Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
Like Baiser Volé, Cartier’s newest launch II L’Heure Convoitée (The Coveted Hour) is a lipstick floral. While Baiser Volé adds a red stain to lily, the powdery sweetness of lipstick embellishes the carnation in this launch. Like the other fragrances in Les Heures de Parfum collection (L’Heure Promise, L’Heure Brilliante, L’Heure Folle, L’Heure Diaphane, L’Heure Mystérieuse, La Treiziéme Heure, L’Heure Defendue and L’Heure Fougueuse,) L’Heure Convoitée was created by Cartier in-house perfumer Mathilde Laurent. It is a plush floral composition for those who like the retro style and warm, cashmere wrap perfumes.
The first chord in L’Heure Convoitée is that of iris, which blends the sweetness of violet petals with earthy, green notes. The spicy clove warms up the cool iris, while rose and jasmine add a subtle sweetness. Although floral elements are an important part of L’Heure Convoitée, suggesting a silky freshness of petals, the fragrance has a rich woody core. As the cool camphorous note of the carnation accord dissipates, the sandalwood and vanilla become richer and warmer, creating an interesting dissonance.
The composition is very much in the style of other Les Heures de Parfum fragrances—linear, polished, with a strong nod to classical perfumery. If, like me, you were left cold by the collection overall, I do not see L’Heure Convoitée changing your opinion. I like its powdery spicy floral idea, but the character and the drydown remind me of Estée Lauder Beautiful, minus the dramatic effect. Lauder may not have Cartier’s cachet and its gorgeous packaging, but if I were forced to pick between the two, I would not hesitate to select Beautiful. On the other hand, I can see that L’Heure Convoitée might find plenty of fans among niche lovers who yearn for a touch of vintage glamor. Rather than being just a feminine fragrance, L’Heure Convoitée might work better as a sexy masculine fragrance, given its combination of cool iris and warm woods, with a spicy fillip of carnation.
Cartier L’Heure Convoitée II Eau de Parfum, like other fragrance from Les Heures de Parfum collection, is available at Cartier boutiques and Saks Fifth Avenue in the US. $255 for 75 ml.
Sample: my own acquisition
Reviews of the entire Les Heures de Parfum collection: I L’Heure Promise :: II L’Heure Convoitée :: IV L’Heure Fougueuse :: VI L’Heure Brilliante :: VII L’Heure Deféndue :: VIII L’Heure Diaphane :: X L’Heure Folle :: XXII L’Heure Mystérieuse :: XXIII La Treiziéme Heure