Mathilde Laurent is a discerning woman, and she wants you to evoke wonders. Just take a look at some of her creations: Guerlain no. 68 (2002 version); Andre Gas Ensolleile Moi; Guerlain Pamplelune; and a multitude of fragrances for Cartier, including Oud & Musc and Must de Cartier Gold. She worked at Guerlain for Jean-Paul Guerlain for 11 years, and moved to Cartier in 2005.
“At Cartier we all agree that a good perfume always begins with a great idea. If you need to, you can refine the idea to make it more commercial, but a great idea will never become only commercial,” she told Tank magazine. “It will become familiar, it will touch people very easily, but it will not be purely commercial. When you start only with the idea of being commercial to please everybody, you will have nothing. No idea, no pleasure, just sales. Maybe it will work a little bit: you will sell out one time. But that’s all. You will be a one-hit wonder.”
L’Envol de Cartier is no one-hit wonder. It’s masculine and ethereal. You’ll sense a bit of patchouli, a touch of musk. I pick up a note of honey, undergird by something akin to wheat. Is there any wheat in here? I don’t want to know. But, there is oil of guaiac (rose? tea? violets? all of these.), and the combination is enthralling. (Note of lore: oil of guaiac was once considered a cure for syphilis.) Laurent was inspired by the mythical ambrosia of the gods on Olympus, and her work has resulted in a fragrance I find myself going to again and again. It’s sportif, it’s refined, and it’s sexy.
A word about the packaging: L’Envol de Cartier comes in a unique and aesthetically pleasing transparent glass vessel, which is encased in another glass bottle, one that is open at the bottom. Cartier’s famous guilloché motif adorns the stopper, which features an ingenious rotating top: turn it once and it is ready to spray, then a deft opposite-direction turn secures the contents. Great for travel.
L’Envol is available at Nordstrom in various formats, including a 3.3-ounce eau de parfum. Look also for the perfumed deodorant stick and a grooming oil.