Cartier L’Heure Fougueuse Perfume Review

Cartier L'Heure Fougueuse

When I first stumbled into the Posse,  one of the first things I did, after I stopped drooling, was to go into the Archives to see what I’d been missing .  One of my faves was this hysterical post, which got me on a hunt for Hermes Doblis, just to see what the fuss was about.  I thought about what constitutes “smelling like money”.  Doblis has it, with its rich, honeyed-leather tones…lots of money there…tons of money…

..yeah, right.

You want MONEY?  How about Saudi Prince money?  A state-of-the-art stable full of Arabians, each with its own groom, massage therapist… private plane (I’m talking the horses here), air conditioned semis….tack that costs more than your house?


Hellooo, Cartier L’Heure Fougueuse. Mathilde….wow.   It’s phenomenal.   I get a huge blast of clean, slightly-green hay, coupled with that sharp, acrid smell that says ”barnyard’…… then, about 5 minutes into it, that all smooths out and it gets weird, compelling and way fabulous – not perfumey at all, more essential/elemental…..but seriously groomed and refined. A scent of elegant contradictions.   Per Denyse’s review here, Mathilde Laurent used what she called a ‘mane accord’ but I’m not getting ‘horse mane’, as in what you get on a farm (at least not for me – but I wasn’t raised on a farm so what do I know)… Yes, it’s ‘horses’ but not really (bear with me as I try to make sense here)….for me, the overwhelming impression I get from it the idea of a stable built for a staggering cost, housing the most cosseted horses on the planet.

I know this is a lame review.   I can’t really talk about the notes on this one.  It’s just….honest, I just can’t get past this seamless marriage of Nature and Money.  Horse translates to  ‘ the best horse (and horse stuff) that money can buy.  LOTS of money.  Cartier L’Heure Fougueuse is gorgeous and addictive – I wore it for several days in a row and could happily make this my next  Scent Challenge – if I could afford it!  As with the other Les Heures, it is shockin’ expensive.  And I’m still awaiting that Saudi prince.

Serendipity:  for a more coherent take, see what Victoria has to say about it – she’s reviewing it today as well here.

photo:  Arabian Horse Network/2008 Al Khalediah Arabian Horse Festival

Photos courtesy of Scott Bailey

perfume sample of Cartier L’Heure Fougueuse from a generous, private ‘gifter’

  • donanicola says:

    Heh I know I’m late to the party but I just had to write because I read and loved your review yesterday and today……my decant of this beauty turned up! I’d sampled it once and fallen instantly in love without being able to say why. They say its real then don’t they? Yes, I’d read Denyse’s preview and was pre disposed but it’s like a mate tells you she’s found the perfect man for you and you become seduced by the idea of him and then you meet him and (insert sound of fireworks) YES! He really is all that! No, it’s not happened to me re a guy but it has happened with perfume and this was it. For the record I also love Le Treixieme Heure and this contains echoes of that I think. But in a sunlit way.

    • Musette says:

      Wow! 😕 I might’ve gotten a little bit ‘bit’ like that, meself…I can’t wait to revisit this and see if it still holds that power.

      I have to admit I hated wearing Le Treix (though I wildly admired it -see why I make Very Little Sense?) but I can totally see how this compares – maybe it’s the sunlit part that tips me into love?

      If you have not yet found that man, here’s hoping! Your description …!

      xoxo >-)

  • Shari says:

    Hey Musette- I loved your review. It was superbly evocative and I can imagine the scent clearlynthanks to you. So no apologies!! Off I go to Saks to check it out. I do so love VI.

    Stay warm up in those Northern climes, my friend,


    • Musette says:

      Another Brillante lover!! That’s you, me and Erin! 🙂 I can’t wait to learn what you think of this one – totally different from Brillante, which I consider a perfume. This is almost like a skin scent – just weird.

      We’re bracing for snow………./:)

      xo >-)

  • Louise says:

    So far, I haven’t clicked with Les Heures. But you have me seriously rethinking.

    For horsey scents, I’ve always found Vie de Chateau hits the spot. Though it’s all sweet hay, it somehow transports me back to the stables…

    Thanks for the post!

    • Musette says:

      hey, doll! are you guys gearing up for yet MORE snow? 😮 I would get all dramatic about our own impending blizzard – but we live in the Midwest so it’s par for the course.

      I’ve never tried VdC – that’ll be in my next TPC order, methinks. Normally I’m not much for horsey scents – all that hay and everything usually doesn’t speak to me. This one…I dunno. Something just grabbed me by the short nose hairs and ..:x

      It also made me feel 2 dress sizes smaller. Did I mention that?

      Well, it did. 😉

      xo >-)

  • March says:

    Well, I happen to have a sample of this right here 😉 and I must say, it’s rather horsey on me. But in a good way. 😡

    • Musette says:

      Horsey-horse? Or $1.5MM Arabian foal horse?

      xo >-)

      ps. did your kids get to school today? We’re bracing for some horrible weather here – I thought of you, as Peoria was enveloped in whiteout conditions – zero to 60 in five minutes, tops.


  • Flora says:

    Well, horse fiend that I am and have always been, I can pretty much promise that I would love this. However, a lot would have to happen before I could afford to buy it, such as acquiring an entirely different life, so I am afraid to try it; this juice could become an HG so easily….could I just have that pretty little Arabian in the photo instead? Can’t cost that much more than the perfume, right? :-D

    • Musette says:


      isn’t she gorgeous? Look at her little feet! I’m thinking I’d better strike plutonium if I want to buy her! Luckily my big boys aren’t nearly as pricey.

      xo >-)

  • Shelley says:

    Can’t afford you? Heh. I love what we do to afford what we “need”…Martin Ritt made movies to pay for racehorses (he said); Francis Ford Coppola makes wine to pay for his movies (he says).

    I would love to make either to pay for perfume. ;)

    I kid. Mostly. I love the idea of tea (mate or not) and hay, and feel like I’m half in the gate and half out, at the moment, when it comes to moving toward “luxury” goods. (I’m going to pretend for a moment I could afford me, which I can’t. “Farewell, My Subaru,” a real book, is one I cannot write yet because I can’t afford to get rid of it, let alone replace it. With a bike.) Anyway, as for luxury…I don’t need to smell like an Arabian prince. The idea doesn’t even titillate me, though it does some. But, smelling like an inspired confection of quality goods? I could be persuaded.

    I meander around Fougueuse without contact. Appropriate, as I haven’t laid nose to it yet. I will. But maybe I’ll just hang out at the paddock for a while, looking at the horses, deciding if I’m going to bet. ;)

    • Musette says:

      Shelley –

      just you wait. 😉

      fwiw, there isn’t a hint of Arabian Prince in here. It’s his money that’s in that bottle. I swear, it’s just so evocative of the photo above. Gorgeous horses, without all the stuff I can’t handle (like the pee/poop/dander). Did I mention vintage Krug (the vaunted ’90) in silver buckets…

      let’s set up a playdate, as soon as Mme Nature cuts us a break, okay?

      xoxoo >-)

  • Disteza says:

    I’ve tried this one, and I hate it. I hate it for its suave hint of leather, the fantastic golden hay, the lovely cup of smoky tea it had in the morning, and for the well-muscled animal holding it all together at the bottom. I was all ready to drop the hammer on a bottle of Heure Mysterieuse, and now this wretched thing comes along, making me doubt my perfume acquisition strategy. Cartier’s making a strong bid for my cash, and I soooo don’t want to give in. I wonder if there’s a support group for this sort of thing…

    • Illdone says:

      Well, if you come to think of it it’s not all that expensive. I justified it for myself by thinking, ok it costs somewhat 200 euro’s that is 240 dollars I believe? We all just as happily pay half of that for a bottle of some niche thing that afterwards just is blaah sometimes. Skip one other bottle this year and you can buy this gem (Cartier you owe me , big time…!)

    • Musette says:

      yeah. it’s called ‘us’ and you know there’s nary a soul on here who doesn’t feel your pain…..yet we will all encourage you to hock your liver for perfume!

      xo >-)

  • Rappleyea says:

    Great review, Musette. But awful about your allergies! The best part of horses is actually being with them!

    I’ve said this before, but Dzing is exactly how my skin, hair and clothes smell when I come in from the Keeneland horse sales. I will sample the Cartier even though I can’t afford to buy it.

    • Musette says:

      I know. :(( But with my Percherons, I can be with them – just not get really involved with them. No grooming (hives) no mucking (really bad asthma). I can hitch and I can drive/assist. And I can even smooch a nose, every now and then.

      But I would love to be able to do more with them. =((

      xo >-)

      • Rappleyea says:

        Smoochin’ those soft noses is the best! There was a mare that I used to own a piece of that would take a peppermint out of my mouth. Imagine my surprise when one of the farm workers told me how mean she was! Not to me!

        • Ann says:

          Oooh, yes! Those sweet, velvety noses are sooo nice. I need to do me some more horsey smoochin’ soon!

  • Victoria says:

    It is such a funny and uplifting review to read first thing in the morning. I laughed out loud at your title.
    I agree with your comment above; they are very refined fragrances, almost too much so in some cases.

    • Musette says:

      thanks! that’s great praise, indeed, coming from such a wonderful writer!

      My beloved Brillante just managed to skirt ‘death by refinement’ sliding (due to Mme. Laurent’s exceptional skill) into Margo Channing territory.


      xo >-)

  • maidenbliss says:

    Wasn’t I just telling myself: NO more perfume. None. Period. And here come the horses, the hay, the barns, the riding crops, crap encrusted cowboy boots, worn out saddle caressing my butt, trotting down the country road on a warm summer day. Inhale. Exhale. Horse, leather, hay. Heaven.
    But made that promise to myself so I’ll wait till it goes on sale. heehee.

    • Musette says:

      mbliss –

      sample this before you love, if you haven’t already. You are getting the exact opposite of what I got! I got what that picture above illustrates.

      xo >-)

      • Musette says:

        I’m sorry – I meant ‘sample this before you buy’. :”>

        fwiw, I quite like your take on it. It sounds like a much more comfortable scent to wear. My experience of Fougueuse requires a bit more couture than I can justify (who wears Chanel to a power plant?)…and it also seems to require an insouciance that seems to be missing from my ouevre right now. Maybe in the later spring, when I’m not so damn cold and encased in fleece…:-?

        xo >-)

      • maidenbliss says:

        Did I forget to mention the velvet riding jacket? and the diamond necklace dangling between my ****s?

  • FragrantWitch says:

    Best not sniff this as my perfume budget doesn’t allow ‘me to even pretend to be rich :d ! The 50 fumes post is fabulous-although according to that I am dead (Messe de Minuit) with a fetish for engines ( Black) and I work(ed) in a head shop
    ( Patchouli Empire) ….:o

  • Illdone says:

    Oh no ,I can’t believe anyone would say that this is just nice.

    A decade ago my first husband considered moving to the US for work purposes. We had the whole thing figured out but the downfall was that I was probably going to be stuck in a, let’s say, rural environment. No neigbours, lots of cow’s, horses and an absent interstate flying spouse.
    To make a long story short, I decided to take horse-riding lessons whilst still at home.
    I could go on about how initially the horse rode around with me instead of me riding the horse but that’s not the issue here.

    Ladies&gentleman, that smell..! The first time I smelled L’Heure Fougueuse I was right back next to an animal of approximatly 500 kilograms, one big bundle of muscles and shivering, quivering skin.
    Fougueuse is the smell of the horse, it’s stable, it’s sadle and your own smell – providing you sprayed on a light tea scent- mixed with the horses after riding a few hours.

    The day my fume-dealer had sprayed Fougueuse on me (and gave me an extra sample to, he claims to know my taste, damn him) I sat speechless in my car and took my Visa card out of my wallet 3 times looking at the front door of the shop. I admitt that I left but I went back and got a full bottle about a month later.
    Really, it’s more than just nice.

    • Musette says:

      Oh, I agree! But the Cartiers (Les Heures) seem to be one of those lines that run a funny midpoint – they’re extremely refined, as one might expect from the price point and house ethos (Cartier seldom goes BlingOUT with their jewels, as opposed to, say, Graff) – but that can also work against the scent(s), imo. As Patty said, this one is a work of art…but maybe you just really have to like that whole horse thing to LOVE it? 😕

      xo >-)

  • *jen says:

    I have to look up (sniff up?) these horsey scents. I swoon at the idea!

    *jen (the wrong one)

  • Joe says:

    Hmmmm. Let me start by saying this is nice… probably even verrrrrry nice. BUT…

    But it doesn’t make me say I have to have it.

    I get a whole lot of beautiful sweet, clean hay at the beginning, then a whole lot of tea for the rest of the time. The tea reminds me a bit of AG Duel and of tea in some other fragrance I can’t remember. I guess the tea accord doesn’t push my button; I have merely neutral feelings about Duel (there and in this one, it’s a bit green/herbal for me). Fougueuse is one that I can tell is well done, but doesn’t inspire emotion. Good thing, since I really, really can’t afford it.

    I’m really grateful that a perfume angel sent me a bit of this to test though. :)

    • Musette says:

      This is definitely a Long View scent because of the pricepoint, unless you are very flush. I fell – hard- for Brillante. But it took me nearly 6 months to a) commit to buying it and b) save up enough simoleans to do so without terror. Even with that, I drove my pals insane with my dithering. I will be doing the same with this one, minus the dithering ;))

      xo >-)

    • Erin T says:

      Joe, as I’m sure you know, the similarity makes perfect sense. Mathilde Laurent apparently is using a maté base, instead of a traditional tea base, in most of the Heures fragrances. And for most us, Duel was the first perfume that brought the maté note to the forefront (although I just looked up the note on Basenotes and it seems many scents have it in the note list, including CdG #2, CdG, Series 1: Tea and, one of my faves, Kenzo Jungle PH.)

      • Musette says:

        I am going to have to try mate’, which I don’t think I know (or maybe I do but don’t ‘know’ – I am an indifferent tea drinker, at best). The tea I get in F is not quite Lipton ;))

        xo >-)

  • Melissa says:

    Yep, I really can’t afford this, but after falling in love with L’Heure Défendue, I really must at least try it!

    • Musette says:

      You’ll have to ask Joe what I thought of Defendue. 😉

      Is it my imagination or are these in the same realm as the Malles, pricewise?

      xo >-)

      • Ann says:

        Oh, c’mon, do tell what you REALLY thought of Defendue. Inquiring minds want to know …

        • Musette says:

          oh, I think I’ll wait until somebody here (Patty?) does a coherent post on it. This one was bad enough! =)) Better I should amuse you in the comments!

          xo >-)

  • Dawn says:

    Thanks to Karin, I was able to sample this one and I too got tea and hay. I really like it but….. It’s a very persistent scent on me. It stays true the whole way through but I can’t get past how persistent it is. On me, it’s one of those scents that once you spritz it on, you are stuck with it all day / night long. That’s too long for me. But nonetheless, very well done and my 2nd favorite next to XIII. ;)

    It did NOT pass the husband test. He turned his nose up at this one when I shoved my wrist under his nose to smell it.

    • karin says:

      I’m having this same issue with it. Wondering if I use a MUCH lighter hand if it will be better? By end of the day, it became really annoying!

      • Musette says:



        hmmm….that may be what catches me off guard with it as well – I suspect that because it is not a ‘perfume’ smell (at least not to me)the persistence becomes a bit difficult to define??? Does that make sense?

        xo >-)

    • Rappleyea says:

      Yikes! I have scent glue skin anyway and so most (all) scents last all day and through the night on me. And I’ve found that those with a “tea” note are even more persistent. So lemming averted. Thanks!

  • Ann says:

    Hi sweetie, I love anything to do with horses (was even happy as a clam to muck out stalls as a kid), and I’m sure this will be big with the equine set. I have only been able to try it once and really liked it, but need to spend more time with it. Maybe I’ll just camp out at the Cartier counter for a few days …

    • Musette says:

      We can only get it at Cartier here – I got a call from James, my dear SA, to say it’s in – as soon as the weather breaks I’mo hitch up the wagon and head over the pass to ogle it.

      You know the funny thing about me and horses? I am more of a horse ‘owner’ than a handler. I am desperately allergic to them and at the World Percheron Congress almost ended up in the ER because I forgot my inhaler! 8-|

      Yet another reason for the Saudi Prince (or at least make my own SP money). I need grooms. And stablehands. Can’t do it myself, alas.

      xo >-)

  • Patty says:

    Agree, this one is such an amazing work of art, it blows me away every time I smell it. I get a lot more tea and hay, which makes me so happy.

    • Musette says:

      P –

      I think I get both of those things, too. In fact, I know I do. But somehow they translate to something else…:-? That’s what makes it so difficult for me to do a proper review of it as a scent. Plus, you know I sort of stink at that anyway…;))

      xo >-)

  • kathleen says:

    I have a friend who located 3 bottles of Doblis. She made the mistake of asking someone if they wanted one. That person sniped all 3, right out from under her. Cheeky!