New Perfume Review L’Envol de Cartier- Too Transparent?

There are perfume brands which seem to mine their original creations incessantly with flanker after flanker. Cartier can easily be accused of this with the entire Declaration line. Ten flankers in the 18 years since Declaration’s original release. Eight years ago in-house perfumer Mathilde Laurent tried to till some new ground with Roadster. I liked it but it seems others did not share my enthusiasm. So it was back to Declaration flankers. Now it seems Mme Laurent is ready to give it another try with L’Envol de Cartier.

L'Envol de Cartier is described as a “transparent Oriental” in the press release. Throughout that description the adjectives which bring to mind sheer are used. Surprisingly I didn’t find anything mentioning this was aimed at Millennials even though it is this transparency which seems to be the common thought amongst the brands that this group desires. That may just be my Baby Boomer curmudgeon surfacing. It is not like Mme Laurent hasn’t composed in this style previously. L’Envol de Cartier is kept light and airy until we get to the base which literally roots this.

mathilde laurent

Mathilde Laurent

L’Envol de Cartier opens with what is called a “transparent honey accord”. What that means is a very light presentation of honey is buoyed by some ozonic and airy notes. I feel like there is an aldehyde in here but this is so slight it is difficult to be sure. Bottom line this is like a very thin film of honey over a pane of glass with the sun shining through it. The airiness is added to with an application of the more expansive white musks which take that honey accord and mount it on an expanding soap bubble. After all of this it is a surprising contrast when a near full-throated patchouli provides the foundation. This is a classic dirty patchouli adding a vivid contrast to what came before.

L'Envol de Cartier has 8-10 hour longevity and moderate sillage.

On the days I wore this there was always a moment when I wanted something more. I like what Mme Laurent has done here. As it compares to many of the other transparent fragrances crossing my desk this is in the top tier of this style of perfume. I think it is going to be too transparent for some. I am probably in that category. I admire the effect and the skill necessary to achieve it. I just wish it connected with me more. I am very happy to see Cartier try something different. If this doesn’t succeed, please let Mme Laurent try again instead of doing another few Declaration flankers.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample from Cartier.

Mark Behnke

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