En Passant was released in 2000 by Frederic Malle, who opened his fragrance house, Editions de Parfums, in Paris that same year. En Passant was created by Olivia Giacobetti, one of the 7 perfumers originally given carte blanche by Malle to create whatever fragrance they wanted. According to Chandler Burr, En Passant “was born in the instant that Giacobetti somewhere on a street in her native Italy passed a bakery and a florist and got pastry, flowers, and street all at once”. The notes are white lilac, watery notes, orange tree leaves, cucumber, and wheat.
En Passant starts with sweet, lush lilac, but that stage does not last long; after that, it smells like lilac blossoms floating in water next to a loaf of bread. It is light and fresh, with green notes and a hint of cucumber, although it smells nothing like the cucumber-scented body products you might find at the mall. The wheat notes intensify as it dries down, but it is otherwise linear.
It is a brilliant composition, but also a pretty scent, and very wearable. En Passant was one of the first perfumes that inspired me to find out who actually created it, and to follow the work of a nose rather than a perfume house.
Frederic Malle En Passant is available in 10ml, 50ml, and 100ml sprays, as well as in body lotion. For purchasing information, see the listing for Frederic Malle under Perfume Houses.