The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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Cartier – L’Heure Promise

WHAT I SMELL:  Promise opens with a soft and cottony musky iris that is quickly infused with a combination of herbs that are too light to distinguish or specify.  The perfume is so transparent and barely there that unless I stick my nose in my arm, I’m not able to smell much, if anything.  As the perfume develops, the lightest of wood draws the perfume back from the iris and musk and moves it to a light paper pulp.  But as soon as I say that, the iris comes gliding gracefully back to the center of the perfume.  Promise is a sheer fragrance where the iris is warmed by a light sunny sandalwood.  It’s beautiful, but it’s so barely there at the beginning that you wonder if you sprayed anything on at all.  Thankfully, as the perfume wears, it begins to grow, but it never deviates from the warmed iris that first came forward; except for the addition of a wonderful powder that helps the perfume to radiate in just the right way.

From the Cartier website:

It was time to capture a life full of fresh early mornings, Petit grain, FRESH HERBS at the dawn of intentions. Everything seemed possible – love, creation, belief. The time had come to embrace the day, comforted by self-confidence and honesty IRIS, and to fly or walk in the first glimmers of a spring of existence. The sheer newness was just waiting to be explored like an undiscovered continent bathed in hope, with the promise of cherishing the moment a little longer while everything remained quiet. Prolonging, preserving the moment: L’HEURE PROMISE by Cartier. An eiderdown of fragrance sandalwood, for leaving the night behind without affronting sleep. Outside, I sense, like a veil of tulle MUSK NOTES, my own deciding scent – that of my destiny unfolding and of an adventure that is anxious to take place.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Iris colored tulle.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE L’HEURE PROMISE:  soft, elegant, sheer

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT L’HEURE PROMISE:  Perfume Posse

BOTTOM LINE:  L’Heure Promise is incredibly beautiful in a simply elegant way.  I would probably give the perfume a 4 bone rating, but this is so much of a skin scent that I would find it hard to do so given the hefty price tag.  But would I like to have this as part of my perfume collection?  That would be a definitive “yes!”

  • Bone Rating: 3.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Floral Green
  • Nose:  Mathilde Laurent
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $275 for 75 ml eau de toilette


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Cartier – XII L’Heure Mysterieuse

WHAT I SMELL:  L’Heure Mysterieuse has a strange opening that’s full of smoke and tar as well as a heavy patchouli that is thick, chewy and rather like paste.  The smoke rises off of the skin like some kind of industrial component.  This is a very bizarre as I can’t see how the opening brings promise of anything beautiful or gentile….or something that represents “Cartier.”  Thankfully, after a short time, the tar and heavy smoke begin to lift.  A dried flatness of incense appears instead and the perfume starts to belie a more gentle persona.  But don’t get me wrong, there’s a strength to the perfume in that it has a fighting energy buried beneath the smoky subdued radiance.  After quite some time a light floral appears, once again softening the former intensity.  To me, L’Heure Mysterieuse is a hard perfume to describe, but I can tell you that it has a classic old world heart that reminds me of fragrances from the 1970s.

From the Cartier website:

Silence was on the prowl. You could hear it breathing, lurking like desire. The calmness felt only temporary. Drowsiness gained life, slowly jasmine and heavily PATCHOULI. This was the time for listening to your own pulse at the edge of abandon, like a reverse countdown, a voyage into the intimate where everything both takes shape and disintegrates. Withdraw into yourself, escape and focus your mind on your inner self, reaching that point where self-awareness resides. Was it elemi gum, CORIANDER day? Was it incense, FRANKINCENSE night? Soon you must leave the juniper darkness… but not quite yet. First, savor L’HEURE MYSTÉRIEUSE for just one hour – no longer, that’s a promise – extracted from deep within, and rediscover your own personal roots.

La Liberté guidant le peuple. Eugène Delacroix. 1830

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  La Liberté.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE L’HEURE MYSTERIEUSE:  smoky, intense, retro

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT L’HEURE MYSTERIEUSE:  AustralianPerfumeJunkies, Bois de Jasmin, Katie Puckrick Smells

BOTTOM LINE:  L’Heure Mysterieuse Is a like and not a love for me.  The opening is weirdly interesting, but the drydown redeems the perfume as it turns into a retro classical scent.

  • Bone Rating: 3 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Oriental Spicy
  • Nose:  Mathilde Laurent
  • Classification: Unisex (but to me it leans masculine)
  • Expense: $285 for 75 ml eau de parfum


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Pasha de Cartier Edition Noire

Pasha de Cartier Edition Noire

WHAT I SMELL: Pasha de Cartier Edition Noire opens with citrus and mint that’s clean and cool.  The fragrance then moves quickly towards a slightly honeyed woody cedar.  Additionally, there seems to be an almost hidden chocolate accord buried in the mix, like a semi-sweet bakers chocolate.   After around five minutes the fragrance begins to sweeten and sparkle.  After another five minutes the cedar really takes over, but it’s highlighted with a layered of sprinkled brown sugar and tobacco that makes the fragrance pop.  Add some patchouli in and in the end you’re left with a lightly woody patchoulied fragrance with hints of chocolate.

From the Cartier website:

Wearing Pasha de Cartier means sporting a fragrance that has a cool elegance and the power of seduction. Cartier has created a new edition of the legendary Pasha de Cartier fragrance. The subtlety of this fragrance comes from the hint of green and fresh citrus, which perfectly balances the woody amber and cedarwood notes.

cedarblockWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Like this cedar stencil on a  pantone card.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE PASHA DE CARTIER EDITION NOIRE:  woody, OK, semi-sweet

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT PASHA DE CARTIER EDITION NOIRE:  I couldn’t find any.

BOTTOM LINE:  An OK Pasha de Cartier flanker, but nothing that sets the world on fire.  But sometimes you don’t want to set the world on fire.  Funny though, with “noire” in the name, I was expecting something darker or more elegant for evening wear.

  • Bone Rating: 3 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent: Woody Aromatic
  • Classification: Masculine
  • Expense: $105 for 100ml EdT