Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Déclaration by Cartier

Total Reviews: 131
Jardin en fleurs, Arles by Vincent Van Gogh 1888
30th September, 2018
L'Air de Cartier
That gentle woodwind song
Where less is more.
23rd September, 2018
What if you married leather and spices to a traditional eau de cologne, then added in some modern touches of bitter citrus, calone, and a slight ozonic tinge? Why, you'd end up with Cartier Déclaration (1998) of course! Whereas Pasha de Cartier (1992) was an aromatic fougère with oriental qualities (very similar to YSL's Jazz from 1988), Cartier enlisted future (and now retired) Hermès house perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena to take Déclaration in a different direction more in line with the "fresh revolution" that had consumed the decade, but with a unique set of twists that kept it deceptively more traditional than some folks realize. Déclaration is bright, slightly ozonic, and citric in the beginning, just like a great many 90's masculines were. Now we were also a few years away from the unisex Eau de Cartier (2001), which would continue further down these lines, but with Déclaration, the gender anchor was still being towed, so Ellena cleverly worked in some past tricks found from a few other in this rarefied cologne-hybrid genre to make something that has now come to be exemplary of the category, and has since spawned a whole host of flankers. Déclaration is at it's core a spicy dry leather chypre, with an oakmoss base and a floral top, but it's had a cologne-like neroli head and a modern ozonic citrus accord grafted on, which is either utter lunacy, or pure genius on Ellena's part, which may be partially why Hermès snapped him up.

Déclaration opens with bergamot, bitter orange, and a slight ozonic note. The cologne-like neroli shows up not long after, bringing with it artemisia, caraway, coriander, and birch. Already, my nose is a bit confused, as I'm trying to process an ozonic freshie, eau de cologne, and dry oriental spice all at once, with the florals continuing to pile on as the middle emerges. Cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon further spice things up, but without the sweetness usually accompanying such a heady set of spice. Hedionic jasmine makes a show, adding another cologne-like inference, before a juniper, pepper, and orris root round the edges of all the dry spice and give it some graying depth. Déclaration never really goes into the level of oriental depths as Pasha, because there are too many delicate florals and citrus types just buzzing around, but the leather shows up in the base along with oakmoss to let you know this is a delightfully hot-rodded modern chypre. Amber meets vetiver, and an odd black tea note finishes with cedar to make a skin scent which seems unlikely the final resting place for such a bright top. I still catch whiffs of the artemisia, juniper, and the ozonic notes from the beginning, so it all still feels like the same scent, but it's just a fascination contrast overall that even if you hate this stuff, you'll admire the creative lengths to which Jean-Claude Ellena has gone to stand out from the freshie crowd. On one hand, this stuff feels very 90's, but almost in a contradicting way, also feels timeless as well, go figure. Sillage isn't a monster here, but longevity is good enough for all-day wear.

Comparisons are rightfully drawn to scents like Eau d'Hermès (1951), Eau de Rochas (1970), Eau de Guerlain (1974), Creed Green Irish Tweed (1985), Geoffrey Beene Bowing Green (1986) and Eau de Rochas Homme (1993), as all of them took a cologne-like approach to an eau de toilette, even if not all of them used neroli in the head. The biggest distinction of Déclaration from all it's progenitors is it's plucking of key elements from each; this scent has the leather and spice from the Hermès, the neroli from the Guerlain, the sharp oakmoss from the Beene, and the hesperides married to florals from the Rochas entries. The only real element new to Déclaration not seen in the others is the slightly ozonic top, and the way everything blends together in such a dynamic way. This is a wonderful "fresh floral leather cologne" and as much as I hate that trainwreck of a statement, it's the truth, and there's nothing else really like it out there. Déclaration is great in three out of four seasons outdoors, and all year 'round inside. This stuff tries to get it's boogie on with the spices, but there isn't enough sweetness to make it truly romantic in my eyes, but outside of a candlelit dinner and hanky-panky afterward, Déclaration is almost a generalist good for work, play, and any kind of dumb-grab situation you might need to smell good before entering. Definitely one of the better male entries from the 90's, and to be honest, not really all that masculine, so anyone can wear this enjoyably.
20th August, 2018
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I used to wear Eau D’Hermes, and Declaration reminds me of a fresher, brighter version of it. The dusty, dry spices and leather are all there, though it’s as if they serve to provide a backdrop for the silky and refined orange note, the same orange I couldn’t get enough of in Bulgari’s The Vert when it came out. There may be natural orange in here, too, but I’m picking up on a component with crazy radiance and longevity that has neither the bite nor the top-note-only volatility of natural orange oil. I first smelled this note in the Bulgari, so it makes me experience Declaration as being very much ot its time, though I wouldn’t call it dated - it’s far better than can be so easily dismissed.

Like my favorite classic colognes, I think Declaration smells less overtly masculine than it does overtly money! So elegant and interesting and masterful.

But keep in mind that I am sure not one to shy away from a good bone dry cumin note - I like L’Autre, too.
18th June, 2018
I read there is a cumin note in here, but I don't see it in the breakdown. This fragrance smells like Indian food on my skin. Smells better on paper. Would not purchase.
12th May, 2018 (last edited: 15th May, 2018)
There is something about my skin that has an extraordinary gift for making fragrances do unexpected things. On me, Penhaligons Juniper Sling is nothing but black pepper. Terre d'Hermes is a twelve-hour orange bomb (no bad thing, but I can hardly detect the many other facets reviewers rave about). Anything with vetiver in it evaporates into nothingness after half an hour.

And as for Declaration d'un Soir...

The original Declaration is... well, if clementines had armpits it's what those armpits would smell like. I came across it while researching scents people described as dirty, masculine-friendly rose, but I don't get rose at all. Just ARMPITS then CLEMENTINES then slightly clementiney armpits. It was a wash-off job for me.

Declaration d'un Soir is more like a clementine sweating through a hot yoga class at the gym. It's humid and pithy, moist with a clean feel rather than the original's skank, but still very much citrus rather than rose. The only rose I can liken it to is a very odd, artificial-seeming rose flavouring I've occasionally come across in Turkish delight or other sweets made in Arabic countries. If you get on with D. d'un Soir's particular brand of citrusness it will make a good summer scent, but do test it first because it won't be for everyone.
20th April, 2018
Déclaration is not only an emphatic essay on woods, but is also a then-new look at bitter orange. Starting off with bergamot and bigarade, it is the latter that persists into a wonderful development of spicy woods. There is a brilliant interplay between the warmth of cumin and the freshness of cardamom; the cedary woods are dry, and together with the spices contrive to form an abstract leather accord. It is cosy, complex, sophisticated but not pretentious. The dry down is woods laced with spices, and a touch of musk. I love the soft, radiant sillage, and duration on my skin is excellent at over seven hours when applied liberally.

Déclaration references Eau d'Hermes (cologne-leather), Eau d'Orange Verte (bigarade), and is later referenced by Cologne Bigarade, Bigarade Concentreé, Terre d'Hermes and Epice Marine (the later creations being those of Ellena). Many noteworthy creations, but I find that it is here that all the brilliance of Ellena come together to create something unforgettable.

I recommend Déclaration to those who like spicy woods or citrusy leathers, though it's mandatory sample to it for anyone interested in perfumes. Déclaration is a pleasure to wear all year; however, on brisk autumn mornings it is something special. Déclaration brings to mind unhurried elegance, of afternoons spent at one's favourite art museum on a slow day. Warm, radiant and utterly classy.

13th April, 2018 (last edited: 08th May, 2018)
Box of Ticonderoga #2 pencils for the first 6 hours. Late in the drydown becomes acceptable.
29th March, 2018
No No No! Curry and sweat. Sorry but not for me!!
29th December, 2017
'Declaration' by Cartier smells like an expensive five star hotel room should smell. Plain and simple. Not masculine, not sporty or fresh, like a pricey suite with fresh linens and air fresheners built into the air conditioning.

The initial blast is bergamot and woods, through and through. A freshly squeezed lemon blended with heavy bergamot. It smells very good and classy, sophisticated and masculine without being dark or musky.

The base and drydown is pure vetiver and cedarwood, while still the bergamot note carries and features prominently. There is a little peppery note to it as well.

Longevity with a dozen sprays (neck, chest, shoulders and wrists) is 10-12+ hours, with good projection and sillage similar to most Cartier fragrances. Lasts several days and up to a week or more on clothes and fabrics.

I really love this, especially for the office environment or any type of professional or dress to impress engagements when you are wearing a suit. Definitely recommended.
04th June, 2017 (last edited: 18th June, 2017)
Some of you old timers might think this is a classic, but I think this is very dated (I'm 32). Reminds me of my mother's complex, heady and floral Givenchy over 20 years ago - not unpleasant, but nothing like I want to smell as a young man in 2017. Perhaps perfect for strong, independent woman with who likes 80s power dressing.
15th May, 2017
I hadn't appreciated this classy scent for many years; it was too rich and woody for my tastes.

But after a decade or so, I have come around to appreciating Cartier's Déclaration. It isn't for everyone, with its lush floral and woody character suited for formal occasions and older wearers. It is a polarizing scent, a love it or hate it fragrance that needs to be sampled before one makes up his (or her) mind about it.

Great living legend of a scent that is worth checking out for the serious collector.
17th February, 2017
This starts off really nice, clean, cool and sophisticated. The impression I get is "green citrus" but unfortunately when it settles I get a mostly floral note, maybe a hint of vetiver but it is really weak. The sillage is okay and the longevity is about average.
27th January, 2017
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A semi fresh and heavy spicy fragrance with lots of characters that smells formal and dandy.
Right at the start I can smell a fresh and bitter citrusy scent that while it’s fresh, it has a noticeable warmth quality from lots of spices and a mellow green, clean and kind of soapy aura in the background and there are easy to detect floral notes right beside them. when I say floral notes do not freak out! I can’t point at any particular flower but I will guarantee that they are not pretty and fluffy ones that remind you of women fragrances. they do smell very rough, wild and manly. it’s a classic scent but at the same time with a modern twist and you can feel Jean-Claude Ellena’s signature all over it.

As time goes by and in the mid that fresh citrusy smell goes in the background but the bitterness of the orange peel remains while scent gets warmer, sweeter and kind of waxy/creamy. that easy to detect spicy aura is still there specially nutmeg and cardamom plus a mellow earthy feel from vetiver and those lovely and kind of exotic floral notes in the background!

In the base scent didn’t change that much. everything just starts to mellow down and get smoother but the earthy feel gets a little stronger also scent gets slightly smoky and woody with kind of an oily feel and less spicy.

Projection is above average and longevity is around 4-5 hours on the skin. it’s not a hot weather fragrance so please don’t use it in the summer! in my opinion this is a perfect fragrance for fall. when I’m smelling this it’s like fall is written all over it and also it’s a formal scent. I can’t imagine someone wearing this with sweatshirt and jeans!
If you like Terre D'Hermes check this one out but don't blind buy it. it's even more daring than Terre D'Hermes!
18th November, 2016
Every time I come across this, the same image flits across my mind; one I can't mention for fear of giving offense. So I'll keep it short: not for me. The cumin just makes it unwearable. Even worse, unlike 99% of other scents out there, I can't even imagine anyone else liking it, which clearly they do.

Declaration of love? More like declaration of war.
02nd June, 2016
This smells very much like Terre d'Hermes, which I truly dislike, but this one is a step above it in my opinion and deserves a Neutral rating because unlike the former, Declaration feels like a more complete fragrance, though still not one I find particularly pleasant. It may just be my nose but I also don't detect the Iso E blast that Terre d'Hermes depends on. Overall, while this isn't unpleasant and barren like its younger brother, it is still not something I will ever reach for.
28th May, 2016
There's something about Declaration that has always reminded me of my grandfather. It's nothing but good memories but I can't say my grandfather ever wore cologne and I highly doubt he did considering he was a simple man and a tabaco farmer. And yet, Declaration will always remind me of him.

Here's the tricky part, there was always some sort of fear on my part when it came to wearing Declaration in public. I didn't feel confident until 5 years later after initial purchase. Declaration is amazing. I hate that it took me so long to finally appreciate this gem.

Some people compare Declaration to TdH but there is no comparison in my opinion, considering Declaration is wonderful and TdH is nothing more than a clone of an orange cleansing solution. Skip TdH and go for Cartier.
28th May, 2016
BoxPred Show all reviews
United Kingdom
This along with Terre d'Hermes is just not my style. I consider the two to be almost identical, although if pushed I would say that the Hermes offering is less linear and has that little bit of something else that makes it slightly better.

When I first sampled Cartier Declaration I found the scent to be familiar and to this day I do not know where I had experienced it before. Possibly on a family member at some point but for a time I was convinced that it was from a household cleaning product. I also remember finding it quite feminine, needless to say I was disappointed having read the positive reviews. It all boils down to genre and this one just falls into a category that many love but I care little for. Even if I did like this I would rather go for TdH as I believe it to be the stronger twin.
04th March, 2016
Future Jason:

Thumbs up, despite the fact that you don't find much occasion to wear this anymore. It's not for the office. It's not even for dinner out on the town. It's a bit too ostentatious.

But it's a wonderful smell, isn't it? Nice for wearing around the house, when you can tell the world to @%$# off. Almost an embodiment of the decision to tell the world to @%$# off. It's a bit punk rock (for other readers: this will be considered a good thing for Future Jason).

One of the earlier discoveries in your scent research. Still glad you found it. Maybe you'll find other places to wear it between now and you.
21st February, 2016
Oviatt Show all reviews
United States
This was Ellena at the top of his game, before he fell in love with his own transparent, Iso E Super world (the Hermes version of the Emperor's New Clothes....). Fresh, sharp, birchy woods, orange oil bursting from the peel, earthy, spicy manhood... Déclaration has it all and was--at the time--strikingly original, amazingly long-lasting and a fitting brother to some of Cartier's other great fragrances like Santos and Must. Numerous flankers have been spun off from this but I think that the original is still the best. This came out in 1998 and when it first came out I happened to be in Chicago in some very cold weather--I tried it on my hand but had to put on my gloves when I went out into Michigan Avenue. Those gloves STILL smell of Déclaration. Great scent, perhaps the last great scent from Cartier and certainly the last good thing from Ellena.
16th December, 2015
This one is, for me, one of the bext example of a total U-turn I had about a fragrance.

I bought Déclaration because I found it cheap and I was very curious about it because of all the reviews I read.
What a disappointment when I came home and finally smelled the fragrance, I was like "uh ? What people find so nice in it ? It smells like a bathroom deodorizer !".

But I kept trying from time to time and I slowly began to catch some different notes and appreciate it.
Now I'm to the point I think it's a genius masterpiece and I'll always have it in my wardrobe.

The composition is absolutely flawless, there was some serious work put in it and the result is a fragrance that evolves in a different way almost each time you wear it.
The notes I appreciate the most in it are bitter orange and cardamom, who are clearly noticeable but not overwhelming, just perfectly balanced with the rest.
But the genius touch here is the delicate hint of flowers which gives the fragrance a "romantic" style without being too effeminate to my taste.

This smell makes me think of a spring day's late afternoon, wandering in nature and just appreciating the beauty of what surrounds you.

If you're a romantic soul, you just can't pass on this one, it's simply marvelous !

Double thumbs up !
20th September, 2015
Well, well, well what do we have here? Terre d'Hermes before Terre d'Hermes and a damn good one, just as much as Terre. Declaration is maybe even more thick than Terre d'Hermes, dare I say. Exquisite for sunny days, be they warm or cold. For the office, formal meetings and occasions, I'd think twice about wearing it for a date, well at least first 3 dates.

Overall - excellent!

Originality 8/10
Scent 8/10
Longevity 9/10
Projection 8/10
10th June, 2015
Just received this peerless masterpiece after quite a wait and I must say, Jean Claude Ellena's craftsmanship is unmatched, the uniqueness and composition of this fragrance is bewildering and phenomenally extraordinary.

17th April, 2015
This is for someone who works in an office and wants to smell classy, and like a fan of Indian food.

17th December, 2014

What a SEDUCTIVE BEAUTIFUL fragrance.i adore this one.CLASSIC and MYSTERIOUS.masculine in a unisex can always in the center of attention with seems to have a "character", for a man that pays attention to style

The top/middle notes are amazing that makes this fragrance so seductive but the base is woody and masculine.good sillage and long the unique blend of warm spice and sweetness which makes this fragrance a MUST HAVE.

GREAT for the special night.more appropriate for autumn/night wear for a confident man lurking fancy night clubs.definitely you can always enjoy with CARTIER fragrances as they've always HIGH QUALITY and is irresistible for ladies!

12th December, 2014 (last edited: 12th January, 2016)
It has a base that is similar in Terre D'Hermes but instead there is a cardamom floral note that goes over the funky base. It's nice and classic but I'll stick with TdH.
06th December, 2014
In a few words... A fresh TdH, the scent is the same, with a better opening and better structure.
I don't know why TdH is usually preferred to this one.
25th August, 2014
Genre: Leather

As with so many scents by Jean-Claude Ellena, Déclaration has an ostensibly simple structure: it's fundamentally a dry cedar scent of the crispy, crunchy persuasion, enlivened by extremely bright citrus notes and given depth by a deftly measured dose of cumin and leathery base notes. Examined carefully, the composition reads as a modernist gloss on the cumin, citrus, and leather structure of Edmond Roudnitska’s great Eau d’Hermès, made to feel edgy and contemporary through extreme transparency and the removal of anything remotely sweet. It shares with the classic Hermès a paradoxical sense of dirty/clean, animalic/citrus that seduces some noses and repels others.

Déclaration rises above the general run of woods-and-citrus designer imitators that followed it by way of its fearlessly stark angularity, its seamless blending, and its superior ingredients. The bergamot top note is nicely done, and the transition to the dry, woody heart is very smooth. The citrus notes smell natural despite their brightness, and the woods are deeper and more rounded than most.

Like many other Ellena scents I've tried, Déclaration is also relatively linear, running in its cedar-cumin-citrus groove for a couple of hours before anything else happens. Eventually the citrus notes fade and a smoky leather and crisp, but not-too-loud woody amber join the lingering cedar for the drydown, which is also seasoned by a just-perceptible hint of moss.

With its clarity, its balance, and its clever allusions to classical structures, Déclaration marks a climax in Jean-Claude Ellena’s “minimalist” fragrance explorations. His related woody citrus “Jardin” scents for Hermès do nothing to improve upon Déclaration. In fact they seem to me clumsily out of balance and repetitious in its wake. Some of Ellena’s more recent minimalist compositions may be stripped down the point of being bare, but Déclaration strikes the perfect mean between clarity and substance. A landmark in the art of perfumery.
12th June, 2014
A really good and distinctive contemporary "eau de cologne" with a much interesting and complex structure. Dozens of notes here, but basically it is a fresh-musky-woody fragrance with several facets to discover according to what you focus on - you may want to feel the rich, sensual floral touch, the woods, the ginger, the citrus, the dried fruits-spicy accord (which, in turn, unfolds up like a fractal in cardamom notes, caraway, pepper, tea, neroli...). Or still - and probably, better - you may just want to feel the overall look of this - a safe, elegant, long-lasting milestone of modern eaux de cologne. An admirable essay of perfumery.

P.S. my personal feelings? Like for other Ellena's... so perfect it's boring.

18th April, 2014 (last edited: 19th April, 2014)
Declaration is about as animalic of a fragrance as I will ever wear. Even if you hate animalic scents like me, you may love this one. Hang in there for the first hour, you get a spicy cardamom, pepper and citrus domination. It settles into an exquisite floral, woodsy, tea & vetiver dry down. One of the best dry downs I have ever smelled. I highly recommend trying this one.
13th March, 2014