This stuff is so freakin’ good that I welled up after the first sniff.
Declaration By Cartier was created in 1998 by Jean Claude-Ellena, and it’s normally described as fresh and spicy. And that’s correct: after all, you get the tingle of the “cold spices” like cardamom and caraway (as opposed to warm ones like cinnamon, as Ellena explains to Chandler Burr in The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York), and herbs, and also the freshness of the citrus with bergamot, plus the delicacy of the florals.
Yet, all that list won’t really give an idea of what it really smells like. I think it was best summed-up by Bois de Jasmine, who praised the “balance between clarity and depth” that Ellena was able to achieve. And that’s right: with Declaration Cartier the nose goes wide, but it also goes deep at the same time. It’s something my nose was not ready for and it resulted in confusion at first, and then amazement, the one that is beauty’s job to create.
From beginning to end there is not much evolution, but who needs it with such an amazing smell? Declaration won’t say much because it already said it all. Towards the end however, a nice dose of musk makes it warmer, still preserving the same style.
Wear it in the office if you want, but sparingly: this stuff is made to impress, so don’t waste it.
(‘cos I do)