Cartier just launched Déclaration d’un Soir (a flanker to 1998′s Déclaration Eau de Toilette) and it supposedly takes the original Déclaration perfume into nighttime (huh?) (Also laughable: Cartier PR says Déclaration d’un Soir ‘drives men to speak their minds.’) Perfume may make me speak my mind…but only about perfume (thus, this review).
Déclaration d’un Soir was developed by Cartier perfumer Mathilde Laurent; its notes include pepper, cumin, nutmeg, rose and sandalwood. When I first wore Déclaration d’un Soir, I felt I had smelled a close relative of it before. It took me weeks to finally figure out that Déclaration d’un Soir reminds me of Eau d’Italie Paestum Rose (more on that later). Déclaration d’un Soir opens with peppery citrus (the pepper actually makes my nose tingle). As Déclaration d’un Soir develops on my skin, I detect cumin. Now, before you cumin-haters start wailing, let me say that Déclaration d’un Soir’s cumin is dry and delicate; I barely notice the cumin in this fragrance.
In its next phase, Déclaration d’un Soir’s cumin morphs into what smells like cedar-tinged rose. The sweetish rose at the heart of Déclaration d’un Soir is “heartless” — it’s as if you took a rose, removed it’s super-floral-scented center and left its drier, aromatically airier edges intact. In Paestum Rose, the rose note is also augmented by wood, but Paestum Rose’s rose is denser and syrupy and its “wood” note more solid. Still, when I spray Paestum Rose next to Déclaration d’un Soir the similarities are striking.
The rose-wood aromas in Déclaration d’un Soir’s mid-section last a long time and seem to float on tea-scented notes. As its rose fades (so to speak) Déclaration d’un Soir’s sheer wood (supplemented by some dry musk?) becomes more prominent. This wood, vaguely smelling like sandalwood, has a 'pleasant' acridity up close…cutting thru the balmy sweetness of Déclaration d’un Soir’s heart.
Bright, floral-woody, see-thru, happy Déclaration d’un Soir is pretty far from the grungy spice-fest of original Déclaration. As far as Déclaration d’un Soir being a night version of the original Déclaration? If you think of your nighttime self as being a “cleaned-up” version of you, then fine. But if you think of the nighttime you as sexier, more edgy? No. Original Déclaration fits that bill better. But any way you categorize it, Déclaration d’un Soir is a worthy addition to the good-smelling Déclaration collection.
Cartier Déclaration d’un Soir, to me, is a unisex fragrance; style-wise, it would fit perfectly into the Hermès Jardin collection. Déclaration d’un Soir has excellent strength and sillage; it is available in 50/100 ml for $80/105.