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  1. #1
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    Default En Passant by Frederic Malle

    When I first heard about the Malle line of scents, I remember sampling En Passant and immediately dismissing it, because I could hardly smell anything. Since then, I've come to appreciate the beauty, skill and complexity of minimal scents like EP.

    I finally got to try it again, today, for the 2nd time.

    The top cucumber notes are not quite as natural smelling as the cucumber, more like cucumber hair gel might smell, if there was such a thing. Cold. Watery and wet. The cucumber accord is apparent throughout the life of the fragrance, all the way down to the basenotes. I'm not sure how Giacobetti did this, but it's amazing.

    The lilac note is not my favorite floral smell - it (like jasmine) smells a little like sh*t (the indoles) but perhaps not so stinky. It smells like Spring - if that makes sense. But EP showcases the lilac note to its best effect. Just the right amount...without smelling like air freshener or a Williams Sonoma candle.

    EP registers to a very low frequency once it's been on the skin for a bit - so I intentionally over applied it this morning. A fascinating note revealed itself on my skin (when I pressed my nose into my skin), which reminded me of lettuce leaves, water and dirt. Neat.

    I don't think I would reach for a scent like this very often, so I can't imagine owning a full bottle. But one of those cute 10 ml glass atomizers might be a nice addition. Everyone needs a bottle of Spring in their wardrobe. Right?
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 13th June 2008 at 09:32 PM.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: En Passant by Frederic Malle

    Aloha, Mike. I am very new here and mostly soaking up knowledge from the likes of you. From this forum, I learned about ordering samples. My first shipment included this one, and it was the first one I tried. It was April, I think. Great timing, no? This fragrance was and is truly a revelation for me. It's certainly the first lilac fragrance I'd tried that, to me, said "quality". The cucumber is fresh and beautiful, and the base is listed as wheat. Is that the lettuce/water/dirt that you are getting? Whatever it is, I couldn't stop sniffing it! What struck me most was the way the fragrance seemed to float on my skin. It kept teasing me all day and I couldn't keep my mind on my work. If I had to describe En Passant in one word, I would choose "diaphanous". It is just heaven to my nose, and I plan to get a whole bottle.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: En Passant by Frederic Malle

    Wow, this thread's been up all afternoon and Schachman hasn't seen a thread with a chess term in the title? I'm shocked.

    And I'm sorry, but the phrase "minimal scent" just kills it for me. If we're talking art, great, I'm fine with it. But it conjures up pictures of the fancy schmancy restaurants with the little morsel in the middle of the big plate. I can't do that, not at Malle prices anyway.

    Nothing against Giacobetti, she has some amazing creations. Just waxing sociological.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: En Passant by Frederic Malle

    Quote Originally Posted by bluesoul View Post
    Wow, this thread's been up all afternoon and Schachman hasn't seen a thread with a chess term in the title? I'm shocked.

    And I'm sorry, but the phrase "minimal scent" just kills it for me. If we're talking art, great, I'm fine with it. But it conjures up pictures of the fancy schmancy restaurants with the little morsel in the middle of the big plate. I can't do that, not at Malle prices anyway.

    Nothing against Giacobetti, she has some amazing creations. Just waxing sociological.
    So, is that what 'En Passant' means? A chess term? I was wondering.

    Minimal scents need not be stuffy Bluesoul (although fans of minimal scents might be). When I think of minimal scents I usually think of minimal classical music (Philip Glass, John Cage, Satie) and/or ambient music (Eno, Aphex Twin). Soft, sparse, quiet and beautiful little things.
    "You are here to enable the Divine purpose of the Universe to unfold. That is how important you are."

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: En Passant by Frederic Malle

    Quote Originally Posted by Haunani View Post
    Aloha, Mike. I am very new here and mostly soaking up knowledge from the likes of you. From this forum, I learned about ordering samples. My first shipment included this one, and it was the first one I tried. It was April, I think. Great timing, no? This fragrance was and is truly a revelation for me. It's certainly the first lilac fragrance I'd tried that, to me, said "quality". The cucumber is fresh and beautiful, and the base is listed as wheat. Is that the lettuce/water/dirt that you are getting? Whatever it is, I couldn't stop sniffing it! What struck me most was the way the fragrance seemed to float on my skin. It kept teasing me all day and I couldn't keep my mind on my work. If I had to describe En Passant in one word, I would choose "diaphanous". It is just heaven to my nose, and I plan to get a whole bottle.
    Thanks Haunani. I think the wheat is perhaps the dirt/watery lettuce note I mentioned. Less like processed wheat, perhaps more like wheat in the ground (in a field) must smell like.
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 14th June 2008 at 04:21 PM.
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  6. #6
    bluesoul's Avatar
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    Default Re: En Passant by Frederic Malle

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    So, is that what 'En Passant' means? A chess term? I was wondering.

    Minimal scents need not be stuffy Bluesoul (although fans of minimal scents might be). When I think of minimal scents I usually think of minimal classical music (Philip Glass, John Cage, Satie) and/or ambient music (Eno, Aphex Twin). Soft, sparse, quiet and beautiful little things.
    I'll admit you hit a weak point of mine; I love Brian Eno. Point made.

    And yes, capturing en passant means that if a pawn moves forward two spaces, and the first space was one where it could be captured by another pawn, the capture may still be performed, with the capturing piece taking the spot of the first space the captured pawn moved through, hence a capture in passing. An uncommon but strategically important rule.
    Last edited by bluesoul; 14th June 2008 at 03:06 PM.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: En Passant by Frederic Malle

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    The top cucumber notes are not quite as natural smelling as the cucumber, more like cucumber hair gel might smell, if there was such a thing. Cold. Watery and wet. The cucumber accord is apparent throughout the life of the fragrance, all the way down to the basenotes. I'm not sure how Giacobetti did this, but it's amazing.
    The lilac note is not my favorite floral smell - it (like jasmine) smells a little like sh*t (the indoles) but perhaps not so stinky. It smells like Spring - if that makes sense. But EP showcases the lilac note to its best effect.
    EP registers to a very low frequency once it's been on the skin for a bit - so I intentionally over applied it this morning. A fascinating note revealed itself on my skin (when I pressed my nose into my skin), which reminded me of lettuce leaves, water and dirt. Neat.
    Everyone needs a bottle of Spring in their wardrobe. Right?
    I liked the idea of it, but lately I've grown tired of Ms. Giacobetti's work. Tea for Too and Costes all remind me of room sprays/candle accords. She needs to loosen up and get a little dirty. Too parochial for my tastes.
    En Passant, in passing, is just that for me, neither here nor there, just evocations of a chic interior.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 14th June 2008 at 03:17 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: En Passant by Frederic Malle

    I'm not in total agreement with Uncle Mike here.
    The word I use to describe this one is ethereal. This scent captures a garden smell better than either of the Heremes Jardin scents I've worn. We have lilacs all around our house and when I wore this as a test and in my first full wear a couple weks ago I am so impressed how Gicobetti has woven that rainy earth accord in with the lilac. This is what our yard smells like after a May thundershower.
    I agree that it is a light scent but it lasted all day on me and I can see choosing this quite a bit when I want something subtle for a night out. Especially to dinner as this one sit close to the skin and won't overpower my dinner companions.
    Bluesoul I think that calling this one "minimal" undersells some of the complexity that is present. To my "minimal" means lack of complexity and I don't think of that in regard to En Passant.
    As I am beginning the process of building the core scents of my wardrobe I believe this one is going to be one of them, for which I have ComDiva to thank for getting me to try En Passant. Then again ScentMother hasn't been wrong yet, except on Idole de Lubin.
    More writing on fragrance by me to be found at http://www.cafleurebon.com/

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