Graceful, fluid, En Passant is a luminous, mobile and charming perfume. It was born of Frédéric Malle’s collaboration with Olivia Giacobetti, who, in 2000, was the first woman to enter the exclusive circle of the world’s best perfumers chosen by the Perfume Publisher to compose the classics of tomorrow. Frédéric Malle chose her for the qualities of her perfume writing: a modern writing style that doesn’t follow fashions. A feminine, youthful, free and very personal writing. According to Malle, «Olivia has that rare ability to create an ambiance, to capture an atmosphere, like a great photographer.»
In the collection of Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, En Passant is one of the soliflores, perfumes built around a single flower—here, lilac. But an idealized, reworked lilac, cleansed of its dusty, slightly honeyed notes. A purified, aerated lilac, as if it had transcended itself. Evocative of spring, the fleeting moments of childhood, youth and innocence, the lilac of En Passant naturally leads us into the green gardens of the Île de France region.
With En Passant, Frédéric Malle chose to add to his perfume collection a fresh, pure, transparent feminine composition, as light and elusive as a breeze. But a persistent breeze, bursting with the scent of lilac beneath the soft rays of the spring sun. A breeze that caresses although signaling its presence. A breeze that passes through at the same time as its trace renders it indelible.
Photo: Henri Cartier-Bresson
En Passant is a vegetal perfume both airy and architectural. Imagine the implacable lines of a minimalist sculpture by Donald Judd, or a repetitive musical loop by Philip Glass.
When Frédéric Malle speaks of En Passant, he first refers to the photographs of Henri Cartier-Bresson. Which is to say that, beneath the lightness of the breeze, in this apparently weightless air that can only be that of spring, is concealed the idea of the passage of time and the decisive moment that immortalizes the instant.
«Olivia Giacobetti possesses the special ability to create an ambiance, to capture an atmosphere, like a great photographer.»
Publisher & Founder, Frédéric Malle
Olivia Giacobetti has an uncanny ability to create an atmosphere. Having completed her training at Robertet, she founded her own perfume laboratory, Iskia, and dedicated her career to doing precisely that. She is the brains and the nose behind the fig accords that have been present in home scents for years. The perfumes that move her most are «echoes of everyday life and nature: fleeting emotions, moods, details, attitudes… the many small fragments of life that bear new images». Her compositions capture the authenticity of a single moment. They are, in other words, odes to transience.
Perfume 100ml: 210€, $290, £175 – Perfume 50ml: 140€, $205, £123
Perfume 30ml: 115€, $145, £88 – Perfume 10ml: 42€, $57, £35
Body Wash 200ml: 50€, $65, £40
TO SHOP EN PASSANT ONLINE, CLICK HERE PLEASE.
And to all my Swiss readers, Happy 1st of August!
Photos: © Frédéric Malle and © Sandra Bauknecht
© Henri Cartier-Bresson