For those of you who love fragrance - and are also willing to spend more money to experience luxurious packaging and top of the line ingredients used create unique olfactory combinations - overseen by one of the top perfumers in the world, you must eventually come to the House of Cartier.
I was recently invited to an press event to present five new Cartier fragrances, which are part of the Les Heures De Parfum collection that launched in Cartier boutiques and Saks Fifth Avenue stores a few months ago. The scents were created by famed French "nose", Matilde Laurent.
During the event Laurent explained that the name of the new collection suggests not the literal time in the day, but rather different times, or rather, stages in ones life, as well as different moods or ways a woman wishes to express herself on any given day.
The concept is very unique in that the numbers of the five perfumes are non chronological. They are numbered: I, VI, X, XII, XIII, (1, 6,10,12,13) - which Laurent intended to suggest the juxtaposition of time - including a "13th Hour", which I'll explain in a moment.
VI L’Heure Brilliante (The Shining Hour) “was inspired by high-energy nightlife and neon effervescence” and includes notes of lemon, flaxseed, gin notes and aldehydes.
X L’Heure Folle (The Crazy Hour) was inspired by Cartier’s Tutti Frutti jewelry collection, and the notes feature redcurrant, pink peppercorn, grenadine, blueberry, blackcurrant, blackberry, violet, leafy notes, ivy, boxwood, shiso, aldehydes and polygonum.
XII L’Heure Mystérieuse (The Mysterious Hour) includes notes of jasmine, patchouli, elemi gum, coriander, incense, frankincense and juniper.
The 13th hour, (XIII La Treizième Heure) is described by Laurent as “olfactive trickery”; the notes include leather, maté, birch, narcissus, bergamot, patchouli and vanilla - and produce an effect strikingly similar to that of the essence of smoke (like incense).
I found each and every one of these scents remarkable in it's own way, and certainly worthy of a luxury purchase, but my very favorites were I and VI.
I (L’Heure Promise) had such an incredible opening it immediately made me smile with my first sniff! I find this indeed the perfect scent to wear in the morning to start my day - and I also love wearing it on the weekends. It's a very "dry" citrus in it's aroma at first, and then the florals and musks begin to blend on my skin. I found this extremely sophisticated, pretty unique and on the light side, which I tend to favor earlier in the day. This does need to be reapplied if you want more lasting power late in the day - but that wasn't a problem for me!
VI (L’Heure Brilliante) also had a fantastic opening - this one immediately reminded me of bubbles, (with a slight vodka note on me) as well as really pretty lemon notes. The lemon on my skin was just delicious! Later the lemon blossom and some of the fresh, more grassy notes took hold, and finally a subtle touch of sweetness in the dry down. Very well done.
These two scents, as well the the other three, are all scents that do not "scream" when you walk into a room and really develop nicely over the course of the day. If you're also wondering if these smell like a $250 bottle of perfume - the answer is, Yes. - RLB
Two more scents will join the line in non-chronological order in the next two years. Les Heures De Parfum' by Cartier sells exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue and international Cartier boutiques.
Store information below:
Cartier Boutiques Fifth Avenue, Beverly Hills,Costa Mesa, Chicago, Palm Beach, San Francisco.
Saks (carries X exclusively) NYC, Dadeland, Houston, Tampa, New Orleans, Atlanta, Beverly Hills.