Seemingly a resurrection of classic Lutens' oriental style, but without its adventurous soul...
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.