Tommi Sooni Passerelle, 2012

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Perfumer Steven Broadhurst

Have you ever watched a streetcorner card hustler working the crowd playing three card monte? It used to be big in New York in the 80s. It’s a spin on the shell-game. It’s a classic short-con. It’s only three cards, right? No one’s hands can move that fast, right? And those other nice-looking people win, right? (Ringers—the other part of the con.) It was endless fun watching the tourists fall for it.

Passerelle is three-card monte with flowers. Granted, in perfumery flowers aren’t actually flowers, they’re ‘floral notes’. That’s the long-con of perfumery. The jasmine starts watery and sweet and the honeysuckle is a temperate climate’s closest thing to a tropical sensibility. Then the floral notes cycle through tones: sweet, then leafy, then rosy crisp, then cold and vegetal. It’s the floral three card monte.

Unfortunately, the mischievous quality of the perfume burns itself out pretty quickly and the cleverness seems like a ruse. The perfume becomes undistinguished in the particular way that a mixed florals can grow faceless. A touch of green remains, but it is too sweet, suggesting that the freshness of the opening of the perfume was too much effort to maintain, and Passerelle threw in the towel.

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