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Cartier La Panthere ~ perfume review

Cartier La Panthère bottle trio

The panther is the symbol of Cartier femininity: divine, exquisite and rebellious simultaneously. In a word: free. Free to love and live life to the full, with passion, eye to eye…an unexplored, almost paradoxical accord: a feral floral. Cartier perfumer Mathilde Laurent began with a gardenia. From this fresh flower she set out to create a fragrance that would leave pure, mesmerising tracks of a colour pushed to its animalistic limit.1

To quote Angie’s review of Ys Uzac Satin Doll yesterday, hey, sign me up! A feral floral pushed to its animalistic limit, with gardenia no less, sounds perfect. I haven’t always been a Cartier fan girl, but Baiser Volé started me on the road to conversion, and the stunning panther bottle for the new La Panthère finished me off. So when the fragrance went up for sale on the Cartier website, and I saw that they’d made the 30 ml bottle available at the outset (often, they’re hard to find, or never appear in the US until much after the launch, if at all), what did I do? Well, I bought it of course…

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Cartier Eau de Cartier Zeste de Soleil, with an aside on Baiser Vole Essence de Parfum ~ fragrance review

Cartier Eau de Cartier Zeste de Soleil

Hey, who doesn’t need a little zeste de soleil right about now? (If it’s warm where you are, no bragging please!) Zeste de Soleil is the latest flanker to Cartier’s Eau de Cartier, a fragrance I’ve always liked but never adored quite enough to buy a bottle. It joins Eau de Cartier Essence d’Orange (which was not as wonderful as I hoped), Eau de Cartier Essence de Bois (a great pencil-shavings scent darkened with a drop of oud) and Eau de Cartier Goutte de Rose (which I have not smelled — do comment if you have).

Zeste de Soleil is apparently meant to be the exotic-slash-tropical entry in the series; it adds passion fruit to the original mix of yuzu and mint. The top notes are the perfect antidote to the grey, dreary, rainy weather we’re having here lately: an energetic burst of what smells like flash-frozen grapefruit peel…

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Frangipani and ylang-ylang trees in Mayotte

The most memorable scent I have experienced while travelling is of frangipani and ylang-ylang trees in Mayotte, an island that sits somewhere between Madagascar and Mozambique...I crossed the island in a jeep at 3am so I could smell the trees, which look strange – their branches made me think of witches’ hands. The ylang-ylang flowers are so perfumed – the island women cut them from the trees by hand.

— Perfumer Mathilde Laurent tells the Telegraph about her favorite "fragrant destinations"; read more in Perfumed planet: fragrances around the world.