I’m a little late to the La Panthere party, but here goes. When I first read about this on NST, I thought, “Oh, that looks interesting,” and then sort of forgot about it. But not for long, as I count myself a pretty decent Cartier fangirl, and La Panthere kept pinging at the back of my perfumista brain (no doubt because of the love I had for the original Panthere from the ‘80s). So when a sweet perfume pal sent me a dab vial, I dove in. Mmmm … delightful and quite promising. But how is it sprayed, I asked myself. Very soon afterward, when I happened upon the bottles in a Neiman’s store display, my eyes lit up. I spritzed generously from the tester and begged my favorite SA to dig me up a spray sample to take with me.
It’s in the fruity-floral family, no doubt about that. I’ve heard the word “chypre” bandied about, but these days I’m really not sure, although I can see how this might hint in that direction. La Panthere strikes me with an elegant, almost retro vibe to it; this wouldn’t have been at all out of place in the ‘70s or ‘80s. This is one classy cat.
So simplistic as it may be, here’s my not-a-perfume reviewer take: La Panthere opens with a slightly fruity tang but not too sweet and stays fairly dry) and then melds with the gardenia as it sweeps in on a creamy breeze. Then it gently segues into the musky, slightly mossy drydown, which is quite nice. Some people mention getting leather in this, and others note something a little dirty, but I really don’t get that. On my skin it was a lovely, elegant medley of fruit, petals and just a whisper of musky fur. Victoria over at boisdejasmin called it a tamed panther, and I rather agree. Although I must admit that I’m envious of those whose skin significantly amps the mossy drydown more than mine did.
La Panthere gets major props for sillage and longevity.
I’m not sure exactly what it is, there is something highly addictive about this scent as a whole that keeps me coming back for more. I’ve almost drained two samples, and have worn it exclusively on successive days, which is saying a lot for me. I’m eyeing that 1-ounce bottle at Nordstrom or on the Cartier site itself, although I doubt I’ll pull the trigger; I rarely seem able to buy a FB anymore for some reason. But that’s for another post.
(Although after I began writing this post, I did find the cutest little 15ml spray, which is probably about the closest I will come to a FB. But that and a sample or two for my purse, and I’ll be a pretty happy camper.)
La Panthere joins a select few fragrances that I think of as grown-up, classy mainstream offerings, including the Bottega Veneta line, Reem Acra, and of course, Cartier’s own Baiser Vole: sophisticated, beautiful scents all, with gorgeous packaging to boot.
Notes (from Fragrantica): rhubarb, strawberries, dried fruit, apple, apricot, gardenia, musks, oak moss
Have any of you tried this, and if so, what did you think of it? What are your favorite Cartier scents?