So the other day I tried and was none too impressed with Cartier Panthere, finding it a rather weak kitty. Almost to a commentator people wrote that yeah, this one wasn’t great, but the Les Heures were the bomb. So StC has apparently all 63 of them, but in the interest of my short attention span and shorter bank balance I chose three that I hope are representative. Now of course some of these were covered by Patty back in the day and I will refer to her reviews, linking.
Diaphane I chose, like Patty because I liked the name. Also like Patty I didn’t check the notes before clicking “send”: rose, leechee (eeeeee!!!) and peony. I have to write that this one really surprised me. I loved it. It’s a perfect blend of slightly peppery peony and creamy rose with just enough litchi to make me spell it correctly. In someone else’s hand this could have been a Pink Sugar-level disaster but this is as smooth and sheer as a voile summer dress. Would I wear it? Sure, if I was in a bad mood and needed a lift, if the weather was truly crummy and I needed a shot of perfect springtime, or I was going to be photographed by the ghost of David Hamilton. In that voile dress.
Brilliante is the girl in the diaphanous gown after her David Hamilton experience. She’s a little harder-edged and a little more out for fun. Patty mentions lemon, lime, gin (so far so good) and aldehydes and I get some clove and even some caramel in there. It still reads young: like our young Miss, appalled by the suggestions of Hamilton and his Hasselblad, decided to show the world how bad she could be when she really spit on her hands and dug in: Grabbing her mother’s most shocking Schiaparelli, dousing herself in My Sin, and incarnadining her lips with Victory Red, she sidles up to he bar, orders a gin rickey or two and start on her way as a femme fatale. But, like that vampette, Brilliante has a core of innocence in it’s charming floral heart. Again, I probably need it like I need a floor-length gown with dueling sequined lobsters embroidered on the bodice but I applaud it’s loveliness.
Oud & Musc I chose for obvious reasons. It’s oud and it’s musk, two accords that get an almost Pavlovian response from me. They are also notes that, singly and together a lot of other people have done, and I have to write, done well. So how does this one stack up? Really very well. It’s still ref-ay-ned in that Cartier way- there are no rough edges here. The oud is polished to a sheen and the musk beast has been shampooed and taught which fork to use, but there’s enough beast in here to make me go “squueeee.” Just not enough for me to plunk down $355 for a bottle. If I had PowerLooto winnings, sure it would be on the list. But I would be raiding Uncle Serge, Caron, and Guerlain in Paris, black Amex clenched in my teef and begging to open the vaults before I’d be logging onto the N-M website to purchase.
Oud & Musc is $355 for 75ML, while Diaphane and Brilliante are $280 for the same size. My samples were from Surrender to Chance.
Have you tried these? Others in the “Heures” line? Please share in the comments.
Photos: my iPhone, Pexels, and Wikimedia Commons