Les Heures de Parfum - XIII La Treizième Heure fragrance notes

    • bergamot, narcissus, leather, mate, birch, patchouli, vanilla

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Latest Reviews of Les Heures de Parfum - XIII La Treizième Heure

Tauer’s Lonestar Memories opened the gates to heavily smoky, tarry scents that perhaps wouldn’t have been considered ‘perfumes’ before it existed. It held the promise of a new, rugged terrain coming into view, where a freedom of being in the natural world could loosen the bonds of social obligation. Cartier’s thirteenth hour offering follows in those footsteps, but it is a quieter explosion of birch tar and leather, meaty, almost gamey but handled lightly, with the lingering perception of smouldering embers. A high, singing anise accent sets off the whole thing, a breath of freshness. This is the more socialized call of the wild, buffed up for the salon.
17th December 2021
I love L'heure Treizieme XIII. To me, it smells like an ancient old wooden castle door! Could also smell like the burned lining of oak barrels in which whiskey is stored. Nonetheless, it smells very medieval. I love it. What I don't like is that Cartier decided to change the bottle. It is no longer the gradient brown bottle with a beautiful clear cap, but now comes in a boring clear bottle with what looks like a plastic cap wrapped in purple string. Very incongruous with the scent inside the bottle. I wish they would have left the packaging alone. The new packaging looks cheap compared to the distinguished intriguing old bottle style. Go figure. Who exactly at Cartier is in charge of making these stupid decisions??? I ordered a bottle from Neiman Marcus, and I'm hoping the formulation hasn't changed because the bottle has changed. I know when they changed the bottlel design for Red Door (by Elizabeth Arden), they went and changed the formulation, too, and NOT for the better. Red Door is now watered down and smells like a boring rose water, not the rich and decadent amber rose smell that lasted all week. The new Red Door sucks, and I won't be surprised to see its sales plummet and it eventually discontinued. Shame on EA Fragrances for changing that classic bottle and formulation. Many classic fragrances have gone by the wayside, e.g., Balenciaga Pour Homme, Cristobal, Polo Crest, Ralph Lauren Monogram, Boss Spirit by Hugo Boss, Rush For Men by Gucci, the original vintage Gucci Pour Homme, Fendi Uomo, Fendin for women, Insense by Givenchy, Moods by Krizia, etc. It's criminal!
2nd November 2020

The 13th Hour is here!! Cartier's La Treizième Heure - part of the "Les Heures de Parfum" niche collection - comes across as classy, refined, well-crafted, legitimate fragrance that either gender can wear.

La Treizième Heure has a pronounced leather accord, with a clear smokiness inspired by the presence of birch. Smooth cashmeran and gritty, earthy mate powder, and deep green leafiness of narcissus, arise and lend a sense of depth and freshness. Comparisons can be made to Replica by the Fireplace by Martin Margiela, both having that "burnt" quality which I and many (not all) seem to enjoy.

Except for occasional whiffs of patchouli and vanilla, La Treizième Heure tends to stay linear in its blazing glory. It's a love it or hate it fragrance, warranting a test spray before buying any size of it. But overall, I am impressed by La Treizième Heure and give it a strong thumbs up! :-)
3rd December 2018
Cartier XIII La Treizieme Heure opens soon unmistakably with a combination of smokey leather, aromatic birch and spicy vanilla. There is no way to fail in to catching this central combo if you have "a minimum" of familiarity with the "notes game". In particular I detect by soon a vaguely mentholated presence possibly provided by birch tar which is in a while "overwhelmed" by a subtle (but basically stout) general smokiness. The latter, as combined with smooth resins and silky suede, seems to elicit the aroma of a velvety seasoned single malt or the peaty scotch whisky's one. Bergamot and patchouli provide by soon a glorious sense of classic refinement (and aristocratic "loftiness" throughout), birch tar a moderate rubbery vein while I detect a general sense of smooth vegetal musky greenness (vaguely conjuring me the Dior Homme Intense's musky dry down softness). Frankly I miss to catch a significant olfactory evolution while I notice the quality of combined materials (despite a clever implementation of aromachemicals- synthetic musk and vanilla) and a general sense of measured refinement which is assumed to hallmark all the elements of this new Cartier's luxurious collection named Les Heures de Parfum. The "musky-lipstick" dry down seems veined by soft nuances of leather, tonka-tobacco and powder (a touch of iris too ?). In this phase the aroma is warm, apparently organic (with an irresistible musky/powdery/vanillic/leathery royal smoothness) and yes...slightly salty (or better smelling as warm moisturized skin). Naomi Goodsir Cuir Velours, Dior Homme Parfum (in to a lesser extent) and Cuir de Lancome seem to merge in to a smooth (more subtle and soft) smokey/malt veined embrace. On the complex I find this fragrance elegant and discreetly refined despite I'd not dare to talk about a real masterpiece.

P.S: Along the dry down suede recedes, the "aromatic-spicy-seasoned" cooperation between spicy tonka, musk, vanilla, minty resins and vegetal patterns seems to ideally exhume more than vaguely Burberry For Men (which is a fragrance that probably deserves more attention). I've read somewhere about a resemblance with Lonestar Memories and Bvlgari Black, well frankly I find Tauer Lonestar Memories more vegetal-resinous and less subtle (a more visceral, agrestic and less civilized fragrance) while Bulgari Black is completely another stuff.
10th May 2015
The opening is alluring, seductive and terribly pleasant: a dark, dusty, smoky leather accord, classy and straightforward, fairly close to Bois d'ascèse for the same "campfire ash" effect. There is quite a massive dose of Iso E Super, and also perhaps an equally artificial amber component, but however, it all smells utterly good and sexy. The initial leather accord is dry, austere, like in Knize Ten, then it progressively softens and gets sweeter thanks to vanilla. Not much to add: there is a slight patchouli note, perhaps a floral breeze or something equally "lively", but all is centered on leather and smoke, sensual and rich in nuances – coffee, aniseed, cinnamon, which vanish in the air like cigarette smoke. I also detect a slight layer of salty notes, which may be due to aldehydes or other aromachemicals used here, but however they fit the scent, as they provide a slight "sweaty velvety skin" note which is an added value of "sexy". The leather note is surely well-executed, cleverly played on up-to-date trendy ingredients (safraleine), but it's well played, as it smells rich, soft, velvety, with flavours of tobacco, aniseed, coffee. An austere, chic, sensual and noble composition with a beautiful "carnal" hint of naked salty skin. The evolution is subtle, it basically emerges more boldly the vanillin note, so it becomes only a bit sweeter as hours go by. A bit artificial and also a bit "already seen" (think of Bois d'ascèse marrying Knize Ten surrounded by a vanill-esque fog), but undoubtedly elegant, pleasant and refined.

22nd June 2014
For me the following epitomises this perfume: Lapsang Souchong (the smokey tea smell), leather, tar, the smoke from a campfire etc. If you don't mind these smells, or are a fan, you will like this very much. I do agree that the fragrance tones down after this somewhat harsh opening, but it is a classy scent, even if you do smell faintly like smoke and sweet leather in my opinion!
21st November 2013
I think all the reviews here hit this one on the head. It's a mix of straightforward tea with leather (both the traditional birch tar kind and the modern quinoline kind) that smells rubbery in the sillage. Given a few hours, it loses some of the tea smell and gets a bit more piney and takes on the mulchy tones of opoponax, but also has an underlying vanilla sweetness.

It's odd - usually I love weird dark scents like this, but XIII never felt very compelling to me. While perfumes like Bulgari Black and Fahrenheit manage to be both strange and beautiful, like avant garde art that still appeals to the soul, XIII just feels like someone thought a niche line should have a "dark" scent, so they made one. I don't dislike it, and it's certainly not boring, but I just can't quite muster a thumbs up, from a strictly emotional standpoint.
11th March 2013
On skin a smoky birch tar opening recedes to a darkly aromatic heart of lapsang souchong and patchouli. While there are indeed similarities La Treizieme Heure retains the warmth of Bulgari Black without getting all dusty/sweet and sports the brooding presence of Le Labo Patchouli 24 without its suffocatingly dense aura. That in itself is a remarkable technical achievement in my books, deserving of a 'thumbs up'.

Boasting above average projection and tenacity, La Treizieme Heure is probably not the easiest of scents to wear for me personally but certainly among the sexiest, if my wife were to be believed. There is definitely a virility about it that keeps it firmly in masculine territory. Dark, mysterious and otherwordly this could well be the signature scent of an immortal nightwalker.
23rd February 2013
Top: Bergamot, mate
Heart: Narcissus, holly
Base: Leather, patchouli, birch, vanilla

A true "cuir" is a rare occurrence nowadays. La treizième heure (XIII) by Cartier is a unique fragrance in the ocean of boring ultra-commercial crowd-pleasing fragrances that have been flooding the market in the past 20 years. I must admit that as a rule, leather/birch/black tea/tobacco fragrances are not exactly my cup of tea unless there is a strong amber/vanilla/tonka/opoponax note to counterbalance the composition (like in Tabac blond by Caron, for instance). XIII is a pure in-your-face smokey leather, period. The faint vanilla note is not really effective, as far as my skin reaction goes. At first, XIII reminds me of the charred remains of a rubber factory after a five-alarm fire! It is smokey, rubbery, dry and hard. Fortunately, the dry-down comes rather fast but the only real difference is that the brutal smokey notes just become softer and rounder. There is no real evolution of the fragrance per se (on my skin, that is). The entire composition remains extremely rubbery but surprisingly pleasant and elegant.

Although XIII is much too dry and smokey for my personal taste, this fragrance does make an unequivocal statement! Also, one can feel the quality of the product. Nothing synthetic here. Because of the originality and the audacity of La treizième heure, I have to give this fragrance a thumbs up rating. Now, I should love to meet someone who wears it stunningly well.

About the "shared" label: Although I tend to be quite lenient when it comes to the use of feminine perfumes on men and masculine perfumes on women (God knows I have worn my share of feminine fragrances!), I am not a fan of these modern so-called "shared" fragrance. I don't think these middle-of-the-road fragrances have much personality. In my opinion, XIII is anything but a unisex fragrance. In spite of it's class and refinement, XIII is a tough, harsh, butch masculine fragrance that not even every man can afford to wear. But of course, I am sure there are a few daring women out there who can!
23rd September 2012
I love this stuff. It makes me weak in the knees. Everything I want in a perfume: deep, complex, dark, primal. I guess it is smoked tea and leather. Unlike others I don't conjure up amber, patchouli or vanilla. But maybe there is a roundedness provided by the vanilla(?) Sigh. My lottery winnings, once that happens, will be going towards this.
11th July 2012
A quiet, smoky lapsang souchong scent that does not project much but lasts for hours. It does have flowery undertones such as narcissus absolute (one of the most complex scents on earth) and gardenia. It achieves the tour de force of being at the same time mineral and vegetable, abstract and concrete, warm and cold.

Valuable and cheaper alternatives include Bvlgari Black and L'Artisan Parfumeur Dzongkha.

It is very expensive but the quality of raw materials is outstanding, as well as the luxurious packaging.
4th October 2011
Les Heures du Parfum XIII is Mathilde Laurent's ode to tea: the bergamot topnote suggests Earl Gray, there is some faintly rubbery maté, the smokey birch and meaty narcissi are Lapsang Souchong, while the vanilla in the base whispers of the ambery sweetness of Rooibos.

Laurent's fragrance bears an undeniable resemblance to Annick Ménardo's wicked Patchouli 24, though the Cartier is quieter, brighter, and has no stewed fruits in the drydown. In fact, it is gratifyingly close to what I've wanted all along: Patchouli 24 without the cloying drydown. While Ménardo delivers a straight-up birch tar with all the flirtation of a mallet to the head, Laurent's gift to us is an exquisite study of that brown beverage, the 'cup of humanity' (to borrow Kakuzo Okakura's phrase), composed in the smokey sighs of tea leaves. Wonderful.
16th April 2011