Shortly before its launch, I made my way uptown to the Surrey Hotel to preview the newest Cartier fragrance, Baiser Volé – not a bad way to start a day I must admit. In a lily-clad penthouse suite, I was greeted by immaculately dressed women from Cartier’s marketing department before being shown a video in which Paris-based Cartier in-house perfumer, Mathilder Laurent, spoke about the new feminine scent.
Laurent has been working in-house for Cartier since 2005 and chose to base Baiser Volé (“stolen kiss” in French) on the lily flower because when asked, eight out of ten men pick the lily as having their favorite floral scent. The perfumer however didn’t want to go with a run-of-the-mill floral scent so she opted to imagine what “the whole flower— including its leaves, petals, and pistil — could smell like.” Surprisingly, for a scent based solely on the lily, Baiser Volé isn’t aggressively floral, so if you’re like me and would gravitate to heartier musk and amber-based scents naturally, you might still delight in the powdery scent.
In the video I was shown, Laurent noted that there was a vegetal quality to the scent which I didn’t sense from smelling the fragrance on Cartier’s fittingly lily-shaped blotters, but once I spritzed it on my skin, I did get a hint of green on the top notes, something key in balancing the refreshing scent. It’s certainly a fragrance that requires being smelled in person because when reading about it one could easily be fooled into thinking it would only satisfy those into overly floral, feminine scents, but it’s not. In fact, it doesn’t smell like any lily scent I’ve ever smelled, most of which veer towards the very sweet, and if I didn’t know better I’d think there was certainly some musk in it.
The best part about the scent, however, might be that it comes in a bottle that mimics the shape of a lighter. For a brand that is known for, among other things, its incredibly chic lighters (back in the day, I remember my mother not only using one of them, but smoking Cartier cigarettes, which I was told, are in fact still produced in Europe), the bottle seems more than fitting.
Cartier Baiser Volé is available, beginning on Friday July 15, exclusively at Nordstrom stores and starting this week on the department store’s website. The fragrance, which will be distributed on a wider basis and in Cartier boutiques in the Fall, is sold in 1 fl oz for $75, 1.6 fl oz for $100, and 3.3 fl oz for $145. Shower Gel and Body Lotion are also available for $55 each.