Reviews of Déclaration by Cartier

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    Way Off Scenter's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    12 June, 2014

    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    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.

    7,5/10

    18 April, 2014 (Last Edited: 19 April, 2014)

    The_Cologneist's avatar

    United States United States

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    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.

    13 March, 2014

    Shifty Bat's avatar

    United States United States

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    Most things of interest have already been said about Declaration, so this review is all opinion instead of technical detail. I like the scent itself just fine, but too many people seem to find it smells 'dirty' or 'weird,' and seldom in a good way (that I have personally experienced). I like the dirty, woody, sweaty cumin-herbals like this, S.T. Dupont Pour Homme, and Red by Giorgio, but they can be off-putting for the modern American olfactory audience. To Hell with them, really, but I like to remain empathetic. The real downer for me is the performance of Declaration; The top shines with warmth but gives way to the heart far sooner than I would like and soon becomes a bit hollow or flat. Aside from that it's a solid comfort frag.

    13 January, 2014

    rum's avatar

    Greece Greece

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    Another masterpiece from master perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena. This scent predates his other successes like Terre d' Hermes, but Declaration makes the statement that Jean-Claude Ellena really was one superb perfumer since he began.
    A fruity opening with an explosion of cardamom and other spices is what I will describe this scent. It's a bit like walking through the kitchen of a master-chef. One to excite the senses and turn heads everywhere, this scent truly is one of a kind. I can't fault it!

    09 January, 2014

    Jones's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    First time trying this, I've a carded sample spray - I'll type as I go...

    Cartier has the following printed on the inside packaging (I quote):

    "The powerful and generous vibration of a cologne spirit (orange, bergamot).
    Invigorating pleasure of a crackling juicy ginger note.
    Masculine and incisive energy of light woods (cedarwood, vetiver)."

    Initially - this smells disappointingly like a feminine fragrance, it's the bergamot oil... very floral. I can smell the vetiver in there, it's tamed down though.

    The 'bitter' orange is very nice, but it smells too sweet - and it's mixing with the bergamot oil to make an orange-floral girly stink on my skin.

    The cedarwood, however, is excellent - very sharp and clean. The ginger is subtle, I can smell it though.

    It settles down into a sweet-sharp bergamot-ginger-cedar. It does smell like a magazine sample however... very generic. I can detect a soapy note as well.

    This needed the bergamot stripped out and the bitter orange note made really raw and zesty, a lot more orange too - all very dry - and a bit more cedarwood wouldn't hurt.
    The vetiver is fine, I'm not really a fan.

    Not bad... just neutral. It could have been a lot better, easily.

    It's that bergamot - it just smells too feminine, I'm sure it's used in every perfume under the sun.

    05 January, 2014 (Last Edited: 10th January, 2014)

    pandaKrusher's avatar



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    Stunning, addictive, captivating

    This is the perfect autumnal fragrance. It's exotic but comforting, spicy but restrained, sophisticated and warm. This is Terre d'Hermes on vacation, in cold weather, smoking a pipe.

    Some reviewers compare this to body odor; though I find that preposterous, I wouldn't mind living in a world where armpits smell like Déclaration. I suspect these critics also have delicate tummies and fear foreign food.

    Pros: Like nothing else
    Cons:

    03 October, 2013

    MrMookie's avatar



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    Smokey Joe

    A scent with a big bang!
    This one is very deep Its like the smell of sufficating smoke when applied, like walking in a smoke cloud of a burning fragrance factory.
    True platform for the more known Terre d'hermes

    If you put your nose on skin its will be too much.

    But the sillage of this scent is out of this world.

    Cartier Declaration can slam your head in the morning giving you a headache going to work if you feel weak because your beginning to feel ill.

    It definitely will be stronger then you.

    The drydown is remarkable good and more polite. (apart from the first hour(s))

    Love it!

    Pros: Powerfull and elegant
    Cons:

    12 September, 2013

    Gary F's avatar

    United States United States

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    Cardamom Bomb

    There are some people who appreciate the bitterness of fragrances, but I'm not one of them. This seems to be very well done, but just not my cup of tea (or cardamom). It's not the strength that bothers me, just the overwhelming spiciness and bitterness.

    Pros: Interesting Mix of Spices
    Cons: Bitter

    20th June, 2013

    noirdrakkar's avatar

    United States United States

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    Declaration by Cartier

    Whatever lens you choose to view Declaration from, you cannot escape the fact that a lot of people will find the spicy notes of this mediocre fragrance similar to armpit odor.

    29 May, 2013

    frostiblack's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    I love this. Opens with a blast of bracing bitter orange then yields to a warm and delicious cardamom and a fresh woody base. I really don't get BO at all with Déclaration - it does very much speak of human passion, though. A great fragrance to wear when in love.

    15 January, 2013

    's avatar



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    Declaration is a great fragrance, spicy and refreshing, the cardamom plays the main role here.. Smells elegant, it's suitable for every occasion. It's my office scent: subtle and elegant, not offensive also. Be careful: sometimes smells like body odour, which aint a problem. Sillage, lasting power and projection are medium-high. Definetely thumbs up!

    02 January, 2013 (Last Edited: 02 March, 2013)

    paolabach's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    I think this is one of the most beautiful fragrances ever. I love this scent and its peculiarity that is unique among millions. If every man was using this perfume, the woman he loves will surely fall in love with him...

    11th December, 2012

    Valkyriespacegirl's avatar

    United States United States

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    Beautiful opening of cedar and spice... Transforms into citrus overlord, I get distinct Lime although that does show as one of the notes.

    08 December, 2012

    colormechris's avatar

    United States United States

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    Burst of lemon settling quickly into earthy spice; cumin I think. The end result is dirty lemons. This is a lot like the slightly "hot skank" note you can find in YSL pour homme. It's kind of that unwashed Morrocan bazaar vibe, a vibe you either really love or really hate. I LOVE that vibe when I'm in the mood but I think there are lots of fragrances that do it better and with more subtlety. And certainly for a lot less Euros. It even gave me a bit of headache, which, come to think of it, is kind of a deal breaker.

    29 November, 2012

    sunnymitra's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Recommended to me as nothing short of a pheromone on a flight back to London in 1999 by the steward, Cartier Declaration has become the fragrance I use most often. I was assured that women adore this scent, but I genuinely liked what I smelt on the test card anyway and bought a 100ml bottle. At Mile End tube station a few days later the ticket lady serving me behind the glass got a whiff, she absolutely loved it and asked me to write the name down so she could try it herself. Damn, I thought, I see why BA really is the world's favourite airline.

    The 1990s saw the launch of many men's scents in the category that has become known as 'woodsy orientals', and I believe Cartier nailed it when they launched this modern masterpiece.

    Declaration starts off fresh, with sparkling citrus top notes of bergamot and bitter orange, with the latter also found in Moschino Friends, another favourite of mine. Every part of the composition is tinged with dryness however, which reinforces the refined masculinity that pervades this scent. The cardamom in the mid notes makes Declaration quite unique and adds a wonderful spice that stands out in a sea of woods. After some time, when all freshness has gone and the heart has faded, Declaration evolves again into a a classical earthy drydown, with vetiver prominent in this phase. Silage is excellent on my skin, and longevity substantial - several sprays will last on my skin in warm weather for over 12 hours.

    A classic and in my opinion the best men's fragrance Cartier have ever produced.

    20th November, 2012

    charger's avatar

    United States United States

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    To me this smells almost exactly like Td'H, with a little more woodsy notes. I really like it, but I already own Td'H so I don't need another just like it. But I will pick this up when I run out.

    13 November, 2012

    JackTwist's avatar

    United States United States

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    To my nose this burst of lemon, followed by a musty support of same, reminds me very much of a combination of Borsari's fresh lemon verbena centered masterpiece, ACQUA CLASSICA and Rochas' bitter, sexy citrus in their master work, MOUSTACHE.

    I own both these classics and see no need to add the Cartier DECLARATION to compete with them, but this is on its own and for its own sake, a very elegant, decent take on the citrus note.

    Worth at least sampling.

    New edit: Based on a new sample, the support of cumin changes the whole chemistry and makes it incredibly sexy, whereas before it was simply sexy. The balance between the cumin and the citrus (both fresh and souring) takes this scent to new levels of sophistication and sensuality. Still very much a thumbs up, even more so than my first experience.

    31st October, 2012 (Last Edited: 17 February, 2014)

    Jack Hunter's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    A fresh spicy fragrance with bitter oranges and pepper with a good dose of cumin is what I'm picking up off the top. This is a complex fragrance and there is a lot of notes in the mix.

    I have to say this is a very good fragrance that keeps on giving as I'm now picking up a fresh neroli scent. It takes you on a journey from its spicy citrus opening to a fresh neroli heart and lots more. Good stuff I'm impressed!

    26 October, 2012

    gimmegreen's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Help, mother, my head is being squished between turbo-oranges. And the vetiver-cedar note is giving me a septum piercing. Ellena tends to focus on the driest, sharpest aspects of vetiver, for some reason, disregarding the wonderful warm earthy-sweet spectrum that’s available from this magical ingredient. A perfume that would seek to make of forwardness a virtue. No doubt all that Iso-E Super in the base contributes to the sense of sheer thrust this thing has.
    For what it is, it’s impeccably constructed despite its brashness (well, I suppose the name is a warning), but it scares the daylights out of me.

    14 September, 2012

    tropicalstorm's avatar



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    Starts off as peppery sweet lemon which, in a couple of minutes, reveals more pepper, bitter orange and voila... Jean Claude Ellenas' alchemy transforms into BO !! It then dries up in the base but the smell of cumin remains. I love cumin and have used different types in my cooking; unfortunately this one's 'sweaty'.. not natural at all.

    An unsuccessful blend and a bad attempt at perfumery in my opinion.

    12 September, 2012

    thatsmr2usir's avatar

    United States United States

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    Declaration is proof that fragrance homes can produce quality perfumes. Voyage d'Hermes smells identical to this. However there are a couple of problems I have with the EDT version of Voyage.. Longevity is #1 & then it does not project much. Declaration on the other hand has very good projection & longevity.

    It can be worn spring, summer, & fall in my opinion. That is where this fragrance really shines. Ginger, spices & citruses make a nice masculine quality scent. I would without a shadow of a doubt take this over Voyage d'Hermes.. Not saying that it is a bad scent, but compared to this it is not worthy. Cartier makes some of the best colognes in the world. If you have not tried this than stop messing around & get to it! ENJOY!

    11th August, 2012

    Francolino's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    this is really intented for the ESSENCE formulation, smoky and gothic reminds me a modern age Jules by Dior

    05 July, 2012

    Marais's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Evidently this is a love-it or hate-it kind of scent, I'm in the former camp. It never crossed my mind that the cumin might smell like B.O. until I read it here and although I'm not convinced, perhaps I will avoid it on hot days! I do think this smells better at a distance, having smelled it on others, so I would urge doubters to give it a go and don't base your judgement on burying your nose in your forearm.
    Anyway, it's a lovely spicy, woody, dry, bitter citrus and one of Ellena's best creations. A galaxy away from the juvenile syrupy scents which are popular at present, I see this as fitting a worldly gentleman of distinction. If the spice is too much then try Bigarade Concentree or flankers like Declaration Bois Bleu and Declaration Cologne (all suffer from poorer longevity however).

    03 May, 2012 (Last Edited: 04 May, 2012)

    orangefiction's avatar

    United States United States

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    This is disgusting. Smells like a room filled with Indian food (probably the cardamom) and body odor. I love Indian food but not combined with body odor!

    24 September, 2011

    Notreveh's avatar

    Brazil Brazil

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    My fourth contact with a fragrance created by Jean-Claude Ellena, and what I have say after all this contact? That Ellena definitely leaves it's signature in all his creations!

    I noticed that all the fragrances I've tried, and which were created by this master, follows a light trend. Transparent, harmless, so to speak! Always with that note that reminds me of a refreshing breeze on a day of intense heat.

    Déclaration follows this same line. At first I detected a certain similarity with Terre d'Hermes, regarding the notes of orange, but it disappeared on me like a flash, and what remained from start to finish of the was a certain note of mango that is not the olfactory pyramid, accompanied by tobacco (which sadly made me sell it, since I was getting too much headache).

    Longevity? Surprisingly high! A fresh fragrance for daily use on hot climates that stands on skin forever.

    Projection? Very good as well.

    21st August, 2011

    cybermorph's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    I bought this on a blind buy and thought I had made a big mistake. The cumin top note scared me initially but after a few wears I now adore the scent. Pure sexiness. I smell a similar scent at the gym regularly and now associate the scent with men working out. If you like the scent of men and sweat with a dose of elegance you will love this. It is one of my favorites now. An acquired taste but pure heaven once you acquire it.

    28 July, 2011

    drseid's avatar

    United States United States

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    I really wanted to like this one, as I am a huge Terre d'Hermes fan so when I heard this was made by Jean-Claude Ellena I was quite excited. Unfortunately the initial excitement yielded to stark reality rather quickly...

    Declaration starts off very clean with its top notes, but to me, at least, this one develops quickly into a cardamom/cumin fest for the duration. I would have to say the overall accord reminds me of Crayola crayons mixed with BO... NOT a scent I would want to be around anyone else with (nor myself, for that matter). Certainly well made, but not for me at all. Longevity was average on my skin (wish it were briefer to be honest) as was projection. 1.5 to 2 stars out of 5.

    15 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 02 January, 2013)

    KillerScent's avatar



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    Declaration and Terre d'Hermes = two modern masterpieces .Who made them? the master Jean Claude Ellena .Be sure that in a few decades these two fragrances will gain the prestige that time gives (as it happened to Fahrenheit, Kouros, Poison....)
    Declaration is not the typical fresh citrus fragrance .It has a spicy touch that gives it a warm feel , while still feeling fresh and watery .
    This is an elegant fragrance , sexy at the same time , suitable for both formal and informal ocassions .
    It has good longevity but it lacks is projection, nobody around you will notice that you are wearing it. What a pity!!! I don't know why many good scents have a poor longevity while many horrible fragrances are overpowering and offensive.

    Many mainstream fragrances made for the mass market become popular because of massive and persuasive advertsiment campaings during many years (Aqua di Gio, Armani Code, Le Male, CK One, 212, DKNY...) .The truly masterpieces don't need this. You won't see ads everywhere (TV, magazines, subway, internet ...) They are like hidden jewels, waiting to be discovered .Declaration is one of these jewels.
    9/10

    29 June, 2011 (Last Edited: 06 August, 2011)

    calxx's avatar



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    I just can't get past the body-odor scent. I understand how some might find it sexy, but to me (or on me) it just smells unclean.

    22 June, 2011

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