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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Frederic Malle Editions de Parfums En Passant

I used to live in a house that had 2 enormous lilac bushes in the backyard.  One had purple blossoms with white trim, another had purple.  Being the in Pacific Northwest,  we would be inundated with rain from October to May and the fairly temperate climate would allow bulbs and flowers to start blooming as early as February.  It was hard to gauge when summer was on its way but I quickly learned that when the lilacs bloomed, it meant winter was truly almost over, so I looked forward to those beautiful amethyst blossoms every year.  I would cut  branches off to prune them, then fill some crystal vases in my house with the gorgeous blooms which would then fill my home with a light, lovely lilac.   However, the scent in the house was never quite the same as smelling them outside as they were blooming in the cool rain under a gray sky, with the grass a vibrant carpet beside it, exuding its own powerful green and earthy scent. 
En Passant is a fragrance that has been reviewed to death, however, it is one of my favorites and I wear it frequently.  I find it to be the most realistic portrayal of those blooms in my old backyard.  The initial spray is a veritable blast of cool air and lilac and it feels as if a breeze has traveled across my arm, surrounding me in the wraps of early April.  The scent feels calming yet anticipatory, as if there’s something waiting behind the breeze and flowers, and holds the wearer in suspense for a time, until it unveils a hint of loam and rain.  But then, much like the flower in the spring, it blooms further to reveal the full lilac blossom, loads and loads of them, surrounding you with the sure promise of the upcoming sunshine. 

I had  one more lilac  in a very different environment, the High Desert, where it grew in my front yard with the help of an extensive irrigation system.  This lilac was much smaller, with its constant struggle to retain moisture, and we would get fewer blooms, but what a welcome respite it was from the endless terrain of juniper and sage surrounding our house…..these lilac blooms were fleeting, and only produced a single quick round of blossoms, and had their own character.  They smelled sweeter and drier, the effects of the low humidity keeping their scent closer to the bloom itself,  and infused with a dry warmth.  As En Passant further progresses,  I am treated to these lilacs.  The scent is slightly sweeter but you can now feel the sun that has burned through the clouds, and the spring is a sweet memory, but the summer has brought joy and the sweet, dry air with it.  For hours I am held in that beautiful scented desert air, surrounded by a cool mist of lilac, until it gently fades, much like the lilac bloom itself.

I save my En Passant for days when the winter seems infinite.  At times where I am walking around in the snow, doing my mundane errands and glaring at the gray sky, this lovely lilac serves to remind me that in a few short weeks, the cold air will begin to give way to that unmistakable spring aura, and we’ll be seeing the blooms once again.    Another beautiful, beautiful scent in the Editions de Parfums series, and another winner by Olivia Giacobetti.

Reviewed from my own bottle of En Passant.