Passage d’Enfer is a perfume I reached accidentally, following a suggestion from a sales assistant while in a luxury perfumery. Of course I heard before of L’Artisan Parfumeur, the French niche perfume house established in 1976 by Jean Laporte (who subsequently abandoned the brand for founding Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier), but the fact is, until that time, none of their products felt persuasive enough.
This time, the word “incense”, whispered as I was preparing to sniff Avignon, convinced me that it was about time to offer it a chance. Passage d’Enfer was introduced in 1999 as a unisex oriental woody; it was developed by perfumer Olivia Giacobetti and the list of notes encompasses frankincense, aloe wood, white lily, benzoin and white musk.
Regarding its name, the French expression might be translated with more than one correspondent in English (“passage through hell” or “the gates of hell”) and this is pretty suggestive for what this perfume pretends to be. As an aside, on a search in the official website, I discovered the following explanation: “the provocative name serves a dual purpose: a reference to this passage of millennia and also the Paris street with the same name, where L’Artisan had its original headquarters”. Sounds interesting!
Coming back to the discussion about the notes, Passage d’Enfer proved to be different from the type of incense-based fragrance that brings me to mind purification and meditation (and for some people church!). Instead, it exhibits a mixture between a dark side and the lightness of a beautiful fragrance. The floral facet is perceivable in the heart, while the woody musk base represents the highlight of Passage d’Enfer.
The bottle that holds the essence is L’Artisan Parfumeur’s signature flacon, made from transparent glass and featuring an octagonal shape with perfectly cut edges. The stopper is golden while the perfume’s name appears written vertically, on a red label. In case you appreciate original approaches on incense, do test Passage d’Enfer since it behaves particularly fresh, compared to other type of scents from the same category.
L’Artisan Parfumeur Passage d’Enfer Perfume Details
- Passage d’Enfer by L’Artisan Parfumeur is available in 50 and 100 ml Eau de Toilette Spray; the lasting power is below average (1 to 6 hours) and the sillage is good.
- Olfactory Group: Oriental Woody
- For: Unisex
- Year Introduced: 1999
- Perfumer: Olivia Giacobetti
- Recommended Wear: Day
- Dress Code: Casual