Mathilde Laurent: 12 posts

Cartier L’Envol : Perfume Review

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Despite dire prognoses that perfumery is dying and that “there is nothing good anymore”, this year brought a number of fragrances I was happy to discover, namely, Azzedine Alaia, Galop d’Hermès and L‘Envol de Cartier. I point out these three perfumes in particular, because I not only liked them, I wore them so much that they now can be called staples. That all three are easily available from the department store is a bonus point. I’ve reviewed Alaia and Galop here, while my discussion of L’Envol de Cartier appears in my FT column, Fragrance Inspired by Flight.

cartier-envol

“The idea of a fragrance inspired by flight has two iconic precedents, both from the 1930s. Caron’s marvellous orange chypre En Avion was dedicated to the first women pilots such as Hélène Boucher and Amelia Earhart, while Guerlain’s Vol de Nuit paid homage to the writer and pioneering aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. These are fitting associations because flight is key to understanding fragrance – perfume takes off in the air the moment the liquid touches the skin. Perfumers control the effects of their compositions by using materials of different volatilities – citrus and green notes soar in an instant; musks and woods are slower to become airborne.

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Cartier La Panthere : Perfume Review

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Why did “the feral floral,” a tag line used by Cartier to describe its perfume, La Panthère, catch my attention? It’s not that I’m all that keen on the smell of unwashed animals; otherwise, the camel leather belt I bought for my husband in India (now banished to the outside closet) would have satisfied that craving and more. Cartier’s perfumery, on the other hand, is in the hands of talented Mathilde Laurent, and if anyone could make feral smell good, it would be her.

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La Panthère was the nickname of Jeanne Toussaint, the flamboyant artistic director of Cartier jewelry from 1933 to 1968, who was responsible for some of the most dramatic examples of Cartier’s art. Named after this tremendous character, the perfume couldn’t be just another well-behaved floral, and Laurent decided on a composition based on contrasts: moss and leather; gardenias and patchouli.

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Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune : Fragrance Review

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As far as the French language goes “Pamplelune” is a portmanteau that combines the French word for grapefruit (pamplemousse) with the French word for moon (lune). In the perfumista’s lexicon, however, Pamplelune denotes the 1999 fragrance by Mathilde Laurent for Guerlain for its original Aqua Allegoria line.  As a grapefruit scent, it is both revered and feared; whether one can wear this take on sulfuric citrus depends on whether one associates grapefruit with fruit or with funk.

Although the Aqua Allegoria line is meant to showcase lighter, less complex fragrances, Pamplelune is anything but simple.  After the explosive opening it follows through with tart/sour bergamot and twiggy petitgrain notes before morphing into a cheerful black currant-accented floral that is tethered to a sweet and vanillic patchouli base.

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Cartier II L’Heure Convoitee : Perfume Review

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Lheure

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.

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Cartier Baiser Vole : Fragrance Review

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Cartierbvad2

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.

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Latest Comments

  • Karen A in Cherry Blossom Haiku: Mine too! They are such wonderful shrubs/small trees. Yes, except the Burkwoodi is a pale pink, but the others are all native to this region. April 27, 2017 at 4:04pm

  • ana in Recommend Me a Perfume April 2017: Oh, thank you, the vetivers sound very, very good — I’m going to have to find myself a better-paying job soon! 🙂 April 27, 2017 at 4:00pm

  • Aurora in Cherry Blossom Haiku: I enjoyed this mix of poetry and humour, Victoria, and well done on the gardening, but take good care of your back! Lilacs across the street are in bloom, purple… April 27, 2017 at 3:03pm

  • Maria in Three Ultimate Iris Perfumes: It really is a nice iris!! I also like the Absolue and Iris-cedre versions, but the on and off effect is better done,for me, in the original Infusion d’iris 🙂 April 27, 2017 at 1:27pm

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