This review is for the EdP:
I don't hate the idea of mainstream perfumery. At all. I grew up in the era of going perfume shopping in department stores, back when there was still a lot to be excited about. I still enjoy making a trip to a good fragrance counter and shooting the breeze with a sales assistant.
Mainstream houses with talent, like Cartier, turn up gems like Baiser Volé more often than seems right. But Mathilde Laurent is just that good. What could have been a dialed-in flanker is, instead, a smart daytime fragrance that ticks all the boxes I assume it's supposed to for marketing purposes, and it stands on its own as a perfume worth wearing.
Baiser Volé is built in the clean, streamlined, contemporary style of late-model Jean-Claude Ellena--smooth, seamless, no edges--but it also contains a fizzing, bubbling center a là Francis Kurkdjian. These architectural features update what is, essentially, the most retro of retros: the soapy green floral, the prim Grace Kelly of perfumes. Once the machinery is set in motion, a bright lily-of-the-valley blooms up through a layer of soap musk and clover, before receding again into the background. It's a clever use of aldehydes
--a type of construction that's now being deployed to good effect in some perfumes and less successfully in others. (I'm trying not to grind this axe too often, but seriously--I'm seeing it everywhere).
The only disappointment is Baiser Volé's longevity, which seems to clock in at less than two hours. Everyone else has noticed it, too, but it's worth weighing in, for consistency.
Edit: I was wrong. It came back, and came back again. Total wearing time was probably 8 or 10 hours. Very, very nice.
03rd July, 2016 (last edited: 10th July, 2016)
A nondescript synthetic citrus note is about as dull and predictable as a scent can begin with. Then underlying green notes rise, followed by the emergence of the main player, a reasonable lily that a times gains in richness and depth and then is quite attractive. The base is as generic as the start.
I am getting soft sillage, but when I sampled the concentrated version the sillage was at least moderate and better than the Eau de Toilette that In sampled initially. The projection is all right, and the longevity is about four hours, but again the concentrée version lasted another hour.
The opening is green, slightly citrussy, with hints of shampoo and hairspray- as other reviewers have pointed out- a combination that could have put me immediately off and induced me to dismiss it as another generic mainstream offer. Fortunately, on skin in a warm day, the fragrance soon gets rid of this unexciting start and displays a fresh, spicy- clover mainly, not too heady lily note that gains structure and complexity as time passes. The heart of the fragrance is smooth, velvety, lightly creamy and softly threading towards a musky drydown where vanilla, woods and patchouli mingle harmoniously. The drydown shares, in a softer, whispered tone, some notes with a more recent Mathilde Laurent work, La Panthère- I personally love this stage in both fragrances very much, but here comes my only qualm about BV: its longevity is quite weak, after a couple of hours I can barely detect it.
Longevity issue aside, Baiser Volé is an elegant, masterfully composed and somewhat reassuring fragrance, versatile and perfectly unisex, in my opinion.
(This review is based on a sample of EdP. I see there are other concentrations that maybe prove more long lasting)
I tried this because I was hoping it was a lily I could like, but in spite of it's promising green notes and citrus, it was still strongly and unquestionably lily. Which is a note I just don't love. It always smells artificial in an airy, aquatic, sharp manner. It brings such a boatload of synthetic elements to a fragrance, that any supporting notes are rendered weak, ineffective... and artificial smelling.
I can tell this one has a nicely moderated personae, an easy wearability, so I hoped I might be able to accept it's somewhat hairsprayish personality, but I can't. Much too artificial on me.
I enjoy the scent of lily in perfume but not so much lily of the valley. I also own Lys Mediterranee and have tried Donna Karan's Gold and Lys Soleia.
Of all the above, I find Baiser Vole the easiest to wear. It's very adaptable - refreshing for summer daytime, fine for work environments, also very nice for informal parties or drinks in summer.
It opens with a scent that's quite reminiscent of clean shampoo, but it develops beautifully within ten minutes. What it perhaps lacks in intrigue or animalic depths is more than made up for by light charm and elegance. It has a green peppery edge, the lily is fairly crisp, not too clean, and there's a wisp of vanilla to lend a fluffy cloud-like aura. It feels to me as though it's floating around my head in delicate bubbles of clear, light sparkliness. Dearie me that sounds a bit air-headed, but Baiser Vole has that lovely slightly vegetable peppery green note too. It also has surprising longevity.
It's a perfume that will appeal to women of all ages who seek a contemporary fresh green floral with underlying elegance. I'm always reminded of a green house when wearing Baiser Vole. I can''t think of any other perfume that has this gentle yet clear quality, almost verging on aquatic. Matin d'Orage is vaguely similar, but still smells like a classic floral.
Though very pretty, Baiser Vole is really quite unique and quirky in its way.
This one is quiet enough that I missed out on its nuances for a long time - turns out the only way I could appreciate it when testing was to spritz in a department store then immediately go outside!
The first few times I wore it the weather was warm, and I experienced it mostly as a wonderful vintage face powder and milk chocolate drydown that lingers softly for hours and hours. It's an impressionistic and restrained milk chocolate, which is why I think it works. Chocolate notes usually smell cheap, though in coming at it kind of sideways, the illusion holds.
In cooler weather it's been a whole different thing - lily, and lily, and lily, for days. Initially I thought this was such an elegant and chaste scent, yet getting to know it better, I've noticed a very pronounced skank note - this lily's over-ripe, and we're getting some of the stale, murky water in the bottom of its vase. It's kind of off-putting, yet kind of sexy and dirty on skin, like the mysteries that lurk in some of the old Guerlains and Carons.
I appreciate the way it gives a nod to 1920s-30s sophisticated powdery glamour, yet is, by comparison, a streamlined modern scent. It seems just right that Cartier should acknowledge history and also exist in the present.
22nd December, 2014 (last edited: 04th January, 2015)