Cartier Baiser Vole : Fragrance Review

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Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

A lily that flirts with vanilla, Cartier Baiser Volé took me by surprise. After experiencing the pretty, but overly timid Cartier de Lune, I expected that Baiser Volé would fit its name, which means “stolen kiss” in French, by possessing a delicate and fleeting character. I was right about delicate, but fleeting and limpid it is not. For all of its soft and caressing presence, it has a distinctive and vivid character. While its start is sparkling and bright, Baiser Volé becomes warmer and richer as it develops, turning from a gauzy veil to a comforting cashmere wrap.

The first few minutes of Baiser Volé lead one to expect a crisp floral à la Christian Dior J’Adore or Estée Lauder Pleasures, given the crunchy green notes that introduce the main accord. As soon as the floral layers unfold, the neon radiance is left behind and Baiser Volé becomes lush and velvety. The lily is the main impression, but as I wear Baiser Volé, I find that it oscillates between a rose and a gardenia, with the illusion of lily occurring along the way. This kaleidoscopic effect is miles away from the nondescript acrylic florals one finds in most fragrances today. The play on sensations is as much an interesting part of experiencing Baiser Volé as its refined character.

I like all of the parts of the journey on which Baiser Volé takes me, but the vanilla accented drydown is especially appealing. It has the comforting “silk slip” quality of fragrances like Love, Chloé or Guerlain Cruel Gardénia. The floral petals have melted by now, leaving on your skin the warmth of musk, honey and candied almond. The sweetness is tempered by the green notes, and the character of Baiser Volé at this stage is elegant and suave, rather than gourmand or heavy. Compared to most lily compositions, it is perhaps closer to the abstract flowers of Hermès Vanille Galante than to the sumptuous richness of Serge Lutens Un Lys or Donna Karan Gold. Either way, it is another great discovery for floral lovers who want something different in their bouquets.

Cartier Baiser Volé includes watery notes, green leafy notes, floral accord, lily, vanilla, and powdery notes. It is now available from Cartier boutiques, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and Saks5thAvenue. 1.6oz, $100; 3.3oz, $145.

Sample: Cartier PR

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34 Comments

  • Ann C.: Interesting review! For some reason, I had written this off, but it’s also popped up on several of the “best of 2011” polls on Makeupalley. I might have to give this a sniff! November 28, 2011 at 6:42am Reply

  • Isabeau: I love it! Especially the pure parfum is gorgeous! You have to try that one too 😉 November 28, 2011 at 9:02am Reply

  • Raluca: Raluca

    I love, love the way this fragrance smells in the beginning but after that it turns powdery on me. Very powdery! Must be my skin. I’ll put it on again as I have a sample from sephora.On an unrelated note, last night I bought the last bottle of Tubereuse Criminelle from Barneys. 🙂 November 28, 2011 at 9:27am Reply

  • Victoria: It is powdery, which is what gives it that cashmere soft quality in the drydown, but not overly so on me. I usually like powdery notes, so maybe I am not as sensitive to this effect.

    Congrats on your acquisition! 🙂 November 28, 2011 at 9:32am Reply

  • Victoria: Mmmmm, I can only imagine. How is it different from the EdP? November 28, 2011 at 9:33am Reply

  • Victoria: I was not excited about it initially, because I was not a fan of Cartier de Lune, and it sounded somehow very similar. It turned out to be lovely, and I even ended up repurchasing a bottle myself, since I gave away my sample here, on BdJ. November 28, 2011 at 9:35am Reply

  • Elisa: I found the drydown on this one pretty meh (laundry musk on me), but the opening accords are stunning! Smells just like a flower shop. November 28, 2011 at 12:00pm Reply

  • dleep: I really loved this enough to buy a bottle. I wore it during the warmer months and received a lot of compliments. I didn’t think I would like it since I didn’t care for Donna Karan Gold and I don’t really like watery notes. November 28, 2011 at 12:41pm Reply

  • Dl: Lovely fragrance. I found the heart quite similar to Tocade. I guess the rose-vanilla-white florals of tocade echo the vanilla-lily duo here. They also have their powderiness in common. November 28, 2011 at 12:48pm Reply

  • Nancy A: For me Cartier Baiser Vole is a soft elegance. I particularly like the simplicity of the packaging with its “flip top” magnetized cap. When tested (on myself) the green notes were most prevalent which ultimately blended to a soft but not overpowdery floral. November 28, 2011 at 1:39pm Reply

  • tomate farcie: I guess I’m alone here; I really didn’t like it. On the positive side it did confirm for me that I’m really not a “vanilla” person! November 28, 2011 at 1:49pm Reply

  • Victoria: See, it was the opposite for me–I found the top fairly predictable and the drydown interesting. November 28, 2011 at 3:25pm Reply

  • Victoria: The watery notes give it a nice counterpoint to all of those lush, powdery layers. The fragrance really took me by surprise. November 28, 2011 at 3:27pm Reply

  • Victoria: Tocade is one of the best vanilla florals! Such a gorgeous, original composition. November 28, 2011 at 3:28pm Reply

  • Victoria: The packaging is great. I loved the packaging for Cartier de Lune too, too bad that the fragrance did not live up to my expectations. November 28, 2011 at 3:28pm Reply

  • Victoria: Sometimes such negative discoveries are very useful too! 🙂 November 28, 2011 at 3:29pm Reply

  • violetnoir: Maybe I should test this again, because the first time I did, I must have gotten a bad sample. It smelled like chemicals on me!!

    Hugs! November 28, 2011 at 4:07pm Reply

  • Dl: It really is. Roucel is such a wonderful perfumer that the simple rose-vanilla idea becomes akin to a new flower , a smell so seemingly evident that one can hardly believe it hasn’t always been there c November 28, 2011 at 5:52pm Reply

  • Flora: I love this! I don’t get a lot of vanilla, but I do get realistic lily, which is one of my favorite aromas, and the green opening smells great. A winner for me, and I did not expect to like it either, based on Cartier’s recent track record with their non-exclusive department store line. November 29, 2011 at 2:26am Reply

  • Isabeau: I am not sure how to say it, but it is creamier on the skin and lasting power is superb! November 29, 2011 at 3:26am Reply

  • Victoria: Maybe, you just did not care for it. I cannot image that modern perfume goes bad that easily! November 29, 2011 at 9:51am Reply

  • Victoria: Another very beautiful lily was Penhaligon’s Lily & Spice, but unfortunately it was discontinued. November 29, 2011 at 9:51am Reply

  • Victoria: He is a master of making anything he touches very sensual. He loves women, and it shows through the perfumes he makes. November 29, 2011 at 9:52am Reply

  • Victoria: It sounds wonderful! I will be sure to look for it at stores. November 29, 2011 at 9:52am Reply

  • Ariadne: Early June after a rain in the countryside of New England. You smell something from the the woods edge where the field ends in a stone wall and must find it and be near it. You come closer and a spiced note is added but you cannot quite find the bush that originates this perfume so you follow along the wall inhaling deeply. This is a complex and elegant perfume. The way it evolves is a surprise and special treat. My daughter and I explored its tester in Sephora and 4 other people were drawn in, including the sales lady. I am a career aldehyde wearer but this will be a new addition to my Spring wardrobe. A+++. February 25, 2012 at 8:21pm Reply

  • Sue: Today I tried my sample again and was surprised to smell, for the first time, a hint of sandalwood “incense” after the drydown. It was surprising as it hadn’t happened the first wearing. Now I know that I must save up and buy myself this mysterious and elegant, ladylike fragrance. June 4, 2013 at 3:22pm Reply

  • Bastet: If anyone has tried all four variations of this fragrance (EDT, EDP, the extrait and the very recent Baiser Vole “Essence”) I would be really interested to know which you would recommend. September 11, 2013 at 1:47pm Reply

    • Victoria: I haven’t tried the new Essence, but out of the three variations, I prefer the parfum. It’s stunning and has all of the features of the EDT I loved, while being even lusher and more complex. September 11, 2013 at 3:20pm Reply

      • Bastet: Thanks, Victoria. If you do get a chance to try the new essence version I’d love to know what you think. The parfum is a bit pricey for me. September 23, 2013 at 1:03pm Reply

  • Debra Slotkin Shulman: I have been wearing this parfum since my birthday in October. I cannot tell you how many people have stopped me to ask what perfume I am wearing! My go-to perfume has always been L’Air Du Temps (vintage) because it made me feel beautiful. Now I feel the same way in Baisir Vole – and my husband loves it! December 16, 2014 at 10:36am Reply

  • PrincessTonk: I just got a FB of Ylang+Vanille Allegoria and it smelled very familiar. I realized that to me it smells like Baiser Vole. July 6, 2015 at 4:54pm Reply

  • Sharon: I bought this a few days ago at my fave local discount haunt (starts with a T and ends with X). At first spray I was underwhelmed… But I just sprayed it again and it’s very lush and beautiful – wait for the dry down because that’s the loveliest note – it’s almost incense-like to my nose and emits a low warm spiciness. It really is gorgeous and I think it will be very appropriate for winter. I also saw that a travel spray is available on Seohora. December 12, 2015 at 9:34pm Reply

    • Victoria: The drydown is worth waiting for, since it has a suave, enveloping quality. December 13, 2015 at 9:43am Reply

      • Sharon: Yes : ) Enveloping is the sensation. December 13, 2015 at 3:43pm Reply

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