“I only love wild roses”. – Mathilde Laurent.

For the new Cartier releases – Les Épures de Rose (looking up the french word épure just now, I find the English translation is also …..’epure’ – definitely a new word for me: apparently it means ‘sketch’; detailed draught or model), Cartier perfumer Mathilde Laurent, who, according to the house “hates the archetype of the rose – an emblem of femininity withered before it blooms” and “longs to return to it its true nature” has obviously sat down with a bowl of roses before her and reconsidered the queen of flowers’ public image.

I like all three.

L’Heure Osée, the ‘dared hour’, for Les Heures De Parfum collection, is billed by Cartier as a ‘punk rose’. No notes are given with the slender miniature long vials I have just received in the mail with the signature dark red Cartier boxes, but the top notes do smell like youthful bubblegum and banana, before ceding to a sexy, white-musk rose twinked with citruses that reminds me of some early Rosines and has quite a nice bravado in its step: very French teenage girl with attitude chewing gum feigning nonchalance. Not quite my image of punk. But great for a clean summer’s day.

Oud & Pink …… not what you think.

Described as ‘a shocking and androgynous rose in a tuxedo’ I must admit that I remain unflabbergasted – but quite pleased – as I smell this interesting, more adult, dry chypre I can imagine quickly gaining a lot of fans. I detect patchouli alongside a de-ouded oud and sensually pink rose curved with animalic undertones that doesn’t condescend to the consumer : I was recently re-smelling Mona Di Oiro’s Myrrh Casati, and there are similarities in the perfumes’ atmosphere – slyly assertive, great for post-Covid board meetings – even if the Cartier is the fuller of the two. Flashes of fresher rose extracts shine through intermittently, a rose perfume with a slightly devious, contemporary demeanour.

The bottle itself might be a touch too Avon Lady for me personally, but Pure Rose – a ‘naked rose’ – the most traditional of the three new offerings – is in the same mould as Annick Goutal’s Rose Absolue; very dewy, very fresh and watery orchestral – like a rose from the garden. Clear and optimistic – which is what we need right now; simple, and prettily convincing (though I still always maintain that there is nothing like a rose on the stem). I don’t know if I could ever convincingly carry this one off myself, but like my Perfumer’s Workshop Tea Rose, which I like to sometimes use as a ‘top up’ for other perfumes when I meet up with friends and ‘suddenly’ fancy a rose twist at the first moment of rendezvous, I can imagine keeping this in my pocket, and at the last moment, surprising them…… and perhaps even myself.


Filed under Flowers


  1. Robin

    I’ve always respected Mathilde Laurent’s skills and particular style. I have loved her roses for Cartier so far. L’Heure Diaphane is young and playful and gets away from being too, too rosy and obvious via peony. Her Oud & Rose was over $500 here, but I still nearly bought a bottle. The rose note(s) was spectacular, something you could ponder all evening, not overshadowed for a second by the oud: a flawless interplay. I would imagine Oud & Pink to be very well done as well. (De-ouded oud is fine by me. I don’t need much to get enough.)

    I think I would love all of these. I definitely could get into something girly and early-Rosine with l’Heure Osée. I wonder if that banana is a bit of ylang ylang? But I wouldn’t put it past her to pull a bit of the real, ol’ Sira des Indes into it. (If I have a decent handful of fragrances, I can only imagine the collection of someone like Mathilde. She must have smelled everything.) And I’m always up for a head-space technology-type realistic, still on the stem on the bush in the soil garden rose, so Avon Lady bottle aside (I agree) Pure Rose “would work nicely,” as Ric says. I have plenty of rose soliflores and a girl (and some boys) can’t have too many.

  2. Tara C

    These look and sound lovely, but no place to test them around here. The line is pretty thin on the ground, which is a pity since there are so many interesting ones.

  3. These sound beautiful, especially the Pure Rose, since I adore the Annick Goutal so much. I don’t think I will be tryiing these until it is safer out to do so, but will be looking forward to it.

    • For a nice fresh rose – if higher octaved than the Goutal – not QUITE as natural but very fairy-tale like, it is definitely worth trying. I think the ‘punk’ one is charming but there is quite a lot of white musk.

      • I like white musk in certain fragrances, like NOA by Cacharel, but some are unpleasant. It will be nice to eventually smell all of these in the stores.

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