Perfume Reviews

Neutral Reviews of Santos by Cartier

Total Reviews: 8
I had the privilege of trying vintage Santos a ways back. I remember it being a very rich smelling fragrance, sophisticated, had a lot going on.
I recently tried one of the new formulations, the second to last one that has the integrated atomizer.
First impression is that it smells cheaper and a little crude. A very dry smelling fragrance and to me, this formulation is just very overbearing without any sexy, redeeming qualities, unlike the original.
Even if I weren't comparing it to the vintage I don't think this is a very good EdT.
I tried Antaeus recently, a men's cologne that shares the same lane as Santos, and although not for me, I respect it more, and it seems like that one has more character and a little more refinement than Santos.
19th October, 2017
Elzéard Show all reviews
United Kingdom
It is certainly dry, and with its herbal woody notes it's sat somewhere in between Tuscany and Polo Green in terms of style, but lacking the heavy smoke or chest hair of the latter. Not bad, but not particularly inspiring.
03rd February, 2012
shamu1 Show all reviews
United States
I'm not one to complain about reformulations, but Cartier really disemboweled Santos when it changed the formula. I remember this being a rich, dark and complex old school fragrance, but now we have a weak, watered down, spare and dull woody chypre with poor sillage and very little character.

Santos is certainly not terrible, and the dirty, dusty smell underlying the fragrance is still present. The problem is that there's so little "meat" to this fragrance, and it comes across as an overly simplified, lifeless wood and citrus scent with an animalic touch. It just smells flat.

I'm satisfied with most reformulations of fragrances, but Cartier has managed to suck the life right out of Santos, leaving us with a pretty boring scent. Don't waste your money on this.

06th May, 2011
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Top notes are astringent sandalwood and leather. There's a strange "emptiness" to the leather that makes it seem old man-ish. There's another note in it, perhaps cinnamon, that reminds me of Bond no. 9's "H.O.T. Always." I don't hate it, but its nothing mind-blowing. I'm generally not a fan of leather, I should note.
22nd November, 2009
Meat. That's what I get. OK, that is a little extreme, but just as with Declaration, I get a meat association with Santos. In declaration, it is more of a spicy salami. With Santos it is the same salami but as a dried 'jerky'. Outside of that, it is a very manly 70s larger than life frag, recalling G. Ferre, Antaeus etc. Please don't let the meat association scare you off, its just the spice and lavender that does it. My nose also tells me Carolina Herrera frags smell like fried food. So maybe it is just me.
20th September, 2008
I have completely revised my review. Initially I did not like this at all. Maybe the bottle I tried was off. Today, the scent seems soapy, mossy, smooth and green. Reminds me of a kinder, gentler Aqua de Brava. Now there is no oak moss listed but this sure gives of a mossy vibe. It is pleasant, quite heavy and powerful, certainly old-school.
03rd September, 2008 (last edited: 30th October, 2016)
Wow - I'd never have thought it possible, but I smell two classics in this - Aramis-like notes at the top, and Lagerfeld-reminiscent notes at the bottom - infact, after ten or 20 minutes, it smells like those almost stuffy turkish tobacco, vanilla and sandal notes in Richard James that Lagerfeld Classic originated...Those notes remind me especially of Richard James...But my opinion is that Lagerfeld does them in a far, far superior fashion, despite the formula having changed somewhat - they smell less stuffy, more sensual.

But to me, Lagerfeld and Aramis are wonderful on their own...I love each, and seek both out when not readily available...however, whilst Santos is 'different', it certainly doesn't smell like something I'd go hunting for like I do with others.

I dunno why. It fits the description of a new cologne to add to my growing collection - but it just doesn't make me feel that I should just go ahead and buy it...I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe its the semi-stuffy basenotes? Maybe its that it doesn't smell entirely original?

Maybe its because in Santos, I smell Lagerfeld Classic, Antaeus, Aramis and Richard James all at once - all fragrances that I own in my personal collection (not in my wardrobe here - that needs a good updating!).

I'm not entirely certain, but I can't seem to bring myself to purchase it, even though I like it...

I have very mixed feelings 'bout it, and don't know what to think - it confuses me a bit! lol.

Well, that's my 2 cents worth. And I'd say I'd give it about 5.5/10, mainly because of the confusion it has caused me.

Cheers, and happy smellin'.
07th July, 2007
Which Santos are we talking about? The new one opens with a blast of citrus green settles down to a dark chypre and disappears after a rather short time. Not as loud or obnoxious as Chanel's Platinum Egoiste, but you'll get attention---make that positive attention, if you wear it as an evening frag. The old Santos was something else, discontinued and hard to find. I'ts 'gourmand ' all right, but not chocolate/vanilla sweet; if anything it resembles Yatagan, minus the bizarre celery note. Not the Holy Grail, but well worth the find. Thumbs up for the old formula.
18th May, 2006