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L'Artisan Passage d'Enfer

Item Description

Oh, Passage d'Enfer. With a name that means "The Gates of Hell" one might expect this to be the essence of brimstone and carrion. But, alas, the name simply refers to the street in Paris on which L'Artisan Parfumeur had its headquarters, and the aroma experience is a polar opposite: it's the scent of sanctity, purity, and meditation.

This is another one of Olivia Giacobetti's creations, featuring notes of aloe, white lilies, frankincense, and myrrh. What this equates to is a light, clean floral counteracting a smoky, wafting incense.

One of the parallels I could make is a comparison of Passage d'Enfer to Diptyque's Tam Dao. Tam Dao is a very dry sandalwood, with minor hints of sweetness, mixed with other substantial woody essences. It is dry, but it is warm and comforting. Passage d'Enfer's incense notes are VERY similar to Tam Dao's, but is a polar opposite of this in that the incense is smoky and spicy, but it is not sweet at all. It is peppery and also very, very dry. There is also little warmth here: the incense is cooler, lighter, more like a light vapor. It is the scent of the smoke after it has wafted a distance away from the source. Using an overused word: it is evanescent. The white florals offer a green, delicate quality to go with the incense creating a more austere, formal, ceremonial quality. Tam Dao is what I would wear in the fall or winter on a casual outing. It is warm, slightly sweet, and inviting. Passage d'Enfer would come out in a dressy evening event. It is stoic, and perhaps a bit snobby, but it is still elegant, soft around the edges, and wants you to like it.

Bottom line: It's a nice scent. It gets compliments by the ladies. It is amazingly unisex and I could see it working for either gender flawlessly. The cons are that the fragrance itself is light, perhaps maybe too light. I get 2-3 hours tops before I have to reapply. It does work better if sprayed on the chest and sprayed on a shirt. It does not develop much, and as it fades down to embers, the scent is still a very light, floral incense with some musk. Other issue is the price at $95 for 1.7 ounces. This is a luxury item from a niche house, so that is to be expected. However, if you're okay with plunking down the money for a Penhaligon's, Creed, Annick Goutal, etc... and you want to smell like something that is pretty unique... this is one to try. Get a decant first. It is unisex, but with lilies and aloe, some might find it too frou-frou for their taste, no matter how much woodsy, spicy incense is thrown in there with it.

Discussion of this review can be found over here!

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I am a big fan of incense. When the weather cools down, I can't help but reach for the incense based colognes and Passage d'Enfer is one of the best. The frankincense and myrrh is balanced with lily, aloe and musk. It is a cool, dry, ethereal incense scent that is evocative of a passage. I've seen it described as a passage from the ground (green/flowers) to the heavens (incense). For me, it is a passage from the front to the back of a cool, stone, high arched cathedral. On first application, it is a brisk Spring day, near Easter and I'm standing near the altar. I smell the lilies, the scent drifting with faint incense burning in the back. As it dries down, time passes and I drift toward the back of the church. In the darkening church, with candles flickering, I can smell incense burning, much drier and resinous with just the faintest overtones of lily and musk. At this point, it is much more detached but comforting. Where Eau des Baux is an incense that gets sweeter as the day progresses, Passage d'Enfer becomes deeper and smokier.

On to the ratings;

Price: In the middle for a high end niche cologne at $140/ 100 ml. 7

Quality: Nothing artificial smelling here. Very clean. 10

Packaging: High quality bottle but all L'Artisan scents have similar bottles. 9

Scent:
This is one of my favorites. I wear this more as a work/ daytime fragrance. 10

Complexity:
While it is relatively simple with only a half dozen components, it isn't linear. It definitely evolves through the day. 9

Staying power:
where some only get 4 to 5 hours, I still get the smokey incense, particularly on my clothing, at the end of a 10-12 hour work day. 8

Quality of atomizer:
well made. 9
Price
3.00 star(s)
Scent
5.00 star(s)
Quality
5.00 star(s)
Packaging
4.00 star(s)
Complexity
4.00 star(s)
Staying Power
4.00 star(s)
Quality of Atomizer
4.00 star(s)
Oh, Passage d'Enfer. With a name that means "The Gates of Hell" one might expect this to be the essence of brimstone and carrion. But, alas, the name simply refers to the street in Paris on which L'Artisan Parfumeur had its headquarters, and the aroma experience is a polar opposite: it's the scent of sanctity, purity, and meditation.

This is another one of Olivia Giacobetti's creations, featuring notes of aloe, white lilies, frankincense, and myrrh. What this equates to is a light, clean floral counteracting a smoky, wafting incense.

One of the parallels I could make is a comparison of Passage d'Enfer to Diptyque's Tam Dao. Tam Dao is a very dry sandalwood, with minor hints of sweetness, mixed with other substantial woody essences. It is dry, but it is warm and comforting. Passage d'Enfer's incense notes are VERY similar to Tam Dao's, but is a polar opposite of this in that the incense is smoky and spicy, but it is not sweet at all. It is peppery and also very, very dry. There is also little warmth here: the incense is cooler, lighter, more like a light vapor. It is the scent of the smoke after it has wafted a distance away from the source. Using an overused word: it is evanescent. The white florals offer a green, delicate quality to go with the incense creating a more austere, formal, ceremonial quality. Tam Dao is what I would wear in the fall or winter on a casual outing. It is warm, slightly sweet, and inviting. Passage d'Enfer would come out in a dressy evening event. It is stoic, and perhaps a bit snobby, but it is still elegant, soft around the edges, and wants you to like it.

Bottom line: It's a nice scent. It gets compliments by the ladies. It is amazingly unisex and I could see it working for either gender flawlessly. The cons are that the fragrance itself is light, perhaps maybe too light. I get 2-3 hours tops before I have to reapply. It does work better if sprayed on the chest and sprayed on a shirt. It does not develop much, and as it fades down to embers, the scent is still a very light, floral incense with some musk. Other issue is the price at $95 for 1.7 ounces. This is a luxury item from a niche house, so that is to be expected. However, if you're okay with plunking down the money for a Penhaligon's, Creed, Annick Goutal, etc... and you want to smell like something that is pretty unique... this is one to try. Get a decant first. It is unisex, but with lilies and aloe, some might find it too frou-frou for their taste, no matter how much woodsy, spicy incense is thrown in there with it.

Discussion of this review can be found over here!
Price
3.00 star(s)
Scent
5.00 star(s)
Quality
4.00 star(s)
Packaging
4.00 star(s)
Complexity
4.00 star(s)
Staying Power
3.00 star(s)
Quality of Atomizer
4.00 star(s)

Item information

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saxifrage
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