Fragrance Faceoff Part 1: Cartier Edition

My fragrance sampler library
My fragrance sampler library

Whenever I place an online order from Sephora, I always choose fragrance samples. The other samples just seem a little pointless. You can’t tell if a skincare line is good from one use, and it’s hard to find a good makeup match to your coloring through samples. So I’ve been piling up a huge stash of perfume without taking the time to determine my thoughts on each.

I decided to rectify this situation and test each one, but perfume reviewing presents some problems.Fragrance is not as easy to describe as other makeup, since it’s designed to evoke a story. There are three parts to each fragrance – the top note, which smells the strongest but fades quickly, the middle note which is next to appear, and the bottom note, which lingers until the end.

Another issue is how intensely personal perfume is – one person’s favorite smell is a migraine-triggering nightmare for another. In order to address this issue, I decided to have some of my friends give their own opinions on each of the fragrances. Hopefully these differing views will help you get a better sense of which fragrance might be best for you.

The lucky three

The lucky three

I started the Fragrance Faceoff with three fragrances by Cartier – Delices des Cartier Eau FruiteeCartier Essence de Bois, and Cartier Baiser Vole. I had three friends help out: two of my roommates, Mark and Yuriy, as well as another friend Nora. I asked them to describe the perfume with a few adjectives, and give it a letter grade. Let’s find out how these perfumes fare.

1) Delices des Cartier Eau Fruitee

  • Nora: soft, refreshing, citrusy. Grade: A
  • Mark: pleasant, flowery. Grade: B
  • Yuriy: reminds him of a department store in a bad way. Grade: C
  • Me: too sweet, flowery, girly. Grade: C

How does Sephora describe it?

“A scent that sparkles with the citrusy blend of bergamot and mandarin, the tart essence of rhubarb, the soothing floral notes of morello-jasmine, and the smoothness of sandalwood and amber accords. A light, fresh scent that’s perfect for any time of day or night. Notes: Bergamot, Mandarin, Rhubarb, Morello-Jasmine Accord, Sandalwood, Amber Accord. Style: Fresh. Light. Delightful.”

2) Cartier Essence de Bois

  • Nora: serious, subtle, pleasant. Grade: B
  • Mark: light, fresh, woody. Grade: B+
  • Yuriy: young girl, nostalgia, forest-y. Grade: B+
  • Me: woody, musky, unisexy. Grade: A-

How does Sephora describe it?

“The new olfactory variation of Eau de Cartier reveals its unexpected ardent woody freshness. Essence de Bois is the unexpected combination of the freshness of water and the warmth of precious wood. This alluring fragrance leaves a lingering trail for him and for her, both fresh and sensual. Notes:
Yuzu, Bergamot, Violet Leaves, Oud, Violet Flower, Lavender, Ambergris , Patchouli, Musk.
Style: Fresh. Sensual.”

3) Cartier Baser Vole

  • Nora: garden, refreshing, sweet. Grade: A
  • Mark: too sweet, cloying, teenager. Grade: C-
  • Yuriy: berries, sugar, leather. C+
  • Me: very sweet, rose, lemon. C

How does Sephora describe it?

“An exceptional Lily. The original expression of this majestic and mysterious flower reflects all its perfection for the first time: fresh, floral and powdery.Cartier Baiser Vole is an Allure Best of Beauty Award Winner.Notes: Lily Petals, Green Lily Leaves. Style: Fresh. Floral. Powdery.”

So what has this experiment proven? That people have very different takes on the same perfume. I gave Nora the Baiser Vole perfume, and I’m glad that I discovered Essence de Bois. I love unisex perfumes, and it’s subtle enough for daytime wear. Hopefully the varied responses will give you a better idea of which perfume might be the right one for you.

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