Déclaration by Cartier was created in 1998 by renowned master perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena. The French nose also created most recently Terre d'Hermès as well as Paprika Brasil, which show the development of his art in the direction of minimalism.
Top notes for Déclaration are bergamot, coriander, mandarin, artemisia, neroli. Heart notes are cardamom, pepper, jasmine, cumin, orris. Base notes are cedar, vetiver, leather, and amber....
This perfume is a good example for me of what constitutes the two main personalities of a fragrance: the imagined one and the real one. In this case, they go their separate ways.
The first time this fragrance was brought to my attention was when someone I know was looking to buy fragrances to present as gifts abroad. With no possibility of returns to Sephora and with national pride in toe the gift had to be both risk-free and special. There were four suggestions made by a French SA, two for women and two for men. One of those was Déclaration by Cartier. This is how I learned that it was considered one of those you-can't-possibly-go-wrong fragrances. One always needs such information to live in society and so I decided to retain their names although I do not like to exert my memory too consciously, in principle. I always say it leaves more room for the imagination. There were J'Adore, Allure,....maybe Eau Sauvage (my offering to the god of imagination) and Déclaration.
So I imagined it to be the masculine equivalent of J'Adore and Allure and closer to Eau Sauvage than what it is in fact: the perfume embodiment of an adorable and sexy guy who loves to travel and eat world food. I would say now that it is the masculine version of Sira des Indes by Patou, which came afterwards in 2006.
Described as a woodsy, spicy and hesperidic fragrance and presented in a classical bottle, albeit not one that shies away from giving the classical nod to the phallus and named Déclaration I imagined something very middle-of-the-road, a little bit "bon chic bon genre" (BCBG) as you say in French. Not so, the perfume is resolutely on the exotic side seeming to contain all the spices found in India. The gourmand aspect is unmistakably present.
It starts with a very short first hesperidic prelude and then the spices appear sonorous and rich making you think of the sound made by two cymbals slammed together at the beginning of a symphony. A delicious cardamome then plays a little solo motif on a bed of rice, curry, and seemingly all the rest of the spices of the sub-continent. Then coconut chutney is served followed by palm sugar. We add a little bit of salt to create a savory taste. Next we have a creamy mix of everything aforementioned and then milky burnt sugar and later, honey. The movement now changes as more crystalline citrus notes reappear underneath the creaminess adding an element of tartness and transparency. Are you hungry? I am by now. After this episode, the drydown offers clean notes then animalic ones with a trace of leather then orris. The finale of the perfume is deliciously incensey.
I had no idea this was the music played by Déclaration. I wonder also what it is meant to be a declaration of? If it is declaring anything it is saying I am sexy and I love to cook which triples the level of sexiness in a man as far as I am concerned. You will love my spices and this how your wedding Indian spice box is going to smell like. Pheeew, it is getting a bit hot in here. Finally I do shower regularly but I am not averse to a little relaxation of the rules from time to time just to add a little salt to our relationship and plus some B.O. never hurt a leather jacket.
There you are, this is the sexy guy behind Déclaration. The fragrance is much less restrained than I imagined which I should have perhaps guessed after all with a name such as Déclaration. Something had to come all-out.
The scent feels almost unisex with the cedar treatment making it slightly more on the masculine side. I think I prefer this fragrance to Omnia by Bulgari or Sira des Indes by Patou, if you are looking for creamy exotic spices. To me it is most assuredly full-bottle worthy and as the ad suggests above (to me), it is worth stealing from your man.
The ad is from Images de Parfums.