Perfume Directory

Santos (1981)
by Cartier


Santos information

Year of Launch1981
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 235 votes)

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About Santos

Named after the early aviator Santos Dumont, for whom Cartier created the first wrist watch. The fragrance includes notes of Lavender, Nutmeg, Vetiver and Sandalwood.

Santos fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of Santos

A smoky, woody, herbal scent for men that is most representative of the powerhouse 1980s, which this scent helped to introduce.

The sweet, strong herbal notes of basil and lavender practically burst out of the bottle, followed by the spicy nutmeg and cumin. All settles down to the perfect blend of sandalwood (for which the scent is obviously named), cedar, patchouli and vetiver.

A simple note tree, as were most men's fougeres in the 1980s. So many of them smelled alike, it all came down to the quality of ingredients and the price. Santos dries down to a warm, woody, skin scent without any sharpness or interference, supported by the gentle spices.

Still a winner in my book after all these years! And, thank goodness, still available.
16th August, 2017
Sandalwood is still one of my most favorite notes. I cannot get enough of it. And it's just astounding how many fragrance variations can be made with sandalwood in the base.

I thought I'd wrapped it all up when I found D&G By Man and Gucci Envy. But then a vintage bottle of Santos de Cartier fell in my lap. This is the dressed up version with brushed silver metal casing and gold accents secured with flush faux screws. The very high end luxury presentation in Remy Martin like padded red faux leather box does not disappoint for what is inside.

Sandalwood and lavender go so well together. Add on some peppery spices, herbs, richness from amber, patchouli, vetiver, and a little sweetness of coconut and vanilla, and something magical happens. Bold and beautiful. I sampled the recent version and it's so sad what Cartier did to it. Definitely make a point of trying the vintage if you can.

Fragrance 9.2 / Value 8.5
06th April, 2017 (last edited: 07th April, 2017)
Okay, Lately I've been spending some quality time with Santos. I am partial to the more masculine fragrances and this is one of them. The first few times I wore it, I thought it was very similar to Lapidus. It does remind me of that, but it really is much more complex and refined. From what I read from some other reviewers, I had assumed that Santos would be a cloying, dated fragrance, being that it was launched in the 80's. This is not true. I have yet to wear anything quite like it, and if it is not a masterpiece, it's close. I think it really is very, very well balanced, somewhat linear, but that's okay because the notes are on target right out of the bottle. Spicy, woody, exotic..., just sweet enough, and not floral or "aqua" or "cloudy" at all. It has very good projection and silage (medium to strong), and it makes me feel calm and confident when I wear it. I wish I could trade my bottle of Lapidus for Santos. Love it.
06th May, 2015
I'm not really enjoying this one. It kicks off with a fairly standard woody chypre smell, but drenched in nutmeg. Given a few minutes, it dies down to hay-ish tobacco with a buzz of very chemical-smelling lavender on top. Eventually, as the lavender sharpness fades, I'm left with the smell of lumber mixed with old newspapers. Finally, a very oily, almost gasoline-smelling chypre base comes in.

Aside from the topnotes, I just haven't found Santos very pleasant. That buzzing fake lavender and the gasoline fumes are bad enough, but when fuzed with nutmeg, they take on a weird quality, like something delicious that's been laced with poison. I don't know how else to describe it - I just don't like it.
13th April, 2015

This is the distinction between the men and the boys. SANTOS DE CARTIER is a sophisticated Oriental-Woody blend that beautifully incorporates exotic wood and spice notes.The top notes has a very distinct smell which peaked my interest enough for me to try this EDT.Classic,Warm,Rich,Strong,Passionate, Classy, Gentlemanlike and Very Oriental.

Herbal and fresh notes of basil,lavender and bergamot sit over a spicy heart of pepper,nutmeg and geranium while a rich base of woods,patchouli and vanilla bring masculinity,strength and also sweetness to this lovely classic and makes it an intense and great choice for the confident and perfect man.

SANTOS DE CARTIER is reserved for the Winter Evenings.It is not seemly for a young or teenager and I highly recommend this real Orintal-Woody fragrance to a dandy man 30/50 years who wants to smell great before a big event.CARTIER never disappoint you indeed.


Longevity?Very Good on my skin.

16th December, 2014
Trying a sample of this over the past 120 minutes, simply gauging its relative strength along with three other newly acquired scents. Trouble is, I've reapplied yet another decent dose of Santos three separate times, and still, it is being forced into whimpering non-noticeable submission by the three other scents, all of which were applied only once, as well as the three being classified as light, sporty type scents. An earlier reviewer claimed the reformulated version of Santos to have been a product of disembowelment from an original version. Almost certainly, that is truth. The initial smell, all 15 minutes worth, conjures a rich spicy goodness that must have once been a scrumptious pleasure to behold. Ahh, but now? Reduced to an utter tease.
04th March, 2014

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