Friday, March 14, 2008

Must de Cartier

Meowzers. This is sexy stuff. When I use that term, I don't really have any specific gender or look in mind; I just mean whoever you are, this scent will bring out "more" of you. After all, they say confidence is what makes a person sexy, right? I'm about to review the vintage parfum which is very hard to find now, but if you look around, you might be able to find some good deals on the miniature 4ml parfums, gorgeous little replicas of the original gold-cased bottles shaped like a lighter. The scent is a warm, somewhat spicy Oriental in the vein of Calvin Klein Obsession (but richer) or Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur (but less animalic), and vaguely related to the queen of all Oriental perfumes, Guerlain Shalimar (but sweeter, more vanillic-ambery to me). Other ambery perfumes you might like that are similar in style are Anne Pliska and L'Artisan Parfumeur Ambre Extreme, but for me, Must de Cartier is the purrfect evening arsenal of choice.

Actually, I don't just wear ambery sweet scents at night. With the weather turning warmer, I'm moving away from the bold, heavy and woody Chypre, and craving sweet, softly powdery (but more balsamic, not baby-powdery) Oriental-Ambery scents. Oriental is still a heavy olfactive family, so I tend to apply a small enough amount to not suffocate the entire room. Traditionally, spicy or heavy scents are said to work best after five, or in the cold. Must is a bit spicy but not too spicy for me. I shy away from spicy scents such as Dana Tabu, Ormonde Jayne Tolu, Jean Desprez Bal a Versailles, Caron Parfum Sacre, Jean Patou Divine Folie or Yves Saint-Laurent Nu. As much as I respect the classic Estee Lauder Youth Dew and YSL Opium, or the famed "florists' cooler" marvel, JAR Golconda, sadly, I just get Big Red gum. However, I can wear Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque and Guerlain L'Heure Bleue, both spicy with cinnamon or clovey carnation somewhere in the blends. In the case of Must de Cartier, whatever carnation is in here is subdued by mellow ambery-vanillic-balsamic notes. It's also sweet enough that risktaking Gourmand lovers might find it can fit the bill for a vintage scent even a modern perfumista can wear.


I used to wear Panthere de Cartier more or less as a signature for some time; nowadays, I feel Must is more my speed, but they share a similar sensual and extravagant effect; they're both fragrances with an ambery base, although Panthere is the more floral of the two and Must more spicy and musky. They also both feature some peach in the mix, a note I find very natural melded with skin. Cartier knows how to do jewelry, watches and perfume; check out the other scents, including the Men's, in this luxury line.

Jan Moran's Notes:
Must de Cartier (1981 Oriental-Ambery)
Top Notes: Bergamot, tangerine, lemon, aldehydes, peach, rosewood
Heart Notes: Jasmine, leather, carnation, ylang-ylang, orris, orchid
Base Notes: Musk, amber