Dusty Chocolate is a sin? (Patty)

Denyse says L’Heure VII Defendue is based on the seven deadly sins or the Forbidden Hour.

I’ll say. in snaps and sn

L’Heure VII Defendue is not some lightweight chocolate that’s a little milky or fluffy like a dessert. This is the dark black chocolate that’s a lot bitter and holds nothing back in expressing itself in snaps and snarls.  Surrounded lightly in patchouli notes, you get that dusty, slightly musty smell, similar to the patchouli effect in Serge Lutens Borneo, but it’s more delicate, stringing out like tendrils instead of infusing the cocoa in a cobwebby cloud.  And then there’s the iris that unfolds in the heart, tinged with melted chocolate, which is exquisite and unexpected.

This isn’t a gourmand, even though it is cocoa. This is the raw element that’s earthy, not the one you pick up in the chocolate shop.  Sorta how regular Charbucks coffee is not a mocha cappucino.  Long into the drydown, the cocoa loses some of the bitterness and hovers on the edge of gourmand like a tease. There are moments I sense a touch of Guerlain’s Iris Ganache, then shake my head and say – naw, couldn’t be.

Mathilde gave us three very interesting scents in this release. One which is utter floral beauty,  Diaphane, much more mainstream, then the absolutely cunning horse and tea Fougueuse, and then this nongourmand gourmand, Defendue.  It does call to mind a few sins, but ones I don’t think I’ve indulged in yet.  Or that I can’t quite imagine how they’d work exactly.

Cartier sent me generous samples of all three of these, and I’ll part with four sets of samples from this sample for four commenters.  So which one do you think you’ll like the most?  The least? Did you have a favorite from the first set?  Or have you not even smelled any of them?

  • Kate says:

    I’m a little late to the party but chocolate and iris sounds heavenly!!

  • dDub says:

    From what you’ve described, Defendue might be the one for me as I really love Borneo and am curious about another iteration of bitter chocolate.

  • dremybluz says:

    I think my favorite would be the chocolate and the least favorite the tea and hay

  • KathyT says:

    I haven’t tried any of them, so I would love to be entered into the drawing.


  • Flora says:

    Oh boy, I really want to try that “horse & tea” one please! Although they all sound good of course. :-)

  • LindaB says:

    Ooooh, me no likey chocolate notes so Defendue sounds like it would be my least favorite. Because I’m stuck in the tundra of New Jersey, I’ve been craving Spring and florals like crazy. Diaphane sounds like something I need to wear. Now.
    Horses and tea sound way interesting – I’m always up for a little wacky!

    Please enter me in the draw.

  • Kristin says:

    Horses, tea and hay sound really interesting, but I think bitter chocolate or smoke would hit the spot in this snowstorm. The floral beauty makes me think of spring.

  • L says:

    I make it a point to try frags with chocolate notes. I’ve been loving Parfumerie Generale’s Musc Maori this winter for its milk chocolate vibe. And even though the Defendue sounds like more of a heavy hitter, I’d love to try it.

  • Katya says:

    I would love to try them- thank you for the chance!
    I have highest hopes for the chocolate one as I love me some Borneo and Fouguese sounds so promising!
    Thanks again!

  • Valentine says:

    I love nongourmand gourmands in general. I’ve been toying with the idea of trying chocolate/cocoa fragrances, since I usually gravitate toward vanillas and marshmallows and coffee (in scents . . . ok, in food preferences too). This once sounds uber, uber interesting to me.

  • Olga says:

    The floral wonder and non-gourmand gourmand sound good to me!

  • dissed says:

    I haven’t smelled any of them, and this one would have to be the contender. Non-foody chocolate with IRIS? Come on. Too good.

  • Cheryl says:

    So which one do you think you’ll like the most? The least? Did you have a favorite from the first set? Or have you not even smelled any of them?

    I’ve only tried the 13th one/La Treizième Heure. The smokey mate on softness one. It’s nice. I think. It isn’t WOWZA. But it is more intriguing than many out there. I want to love them. At least I want to sample them..it would be great if I fell in love.

  • Datura5750 says:

    Somehow I have missed all of these, and would really like to try them!

  • Denise Miller says:

    Hi Patty!
    Think I’ll like the most: Defendue (Death by Chocolate…yum)
    Think I’ll like the least: Diaphane (Hello flower shop!…zzzz)
    Might surprise me: Fougueuse (dirty farm hand…yum?)
    I’ve not tried anything from this line and would love the chance to.

  • Isa says:

    Unfortunately, I haven’t smelled any of them, but according to all the reviews and comments I have read so far, I think that L’Heure Mysterieuse would be my favorite.
    And I’m pretty sure that I would love Diaphane, in my search of a perfect spring scent.

    I would love to try the samples! Thank you!

  • melanie says:

    I personally think the samples should be sent to whoever has experienced the worst winter weather so far! Anybody in New England, D.C, or Buffalo is badly in need of some cheering up. I live north of Boston and we re in the midst of our 4th? 5th? 6th? winter storm; I understand the mid-Atlantic people have had major ice to deal with. My zip code is 01982; the snow at the end of my driveway is over my head and i’m 5’6″. If you want to send me something for my sanity, I would appreciate it.

  • Sylvia says:

    I’d love to try the samples! But over all Diaphane sounds like a must try- sounds like the easiest to wear. Are you expecting more ‘fruit/florals’ this spring, or are things shifting in another direction?
    BTW- tried Sensuous and liked it. Could you tell me what that strong sharp note in it is?
    Thanks for the great reviews!

  • aotearoa says:

    Horse,iris and some tea – sounds good.
    I have only recently had some fun with Dzing! and I get a good bit of soft horsey dust in that – so another horse smell would be excellent!
    I’ll try my luck in the draw – thank you

  • Claudia says:

    Haven’t tried any and am willing to try anything………..
    Interpret that as you will.

  • london says:

    Mysterieuse was probably my favourite of the first lot. XIII was nice but too similar to Le Labo Patchouli. It seems obvious that Fougueuse will be the best of the new ones but I am curious to try them all so I would love to be entered in the draw. Thank you.

  • minette says:

    i’d love to have the whole range just for the range itself. i think she did a great job with these. i finally bought XII, and am wearing it a lot – several days a week – which is A LOT for me. from the first round – obviously XII, but also XIII and l’heure folle for its happy quality. from this round, fougeuse fer shure. i liked this one, but not as much as i liked fougeuse.

  • Winifreida says:

    OK put me in the draw…I just can’t help it…
    I did get a set of the first batch and thought they were all lovely, but not enough tenacity or sillage for the price. But there is a place for that – probably more and more so as the overcrowded planet gets more phobic about ‘personal space’…and maybe the polite classes only ever put tiny dabs of extrait on the pulse points anyway! Unlike myself who simply wants to feel surrounded by some gorgeous aura of a beloved ‘fume for hours!
    The lapsang souchang of VIII made me really ponder the tea note; there are so many foods and beverages that have made their way into perfume, and the two senses are so closely linked.

  • odonata9 says:

    Haven’t tried any of these – Fouguese and Defendue sound very interesting. Please enter me in the draw!

  • Bev says:

    I haven’t found these in Toronto so I haven’t smelled them, except in my imagination. The one that piques my interest most is Fouguese. Mmmnnh, horsies. I love patchouli so Defendue might be worth a try as well. But when you describe Diaphne as “utter floral beauty” how can I resist?
    Please enter me in the draw and thank you for another great post.

  • Nita says:

    I haven’t tried any of them, but am absolutely entranced by the sound of Fougueuse, and would love to be entered in the drawing!

  • OrbWeaver says:

    I’d love to curl up with some Defendue. Earthy with cocoa and patchouli sounds like what I need to jolt me out of the winter blahs.

  • Fernando says:

    I’ve actually smelled Defendue, at the Saks store in New Orleans. Somehow they stock the Les Heures, which I haven’t yet found in any other Saks. But, alas, I didn’t much like it. It may be cocoa rather than chocolate, but it’s still too foodie for me.

    From the descriptions, I suspect Fougueuse is going to be the one I like best.

  • Jared says:

    I must say, I’m very intrigued. Fougueusue and Defendue are definitely on the “me” list. While they are exclusive and expensive, they give me hope for an artist taking some chances and playing. I’ve been yearning for something new on the horizon and I’d like to see these galloping toward me. The pun wasn’t intended, but I’ll keep it!

  • Marte says:

    I’m very courious about Fougueuse. From the first set I liked Promise best.

  • Disteza says:

    I’ve tried all of ’em so far, and have liked so many that my wallet is cringing like a beaten puppy. At this point the phrase ‘perfume investment’ sounds less like a flippant thing to say to a friend marveling at your collection and more like how you explain to your accountant that your retirement strategy is partially based on the exponential ROI you plan on recouping by decanting the spendier of the niche lovelies once they’ve been dc’d.

  • helenviolette says:

    Oh! I would love to try these new hours! I am hoping I will think they are meh and avoid shelling out a small fortune- which I ended up doing after quickly draining a decant of Le Trezieme Heure- a beautiful composition.

  • maggiecat says:

    These aren’t widely available here (given that I’m staying out of Saks and nieman’s for budgetary reasons) so I haven’t tried any of them and would like to, probably leaning toward thte more floral category but heck, I’l try anything once!

  • Rappleyea says:

    Very interesting review, Patty. Thanks! I’ve only tried XII and XIII, both of which I liked quite a lot. XII was very fleeting on me though, which was surprising on my scent glue skin.

    Of these new ones, I’d probably order them Defendue, Diaphane and Fougueuse, but I’ve learned over the years that preconceptions based on lists of notes are rarely correct.

  • Ccc says:

    I didn’t try any of them but Defendue sounds interesting.

  • DinaC says:

    I haven’t tried any of the Cartier hour series yet. The latest three all sound very intriguing — you wordsmiths have a way of describing things that could make washing dishes sound exciting! — but I think the horse-and-tea one sounds the best to me, so far. I would love to be entered in the draw. :-) Thanks, Patty!

  • Style Spy says:

    I’m head over heels for XIII-eme and wearing it a lot. The Fougueuse sounds like I’d love it as well, but I also really love a good floral, so I’m intrigued by the Diaphane. I’ve yet to have a comfortable relationship with anything with a strong chocolate note, but I keep trying!

  • florentina says:

    I have recently gone to visit some horses and now my leather gloves keep wafting this lovely horse -leather smell when I go out in the cold…and just this weekend, I was at a chinese teahouse where I tasted pu’ehr tea for the first time…The aroma=horse stables/hay…and now the lovely reviews of l’Heure Fougueuse have got me very interested… I also very much would like to try the Heure Defendue…Raw chocolate with a hint of iris? What a way to get me hooked…

    Thankyou for the draw Patty!

  • Janet says:

    I haven’t tried any on these, that I can remember. The horse and tea makes me laugh though.

    I would love to be in the draw. Thanks!

  • Steohen says:

    when I sniffed the first five.. they were nice enough, although I do remember enjoying the L’Herue Brillante and La Trezieme Heure, and the iris one was nice (L’Heure Promise maybe?), but nothing stood out at that exorbitant price… But all three of these sound delicious, especially the Defendue.. Thanks for the draw!

  • jill says:

    I haven’t tried any of these, I’ll admit I’d never even heard of them! but dusty chocolate sounds delicious so I’d love to try it.

  • Olfacta says:

    I don’t have samples but did smell the Fougueuse courtesy of Carol. My own experience of riding involves 1) manure and 2) horse sweat, and it smelled a lot better than either of those! It’s more the concept — well-used leather tack and tea — and I liked it. I don’t think I’ve tried the others but am suspecting that this will be a good spring for florals, so sign me up — um, chocolate and patchouli? Hmm, that’s ringing a bell, wonder why?

  • sybil says:

    like the most:horses and tea.
    Like the least: dusty chocolate.
    Could surprise me: diaphanous floral

  • Musette says:

    No draw for me 🙂 And I love your review! But I do not like Defendue, try as I might. I was extremely rude about it to Joe (a nasty interaction between Angel and Diorella) – but I suspect it’s because I just cannot abide chocolate in scent. :-&

    xoxoxo >-)

  • Alice C says:

    I’m such a chocoholic I would probably most enjoy the cocoa chocolate! But I’d love to try them all out! Thanks for the chance. :d

  • tsetse says:

    I would love to try these! A few months ago when carmencanada reviewed Defendue I started lemming for this one, but since they’ve made it to stores and the blogs, Fougeuse has jumped to the top of the must-sample list.

  • bookhouseshell says:

    I’m so new at this, these last few posts are the first I’ve heard about these exclusives, so no chance of anointing my wrists with these. As I’ve been on a strict diet and exercise regimen, dusty chocolate IS a sin. It must be more filling than maple syrup mixed with low octane or Kool-Aid with a drop of skank or sugar pop smack that I’ve encountered at the local discount department store.

  • jennifer says:

    I have not tried any of them. But I would love to. :)

  • Abyss says:

    I haven’t tried any either, I asked very nicely if I could get some samples from Cartier and got a snooty NO in response. So, yeah, would love a chance to give them a sniff, the horse one sounds particularly intriguing.

  • Debbie R. says:

    I haven’t tried any of them yet, and they all sound absolutely gorgeous. My guess is that this chocolate one would be my favorite, but nothing knows like the nose. Please enter me.

  • pam says:

    I haven’t smelled any of them. The Fougueuse sounded the most appealling to me, but then, sometimes something “reads” kinda blah and when I actually smell it, it is great.

  • FragrantWitch says:

    I have not smelled any of these, something I would love to rectify. Though they are so expensive, I kind of hope I don’t fall madly in love. Defendue sounds like it will be right up my alley- chocolate tendrils and iris?? Mmmm- hmmmmm!:x

  • Melissa says:

    I had to opportunity to decide between a small decant of Defendue or Fougueuse. I chose the former as a way to challenge myself, because I just cannot tolerate Borneo. But Defendue is so different and I wound up falling on love with it and needing more. Now I want Fougueuse to challenge my sometimes intolerance for mate scents. Note that I said sometimes. It could easily knock my socks off, especially give its creator!

  • Louise says:

    Now, I know Borneo isn’t a big hit around here….but is Defendue at all similar, but w/out the camphor? I had a tiny sniff of this from a friend’s decolletage-and it was lovely. Must retry!

    • Ann says:

      Thanks, Patty! I’ve only just tried the Defendue and liked it OK at first application, but it definitely grew on me later in the drydown. For comparison’s sake, I did a wrist-to-wrist test with it and Borneo, and on me, at least, the Defendue was smoother and more approachable. That camphor note (or whatever it is) in the Borneo has popped up on me several times smelling a bit like Comet cleanser in the green can. Appetizing, no? So Defendue definitely gets the nod!

  • Sherri M. says:

    I am most intrigued by horse-and-tea Fougeuse and bitter chocolate Defendue. Of the first five fragrances I like Promise, Brillant and Mysterieuse. They’re on my “to buy” list, but towards the bottom–lots of competition in that price range. Maybe one of these will make it to the top of the list! No need to enter me in the draw; I’ve already ordered samples from TPC. It’s very interesting to hear everyone’s favorites; thanks as always for a great review!

  • Geordan1244 says:

    Haven’t tried any of them. The iris in Defendue sounds interesting, but I think I’m most interested in trying Fougeuse for some reason. Please enter me in the draw.



  • *jen says:

    I’m all about the horsey one (perfume, not sin). I must say dusty dark chocolate patchouli scares me a little…

  • DJ says:

    I haven’t had the chance to smell any of these yet.

    I am familiar with Iris Ganache,so I am curious about Defendue (I so wanted it to be about chocolate *fondue*, ha) and while it didn’t suit me back when I tried it–but things change, as we know.

    With experience comes…mutation?

    would love to be entered in the draw. I have a US address also, just in case :)

  • dinazad says:

    Fougeuse would be my first choice, I think, but the raw chocolate does sound enticing! I think I have to go a-sniffing these days, there are interesting new scents around, t’would seem.

  • Zazie says:

    I am not very original:
    I liked la XIIIème heure from the first set best!
    The others, I didn’t care much, but la XIIIème – I liked it very much indeed.
    I am very intrigued by l’heure fougeuese; the name is great.

  • Gisela says:

    From the first set I liked Mysterieuse best, now Fougueuse seems to get the most love/buzz – hay and tea difinitely sounds great!

  • Irina says:

    would like so much to try these
    defendue sound really interesting, i’m very courious about Fougueuse too

  • Kim says:

    I have been very impressed with this Cartier collection – even those I don’t prefer are still nicely done. Kind of reminds me of the Chanel Les Exclusifs – each scent unique but a cohesiveness to the whole selection that reads as Chanel. I am finding that with these Cartier scents as well. Defendue sounds wonderful – I am a fan of Borneo but find it a bit too dusty or musty sometimes. Would love to be in the draw

  • Alica says:

    Haven’t smelled any of them! Would like to, definitely, therefore thanks for entering me in the drawing.

  • ElizabethC says:

    Haven’t tried any but it sounds like I’d enjoy Defendue the best. Dark chocolate and iris sounds amazing!

  • Masha says:

    Mysterieuse is my favorite, a good addition to my incense collection. Of the new ones, I think I’d like the cocoa the best, but maybe, the horse-and-hay….OK, I want both!

  • Amy K says:

    I’ve never smelled any of them, but horses, tea and chocolate all make my heart beat a little faster.

  • taffynfontana says:

    Raw and earthy Cacao sounds primal reminds me of my Mesoamerican roots.

  • Doc Elly says:

    I’ll give it another try, although I feel like a rat pressing a bar and not getting rewarded. I haven’t smelled any of the Cartier series, too busy testing other things, so would be curious to sample them.

  • jen says:

    Oh, it’s the horse of course. (Sorry)

  • violetnoir says:

    I think I will like the horse-and-tea one the best, because if it’s anything close to a barnyard smell, I am there.

    Thank you for giving us a chance to sample all three of these, Patty.


  • Cynthia says:

    Diaphane, to be realistic, sounds like what I would most likely appreciate. But the tea and horse one has me very curious.

  • Natalie says:

    I love XIIIieme Heure from the first batch — so much so that I shelled out my hard-earned shekels for it — although I have also been enjoying my sample of X (the tart berry one). The latter doesn’t get a lot of blog love, but it’s definitely worth trying.

    Out of the new crop, I don’t know which one I’ll actually LIKE, but the Fougueuse is whinnying my name!

  • tammy says:

    Diaphane is the most appealing to me, Fougueuse the most intriguing, Defendue sounds like the one my husband would enjoy the most. VIII sounds like one I’d love as well, but I am trying SO hard not to impulse buy this year, even samples….

    Thanks for the chance to sniff some of these!

  • Lindaloo says:

    I haven’t tried these yet. I’m very interested in Defendue from your description: Bitter chocolate that never gets too sweet surrounded in patchouli, a non-gourmand gourmand. Curious about the Fougueuse too. Love the “Charbucks” reference. Hard to imagine that, living in Vancouver which has about 75 locations, I’ve never heard this term before.

  • Ruanne says:

    I’ve not smelled any of them, but based on this, I am dying to try Defendue. Maybe it’s the time of night or the impending Icepocalypse, but bitter chocolate sounds like just the thing.

  • Suzy Q says:

    Horse and tea. Fougueuse went straight to my to-smell list yesterday.

  • Furriner says:

    Weirdly, back in the late ’70s, my grandfather bought a Lalique figurine of a woman, and named it Diaphane. When he died there was a lot of family fighting over that thing! My sister ended up buying her own, for sentimental reasons. She was with my grandfather when he bought the original one.

    Anyway, of these three, Fougueuse sounds the most for me… tea time with the horsey set! I have samples of I, VI, and XIII, but have yet to form an opinion (just got them fairly recently — thanks Anita!).

  • CC says:

    I’ve never smelled a super-chocolatey perfume, so I would love to try Defendue. However, I bet I would like “horse-and-tea” the most. Would love to try any!

  • arch.memory says:

    I thought I’d like Fouguese & Defendue from the description, but when I tried them at Saks last month, I have to admit I was greatly underwhelmed. I thought Defendue was way too sweet, and Fouguese was plain mate. I’m certainly willing to give them another try if I get the chance.
    From the first round, I fell in love with L’Heure Promise from first sniff. For me, it was the perfect iris: dry yet bright, sharp yet delicate, and it smelled like a million bucks! It felt like quintessential luxury: something that is desired not because it is needed, but because the closest one can come to containing its beauty is by owning it. I promised it to myself for my last birthday, and got me that Promised Hour. It was the most I’ve paid for a perfume, but it remains perhaps my most cherished one.

  • Tiara says:

    Diaphane is the one that appealed the most to me, but after reading Musette’s review yesterday, I’m quite curious about Fougueuse. Tea? Horses? Hay? Really? And now one with chocolate-oh yes!

  • Kate says:

    I haven’t sniffed these yet. No wait, smelled Defendue on someone else. Smelled great. Dying to sample it.

    What does “”in snaps” mean?

  • Cooper says:

    From the description of the notes and the reviews I’ve read, I am sure I’d love Fougueuse and would love to try it. I have a sample of the VIII hour and it is major major smoke. I love smokey scent, but It’s almost too much.

  • Jennifer says:

    They all sound absolutely fasinating.I would love to try them too.

  • Occhineri says:

    I haven’t tried any of these but I’d like to. A non-gourmand chocolate sounds good. :)