Cartier Baiser Vole Eau de Toilette and Extrait de Parfum ~ fragrance review

Cartier Baiser Volé Eau de Toilette

I know, I know. Now Smell This already posted a thorough review of Cartier Baiser Volé. But that was for the Eau de Parfum. Baiser Volé is one of the few perfumes that really explores the fragrance’s idea through its other formulations. While a review of the Eau de Parfum gives you an idea of Baiser Volé’s theme — lilies in the style of Carole Lombard’s boudoir, complete with silver hairbrush and face powder — the Eau de Toilette and Extrait de Parfum aren’t simply different concentrations. Instead, they take the Eau de Parfum’s “main tune” and orchestrate it differently.

Cartier house perfume Mathilde Laurent created Baiser Volé in each of its forms. Cartier is vague about the fragrance’s notes, spouting pap about how the fragrance embraces each aspect of the lily: stem, petals, and root. Besides lily, I get hints of neroli, powder, jasmine, and musk.

Baiser Volé Eau de Parfum is the most sober form of the fragrance. It shows Baiser Volé’s powdery glamour of deconstructed lilies in a way that makes me long for my own dressing room, satin coverlet, and stack of 1930s movies. It’s beautiful, for sure. But it’s also humorless. Do you know what I mean? To me, real beauty wears a dash of pathos or wit, or it becomes merely decoration. Gorgeous decoration, true, but it doesn't engage me for long.

Baiser Volé Eau de Toilette (shown above), on the other hand, brims with playfulness. Here, Baiser Volé’s theme is amped with a shot of juicy bitter orange and mashed green stems. It hums with the snuffed candle scent some aldehydes give. It’s a scent so fresh and fruity I could almost drink it. Yet Baiser Volé’s green lily glamour still shines through.

Even though I bought my bottle of Baiser Volé Eau de Toilette only last summer, and it faces lots of competition in my perfume cabinet, I’ve already used about a third of it. Besides spraying it on myself, I spritz it on lamp shades, the shower curtain, and my pillows. It dissipates quickly, leaving a fresh, green, romantic sillage. It’s barely powdery and much more juicy than the Eau de Parfum. It doesn’t last more than three or four hours on skin, but that’s the point of it.

Cartier Baiser Volé Extrait de Parfum

Baiser Volé Extrait de Parfum (shown just above) takes the fragrance’s theme and skews it carnal. Remember the scene toward the end of Cinema Paradiso where the theater’s operator had spliced together all the movie bits banned by the town? The reel was scene after scene of passionate kisses with mustachioed heroes and heroines in marcelled waves, all in black and white. This is Baiser Volé Extrait. It’s as seductive and nostalgic as a pre-war film kiss, but as earthy as the dirty floors of the small town Italian cinema that showed it.

Baiser Volé Parfum smells of slept-in skin rubbed with truffles, then rubbed again with lilies yanked from the garden, dirt still clinging to the bulb. It’s sexy, but not in an in-your-face, white flower-plus-fruit-plus-patchouli way. It’s intensely feminine, but not in an aldehydes-plus-roses-plus-violets way. Also, for all my talk of 1930s icons, Baiser Volé doesn’t actually smell retro. It just references bygone days, the way an Alberta Ferretti dress seems perfectly contemporary yet somehow begs for the set of Gosford Park.

For me, Baiser Volé is one fragrance for which I can happily skip the flagship Eau de Parfum version — as long as I have the Eau de Toilette and Extrait on hand.

Cartier Baiser Volé Eau de Toilette comes in 50 ml ($85) and 100 ml ($125) bottles. Baiser Volé Extrait de Parfum is $200 for 30 ml. The Parfum is harder to find in department stores, but keep asking around. It’s worth trying. For those of you who love the Eau de Parfum, it's now available at online discounters as well as the usual stores.

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41 Comments

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  1. Love the extrait – it’s on my buy list. I liked the EDP but felt something was “missing”. Obviously it was the extrait and maybe the EDT, which I haven’t tried! Of course, you’ve made me want to!

    • Angela says:

      I like the EdP all right, but the extrait induces swoons (for me). The EdT is just plain fun.

  2. martha24 says:

    Dear Angela,
    thanks for your great review! This is the reason why I read NST every day: reviews which deal with the details of different concentrations – especially if these concentrations are interpretations as in this case. I have only sampled the eau de parfum version of Baiser Volé and it was horrible AND fascinating to me. Perhaps the extrait or the eau de toilette is a little less horrible and a little more fascinating!

    • Angela says:

      Oh–horrible AND fascinating! A very intriguing combo. I’d love to hear if the extrait or EdT pulls one way or the other for you.

  3. Lys says:

    I dislike Baiser Vole in the EDP and, past the first ten minutes, in the extrait. To me Baiser Vole EDP has all the gravitas of a bottle of Snuggle. But you’re right, it’s humorless in the sense that maybe the bear is absent from the label. I greatly prefer the EDT.

    • Angela says:

      Oh no–the dreaded comparison to fabric softener!

      • Lys says:

        I don’t mind a little white musk – I think I mind it less than most other NST commenters – but this scent has A LOT of it.

        • Angela says:

          I get more in the EdT than the extrait (where I don’t really smell any)–but I thought it was fairly subdued. I’m sorry it’s so “laundry” loud on you!

  4. lilyboy says:

    excited :)) i love lilies, isnt it obvious hehe

    i remember liking the edp but was thinking whether to buy, not buy etc etc etc
    so thanks for the great review/comparison, will need to revisit side by side with the EDT.. dunno if the extrait will be available here in asia

    the EDT bottle looks so pretty :)

    though i love lilies, i have yet to find my ‘lily perfume’..
    FM lys mediterranee is awesome but to my nose it feels too much like the real thing that id love to smell it elsewhere than on my skin as a personal ‘perfume’..
    Gold i used to own but too ‘humidly hot’ to my nose..
    i own SL un lys, its beautiful and probably the closest to being my pinnacle lily perfume at least for the moment :)

    im blaberring abt lilies, apologies, :)))

    • Angela says:

      Blabbering about lilies is always encouraged!

      Baiser Volé is kind of a strange lily fragrance, really. It’s not particularly lily-ish to me, but some kind of deconstructed lily. I hope you find your perfect lily soon!

    • AnnieA says:

      I hesitate to be so downmarket, but Anais Anais is nice, and dirt cheap…

      • ggperfume says:

        And a darn good fragrance, too. I was just wishing for some Anais Anais the other day. I’ll have to seek it out!

      • Angela says:

        Bargains are to be applauded!

  5. Merlin says:

    I agree that the EDP is somewhat unsmiling, but to me that is part of its crystalline, even rarified, delicacy. I think this quality might also be what makes it a rather formal scent. It might also be why my bottle has not gone down very much!
    The EDP is well suited to an ice princess – or even Kate Blachett’s Galadriel with her elegant and ethereal sobriety.
    All that being said – the EDT sounds like it might fit me better!

    • Angela says:

      I think you’re right–the EdP is graceful, but not super warm. Let me know what you think of the EdT!

  6. mutzi says:

    Gee, thanks, Angela. I have and greatly like the EDP. Now, thanks to your lovely review, I need the EDT and the Extrait.

    • Angela says:

      …or at least to try them!

  7. ladymurasaki says:

    Angela, this is fabulous. The extrait sounds wonderful and just my kind of thing. I love the way you described the lilies yanked from the garden with dirt still clinging to the bulb. A bit of dirt is a good thing :)

    • Angela says:

      That’s how I feel about housekeeping!

  8. annemarie says:

    Oh darn it, that sequence in Cinema Paradiso had me weeping buckets way back in about 1992 when I saw the film with my soon-to-be-now-ex-husband. No movie had ever done or has ever done that to me. Hearing the theme music on the radio in the car, as I occasionally do, still makes me teary. Which is a bit hazardous when you are driving. A dab of Baiser Vole parfum sounds much safer! Hopefully I would not crash into anyone. See – perfume is good for you! :)

    • Angela says:

      A perfume that caused traffic accidents would be a real hazard! Probably the most hazardous part with the extrait would be driving with a wrist stuck to your nose.

  9. wanhao says:

    Thank you for the trio of “Stolen Kisses” reviews!

    To my nose, EDT smells sharp & “clean” almost like a designer brand laundry detergent. There’s an excessive chemical (plasticky?) quality about it I find difficult 2comprehend. I personally prefer Narciso Rodriguez Essense if I’m in that kind of mood..

    • Angela says:

      It sounds like you get a lot more musk out of it than I do! Well, Essence is always a lovely, clean fragrance.

  10. Emily says:

    Angela, thank you for giving me hope that I might have a reason to own one of those wonderful vintage-cigarette-lighter bottles! I have only tried the EDP, and concur with your assessment. But the EDT and extrait sound much more promising . . . and I know where to find testers of each in SF.

    • Angela says:

      The bottles really are terrific. (I know I’m a sucker!)

    • ggperfume says:

      Ooh, where?

  11. nozknoz says:

    I tend to get a bit paralyzed by similar and beautiful versions – I still haven’t decided which Diptyque Volutes I want, for example. I do want decants of these to explore.

    • Angela says:

      I still haven’t tried Volutes, but I’m already assuming I’ll be stymied by the versions and deciding which I prefer, too!

  12. Subhuman says:

    Angela, your description of the extrait is both cogent and sublime. Why can’t the PR people behind these perfume houses come up with such copy? I haven’t smelled any form of Baiser Volé but now feel I must. Romantic, seductive, AND earthy? Did not expect that from Cartier. I get the feeling the house is riding a bit of a wave lately – less flankers of Déclaration and Eau de Cartier, more unique and well-crafted scents that hum their own tune, like this one.

    • Angela says:

      Thank you! Cartier is lucky to have Mathilde Laurent, that’s for sure.

      When you try Baiser Volé, make sure you try the extrait–it’s a world apart in beauty (I think so, anyway!).

  13. eminere says:

    Nice to know the three concentrations have their own merits and are not simply the same scent in varying strengths.

    • Angela says:

      I always appreciate that, too.

  14. austenfan says:

    What a lovely review. I was very pleased to find it, as it compares the 3 different versions. When it first came out I tried the EDP several times and while I adored the top notes I wasn’t very smitten with the drydown. I found it rather banal to be honest.
    I recently tried the EDT which I liked much better. It is very lighthearted and summery and does not become as heavy as the EDP. The extrait sounds a true beauty. I’ll make sure I will try it at some point. Up until then Des Lys and DK Gold will have to do lily duty in my perfume collection.

    • Angela says:

      Those are very worthy lily contenders!

  15. ggperfume says:

    Another scent worth trying, just when I’ve decided to pare down my list. . .

    • Angela says:

      But a list is only a list. It’s when the bottles start piling up that trouble grows…

      • ggperfume says:

        That’s just what I’m afraid of!

  16. Andreea says:

    Eau my god, I don’t get it – there are four Baisers? So I should go for the expensive one , the extrait, which is only called extrait but actually is an Eau de Parfum OR for the Eau de Toilette, according to you.
    I am just asking :-) because once in a while I just get what you say and it works for me, too.

    Had the honour to meet Mathilde Laurent and now I am really curious to “smell” more of her work. I am working out the concept of “La Panthére” and I like it, probably because I undestand the concept and because she was so, so nice and inspiring.

    Now, just wonder where and when to get to smell these Baisers… and which one exactly.

    • Angela says:

      I bought the extrait and love it, and I also have the EdT–but they’re two different creatures. (The extrait I found as a tester online for only $70, so it’s worth looking for.) The newest version I find a little too full of vanilla to please me as much as the extrait. The EdP is fine, but doesn’t move me like the extrait does. I know, it’s so confusing!

  17. Andreea says:

    I will try to get the extrait – yes, Mathilde Laurent said they do the flankers at the same time and of course for the money, but she puts the same effort in all scents; they are all different. I like that of course.
    Okay, Cartier is very different from my last splurge, which was Like This from ELDO (blame you-or was it Kevin?!) who gave the last input to the order. But it made me so happy!
    Thanks for your advice.

    • Angela says:

      I hope you love it as much as I do! (And I hope you find it for a good price.) It will be wonderful for spring.

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