I ADORE Le Baiser du Dragon. I have been on a quest to find a fragrance with notes similar to the dry down of Shalimar without the overpowering "old lady perfume" notes that I get up front with that scent, and this fits the bill perfectly. Better, my favorite notes of the Shalimar dry down (the ones that combine to create the gourmand accord that I like to call "burnt vanilla toast"...but I am admittedly no fragrance expert so please ignore my silly and somewhat irreverent use of the terminology. :-) ) come through much earlier in this complex, sexy scent. The sillage and longevity of this perfume leave nothing lacking, as I am still getting faint whiffs of my application from last night about 18 hours later, and that's with different clothing. I will confess that I made my first purchase from eBay, so I am nervous to see if the bottle is of the same quality as that of the decant I made my original applications from. But at 50.00 for a 100ml bottle, it was worth the risk for this gorgeously robust EDP.
The opening of Le Baiser du Dragon is bold, peculiar and intriguing: soft, creamy, nutty, slightly "liquid" in an almost "lacustrine" sense, with a strong sweet-almond note quite rooty and boozy (the "Amaretto di Saronno" feel), a load of cumin, something almost close to opium, velvety and woody, like opium or cannabis (or simply something irresistibly mellow halfway aniseed, cardamom and sandalwood). All deep, dense and almost a bit loud. Woody base comprising earthy notes of patchouli and vetiver, which will eventually be more "up" later on. Shortly, a narcotic Oriental woody-spicy scent with a dusty powdery feel and a sweet hint of talc and flowers. After less than hour a comparison came to my mind, with all respect to differences, this kind of reminded me of at least some accords of Boucheron's Jaipur Homme - notably the talc, the almond, the spices, the powdery stuff, the general sense of mystical whiteness and cleanliness, the white-muskiness. Beautiful and iconic for sure, but frankly a bit cloying after a while. It gets better once the (cloying, to me) spicy-almondy-sweetish notes get softer and lighter, and Baiser turns towards a drier vetiver-patchouli scent softened by soapy and talcum notes of flowers. Nonetheless, a good one for sure.
Unfortunately, I just haven't enjoyed Le Baiser du Dragon. On me, it swings back and forth between a bergamot-heavy fusty mossy patchouli and a thin sandalwood. Meanwhile, there's a metallic lavender that buzzes around on top making everything feel kind of chemical.
That buzzing chemical lavender does something weird to the whole perfume. It sort of knocks out my nose, leaving a weird sense of absence. I've smelled this done to clever effect (Aventus springs to mind), but here it mostly makes Baiser feel incomplete and unsatisfying. It's like everything else is weak and what's trying to be diaphanous just feels watered down. And all this trouble for a scent that doesn't smell particularly amazing anyway. Meh.
Quite an interesting one! Quite sweet and boozy to me. I think it settles down into a strong patchouli, ambery, sweet kind of smell. At the same time it's not sweet enough to be "girly" but it still has a feminine edge to me. That being said. A man could certainly pull this off. Fragrances with liqueur notes such as amaretto are used in many perfumes regardless of gender.
Who would wear this? Again, this is a "power woman" scent. Someone who is in an position of responsibility and/or authority. It goes with a suit and definitely for boardroom meetings. The dry down to me can come across as masculine but it still stays sweet so I think this fragrance defies gender altogether really. One thing is for sure, this may not be a "jeans and t-shirt" kind of scent. Definitely for someone who is dressed up. This is a fragrance which you have to learn how to wear (with class and style), so wear it with respect... before it wears you. Elegant!
Quite interesting and certainly unusual, almost medicinal. I like the bottle design a lot too. I don't know much about Cartier fragrances but it would certainly prompt me to try a few more.