This is a really hard smell to describe - it implies simplicity but is actually quite complex. At its heart, it's lemony green tea over sweaty cumin, but that's only about 50% of what I'm smelling. The other 50% is a pleasant stew of chemicals that hints at soap and citric brightness, but without smelling specific enough to be described in terms of the normal touchstones. It's kind of like a body smell, but doesn't smell natural.
All in all, I like it but don't love it. In terms of sheer artistry, I prefer the original Declaration, though I don't like wearing the original because of all that dirtiness. Eau Genereuse is quite a bit more wearable, but the sweaty body element is still there enough to keep it from really working as a bright clean Spring scent.
If you like the original Declaration you most likely will like this. I don't...it's too weird. The generous name means you should be able to spray this generously and get a beautiful blast of olfactory goodness. Instead, my nose is assaulted with a wet green that comes off like someone blended the leaves, stalk, unripe fruit and flowers and put it in a bottle.
The cumin note should have been held back much more. It simply does not fit well with an eau de cologne concept; body odor meets bright sweet citrus does not a pleasant scent make.
The dry woodsiness complete with the cumin of Declaration in a fresher more citrusy cologne. I though Bois Blue was supposed to be the more "sporty" version but Eau Genereuse (French for generous) is really done well. It's not overbearing, it's not overwhelming and it smells good (if you liked Declaration that is).
Cartier Declaration Eau Genereuse
Flankers are not my favorite subject in perfumery. Very often they are weaker un-balanced versions of the original and suffer in comparison. Try the sport version of many popular fragrances to see where I'm coming from. Then someone like Jean-Claude Ellena takes the idea and actually does something incredible with it. The Declaration line he created for Cartier shows how a central theme can be re-interpreted over four different scents. I am a big fan of the original Declaration and as someone who likes cumin in his scents it is a great scent, for me. What about the cumin averse out there? Ellena's first answer was, in 2001, Bois Bleu which stripped the cumin out and left the remainder firmly in aquatic territory. While I liked Bois Bleu it had lost some of the citrus sparkle that was present in the original and I missed that. In 2003, Ellena designed the scent that retains that spark and created Declaration Eau Genereuse. This is Declaration without the cumin and it is all sunshine and light and wonderful, on me. The top recreates the citrus beginning but without the earthiness of the cumin the green notes are much more prevalent. The wormwood is also missing which removes the astringent woody aspects and keeps Eau Genereuse all on the side of lighter, brighter accords as the zesty cardamom and artemesia lead down to a cedar-centric base. This is a clean, fresh scent expertly executed in an Eau de Cologne style. That Eau de Cologne style means not a lot of sillage but on me it stays as a close wearing skin scent for many hours. Ellena has almost made me a believer in flankers. Maybe more appropriately he has made me a believer in flankers designed by Ellena.
This is my favorite version of Déclaration. I think the appeal is that the basic Déclaration idea is translated into an Eau-de-cologne style. The re-balanced citrus and green notes in the top take some of the bitter birch tar edge off the basic fragrance and enliven it just enough to make it a good warn-weather wear. The trouble is that it's nearly impossible to find; but the trade-off is that the bottle I have is huge! Jean-Claude Ellena has done a great job on this one!
I find this version of Déclaration very energizing and invigorating. It hangs around just enough, with good sillage, but it's not a one-two punch. With warm weather approaching, I find myself looking forward to the treat of wearing this again.
29th April, 2008 (last edited: 01st May, 2008)