I thought I’d take a look at Serge Lutens‘ Le Participe Passé which I enjoyed more than a number of his releases over the last few years, largely because it recycles many of his classic themes and scent combinations.
Le Participe Passé is a unisex, semi-gourmand, resinous, ambery eau de parfum that was released in 2018. I find it to be very much in the style of Serge Lutens’ old Arabie.
(Review THREAD) 1. Serge Lutens' Participe Passe (2018) returns to familiar themes, like those of Arabie or Chêne.
— Kafkaesque (@Kafkaesque_Blog) January 6, 2022
A few points related to the discussion in the review thread are worth mentioning.
First, I should emphasize that all of Serge Lutens’ old classics have been reformulated, at least once, if not several times depending on the age of the scent. This is why legendary fragrances like Chergui, Muscs Koublai Khan, and others, no longer smell the way they did when everyone was raving about them and why so many newbies to Chergui, in specific, are completely befuddled by all the fuss. I think it was back in 2013 when the manager of the Palais Royal Lutens boutique and a close aide to Oncle Serge confided in me that all the fragrances (existing at that time) had been reformulated except (back then) for Lutens’ personal favourite Serge Noire. Further reformulations are more than likely since 2017 when Shiseido took over greater controlling of the Lutens brand, everything was rebranded, and the focus shifted to having more of a luxury or super-luxury (Section d’Or, for example) pricing scheme.
How does this related to Le Participe Passé? Well, if you missed out on Arabie the way it once was, then maybe this new release won’t feel or be redundant for you. Maybe it will be worth the new pricing/bottle scheme for you. On the other hand, if you love and own vintage Arabie, it will be a highly individual decision whether Le Participe Passé is worth adding to your collection. The fragrance is solid even though I could see why some old Lutens fans might be underwhelmed. But it isn’t one of the recent Lutens releases that makes me want to pull out my hair. (By the way, the availability of discounted bottles might also play a role in your considerations, but more on that in a minute.)
Second, it goes without saying but I think it is worth repeating that, as always, individual skin chemistry will impact how similar Le Participe Passé is to Arabie or Chene on your skin. (Personally, I experienced far fewer echoes of Chene than Arabie, but both fragrances are mentioned often in reviews on Fragrantica and elsewhere.) Perhaps Le Participe Passé will be different enough on you to blow your socks off.
Moving onto retail matters, Le Participe Passé costs for $230 for a 100 mls of eau de parfum. Luckyscent currently has it on sale for $180. However, they are out of samples. I purchased my sample eons ago from Surrender to Chance where prices start at $3.59 for a 1/2 ml vial. Lastly, a large number of people, including myself, have purchased Lutens on sale from FragranceX, a reputable discount site. FragranceX has Le Participe Passé on sale for $86.39 with free shipping.
If my review up above has tempted some of you, then I suspect that that significant price differential might play a role in your considerations. If so, happy shopping.