Cartier Carat (2018): When Princesse Bibesco Met Jeanne Toussaint {New Fragrance}

CARTIER_CARAT_PARFUM - Iris Velghe © Cartier.jpg

Courtesy of Cartier Parfums © Iris Velghe

Cartier has launched a new perfume for women called Carat, which pays homage to the feminine artistic history of the house - and diamonds. It is a multifaceted floral bouquet inspired by a poetic image...

In-house perfumer Mathilde Laurent explained that she became obsessed with a line that Princesse Bibesco (1886-1973) uttered upon meeting Jeanne Toussaint (1887-1976), the artistic director of jewelry design at Cartier's. She exclaimed then,

"Qui êtes-vous ? Vous qui parfumez les diamants !"

It translates in English as the cri de coeur "Who are you? You who perfume diamonds!" to describe Toussaint's uncanny talent for transcending the material aspect of diamond jewelry. Jeanne Toussaint operated during the 1930s and was known for her ability to make diamonds escape the constraints of frame and metal. She is the one who created the famous Cartier panther animal motif.

Laurent sensed in Bibesco's words an intriguing analogy she could explore further. Just like a lapidary makes light enter a diamond in the rough, a perfumer could make light enter a scent materials. She envisioned a fragrance as rutilating as a diamond.

While this is not in and of itself a completely new idea in perfumery, the house perfumer by unveiling her creative process reveals the original pathway she chose to take.

She decided that the light motif would be illustrated by deconstructing it into the seven colors of the spectrum.

Carat eau de parfum is said to feature a floral bouquet in which each of the seven colors has a corresponding floral note: violet for violet; iris for indigo; hyacinth for blue; ylang for green; daffodil for yellow; honeysuckle for orange; tulip for red.

In the end, the light spectrum resorbs into the shining light of a diamond making the perfume olfactorily translate as "pure white color."

[Source: Cartier press release]

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