A unisex fragrance from the Cartier house.

Eau de Cartier fragrance notes

  • Head

    • Yuzu, Bergamot
  • Heart

    • Leaves, Flowers, Musk, Lavender
  • Base

    • Amber, Patchouli, Cedarwood

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Latest Reviews of Eau de Cartier

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Cartier was jumping on the 90's unisex bandwagon pretty late with Eau de Cartier (2001), but in so doing, also created something that would end up taking on a life of its own for the next 20 years until the brand scrubbed the whole range from the lineup. At the time, Christine Nagel was a hired gun, and like other Cartier album (Jean-Claude Ellena), would end up helming the perfume division of Hermès (as Ellena's replacement). Here with Eau de Cartier, Nagel displays a subtle interplay between sweetness, green, florals, amber, patchouli, and woods, creating a real center-of-the-universe vibe with gender norms in designer fragrances of the 2000's. I never really got on with Eau de Cartier like the stronger and more-resolute Eau de Cartier Concentrée, although I can see the merit. Offering a refined, more-luxurious version of the unisex craze, however late to the game, is something Cartier and later Hermès would both do, although Hermès would prove to have the winning formula with it's expanded range based of Eau de Orange Vert (1979).

The opening is a melange of fluffy white musk sweetness and citruses over zippy ozonic yuzu and bergamot notes. This was the time when such pierce-the-air synthetic top notes were in high fashion, so I am not surprised. The sweetness and hedione is a bit off-putting in contrast to the lavender, violet leaf, and white floral component of the heart, as if Eau de Cartier didn't really know if it wanted to be a trendy floral musk or more of an attempt at a chypre, but it works. The base notes of amber, patchouli, vetiver, cedar, and oakmoss steer this towards something more recognizeable and rewarding, but the dry down is very slight. As you might expect, this is called an "eau" for a reason, and no amount of over-applying can really save you hear. Best use is in summer, or out of a shower; and yes, this is absolutely unisex to my nose, if a bit contrived by design. Sometimes less is more, and this one has a lot going on for a fragrance with so little performance, meaning you have to strain to figure out if it pleases or not.

Eau de Cartier would be successful enough to spawn many successive flankers, some gendered and some not, but with all genders still wearing whichever ones they want. In effect, Eau de Cartier became a sort of upmarket Calvin Klein cK One (1994), until actual niche brands placed at price points well above Cartier (such as MFK) began offering their own "eau" and "aqua" takes that effectively destroyed interest in what is now perceived as a "mid-tier" option for serious perfumistas. As silly as this sounds, it along with continued consolidation and homogenization of the designer market has sort of made any "overtly unisex" designer offerings that are -not- Ck One obsolete, as Calvin Klein has so well-cornered that market at the designer price point over the last 30 or so years. Thus, it was only a matter of time before Eau de Cartier went the way of the dodo, and I won't miss it (just the Eau de Cartier Concentrée flanker), but I still respect it. Neutral
13th September 2022
Hyper-sweet, marshmallowy orange creamsicle with leafy greens and hints of amber underneath. The citrus/greens combination could have worked without the marshmallow, and the marshmallow/greens combination has worked elsewhere (Fresh's Cannibus Santal comes to mind), but I'm just not enjoying this particular combination at all.
13th January 2020

A very nice, subtle eau de cologne!

I'm a fan of yuzu, and the yuzu and bergamot opening is wonderfully blended. Not too sweet, not ozonic, not overly citric. The "leaves" note does a great job of cutting out the sharpness of a normal citrus opening, giving this a fresh, airy feel. It's like standing in a grove where you pick up not only the fruits on the tree, but the fresh green smell of the leaves, as well. The lavender and patchouli are dialed back in a tastefully restrained way, leaving this with a "white musk" kind of base.

Sillage on this is weak, as is projection, and the performance is about what you'd expect from an eau de cologne.

This is a really nice entry in the eau de cologne format. It maintains a very fresh, breezy, feel to it with a more vegetal quality replacing the citrusy quality normally associated with fragrances of this ilk. This is not a fragrance that shouts; rather, it's a fragrance that speaks softly and elegantly. Well-made, very refined, and very much a quality "dumb grab" for the warmer months for when you want an eau de cologne that breaks free from the standard format a bit.

Thumbs up on this one.
11th September 2019
Very nice and light eau de Cologne. If I had to wear one, I would choose this one in the category, for it being different and beautiful.
13th November 2018
After heartily overdoing it and getting a disappointingly thick and airless result, my favoured way of wearing Eau de Cartier is now (v-e-r-y l-i-g-h-t-l-y) so all you get is an occasional tinkle of something peppery and violet, like wind chimes.* In this way the effect is adumbrated to the point where all but the highest notes merge into an almost unfelt ambient background.

(This intermittent tinkling effect strikes me as being like Eno's description of how, one time when he was recuperating in bed, his stereo was set so low he could barely hear some 18th century harp music, and being too weak to do anything about it, he had to put up with it being - just there - on the edge of audibility. It was this experience that he cites (on the sleeve of Discrete Music) as an inspiration for his pioneering work in the field of ambient music.)

(*The first part of this review illustrates the trouble that can arise when you have already read about a perfume - before having had the chance to try it on - and when the reviewer's 'mot juste' hits the nail on the head (as it does in this case with Luca Turin's tinkling wind chimes** (Perfumes The A-Z Guide (2009),(to give it its full title, or just The Guide to parfumistas, surely)) their apposite imagery sticking in the mind and getting in the way of your own interpretation): ('a discrete noseworm of scratchy violet', for what it's worth).

(**Not a direct quote, by the way...)

25th September 2018
Super-safe work scent that would layer well with other fragrances -- especially other Cartier frags. This one doesn't have much personality, but when over-applied produced a captivating sillage (when I smelled it on a woman). This would be good for work, church, or school, but would not stand-out at a party.
15th December 2017
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