Cartier La Panthere EDP Perfume Review

Cartier Panthere Perfume

Mainstream Monday – Sniffing a Popular Perfume

When I first saw the bottle of Cartier La Panthère online, I had to talk myself out of buying it unsniffed. This is as close as I’m ever going to get to owning anything from the La Panthère line. I have to say that my expectations for the fragrance itself were rather low, I had a feeling this one is all about the packaging. I mean, it could smell like nothing and people would still buy it for the bottle.

The jewelry collection has used a panther as an icon for ages, describing it as a symbol of both “predatory and elegant”. I don’t really know what people want from this fragrance, I personally had a stereotype of a more mature woman, someone that has a few too many animal prints in her closet (if there is such a thing as too many animal prints…) Honestly, I expected the audience to be someone that wore the original 1980’s version of La Panthère (which I have never tried but I hear it’s nothing like this one).

La Panthère is musks, fruits and nail polish remover – much like the plums in Estee Lauder Cinnabar (but with none of the citrus or spice of Cinnabar). And then the fruits become overripe. And indoles. Everything about La Panthère is overripe. The florals are on the verge of rotting – their white petals rotting to a golden hue in an outline of chestnut brown. The stone fruits are starting to ferment in the warm sun. It reminds me somewhat of Rochas Femme but more modern; yet, still overindulgent bringing to mind popular feminines of the late 70’s and early 80’s. I expected for the florals to be gardenia since that seemed to be the focus in the launch campaign but I can’t shake the indolic jasmine. And whatever it is, I’m loving it. The dry-down is the least exciting part of the perfume. It’s a warm, powdery musk, a teeny bit of patchouli and obligatory modern moss. It’s less exciting but it gets the “chypre” job done. It’s a remix of powerhouse scents and the overall feel is “modern fruity chypre”.

I can only imagine that La Panthere is a polarizing perfume. It’s a throwback powerhouse. People that lived through the designer perfume mushroom clouds of the 80’s are probably over stuff like this. I imagine that the crowd born after the 80’s has no interest in this because it’s not cotton candy or an inoffensive fruitichouli. Yes, I’ve heard “old lady” used with this one way more than I ever want to hear. People absolutely struggle with “abstract perfumes”; they want to pull a part notes, etc. And this one wears as a cloud of “modern fruity chypre” instead of a note list. I think the intended audience is slightly nostalgic for perfume-perfume. The problem of having a totally badass bottle is that you’re going to attract people that won’t necessarily “get” the perfume (assuming there is anything to get).

If you’re wondering what I think of this perfume, I like it much more than I anticipated. I like a big ‘ole perfume that I don’t have to think about, something like Natori Natori or Dior Poison. These are my perfumes for adornment, not mood lifters or intellectual smarty-perfume-blogger perfumes. These are my grown-up, big girl perfumes and I’d love to add this panther bottle to my “period drama” (AKA Joan Collins-ish) perfume collection or my “sassy grown ass woman” perfume collection. This one isn’t getting love from non-perfumistas and the perfumistas find it dull, but I can shamelessly say that I enjoy wearing this. I don’t wear this sort of thing frequently but I do get a craving for these sort of ‘fumes every now and then.

And what the heck should a “predatory and elegant” perfume smell like? These are some of my many questions.

Barbier Cartier 1914

Notes listed include green notes, rhubarb, strawberries, dried fruit, apple, apricot, gardenia, musk and oakmoss. Launched 2014. PERFUMER – Mathilde Laurent

Give La Panthere a try if you like big 80’s feminines. Or perfumes like Dior Poison, Serge Lutens Une Voix Noire, Diane von Furstenberg Diane EDP, Givenchy Amarige, Natori Natori and/or Tom Ford Private Blend Plum Japonais. You better like perfume-perfumes if you’re trying this one because you’re going to smell like perfume-perfume if you wear this.

Projection and longevity are average to above average. And of course I can’t finish this review without mentioning the bottle one more time. It’s gorgeous. It fits the Cartier line perfectly.

La Panthere is available in 2 sizes (1 oz and 1.6 oz) with prices ranging from $72-$103 at Sephora and Harrods (UK).

Victoria’s Final EauPINION“Rotting fruits and white florals with a powder fresh musk” modern chypre. Considering that this is a mainstream designer perfume launched in 2014, I think it’s really good (but my expectations were really low, I already admitted that). If you want a perfume-perfume in a pretty bottle, try this.

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*Disclaimer – Sample obtained by me. Product pic from Fragrantica. Barbier for Cartier Panthere 1914 print from Post contains affiliate links. Thanks!

14 thoughts on “Cartier La Panthere EDP Perfume Review

  1. I’ve never had “bottle lust”. Until I saw this one. Yes, it’s as close to Cartier as I’m likely to get and it’s a CAT. Love cats. I appreciate a good bottle-the newer Lubin Idole perfume and Akkad have beautiful bottles. You could use these things as bookends or art pieces, but they were purchased for the juice. I’ll have to give this a sniff. I don’t mind a “perfumey” perfume. I enjoy a perfume that is melded together so well that can’t or you don’t bother to try to pull out each note. I think my vintage Coco EDP and Cinnabar are like that and I enjoy them no end.

    1. I’m trying to think of my last “bottle lust” before this one but I’m blanking. Anyway, it’s a cat. It’s gorgeous in that art deco panther way. I want this out for everyone to see. It really is like a decoration.

      I’d love to hear your opinion because I love Coco and Cinnabar and I like this one. It’s like a non-spicy “summer” version (if that makes sense). I mean, it’s not fair to compare it to vintage anything but as a new perfume, I like the direction that it went.

      1. Finally got a nice size sample from Nordstrom. I kept thinking it smelled familiar. Finally I tried a couple of perfumes separate and together. The best description to me would be a cross between Climat and No. 19. Not as spicy as Climat and not as dry as No. 19, but a combo of the two and it’s very close to La Panthere. La Panthere is maybe a bit less spicy and more “fruity”, but it has that greenish, spicy, oakmossy vibe. I do like it. I can see a Coco lite comparison in the dry down, but no Cinnabar. It lasts a fairly long time and has some decent sillage, but I don’t know that I can justify the purchase right now. Or maybe ever if I can spray a little No 19 and Climat. But wow that bottle. Kept imagining what it would look like backlit.

        1. Yeah! So good to hear your opinion. Fruity, dry, green. Those are great descriptors. Nice to hear how it compares to the original as well.

          Really with Cinnabar, it’s just that opening of nail polish remover plum (which I also get from Cinnabar and a possibly “turned” bottle of Rochas Femme from the 60s), so it probably isn’t the best comparison on my part because it has very little spice.

          The bottle is gorgeous. Like I said, I expected for it to be much worse because they could sell anything, even plain water, in that bottle.

  2. I had the same reaction when I saw this bottle, and for the same reason! Yes, I know that is how perfume marketers and product designers rope us in, but in this case I fell for it. Vintage Cartier is vintage Cartier … and nothing else is. 🙂 I will probably give this one a go, although I appreciate the warning about perfume-perfume.

    1. At least this bottle is pretty, not like Marc Jacobs plastic thingies all over it. I think the marketers did a good job here.

      It’s not fair to compare anything to vintage Cartier.

      I’d like to hear your impression. It’s modern but it’s perfume-perfume or at least a perfume trying to be perfume-perfume.

        1. Hope they have it. I still haven’t sniffed that new Tom Ford…these things are never out when I bother to go to the department stores.

  3. I think this is a beautiful perfume. The Cartier rep at Nordstrom sprayed it on a gorgeous white square with the panther face die cut in the paper, itself a thing of wonder and beauty. She gave me the purse spray of this fragrance because I did purchase the big bottle of Baiser Vole Essence. The square piece of paper sat tucked in a little Nordstrom shopping bag and wafted her siren song of elegance every time I walked by dining room chair I had placed it on. I really like it but feel like now is not the right time of year to give it a real test drive on skin! I am not craving it just yet…..

    1. I didn’t see the little cut-outs! I bet those are really nice. I would have sprayed a few of those to put in my drawers, lol.

      I really, really want a bottle of this and I’m thinking of waiting until fall – I’m in a summer no-buy and like you, I think I’d wear it more that time of year. I mean, it would look pretty setting around until I use but still, may as well wait.

      Oh, and I love Baiser Vole Essence too. It’s so beautiful.

  4. THANK YOU for not caring about what others think!!! All of us perfumistas should have this hobby out of loving interest and admiration – the snobbery has got to GO!! If some one likes cotton candy scents, OK! Ozones are hard on my senses – but someone else may fling that type into their `can`t live w/out it` scents…and that`s OK too 🙂 I have a serious collection of original Panthere, and just received a sample….and the newbie cousin is fine w/ me too! lol!! My birthday in Sept is my date for a FB of this 🙂 I dearly hope for all this EU mess that has stolen the headiness from our beloved older scents to be quickly reversed w/ labeling….

    1. I’ve always said love what you love. Sometimes too we just love something and we don’t even know why. And you don’t have to explain why! If you like it and it brings you joy, wear it. It’s hard to write reviews because you know someone will love what you don’t or hate what you love but I think we’re all mature enough to know “hey, that’s one opinion and it’s not going to stop me from wearing this!”

      Good to hear an opinion from someone that has the original too (bottle is gorgeous on that one as well). I’m shooting for the end of Sept. for a bottle, lol. That’s the end of my no-buy plus I see myself wanting to wear this when the weather is milder but we still have some days of sunshine. And I see myself wearing it more in the cooler months.

      🙁 Yep. It’s frustrating. Not that I’m enabling or telling people to hoard, but I have learned if there is something that you truly, truly love, buy it now. You never know what’s going to change next.

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