Cartier L’Heure Fougueuse

FaNgRrrL reporting for duty.  There are two big challenges in writing perfume reviews – one is trying to write a review for a perfume you don’t really care passionately about  – even to pee all over it with words –  and the other is trying to restrain yourself from hoisting up your skirts and kicking your legs in the air with glee about a perfume that hits some freaky place inside you that makes you melt.  Neither challenge have I overcome, as you’ll see, well, now.

Mathilde – smooches, xoxoxoxoxox, you are frEAkiNg brilliant, I love you,  will you be my fren’? writemebackwhenyoucan, k?

Cartier L'Heure Fougueuse - tea road with horses

Well, it’s not quite that bad, but I do feel like a bit like a 14-year-old at a Justin Bieber concert when I start bubbling over about Cartier L’Heure Fougueuse.  To read more adult reviews, try Denyse and Victoria.

I don’t get all the mate that others have commented that’s about all they get.  If it were that mate-centric on me, I may like it fine, but not be so in love with it.  For me, it’s very light smoky leather gloves with tendrils of hay, tea, and a little green floating around in wisps.  It feels a little lemony on the open with the bergamot, which enhances that lemon tea effect, which I’m quite enamored of, but that’s just the beginning.

As an aside, the perfume someone could make me would be ginger-lemon-honey. Maybe that exists somewhere, but I need it to smell just like my favorite drink. I crush up fresh ginger, boil it for like 20-30 minutes (make sure you cut it up, then smash it before you put it in the water), strain it out or leave the ginger in, whichever you prefer, then squeeze in some fresh lemon, add delicious honey, stir, drink.  I drank this probably every morning I was in India, if I could get it, and it’s the perfect drink.  If you boil up enough ginger, you can hold the ginger over, put in the lemon, and reheat it. Just don’t put the honey in when it’s boiling hot, bad for the honey.

Back to Cartier L’Heure Fougueuse .  After the more lemony open is when the hay/narcissus opens up, and that’s when it gets utterly charming.  You get a whiff of something that smells just a little off/dirty/funky, as Denyse puts it, and then it just relaxes into the embrace of the other notes with a sigh.  A horse’s neck is one of my favorite things to smell, and that’s what this feels like to me, followed closely by my memories of being snuggled up in the hayloft with a book – blended together.  Fairly (! understatement! ) intoxicating.  The longer it is on, the more beautiful it gets, as the notes merge and soften, taking that memory you started with and weaving it with light and burnishing it with gold until it is your memory, but better.

I’m sure everyone else has some other leather/skin smell that it will conjure up – so feel free to insert your own lovely scented memory of a beloved bag or person or gardening or neckofyourownchoosing.  The nice thing about this is it’s a “feel” perfume – one that makes you think of some place, time, thing – but it is also incredible to wear – not always possible with scents that are keying off of nontraditional perfume smells.

With spraying, it has some heft and sillage that is light, but persistent.  It’s not a deep smoky or leather perfume that you’d want to be careful where you wear it. This you could wear anywhere – day, night, spring, summer, fall, winter.

Well, yes, of course it’s going to be on my Best of Winter list for tomorrow and for spring, etc., etc.  Okay, did I drool too much?  If so, I apologize.  What perfumes make you melt somewhere?

  • Olga says:

    How cool it is to talk about fragrances in such a way, this is what it is — it’s love! :x

    I was instantly head over heels with DSH’s Mahjoun, then not the first time, but the second with Tolu, and after using up almost half a mini lukewarmly I fell hard for Yvresse. Now I have a huge bottle of it and a hair level of liquid left in the mini.

    There are many many likes, but these make me melt.

    Oh well, a certain vintage Ma Griffe variety does too.

  • Jared says:

    Absolue Pour le Soir. I mean, seriously. I melt. I die. I am in ecstasy. It’s the one perfume that has me contemplating a BACK UP bottle. Not something new. Another bottle of this, a perfume I ALREADY own. I fear that it will be tampered with someday and have the skank removed, which would just end my life. I’m glad you feel this way about Horsey #4 (easier to say than the French). Speaking of, I really wanna try it. But I fear loving it. Also, I need more narcissus in my life. The note is beguiling to me. I need to find more things with that featured. I want to see if I can get all manly with it like I do with Fracas. But, yeah, the Absolue. I just took another hit of it. ^:)^

  • Gretchen says:

    The first time I ever tried Chanel no22 was from a vial of vintage extrait from the Perfumed Court – thanks, Patty! – and I accidentally overapplied it. The sillage probably had a radius of 100 feet, but I was home alone with no buzzkillers to tell me they hated it, it was too strong, or whatever. Truly, I felt like I was rising to heaven on a cloud of beauty. It’s been on my top five list ever since, but I’m much more discreet in application – that much glory a second time would overwhelm even me.

  • Geordan says:

    Oh my word. Xerjoff Richwood is my current “weak-in-the-knees” scent. I’m beside myself with grand (scratch that – immeasurable) affection (love, lust, whatnot) for this amazing scent. I literally swoon when I smell it. It’s as if Rhett took me into his dashing arms and, well, you know…


  • london says:

    My favourite this winter has been Baghari which smells like a recently polished antique wooden chest filled with soft blankets. I have always liked it but it took me by surprise how often I wanted to wear it this year. I just wanted to sink into it and surrender.

  • Rappleyea says:

    LOL at your fangirling. I’m starting to feel that way about Laurie at SSS. But great review, and I’m voting with the majority in appreciating knowing how you *really* feel.

    I’ve experienced two cases of weak knees recently: the not-yet-released classic scent that the above mentioned Laurie is working on is the first one. I stupidly dropped my vial on the bathroom floor and lost the remaining few precious drops, but I cannot wait until she releases this one. I have never been so blown away on first sniff.

    The second case was very soon after when I tested Solange Cosmic for the first time. Another extremely gorgeous chypre, and not the modern patchouli variety either!

  • Louise says:

    Great review, Patty. And bravo on weak-knee-edness!

    It’s been a long while since I’ve had my skirt blown up by anything new-but my one true love that I will always return to is LL Poivre-it just combines so much of what I love-smoke, pepper, some vetiver, quiet vanilla.

    My assignment is to visit the new Cartiers Heures, and to re-visit the older Heures.

  • Disteza says:

    Most recently I fell hard for Amouage Memoir (the men’s), but before that it was By Killian’s Pure Oud. Must be on an incense kick!

  • maggiecat says:

    Gushing is good. And certain scents just do it for me at different times, meeting different (aromatherapeutic?) needs. I enjoy your reviews Patty – be honest, be yourself, and let’s all talk about what we love (and Don’t Love)!

  • mary says:

    Gotta try this one! My weak in the knees favorites right now are two which are basically unobtainable–Boxeuses–I gave away the last spritz from my decant to a beloved friend, because it was too good not to share. And Opus II, from Amouage. It is my desert island scent, the one I would trade my most treasured little bottles for. It’s austere, but weird and trippy, warm but not actually cozy or soft. Maybe it’s the absinthe note but it makes me feel happy–creative–complete. Possibly deluded :0)

  • dleep says:

    Lately is has been Absolu pour le Soir. I must have a bottle or a large decant. And I WILL wear it to the office!

  • Tiara says:

    Actually, I love it when you gush too much because then I know this fragrance is amazing.

    I’m thrilled that it’s a year round perfume. We travel between warm/cold weather often and it would be so much easier to have just 1 magnificent scent I could count on. Not that I wouldn’t pack a few others…

  • Fernando says:

    Yup, sounds very very good. Wants to smell.

    I’m definitely in a “can’t spend” phase, alas. Holding back dutifully while the shopping list grows and grows…

  • Musette says:

    Thank FLOYD! A coherent review – and you saaaved me! I got that whiff of lemon…sooo intriguing…and then I dismissed it because I got caught up in other parts of the scent…but it stayed in the back of my nose’s mind…but by then I’d forgotten what it was I thought I was smelling…..oh, never mind – you sort of get it, don’t you? /:)

    Anyway, I LOVE this review!!!!! See people. Todja! 😉 I’ll arm wrestle you for Mathilde…or maybe we can Fangurrl double-team her!

    My weak-knees scents are all over the place but the Big Guns are vintage Mitsouko and vintage Parure. Contemp would probably be TDC Charms and Leaves. If I spring for Fougueuse it just might bump CyL from its 1st place lineup.

    xo >-)

  • tania says:

    Attrape Coeur melts me every time. It’s the only scent I always have with me. Even if I’m not wearing it that day, my decant is rattling about in my bag somewhere, so I can sniff it. To me it feels like unreconstructed old-fashioned luxury – candlelight, champagne, fur coats, huge bouquets of expensive flowers, and the best chocolates.

    I think I have something which smells like that ginger & lemon & honey drink. Maybe….
    When Gorilla Perfumes (Lush) did their launch events last year, the event exclusives included three oils of note ‘chords’ which, blended together, make their scent The Smell of Freedom. I bought one, called Old Delhi Station, and IIRC it’s based on honey, ginger & lemon tea. It’s delicious, anyway.

  • maidenbliss says:

    ‘The longer it is on, the more beautiful it gets, as the notes merge and soften, taking that memory you started with and weaving it with light and burnishing it with gold until it is your memory, but better.’

    I love that. Beautifully written. So many memory scents to choose from, but I’ll go w Tom Ford’s Musk
    Pure. I’m instantly transported to soft silky baby neck, holding my first born and snuggling his neck.
    A bit of sweetness, and the purest scent I’ve ever smelled. It’s intense yet subtle, drawing me to sniff it over and over again. I wouldn’t say it’s elegant not would I call it a favorite; it’s the scent memory it evokes. Purity. Innocence. New born baby neck.

  • Victoria says:

    I am ready to gush alongside you. :))

  • Sherri M. says:

    Oh, please don’t apologize! I’d so much rather read a passionate–positive or negative–review than a lukewarm one! How wonderful to have found something worthy of “gushing” over! Don’t you love how a perfume can transport you to another time, another place? I admire perfumers so in the way they are able to touch our emotions with their beautiful compositions.

    I’m also glad to hear “Fougeuse” is actually wearable as well. “Arabie” to me conjures up images of money and horses, much like Musette described “Fougeuse” previously, but in the end, I end up not choosing it often, because, while I enjoy the perfume experience terribly, it doesn’t especially suit me–the equivalent of loving color yellow, but never wearing it because it makes you look awful.

    I have lots of perfume associations/memories–most of them having to do with people. Loving mothers, grandmother, aunts, etc. who made in my mind unlikely perfumes like Chanel #5, Shalimar, Emeraude, L’Aimant, Muguet du Bonheur/any LOTV. into the smell of love and kindness (maybe not the elegance which was the original intent of the perfumers, but what could be greater than to have your perfume associated with love?) Thanks again for a great review and hope you find many more to enjoy! :-)

  • Olfacta says:

    If I could find some real vintage 1982 Must de Cartier parfum, it would remind me of putting on a black dress, getting ready to go out, being in my 20’s and being pretty certain that somebody I had my eye on would be there.

    Nowadays I like the softer leather of Cuir de Lancome, a lot. Does this one have isobutyl quinoline? (I smelled it a couple of weeks ago, I think, but am not sure now. I’m developing a real aversion to that “leather” aromachemical, unfortunately.

  • donanicola says:

    Yeah, this one does things for me too (see my comment on Musette’s review!). Another one is Jubilation 25. And Bulgari Black as mentioned above.

  • pam says:

    L’Heure Bleue can sometimes bring tears to my eyes (and it’s not allergies). It just takes me to a different place. I have been trying Parfum Sacre, and it is such a comfort scent that reappears every hour or so, even when I think it’s all gone, and when it reappears it takes me somewhere else, every time. And it’s a “good” somewhere else.

    Loved the review, Patty! Isn’t it great to know that after all the scents you’ve experienced, you can still find something that excites you.

  • FragrantWitch says:

    Shalimar does it for me and has from the day I discovered it at 15! Also, Chaos is just instant ‘oh yes’ in an’ all is right with the world sort of way ‘. Also Bulgari Black suits my inner witchy goth girl- as a fellow Posse member (and fab swapper!) put it, it’s excellent for ‘apparating’ a la Harry Potter if that were possible. It just seems to make the line between fantasy and reality blur a bit if that makes sense! :-?

  • Ann says:

    Lovely, lovely review, Patty! I say, gush away when something makes your heart sing, as there’s so much mediocrity out there.
    I have several scents that move me:
    Costes 2 — a beautiful cashmere blanket that wraps softly around you, like that “ahhh” moment right before sleep overtakes you.
    Vintage Must de Cartier EDT — makes me feel young, thin and perfectly put-together again.
    Amouage Memoir for women and/or Clive Christian “C” for women — Although very different scents, to me they both give off a lush, plush aura of richness and delicious warmth that’s a pleasure to wear.
    And last, but not least, Kai — It may get overlooked as a celebrity scent, but it’s beautiful in its simplicity. It sustained me through an extremely traumatic summer and has now become my ultimate warm-weather comfort scent.

  • nozknoz says:

    There are a LOT of perfumes I love, but I’m nuts about the Calice Becker Kilians, especially Liaisons Dangereuses, Rose Oud and Pure Oud. They are all-out beautiful, yet she has a deft touch with extravagant ingredients (rose and oud) that avoids overkill. Denyse describes it as the bubbles of air in the rose confiture. To me they are relatively light and dry – almost an incense affect. <3<3<3!

  • DJ says:

    I am still looking for a smell that makes me weak…I think my experience with Roja Dove’s Unspoken (the actual perfume, that I can’t afford) is the closest I have come. I have the edp but it just is not the same thing.

    I love your enthusiasm! with so much out there that is ‘meh’ or ‘interesting’ a passionate experience with a scent means a lot and is a joy for others read about.


  • hongkongmom says:

    Oh enjoy the feeling I say! Shalimar does it for me (vintage eau de toilette in particular)
    But sadly it had been a long while…then 2 days ago I came across Profumum Roma Dambrosia and could not stop sniffing and catching wafts all day. Wish I could get some reviews…opinions…cause it is not cheap! Thanks for sharing the gaganess..

  • Anthony says:

    I love when people gush occasionally. I say if you love it, shout it from the roof tops. :) I can’t wait to try Fougueuse.

    I have to say, I’m GAGA, head over heels, unhealthily in love with three Maison Francis Kurkdjians. APOM PH, Lumiere Noir PH, and Cologne Pour le Soir. Good God I just want to cry when I think about them. And I haven’t even tried Absolu Pour le Soir, which according to everyone I’ve read, is a real skank animal and thus, right up my alley.

  • Madea says:

    Don’t laugh at me–I love Jardin sur le Meditranee because it reminds me of being a little kid at my aunt’s house.

    The perfume smells like cedar and soft lemon on me, with some spice, so it smells like eating Fruity Pebbles by the big bags of cedar chips my aunt kept for the guinea pigs while sitting on her screen porch in summer, with the fresh cut, slightly damp grass just outside.

    Have I lost perfume cred? :)