We Three Kings : Frankincense – Passage d’Enfer by L’Artisan Parfumeur

Created by : Olivia Giacobetti

Date : 1999

Genre : Incense leather

Passage d’Enfer by L’Artisan Parfumeur was my very first niche perfume.  It was thanks to a very observant sales associate who had me sample several fragrances before suggesting that I might like this one.  When I smelled it, I purchased it immediately.  My reaction was visceral because Passage d’Enfer reminded me of the smell of religious ceremonies of my past – biblical frankincense, a hint of pine and a big diffusing waxy note that reminded me of candles and which oddly mirrored my slightly blurred memories of Christmases past.  For me, Passage d’Enfer acts like a time machine.

But what makes Passage d’Enfer transformative applies to sex as well as time.  There is something forbidden and subversive about Passage d’Enfer.  When I wear it, I can almost hear the Gregorian chants in the background.  For those who liked the movie The Name of the Rose (1986), you’ll love this fragrance.  It’s a period piece from the Dark Ages.  As for its classification… I’m calling it an incense leather with facets of  perversity and obsession… with a moral decay backstory.  (Ouch!)  Yep… this one is from the dark side.

Although I tell everyone to wear whatever they want whenever they want… this one defies my recommendation.  Wear this one only if you want to get noticed.  Guys… you won’t attract girls with this one… but you’ll attract women.  Gay guys… young men will be anosmic to Passage d’Enfer but men over 40 who know what to do when the lights go out will definitely get it.  As for women, if he or she doesn’t notice you with this one, they’re hopeless.  So when the moment is right… spray this one behind your knees… light the candles… put on the Gregorian chants… close your eyes… and pray that in the morning you’re still the person you were before you decided to sleep with the devil…


For more We Three Kings posts check out other fellow bloggers.

Scent of the Day

Redolent of Spices



All I Am – A Redhead

Chicken Freak’s Obsession 

Notes from Josephine

Bonkers About Perfume 

My Perfume Life

Top image : Three Kings Icon ©2010 Megan Ruisch

Bottom image : Oliver Reed and Vanessa Redgrave in The Devils (1971)

Leave a comment


  1. “incense leather with facets of perversity and obsession” – I’ll have what you’re having!

    I’d pretty much given up on L’Artisan, but this is the second fragrances of theirs in a few days that has me reconsidering….

    The way you closed that last paragraph gave me quite a chill! Fantastic!

    • Glad you liked it… this one pushes a few buttons for me. Definitely not your “Meet the Teacher Night” kind of fragrance… hehehe.

  2. “Moral decay backstory”! : – )

    Keep ’em coming….

  3. Good Lord, I’m sold. And here I thought Olivia Giacobetti was all about shimmering subtlety and quiet fragrances. Time for me to get wise, so to speak! 🙂

    • I think Olivia Giacobetti did some pretty interesting things for L’AP. I love her Premier Figuier but her Vamp À NY… eesshh. For young girls, I think.


  4. I have goosebumps all over. 🙂
    Very interesting and I don’t even think I ever smelled it. I have to see if I have a sample of this…
    Plus, I really like the work of Olivia G.

  5. Wow what an evocative post,, thanks Normand! I smell pine and ashes and lilies in PdE, sort of like church and death.

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