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Have you ever watched a streetcorner card hustler working the crowd playing three card monte? It used to be big in New York in the 80s. It’s a spin on the shell-game. It’s a classic short-con. It's only three cards, right? No one's hands can move that fast, right? And those other nice-looking people win, right? (Ringers—the other part of the con.) It was endless fun watching the tourists fall for it.
Passerelle is three-card monte with flowers. Granted, in perfumery flowers aren’t actually flowers, they’re ‘floral notes’. That’s the long-con of perfumery. The jasmine starts watery and sweet and the honeysuckle is a temperate climate’s closest thing to a tropical sensibility. Then the floral notes cycle through tones: sweet, then leafy, then rosy crisp, then cold and vegetal. It’s the floral three card monte.
The heart notes begin when when a growing mimosa notes kicks in. Perhaps this notes was hidden underneath the shuffling of the headnotes, but I don’t smell the mimosa for the first 10 minutes or so of Passerelle. Maybe it’s simply the catch-me-if-you-can nature of mimosa. I often have a hard time identifying mimosa in a perfume. It seems to have an ambiguous quality, like a statement followed by a retraction. Sweet, but not entirely. Waxy, but not really. Powdery, almost.
Unfortunately, the mischievous quality of the start of the perfume burns itself out pretty quickly and the Puck-like start of the perfume seems like a ruse. The perfume becomes undistinguished in the particular way that a mixed florals can grow faceless. A touch of green remains, but it is too sweet, suggesting that the freshness of the opening of the perfume was too much effort to maintain, and Passerelle threw in the towel.
19 June, 2014