3.7

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157 reviews
60%
would repurchase
3.8/5
package quality

price range

Reviews


1.0
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a year ago

I wanted to love this one, I really did. I'm a long time devotee of Timbuktu by the same house and the reviews I read of this fragrance made it sound like it would be the perfect match for me. I got no incense or even a hint of mystery out of this one, it was just pure soap with poor longevity and zero sillage. I'm envious of those who seem transported by this one, when I read your words it sounds delightful.

About reviewer (21 reviews)

Age36-43

SkinNormal, Medium, Warm

HairBlond, Straight, Medium

EyesBlack



3.0
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5 years ago

Love! I still have half of my 3.4oz bottle from a decade ago. That was my "incense period", when I bought & wore four Comme des Garcons Series #3 Incenses, Passage d'Enfer, Etro Messe di Minuit & Shaal Nur, and also Heeley Cardinal. I love incenses -- was really into them around 2004-6(?). I don't want to drain my expensive bottles, so I've been saving them in my closet over the last several years -- but this winter, in the super-cold & snowy weather, I've pulled them out & have been wearing them again. Ahhh, so nice -- especially in cold weather. Passage d'Enfer, per parfumo.net, launched in 1999, and was created by Olivia Giacobetti Notes --- Woods, Lily, Musk, Frankincense I own four L'Artisan perfumes (Passage d'Enfer, Bois Farine, Vanilia, La Chasse Aux Papillons), and I enjoy them in the order listed. I bought them a decade ago (at least), and I treasure them all -- don't want to use them up, so mostly I've just been saving them. PdE is light, fresh, and airy -- to my nose, it's almost like Prada Infusion d'Iris without its ctirus topnotes (Infusion d'Iris has benzoin and frankincense in its base). Both perfumes have a sheer, light, transparent quality -- but also a pepperiness. PdE isn't sweet -- it's rather dry and earthy (I'm thinking of birchwood or driftwood) -- yet it's light -- and tingly/peppery. Definately unisex. This is my lightest, freshest, most wearable incense and probably my second favorite, behind CdG Avignon (which is more full-bodied and flavorful) -- although I really do like them all.

About reviewer (285 reviews)

Age

SkinNormal, Fair, Cool

HairBrunette, Straight, Medium

EyesBrown


4.0
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7 years ago

Passage d'Enfer smells more like redemption than sin to me (in lieu of the darker, more ominous overtones its name suggests), but it's a lovely juxtaposition. It takes on a calming (albeit ephemeral) presence on my skin; it dries down quickly into pronounced lily and white musk notes, and I don't get as much of the frankincense. It's sweet, but not cloying. I wish it lasted longer, but it's so lovely that it's becoming a fast favorite.

About reviewer (223 reviews)

Age30-35

SkinCombination, Fair, Cool

HairRed, Straight, Fine

EyesBlue


5.0
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7 years ago

Leave it to Olivia Giacobetti to create a frankincense fragrance that's light and airy, so unlike the heavy incenses you commonly find. I get the cool dank stone of an ancient building; fresh water with a mineral touch, like water from the garden hose; a hint of flowers; and a spicy, cedary, lightweight frankincense that dries down with a salty, hay-like feel, similar to one of the distinctive notes in Dzing! (another of Giacobetti's creations). It doesn't carry far and is never strong, and if anything I wish it was a tad stronger and lasted a little longer. But at the same time, I love its gentle and meditative nature, and a heavy fragrance might intrude too much. It's not hellish at all, but is certainly suitable for contemplations on spirituality or the Underworld. This fragrance is fast becoming a big favorite of mine.

About reviewer (142 reviews)

Age36-43

SkinCombination

HairBrown

EyesHazel


4.0
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9 years ago

The frankincense and lily in Passage d'Enfer are an intriguing play on the themes of dark and light. The feel of this is dry, dry, dry - all woods and incense (dark), cooled by a breath of lily (light). It feels slightly detached, aloof - it calms but does not comfort. Pd'E smells very similar to the smoke given off when white sage is burned. The religious connotations of lily and frankincense, along with the name of the fragrance, invite some interesting interpretations. I appreciate a perfume that makes you think. This deceptively simple yet endlessly interesting fragrance inspires meditation and focus, and I love wearing it to yoga. Pd'E is very light and stays close to the skin, so it will not waft far in a hot room filled with sweating bodies. Plus it blends well with the incense the instructors burn at my studio. Also great for work because of the low to non-existent sillage. Unlike other L'Artisan fragrances, Pd'E lasts a long time on my skin - a good 4-6 hours. For this reason, I was able to justify buying a full bottle after draining a decant. As others have said, it can be a strangely addicting fragrance.

About reviewer (5 reviews)

Age30-35

SkinCombination, Olive

HairBrunette

EyesBrown


2.0
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9 years ago

Notes: lily, aloe wood, frankincense, benzoin and white musk.   This fragrance opens with a grey, smoky melange comprised of frankincense and wood. The lily is not detectable per se, but is definitely present to lighten the overall accord. The wood has a peppery, pungent quality which is good, as otherwise the accord would have been too bland. This is a cold fragrance that becomes sweeter due to the incense-benzoin mix which pushes the peppery wood into the background. If this scent was a place it would be the underground crypt of a(n old) cathedral. Lasts for more than 4 hours on my skin.

About reviewer (308 reviews)

Age25-29

SkinCombination, Fair-Medium, Warm

HairBlond, Wavy, Medium

EyesBlue


3.0
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9 years ago

white lily, frankincense, aloe, white musk With such notes it was hard not to sample. One if the few of its kind without rose and woodiness and I love that. It actually makes for a more unique scent than it would otherwise be if any of the two had been added. The beautiful aloe colours this composition. Less is more as Passage d'Enfer proves. It has a delicate smokiness from the lovely frankincense. The notes stick around to the end with each one taking turns for centre stage while not overshadowing the others. The scent is soft, neither harsh nor abrasive yet it is deep, cold and dark. Its effect is one of inviting coldness. Paradoxical but true :)! It is too dense for me unfortunately. If it was a bit airier, I would be in love with it. If you like very very dense scents, or "dark" scents as most have come to know them, you just might fall in love with this one. Don't try it if you are not ready for a love affair. You have been warned lol!

About reviewer (46 reviews)

Age25-29

SkinCombination, Deep Dark, Not Sure

HairBlack, Kinky, Coarse

EyesBrown


5.0
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10 years ago

Unlike most L'Artisans, this lasts a very long time on me, and I have enjoyed every minute. It is light at first, mostly just cedar, and becomes stronger as the incense warms up; later I can smell the floral-soap base others have mentioned--like creamy lilies and musk with a hint of rose attar that melts softly into the skin. I thought it might turn into Dove soap, but it is much creamier and subtler. The incense stays strong through the drydown--dry, warm and peppery, a nice counterpoint to the creamy base. The scent overall is light--yet perisistent, a bit unsettling--yet comforting, serene and feminine (but neither girly, vampy, nor matronly). For some reason I keep imagining dusky skies and music played by a string orchestra.

About reviewer (354 reviews)

Age36-43

SkinCombination, Fair-Medium

HairBrunette

EyesHazel


3.0
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from

10 years ago

Incense and soap! It is a weird combination but somehow it (almost) works. It is surprisingly light and can be definitely worn during the day, although I am not sure if it is a winter or summer fragrance ( notes would suggest winter but I liked it slightly better in the summer). Staying power is average and rather expected from L'Artisan ( almost 2 hours on my perfume-eating skin). It is not my type of fragrance, as I prefer spicy in winter and floral/citrusy in summer but it is definitely interesting. I would not purchase a full bottle but I will enjoy my sample.

About reviewer (288 reviews)

Age30-35

SkinCombination, Fair-Medium, Warm

HairRed, Curly, Coarse

EyesHazel


5.0
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10 years ago

I joined MUA to find my signature scent--a concept I've always loved, even though one hears the term "fragrance wardrobe" more often these days. I also asked my husband for input, since I really had no idea where to start. He said, "You should smell like cool, misty dusk or dawn in an interesting place." I referred this poetic description to the MUA fragrance board, and they recommended notes like sandalwood and incense. DH then elaborated on his suggestion, saying my perfume should evoke "a chapel that smells at the same time like the fresh wood when it was newly built, and like the incense that's been burned there for years--that chapel at dawn." He actually got a little choked up, describing this fragrance for me. Two of the specific fragrances the board recommended were woodsy/incense scents--Tam Dao and Passage d'Enfer. Tam Dao is more Asian temple incense. Passage d'Enfer is churchy, so that's what I ordered a bottle of, all the while thinking, "They can't get everything he said into a bottle." Well, that's exactly what they did, plus a "bonus" gray-stone note which completes the mood perfectly. The wood note is light and bright, as is the lily. The incense is also airy, and only a little smoky--as if the incense is not burning now, but has been recently. The tawny feline sweetness of benzoin becomes more noticeable in the drydown, as it mingles with the musk. I liked this fragrance immediately, but it took me awhile to fully appreciate and love it. It's comfortable in any weather, appropriate for any occasion. But it's not merely wearable. It's also lovely, elegant, and distinctive. It's composed of contrasts, marvelously resolved--rich yet light, smoky yet fresh, or, to quote my husband yet again, "intoxicating yet austere. It makes me want to bite you." I wasn't sure it was The One at first, and ended up feverishly sampling over 600 fragrances, in case there was one out there I might like better (DH plaintively saying, "Why would you stop wearing something that's emblematic of you?"). But PdE is the only one that never gets on my nerves, that I never tire of, that I keep coming back to. I sniff the bottle, and it breaks my heart, and makes me fall in love all over again. Notes: top--ginger, rose; middle--cedar, white lily, aloeswood, olibanum; base--sandalwood, benzoin, white musk.

About reviewer (545 reviews)

Age44-55

SkinVery Oily, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

HairBrown, Straight, Medium

EyesHazel




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