a cool, aquatic heart with soil-like accents to recreate the tension at the center of lilac—the crispness that doesn’t quite disguise an oily nature. I’ve seen En Passant described as muted and pastel, euphemisms for vague, washed-out fragrances, but there’s too much shadow and undertow in En Passant for it to be considered bloodless. Giacobetti might play with simplicity but she doesn’t settle for it and she doesn’t spare the cream in the recipe. The perfume is padded precisely where it needs to be. En Passant’s semblance of simplicity is a red herring, though. It might come off as spare but it conceals a sophisticated approach and becomes more detailed the closer you look.

A lot has been made of the perfume’s cucumber and wheat notes, how they modulate the central floral accord and keep it from becoming too sweet, too simple. It’s true that the accord is unexpected. And it’s remarkably effective in creating the detail that lets the perfume simultaneously portray a single flower and an entire season. But embedded in the accord like drop of ink in paper is a waxy/nutty, almost tactile facet. It widens the central floral sketch and gives the perfume’s trail weight and momentum.

Depending on whom you talk with En Passant is either an essay on rain, a sort of modern descendant of Après l’Ondée, or a lilac soliflor. Impressionism or representation. Visual art terms only have ballpark accuracy when applied to perfume.

Representation is tricky and the assumption that recreating ‘nature’ is perfume’s highest modality is still widespread. Giacobetti, like Roudnitska before her, challenged the premise. His answer to the question of how perfume relates to nature was to compose a detailed muguet soliflor still life. From her fig perfumes for Diptyque and l’Artisan Parfumeur to her carrots, irises and roses Giacobetti offers a succession of solutions to Roudnitska’s question, as if to imply that there are at least as many explanations as there are subjects. With En Passant, she creates a faithful lilac soliflor at the same time that she offers a more upbeat vision of a rainy day than Jacques Guerlain’s. It’s a fantastic accomplishment for a seemingly simple lilac soliflor.

from scenthurdle.com
20th July, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
A gently freshish opening blast greets me - with a green-floral opening accord that is very pleasant. The green note is a leafy tone, quite bright, whilst the floral side, which lasts way into the heart notes, is a mix of violet with a restrained undercurrent of white florals, mainly touches of muguet.

Further down the track this is mixed with a yeasty note, as if sniffing a wine barrel whose content is undergoing fermentation. There is a fruity undertone, but on me this is never really a sweet composition. This overall impressions lasts until the end.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and ten hours of longevity on my skin.

Lovely in spring, this scent is not very complex and at times a bit thin, but it is made of good-quality ingredients with some creative twists. 3.25/5.
31st May, 2017
How does this get this floral, this intense, crisp and ripe lilac without any actual flower note listed? There's also soap and pollen! Is this magic? So well crafted. I can't believe it.
25th May, 2017
Ahh Spring , rain ,songbirds and lilacs . I grew up with a lilac tree pressing up against my childhood bedroom window , when I grew up and left home , I grew a Lilac tree in a large pot on my balcony in the city , then when I bought my house I planted the lilac tree in the yard and now my daughter has a lilac tree just outside her bedroom window . I cannot live without lilacs. They are a part of my whole being.
I have searched for a scent of lilac I could possess at any time of year but none truly captured what I've been yearning for until En Passant . En Passant for me
smells of Lilacs , rain , wet green earth and home , I don't get much of the bread scent I just get a warm homey scent upon drydown. I can faintly smell the cucumber but it just comes across as rain and earth to me. I cannot smell any orange leaves . I have never purchased a niche perfume before this , in fact I rarely wore perfume at all before En Passant but because this perfume is my soul, my spirit ,my life in a bottle dare I say this is my signature scent & now have started a new hobby/obsession collecting perfumes . En Passant is the most pure, artistic expression of lilac I've ever had the pleasure of smelling the most captivating ethereal perfume I have ever experienced in my life.
06th April, 2017 (last edited: 10th April, 2017)
Wonderful name for this fragrance. Quite pleasant, although I could have sworn that it smelled like lily of the valley until I reviewed the notes. Now I alternate between smelling cucumber and lily of the valley.
While I would consider this smell for spring, it does not seem to have a great lasting power, alas, like most fresh green smells, it seems. :-( So, the quest continues.
06th December, 2016

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