Cartier (2008)

Average Rating:  79 User Reviews

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About Roadster by Cartier

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Fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes

  2. Heart Notes

  3. Base Notes

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Reviews of Roadster by Cartier

There are 79 reviews of Roadster by Cartier.

This smells like a bunch of middle-aged men sitting around a cheap card table, wearing thin gold necklaces, playing cards, wearing leather hats, and chewing gum -- and at least one of them has a gold tooth and "product" in his hair.
Oct 22, 2020

Roadster is just not my thing!! That doesn't mean that I think it's rubbish. It just doesn't suit me.

However.....This is the strangest fragrance I have ever tried. I can't think of another perfume that changes so many times so quickly. It opens up with a strong citrus for around 2 minutes. Then comes the minty/woods combo which last for 60 minutes. We then have a fruit cocktail/salad vibe going on before finally drying down to a creamy vanilla.

Feb 5, 2019

This is a nice opening: a light mint with touches of mandarins, combined with a soft patchouli and all resulting in a slightly unusual mix.

Later on a pleasant jasmine arises, and whiffs of a spicy cinnamon-like note adds additional depth. In the base a wood note developed, which is a tad nonspecific and flat.

I get moderate sillage, very good projection and nine hours of longevity on my skin.

A pleasant spring scent that, in spite of being parsimonious in ingredients, comes across not without an original touch. The synthetic character of the blend is the main negative in this otherwise interesting composition. 3/5.
Jan 30, 2019

Cartier Roadster (2008) feels like the forgotten Cartier masculine in the US, and a large part of that is the fact that it was never seen in department stores and isn't officially available direct from Cartier in the States, but was available online from other retailers all over the place. The rest of the world saw this as a relatively modern mature fresh woody aromatic scent with old-school callbacks, and it has spawned two flankers since its launch in 2008, yet is a veritable ghost in America. What is known about Roadster to most US colognoisseurs is that this was the first masculine pillar composed by Mathilde Laurent for Cartier after her appointment as house perfumer in 2005, making its absence from the US feel all the more puzzling. I feel most of this comes down to style and presentation, since Roadster mimics the fender of a 50's automobile with the packaging or dial on a Cartier Roadster watch, and has an extremely old-school mint/citrus/patchouli/woods compositional style also popular in the 50's, but done in a way that doesn't make it feel explicitly traditional. Even so, mid-to-late 2000's masculines in America were all about second-wave aquatics and soft, sweet early woody-amber styles, meaning Roadster's anachronism stuck out like a sore thumb and likely wasn't pushed in that market, even if it was officially released with fanfare globally. Furthermore, Americans probably don't romanticize the style of the "Big 50's" or the "Wild West" in much the same way as outsiders looking in from other parts of the world, who stumble across these aesthetics and fall in love rather than growing up and being bombarded with them by baby boomer parents or grandparents stuck in jingoistic conservative "American Exceptionalism" mode, so there's that sociopolitical angle to consider as well.

The opening of Cartier Roadster is mint and bergamot, pretty simple and dry at first. The opening collapses into the heart rather quickly although the mint lingers, but I think it's supposed to because the mint blends with the other notes to form a primary accord that lasts the duration of the entire wear. Folks unsure of mint need to approach this cautiously, as it's an all-or-nothing note here. Fans of Avon Perceive (2000), Yves Saint Laurent Live Jazz (1998), or Swiss Army Classic by Victorinox (1997) already know where this path leads, as its a very "drugstore" kind of mint. The heart is vanilla and vetiver, two nearly diametrically-opposed notes that provide green aromatic and sweet oriental depth respectively, and their interplay is important to the personality of Roadster. Finally, this semi-sweet piquant mixture of pepped grassy tones over rounded warmth finishes on classic labdanum, denatured patchouli isolates (no camphor or terpenes), and cedar. The base of this couldn't possibly feel more like a smooth 1950's postmodernist ode to me outside the absence of heavy oakmoss, but some Italian classics like Acqua di Selva (1949) and Pino Silvestre (1955) didn't rely soley on oakmoss either, so Roadster compares as a sweeter version of them. Mint replaces black pepper or pine, and vanilla replaces oakmoss in respective roles, but the same "bracing but smooth" dry down is achieved with only a touch of extra sweetness than a typical man's aftershave of the period, due to that vanilla. I rather like this style myself, and Roadster is a perfectly-casual choice for almost all seasons if you like this style too, with the vanilla making it friendlier than most older options in this category. Wear time is about 7 hours of moderate sillage in all climates save maybe the most frigid, and unlike some actual people from the decade this emulates, Roadster doesn't feel like it's romanticizing false historical narratives or disassociated from current affairs.

All in all, this modern "retro chic barbershop" bracing style will appeal to fans of stuff like Penhaligon's classic Victorian-era scents or "your Dad's aftershave" type of wet-shaving accoutrements found in most niche shaving stores in the 21st century. In fact, this can slide into the slot occupied by the venerable Aqua Velva Ice Blue (1935) for somebody liking a minty opening but wanting more heft for daily wear, assuming they can handle vanilla and woods in place of shoe leather in the base. Roadster is also almost chyrpe-like with the labdanum and bergamot interplay over dry cedar, but without a noticeable animalic riff, and is only "chypre" in spirit. I feel Roadster may also have been trying to fill a similar role to the later Creed Viking (2017) with being a modern re-styling of a classic vibe for older guys to move beyond their vintage selections into something contemporary. I guess it worked for a while in Europe, where it got flankers in with Roadster Sport (2009) and Roadster Black (2010) before dropping momentum, the second flanker of which was a limited edition only for 2010. We'll never know how this could've been received in the US without the big push of elsewhere to get it in stores, but judging by contentious opinions online (mostly over the love-or-hate mint), Roadster wouldn't have driven far even with older American men, who long ago stopped caring after mossy/soapy aromatic things in the 70's/80's vein went away, with the dry austerity of the 40's/50's before even their time, which is now the realm of the postmodernist hipster. Roadster is no Pasha de Cartier (1992) or Déclaration (1997), and is discontinued to boot, so sample if possible before blind-buying due to hype scalping. Thumbs up.
Jan 16, 2019

This is a typical Cartier scent meaning: Use with caution! It's absolutely sure to leave a strong impression. If you are looking for a scent that people notice, well this is the one. Just like many other Cartier fragrances: Less = more here. The spicy sharp notes are sure to make you nauseous and give you a sturdy headache IF you apply too much. So use one or two spays and but it back, that way you'll be able to enjoy the scent's true character: warm, woody, spicy, masculine, mint / vanilla, which otherwise will be overruled by the extreme harsh opening this has. Very unique. Bottle and name really reflect the smell. Projection is extreme so again, less is more. It prefer wearing this on colder days / winter time. I love it, but because it's so outspoken I only wear it every now and then, and definitely in moderation.
Mar 26, 2018

Wood's gin's clarity
Mint's ice's hungering breeze
Less's more's vast null.
Jun 26, 2017

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