Perfume Review of Eau de Cartier Eau de Parfum
The Scented Salamander Summer of 2016 Selection
This year, Cartier launched a new unisex eau de parfum version of the original Eau de Cartier eau de toilette from 2001. Originally composed by perfumer Christine Nagel - now at Hermès - and centering on a violet leaf accord, the scent has been reworked by in-house perfumer Mathilde Laurent to add paradoxical warmth to the violet...
Eau de Cartier edp first hits your senses with a terribly original opening accord blending aniseed, grainy woods, green leaves, iris and leather. Where is the « eau » in this rather substantial and complex introduction ? It seems rather metaphorical an idea where no obvious aquatic accents can be felt readily.
Rather, the fragrance plays with cool sensations of mint and icebergs. The fur of the white polar bear can be seen not too far off in the distance as a sweet and chilly aromatic sensation unfolds on a warm master bed.
If you have ever played in a torrent, this « eau » composition by perfumer Christine Nagel is about the sensation of coldness and mist one experiences as one gets closer to rushing waters kept on ice in the shade of tall vegetation. The scent is about the orb of coolness water draws in the air rather than about its splashes. And then, it is also about the light scent of pale woods fading into the still lighter aroma of blond haystacks. At other moments, the eau de parfum evokes the dewy coolness of mossy stones sheltered from light under dark green branches looking nearly black.
Always, like a little music, the note of green aniseed runs throughout the perfume capturing the ideal freshness one yearns for on a summer day. This nuance is slightly of candy making you think of Anis de Flavigny candies. All the more so since last week I was in Dijon, of which it is one of the iconic specialties.
The seductive, tentalizing part of the fragrance for me is a mix of understated, sweet gourmand and minuscule dragées with the more animalic accents of ambergris. It is an unexpected study in contrast which feels unique even though so many perfumes now have revealed the gastronomical fantasies of inventive perfumers.
The drydown is very lightly powdery and ambery, with a sweet candy kick, also understated. If you spray on more, the aniseed morphs into violet leaves. You could liken it to L'Artisan Parfumeur Jour de Fête or the new Prada Candy Kiss for its powdery, dragée effect, but most of all the fragrance feels quite unique. Structurally speaking, it is a reworking of Shalimar Light, which Mathilde Laurent did for Guerlain, where the ambergris here is contrasted with citruses bridged by violet, with enough degrees of separation from the original inspiration to feel the classic's presence is abstract.
Eau de Cartier is a subtle composition with a near-silent personality reminding you that if perfumes are so evanescent as to be invisible, they can also suggest silence. This is a perfume to be worn in the attentive stillness of a summer day spent in a garden filled with long shadows and sunlight.