Cartier Declaration d’un Soir ~ fragrance review

Cartier Declaration d'un Soir advert

Cartier just launched Déclaration d’un Soir (a flanker to 1998′s Déclaration Eau de Toilette) and it supposedly takes the original Déclaration perfume into nighttime (huh?) (Also laughable: Cartier PR says Déclaration d’un Soir ‘drives men to speak their minds.’) Perfume may make me speak my mind…but only about perfume (thus, this review).

Déclaration d’un Soir was developed by Cartier perfumer Mathilde Laurent; its notes include pepper, cumin, nutmeg, rose and sandalwood. When I first wore Déclaration d’un Soir, I felt I had smelled a close relative of it before. It took me weeks to finally figure out that Déclaration d’un Soir reminds me of Eau d’Italie Paestum Rose (more on that later). Déclaration d’un Soir opens with peppery citrus (the pepper actually makes my nose tingle). As Déclaration d’un Soir develops on my skin, I detect cumin. Now, before you cumin-haters start wailing, let me say that Déclaration d’un Soir’s cumin is dry and delicate; I barely notice the cumin in this fragrance.

In its next phase, Déclaration d’un Soir’s cumin morphs into what smells like cedar-tinged rose. The sweetish rose at the heart of Déclaration d’un Soir is “heartless” — it’s as if you took a rose, removed it’s super-floral-scented center and left its drier, aromatically airier edges intact. In Paestum Rose, the rose note is also augmented by wood, but Paestum Rose’s rose is denser and syrupy and its “wood” note more solid. Still, when I spray Paestum Rose next to Déclaration d’un Soir the similarities are striking. 

The rose-wood aromas in Déclaration d’un Soir’s mid-section last a long time and seem to float on tea-scented notes. As its rose fades (so to speak) Déclaration d’un Soir’s sheer wood (supplemented by some dry musk?) becomes more prominent. This wood, vaguely smelling like sandalwood, has a 'pleasant' acridity up close…cutting thru the balmy sweetness of Déclaration d’un Soir’s heart.

Cartier Declaration d'un Soir fragrance bottleBright, floral-woody, see-thru, happy Déclaration d’un Soir is pretty far from the grungy  spice-fest of original Déclaration. As far as Déclaration d’un Soir being a night version of the original Déclaration? If you think of your nighttime self as being a “cleaned-up” version of you, then fine. But if you think of the nighttime you as sexier, more edgy? No. Original Déclaration fits that bill better. But any way you categorize it, Déclaration d’un Soir is a worthy addition to the good-smelling Déclaration collection.

Cartier Déclaration d’un Soir, to me, is a unisex fragrance; style-wise, it would fit perfectly into the Hermès Jardin collection. Déclaration d’un Soir has excellent strength and sillage; it is available in 50/100 ml for $80/105.


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18 Comments

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  1. raymond says:

    Rose & Cumin — I would’ve guessed it to be more like Le Labo’s Rose 31. That said, Paestum Rose is a big favorite of mine, so I’m gonna have to try this out. Thanks for the review.

    • Kevin says:

      Raymond:nope, not like Le Labo…lighter.

  2. relleric says:

    I will have to give this a try in spite of being a glutton for punishment regarding Declaration fragrances. I commented on yesterday’s post about liking (and owning) 3 different versions that I cannot wear.
    Thanks for the review Kevin.

    • Kevin says:

      Relleric:I’m happy you said ‘try’ instead of ‘buy!’ HA!

  3. Dilana says:

    Kevin, I realize that this is a sexist stereotype, but there are a lot of men who do think that an evening self, is the “cleaned up” version , at least to the extent of removing the sweaty tshirt and putting on a clean one. Of course, I have never known such a man to have more than one fragrance.

    I doubt a scent encourages anyone to speak their mind. However, men often regard a woman’s request that he let her know what is thinking as “nagging.” *If a fragrance can do this, it is worth every (pretty reasonable) penny. Come to think of it, this might be a good marketing slogan for the “woman buy this for your guy,” sector.
    Imagine this, a gorgeous woman in a killer black dress, gorgeous hair and make up and stillettos. She is with a guy in a barely white t shirt and jeans (see he cleaned up).
    He is staring blankly into space.
    Girl: Darling, what are you thinking.
    Guy grunts, slightly displeased, at having his staring interrupted.. Girl.. “Well darling, I know you had such a hard, hard week. I brought you this to cheer you up. ”
    Close up of bottle of Declaration Se Soir. Guy opens package. Girl sprays his neck and nuzzles. “Ohh, that smells just like a dream man.”
    Guy wakes from his semi-conscoius stupor.; Gee, honey, that was so nice. It really cheered up. I’ve been thinking, I should stop spending my money and time on World of Warcraft. We should get married.”
    Girl: (to camera) “Declaration Se Soir- Just one drop and he’ll make that Declaration you’ve been waiting for.”

  4. Kevin says:

    dilana: unless they are half naked and in Capri that commercial will never get made!

  5. austenfan says:

    Wouldn’t it have been great if they had said that the fragrance leaves men dumb? That at least would have had the charm of having been unpredictable.

    • Kevin says:

      Austenfan…more mysterious

  6. lenika says:

    Maybe they mean he’ll speak his mind if he drinks it? It contains alcohol, after all ;)

    • Kevin says:

      Lenika..but at this price he could get a good bottle of booze!

  7. Dilana says:

    Does anyone really want a fragrance that makes one speak one’s mind? Imagine the follow up to my prior commercial.

    Girl and Guy are sitting down to dinner with older couple in gorgeous house. Once again, she is beautifully turned out, and he is dressed in jeans and a t shirt which looks like an undershirt. It is the older couple’s home, and they are both well dressed. Girl is wearing a (very small) engagement ring.
    Girl sniff deeply. She leans over to Guy and Whispers: “:Ooh, you are wearing Declaration Le Soir. . My dream man.”
    Older Man (frowns): I guess I shouldn’t have sent an employee to help my daughter change her tire. Now he’s marrying her.
    Guy: May I call you Dad, Boss, even though I work for you.
    Older Man: No. You still call me boss. And as far as I can tell, you haven’t done a lick of work for the last six months.
    Guy: Well, if you weren’t such a jerk, and an idiot, maybe we’d have some customers so there would be work to do.
    Older Man: Get out of my house, and don’t come back to work. And don’t try sponging off my daughter.
    Girl:Cries. Don’t blame him. Mom, get dad to come down. It was the Declaration Le Soir, it frees men to speak their minds.
    Mom: Oh, you gave him Declaration Le Soir. I gave it to your father. That is why he is speaking His mind.

    Father: (Relaxes) Oh, so we share our love for Cartier fine fragrances. Welcome to the family. You know, I should just give you the company to run.

    Mom: Turns to Camera: So Middle Aged Ladies, if you want your daughter to get married, even to a slob and a jerk, and you want your husband to finally retire and take you to Capri, just give them both Declaration Le Soir.
    Final shot: The older couple embrace half naked on the beach in Capri, dousing each other with Declaration Le Soir.

  8. sinnerman says:

    I wanted to get to Cartier yesterday to check out these fragrances! And now this one with more spice and delight! I’m interested In these for my partner! His birthday is in 14 days! Instead I bought a bottle of Chanel no 5 edt for my collection and then put myself promptly on the bus home, Cartier un sniffed! These will be filed in my personal system of fragrance to try and smell next week !!!! Again, interested in the cumin!

    • Kevin says:

      Sinneman: naughty you…thinking of yourself first. HA!

  9. VanMorrisonFan says:

    The best thing to get a man to speak his mind is bourbon on ice…works for me every time!

  10. nozknoz says:

    I’m just admiring the advert fantasy images that have been generated by this perfume – it seems to be working on NST commenters, at least! ;-)

  11. nonnanina says:

    Madonna mia, get a man to speak his mind? What a concept. My husband never notices a thing, new hairdo, no makeup vs. makeup. I doubt strongly that this fantasy scent would do much for us. BTW, I am so exhausted by flankers. It’s like the movies, do-overs, tweaking originals, bah! Gimme that old time original and stop there, please!!

  12. rosiegreen62 says:

    Okay Kevin, you got me hooked. Now I really have to try this one.

  13. Subhuman says:

    I’ve worn the original Déclaration at night and it just strikes the wrong note somehow – too sprightly and spicy. I wouldn’t reach for any of the Déclarations for a sexy nighttime fragrance, to be honest, but this sounds like it has potential. Glad to hear it’s a worthy addition to the line, at least.

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