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.
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.
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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Escentual – Written by Thomas of Candy Perfume Boy