The opening blast - more an explosion - strikes me with three impressions: resins, incense and smokiness. The resins have a slightly sweet and dark side, that soon takes on a slightly boozy character and displays characteristics of cumin.
With time I get the undertone of the Egyptian balsam the scent pyramid promises; it s nice and lacking any medicinal undertone on me. There is a fairly soft benzoin that adds a brooding sense to the mix with a nonspecific notion of ripe fruitiness lurking in the background at time.
I get moderate sillage, excellent projection, and an impressive thirteen hours of longevity on my skin.
One of the rich oriental autumn/winter scent of this house, which result is quite an unusual balsamic-resin blend that is lovely, although not very nuanced. 3.75/5
Many have missed the grand, oriental style of Lutens of yore. After several odd fresh and floral releases, he has returned to his old style of eastern spices and resins.
PP smells good, I'll give it that. But it's now a well-played tune. Immortelle, pine, spice. That pretty much sums it up. If you want a comparison, mix the curried notes of Chypre Rouge with the coniferous notes of Fille en Aguiles, add a dash of Arabie, and there you have it.
Not bad, but not terribly creative coming from Lutens at this point.
Leafy green, sour citrus, and cumin crawls from the bottom of the note pyramid to reveal themselves. This is brief, at first spray. Cumin leaves as fast as it came. Buzzy balsam, resins, and pepper begin doing their thing. Yes, there is something here resembling an aldehyde. It is layered, sandwiched in between other notes. I don't get much fruit - they are subtle.
Cumin returns, but not too heavy. It's a thin thread. Leather and patchouli mix in well here complimenting each other. A thin layer of caramel is here also. It is light at first, then becomes stronger.
Overall LPP is lovely. As with a lot of perfumes I've sampled lately, it reminds me of something I already own. Not a completely new or innovative "creation". I must state that the cumin note is actually nice - I don't normally enjoy cumin. Also, I am a sucker for resins and balsam fragrances so there is that. I give this 3.5 stars.
Le Participe Passé opens with fresh mandarine surprisingly coated with tiny sparkles of aldehyde, reminiscent of the similar aldehydic opening of Laine de Verre and Dent de Lait, but of course much much softer in the case of Le Participe Passé.
The fragrance is then swiftly dominated by resins, which I perceive mostly as benzoin and opoponax, surrounded by immortelle and over a slightly boozy woody undertone. They combine to form a soothing, suavely basamic woody smell, which is not unlike Lutens' own Chêne but Le Participe Passé is more resinous in comparison. There are occasional suggestions of caramel and chocolate but they never fully unleash their sweetness. Dried fruits are also hinted, but it smells more like the smooth leathery texture of dried date skin than stewed molasses.
There isn't much of any change once the fragrance settles into the smooth and comforting resinous woody dry down. The sillage is relatively soft, while the longevity is about 8 hours on a hot day.
On its own, I find Le Participe Passé very enjoyable and very fitting to Lutens' signature woody oriental style. But its ressemblance to Chêne leaves me conflicted. I love Chêne and the ressemblance itself is not necessarily problematic, it's that Le Participe Passé feels like a glossed version, with the interesting woody details covered up by sweet resins. While this makes Le Participe Passé more cozy, it loses some characters in return, and it's not like that Chêne was the more difficult or eccentric one among Lutens' offerings to begin with, which it certainly is not.
But still, its price and availability compared to Chêne is definitely an advantage. If you happen to be looking for a versatile, cozy, easy-to-wear woody balsamic fragrance, you may want to give Le Participe Passé a try.