Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cartier L'Heure Mystérieuse

I have been a long-time fan of Cartier perfumes since discovering Panthère parfum in the 1990s. Their fragrances have always been high quality, exquisitely packaged and true to their aesthetic. I have followed their launches into more recent years with offerings such as Délices de Cartier Eau Fruitée, and hoped to find something new to love by this illustrious fragrance house, fine jeweler and watchmaker. L'Heure Mystérieuse is the launch I've waited for, a beautiful fragrance that seems to weave the intricate, delicate melancholy of Guerlain L'Heure Bleue together with the edgy, modern aesthetic of Comme des Garçons Avignon. Truly, it is one of the most beautiful scents I've experienced.

Many incense blends are linear and dry, but Cartier L'Heure Mystérieuse is a full-bodied and round composition, as brilliant as a jewel. The heart of this noble composition is jasmine, which mutually supports the mysteriously dark incense notes of frankincense and patchouli made gustative and sensual with vanilla. Words that come to mind when I wear this scent are elegant, luxurious, serene and meditative but also bewitching and sexy. Cartier L'Heure Mysterieuse is a shared fragrance between Men and Women; I believe it is going to gain many fans as more perfume lovers discover this fairly obscure 2009 launch, part of Cartier's exclusive Les Heures de Parfum collection.

If L'Heure Mystérieuse (XII) is an indication, Mathilde Laurent has created for Cartier a masterpiece collection with Les Heures de Parfum, a conceptually interesting line of fragrances to fit a perfume wearer's moments in time with interpretations of different hours in a day. Although I have yet to sample the rest of this line, it seems the first hour, Promise (I) is the lightest olfactory interpretation featuring iris in a Floral setting, and La Treizième Heure (XIII) the heaviest featuring leather. If I'm correct, the other fragrances in-between would incrementally get heavier, or darker, between the hours of I and XIII. Theoretically and artistically, it would make sense, then, that L'Heure Mystérieuse XII being a woody, vanillic Floral Oriental (edited: osMoz lists it as a Woody Oriental) with pronounced smoky incense notes, would be among the more intense offerings in the line. I will get back to you one day when I try the others, as to whether this theory holds true.

Cartier's in-house master perfumer Mathilde Laurent has composed several fragrances for Guerlain including Attrape Coeur (Guet-Apens) and Shalimar Eau Légère (Shalimar Light).