Fragrance

L’Envol de Cartier Is the Brand’s First Men’s Cologne in Eight Years

This simple, straightforward, woody scent is a great option for daily use.
Photographer: Evan Ortiz/Bloomberg

Over the centuries, perfume bottles have been produced in nearly every shape and form, from carved pots in ancient Egypt, to exquisite Lalique fantasies, to hyper-sexualized sculptural containers from the 1990s. 

The ubiquity of efforts hasn't stopped brands from finding new and interesting ways to attract fresh consumers with fragrance packaging. This summer, Cartier is making a new entry into the field of bottle innovation with L'envol de Cartier. The scent is its sixth major release for men, the first new one since 2008. The cologne is inspired by ambrosia, the mythical Greek food of the gods, and offers accents of honey, wood, patchouli, and a hint of musk.

In other words, it smells like a cologne.

So the most standout thing about the fragrance is, in fact, its container, a glass bulb suspended in a glass cloche, which makes the fluid catch the light in a way it wouldn't if it were just sitting in a standard spritzer on your dresser. It truly looks like a bottle of honey, which is what the creators were trying to accomplish. The bottle is refillable, though I'm not sure why you wouldn't just buy a new one on finishing the first. The top is a bit of metal fillagreed with Cartier's signature guilloché motif.

Big-brand colognes such as this and the recent Chanel Bleu, are not for those who want to make a statement with their scent. They are for men who want to smell as if they are wearing something nice and/or expensive, rather than having no scent at all. (Or worse.) These colognes are breezy and simple.

L'Envol is more elegant than rival Bleu, whose citrus-and-vetiver flavor has an aggression and straightforwardness that echoes the drugstore fragrances of the 1980s and '90s. (Admit it: You still kind of like the smell of Acqua di Gio.) The new offering from Cartier's is basically forest-y and floral, with a breath of marine air. I wore it out in the evening and got no comments on it, but when we passed it around in the office, everyone agreed it smelled very nice.

It will last on your body through most of a night out, but it tends to dissipate halfway through a day moving around, no matter how much you spritz. The subtle, straightforward scent makes it a perfectly grown-up choice for daily use, but you may have to re-apply once or twice if you want people to notice it.

At $132 for 3.3 oz, it's a great potential addition to your dresser top.

L'Envol de Cartier will be available starting August 15 on nordstrom.com.

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.
    LEARN MORE