Cartier’s latest launch is about time — the moments that make up a life.
Les Heures de Parfum, a quintet of unisex scents, reference not only “the special moments of life,” but also Cartier’s watchmaking heritage, said Philippe Nazaret, assistant vice president of Cartier’s fragrance department in North America.
“Cartier is proud to be launching this project, especially in our 100th year,” said Nazaret. “Cartier has always been about creativity and craftsmanship, and about a proud heritage.Les Heures de Parfum references our heritage with engraved Roman numerals and our signature red, gold-edged packaging, and its scents include the finest materials available.”
The first five in a series of 13, the scents were concocted by Mathilde Laurent, Cartier’s in-house perfumer. Numbers are not consecutive: the first five are numbered I, IV, X, XII and XIII. It was particularly important to use the number 13, said Nazaret, as “13 Rue de la Paix in Paris is the address of our flagship boutique, and the historic heart of Cartier. In 1899, Alfred Cartier moved the business to 13 Rue de la Paix at the insistence of his young son, Louis Cartier. Today, in addition to jewelry, watches, accessories and leathergoods,the boutique houses Cartier’s archives, high jewelry workshops and a perfume salon where we create bespoke perfumes.”
In the luxury tradition, perfumer Laurent was given free rein in terms of ingredients. “It was a dream, because I was very free in terms of the ingredients I could use — price was not an issue,” said Laurent. “It was an opportunity to do very distinctive and different scents — a true perfumery project. I chose the names, I worked on the bottles, and I devised the fragrances. Everything was imagined by me.”
L’Heure Promise (I) is “the hour where everything begins,” said Laurent. It is a mix of petitgrains, fresh herbs, iris, sandalwood and musk. L’Heure Brilliant (IV), influenced by “the happy hours, the hours of love, grace, laughter and freedom,” said Laurent, includes flaxseed, lemon, gin and aldehydes. L’Heure Folle (X), is “the crazy hour of nature,” said Laurent, who concocted it with what she calls “fruits rich in carats” — red current, pink peppercorn, grenadine, blueberry and blackcurrent — along with violet, ivy, boxwood, shiso and aldehyde notes. L’Heure Mystérieuse (XII), is “the private hour, a very sensual hour,” said Laurent, who used notes of jasmine, patchouli, coriander, elemi gum, incense and juniper for the concoction. The final scent in the quintet, La Treizième Heure (XIII), is “the dangerous, impossible hour of seduction,” said Laurent; its notes include leather, maté, birch, bergamot, patchouli and vanilla.
L’Heure Promise, L’Heure Brilliant and L’Heure Folle are eau de toilette; L’Heure Mystérieuse and La Treizième Heureare eau de parfum. The scents, all sold separately, retail for $250 for 2.5 oz.
In the U.S., the quintet bows in seven Saks Fifth Avenue doors — New York City, Miami, Tampa, Houston, Atlanta, Beverly Hills and New Orleans — in October, as well as Cartier’s six American boutiques, in New York City, Beverly Hills, Costa Mesa, San Francisco, Chicago and Palm Beach. L’Heure Folle, will be exclusive to the U.S. market for six months, and in the U.S., it will exclusive to Saks Fifth Avenue for a year. Excluding L’Heure Folle, the collection will also be launched globally in October.
“We are absolutely thrilled to exclusively launch Cartier’s Les Heures des Parfum in the US,” said Deborah Walters, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of cosmetics and fragrances for Saks Fifth Avenue. “The collection is beautiful and distinctive in every detail and fully reflects the essence of Cartier. We are certain this collection will be a success at Saks and we are particularly excited to have the worldwide exclusive of L’Heure Folle.”
While executives refused to discuss sales projections, industry sources estimated the Le Heures de Parfum collection could do upwards of $1 million at retail in the U.S. in its first year on counter.
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