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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

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.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ну и высокие же у тебя требования! ) Высокомерие, гедонизм, аристократизм. Ну с первыми двумя ещё кое-как где-то как-то, но родословная...)

10:15 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Кое-как? Скромничаешь? :-) Но раз родословной нет то ...увы :-)

10:17 PM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

I'm a bit concerned about the watery aspect, but the rest of it sounds completely delicious. And the bottle amuses me. Definitely look forward to trying this.

10:24 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

The bottle would amuse Freud, I think :-)

10:31 AM EDT  
Blogger TrippleJN said...

I'm intrigued by the "mineral" bit. Since starting in my perfume searches, I've often thought my skin (and my daughter's) has a mineral "quality" to it. :) For some reason, Ananas Fizz brings it out, especially in the dry down. I've been looking for others that have the same effect...I don't know, maybe a mineral scent would be entirely different. I'll have to see.

I just ordered a sample of Apres la Mousson. And then read Chandler Burr's review of it...eyes roll. I obviously liked yours better!


10:35 AM EDT  
Blogger TrippleJN said...

Oh, yes and the husband will love it being the total car freak that he is.

10:37 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Have you tried Sel de Vetiver or Terre d'Hermes? They have that mineral quality too as does Eau des Merveilles, I don't know how to describe it. It is not green and not salty as such and not is...mineral :-)
Let me know how you like Mousson.

10:37 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I have a feeling we all see something different in that bottle. I also have a feeling Elle and I have dirty minds :-))

10:38 AM EDT  
Blogger TrippleJN said...

OMG..totally! My mind must be going unusually straight today. I don't know. If he loves the bottle, I see a field day for over analysis.

10:42 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Right, paging Dr Freud :-)

10:43 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

I was surprised at how much I liked this. I expected more of the same, but I'd love to smell it on me or a guy.

10:43 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You weren't as surprised as I was, belieeeeve me :-) A great unisex scent, I think.

10:45 AM EDT  
Blogger TrippleJN said...

Thanks for the recommendations, Marina. I haven't tried Sel de Vetiver or Terre, yet. I will.


10:52 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This sounds fantastic! I can not wait to try it. I've been on a niche downer lately and I am hoping this designer fragrance will lift my spirits. It sounds unique but accessible.

ALSO... a while back you gave me a sample of Tauer's Incense Extreme and finally, I bought a bottle. I just want to thank you for your generosity. It paid off :)


10:59 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I adore the ambergrisy salty mineral quality of Merveilles, as you well know, and like the idea of roughing it up with a bit patch. Rrowrr. Never would have tested this without your review, M., thanks!

11:05 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You are very welcome, let me know what you think of them.

11:09 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am so glad!
I think this one is both accessible and interesting.

11:09 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I think you will like this one!

11:10 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I read "mineral" my first thought was: Terre d'Hermes! This is sure to be interesting.

I will have to give it a sniff, and I liked Terre (although not enough to purchase) and I own Eau des Merveilles. I often wish the latter was earthier, so this might be just right. Apres la Mousson didn't work on me, though; it was much too melon-y.

I have to admit, I giggled at the bottle.

12:21 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Well this has no melons so you might like it.

3:22 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Boy does this sound sexy...."A mineral Fougere", Wet but not Aquatic"...yumm. I think that i would love this but not on my husband. It does sound like a fragrance for my son! He loves that cool mint accord.
Well done M. making me ravenous:)

6:59 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

well let me know what you think of it when you smell it

8:21 PM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

I agree that it's a very nice, watery fragrance, but it has absolutely no staying power on me, or on my friend - we tried it together. Even after spraying liberally, after about a half hour he could not detect it on me unless he had his nose on my skin. Same thing happened when I tested it with my husband.

8:35 AM EDT  

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