This is for someone who works in an office and wants to smell classy, and like a fan of Indian food.
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.
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.
05th January, 2014 (last edited: 10th January, 2014)
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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.
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.
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.
Not bad but not good either. I read about Declaration being a must have in any collection so I bought it blindly and I was a bit disappointed. It smells okay but it's nothing I'd ever wear. I definitely get the BO scent, not as bad as L'Essence, but it wears down to a more subtle, citrusy, woody scent, at least on my skin. It almost smells sour yet sweet. It's very odd. Jean Claude Ellena, you're a genius, so I have no clue what happened here.
I would say this is the safest scent Cartier has ever put out in the market. It is obvious that this is a scent marketed for the American customers, and other men who love linear, safe, lean, slightly bland fragrances, which had become increasingly popular in the late 90s and early 2000s, and still keep their popularity full intact.
Declaration does not 'declare' anything reasonably interesting per se. It is just a nice and comfortable scent, smelling slightly young, and to me, a little cheap. The scent works usually well with anyone's skin chemistry: it doesn't have that much climax, or originality to offer. A very dear friend of mine used to wear this scent all the time back then when, and I had always associated it with him. Maybe that is why I had only recognized the positive sides of this scent. Like I said, it is a well-behaved scent that doesn't say all that much. Unfortunately all these years, I could never see the subtle elegance of this scent that some people mention, even on him.
Years later, I met another guy who was wearing this scent constantly. He was, to say the least, was a complete imbecile. And I guess on him, I got to discover the not-so-pleasant side of this scent. It is woody, yet the woods are not well-balanced, and they feel raw, out of place. It has a very under-seasoned nature to it, quite wet at times, like an undercooked meal. The cheapness that I talk about comes from the very synthetic accord of citruses and flowers on the top notes. They are so tacky to be taken seriously. It is quite soulless in many ways, and far to safe to be anything remotely original. It is not loud, but also it is barely masculine. I feel like Declaration tries very hard to be a Bulgari scent with the beans like Cardamom as an ingredient, or like the tea note at the base, which are signatures of a true and tried Bulgari scent. Declaration really falls short of meeting expectations.
The have created many different summer versions of this scent, which obviously means that it is a crowd-pleaser. In fact, I even claim this may be the biggest selling mens scent of Cartier. It is not elegant like Pasha, it is not sexy like Must de Cartier, nor is it Earth-shattering like Santos. It is just not refined, and it is way too "I have too much money to spend on scents, but my taste does not necessarily match my wallet." I will test this scent again, on me, one more time.
However, I do not think that I will change my mind. It is painfully mundane, and even though I cannot say that it is a bad fragrance, it is far removed from being a true elegant jeweler's scent.
And one last thing, the bottle is absolutely atrocious, surprisingly so, since Cartier is known for their gorgeous and deeply-inspired Art Deco decants.
Terres D'Hermes revisited?
Jean-Claude Ellena created both.
It`s quite a progressive scent for jewelry company - modern and mainstream fresh, airy and marine. I used to like it - but when almost everyone wearing it, I decide to change my preference to other line. I could not pick the vetiver note in this fresh air - but I clearly see lukewarm Love (not a passion declaration from advertising) in this scent. Maybe - that`s Love-to-work-in-stylish-office?
A very exclusive (=expensive) fragrance, part classic, part sharp, but it has the same problem with S.T.Dupont: the woody base is too strong for an office or closed area (Cardamom note can be confused with "body odor") and the citric top note is so bitter that it can't give a refreshing sensation like other bergamot-based colognes. Better for autumn/winter seasons, to allow a close, personal warming feeling from the woody notes.
Déclaration not a bad scent but I can't detect any woodsy trails at all. I'll put this instead in the marine category. It smells like fresh cool dew (alittle similar to Aqua di Gio actually) Also, it is pretty subtle and if you have dry skin you should spray alittle more because it disappears quickly. If you like fresh-green scents you should go for it.