Perfume Review: Cartier Roadster
This September, Cartier is launching a new men's fragrance, Roadster, inspired by one of the brand's iconic watches. Created by Mathilde Laurent (also the nose behind Guerlain's sublime Guet-Apens), the scent is meant for "a hedonist caught up in the challenges of style with a refined and deliberate appreciation of the unexpected", for "an impeccable aristocrat that stakes his all on a throw of the dice for the mere thrill of it, intoxicated with the exhilaration of the play yet firmly under control." In other words, for exactly my type of a guy.
Hedonists are hard if not impossible to please, so would Roadster live up to their high standards of quality and originality? I think it would. The perfume is elegant without trying too hard, understated but full of character. I have never expected to like a masculine composition built on an "icy mint" accord, but as you can see, I am smitten. There seems to be a trend right now, for fragrances that I will call watery-woody or watery-woody-floral. Un Jardin Apres La Mousson, Magnolia Romana and Fleur de Liane are representative of that trend, and now Roadster joins them, featuring more of woods and none of flowers (unless we count lavender) and including that "watery" accord, which I can't describe other than by saying obscurely that it is "wet" but not "aquatic". And I love that accord.
Cartier categorizes Roadster as "a mineral fougère", and I suppose "mineral" is a good adjective to use for this or the three fragrances that I mentioned. There is something at once urbane and natural about it. The mint note, kept from being too fresh by vanilla, labdanum and patchouli, is delectable in a very abstract manner. The duo of bergamot and lavender, the bane of masculine scents, is subdued. Together with pepper, the two notes contribute to the cool feel of the scent but do not overtake the blend. The woody base has that indescribably, subtly salty powderiness which I also encounter in Eau des Merveilles and Navegar and a bit of earthy smokiness from patchouli. Roadster is, overall, as classic as it is über contemporary, and I think that it is superb. When I wear it, it makes me feel aloof and tranquil. On male skin it smells smokier, woodier and more arrogant...just the way I like 'em.
The fragrance will debut in Cartier boutiques and Bloomingdale's on September 1st, and will retail for $105.00(3.3 fl oz).
Image source, Cartier.