The traveler returns, much poorer in the wallet, but much richer in all the great sights and culture I was surrounded in. It is always so good to get home, make my dogs and cats happy just because I exist where they can see me (does it get any better than that?), sleep in my own bed, catch up on all of my trashy Housewife shows (OMG, can Atlanta or Beverly Hills get any trashier?), and just move back into my life that I love so much. I know, I’m disgustingly smug about my own contentment.
Cartier de Lune, created by Mathilde Laurent, who is also doing the entire L’Heure series (will be reviewing some of all of those on Thursday), is the first mainstream women’s fragrance they’ve done since Delices. Now, Delices was not met with universal love, but I still adore that little fruity frothy thing because it makes me smile, and it tickles my nose – kinda like a nice rose’ champagne.
The most interesting piece of this perfume to me is the contrast of the L’Heure series and the mainstream Cartier de Lune, done by the same perfumer. Clearly this one is geared for the mainstream, not for all of you little freaks that like your perfume dressed up with leather and civet as an amuse bouche before you dive into some musky bottoms as a side dish.
Let me just cover de Lune on its own. Notes of pink pepper, juniper berries, honeysuckle, wild rose, cyclamen, bindweed (morning glory), lily of the valley, musk, woods. This is a very standard feminine clean musky floral, there’s nothing breakthrough about it. It’s easy to wear, floral, clean musk, little green, it’s smooth, elegant, not too heavy or too sheer. I’m going out on a limb here and say that I think this was a good choice by Cartier. So much of their historic perfumes are more heavy, outspoken – Baiser, Must, even Delices isn’t shy – and this fits in a place that I think was empty, and it’s well done, completely commercial, but not in a cheap commercial way like so many of the mainstream scents are. It fits their brand and will speak easily to a younger customer. I imagine this is a scent that you would garner a lot of “you smell so nices” as you waft through the office or a cocktail party. Nothing wrong with that, I have a great appreciation for commercial fragrances that have been done well, have wide appeal and will broaden a company’s bottom line, which, lets face it, every company has to do to succeed. They simply can’t make a profit selling to us. This one can easily be gifted to anyone from the age of 16 to 105 and worn by them without them feeling like they are wearing too young or too old. That’s a pretty remarkable thing on its own. Despite the broad appeal, it still smells expensive and fits the luxury Cartier branding.
It’s when I contrast this with the L’Heure series that I’m most interested in how the perfumer shows restraint, curbs some errant notes, smooths it out, gelds it so it is appealing to a wider audience. I keep thinking that has to be the hardest thing in the world to do for an artist.
I had the same thought when I was going through the Uffizzi in Florence. So much of the art created by the masters were commissions – portraits, requests for religious persons that looked just like what Europeans looked like (hey, Botticelli and Raphael!), including Mary getting painted in various shows of riches that couldn’t be further from how she lived, but I’m off on a tangent again – and not nearly as much of their work was what they would have chosen. None of us are ever truly free to do and express ourselves as we like – we just have to show how great we are in what we are given to do.
There’s a full life lesson in that one sentence for me. Source for the Cartier de Lune sample was Cartier, along with samples of the three new L’heures. I’ve got a small bottle of it, and I’ll happily carve it out into like 5 samples to give to commenters. We can talk about whatever you like today! Tell me about your pets, what you’re reading. I got sucked into those for-teenage-girls Vampire Academy books, and I really need to find an exit point for them, except I’m on the last one. Not sure why I’m on a young adult reading tear lately. I intersperse something more difficult between my teenfic truffles, but I keep finding interesting ideas in those books, even if some of the writing makes me cringe a bit. Well, sometimes a lot.