Perfume Reviews

Positive Reviews of Santos by Cartier

Total Reviews: 30
A smoky, woody, herbal scent for men that is most representative of the powerhouse 1980s, which this scent helped to introduce.

The sweet, strong herbal notes of basil and lavender practically burst out of the bottle, followed by the spicy nutmeg and cumin. All settles down to the perfect blend of sandalwood (for which the scent is obviously named), cedar, patchouli and vetiver.

A simple note tree, as were most men's fougeres in the 1980s. So many of them smelled alike, it all came down to the quality of ingredients and the price. Santos dries down to a warm, woody, skin scent without any sharpness or interference, supported by the gentle spices.

Still a winner in my book after all these years! And, thank goodness, still available.
16th August, 2017
Sandalwood is still one of my most favorite notes. I cannot get enough of it. And it's just astounding how many fragrance variations can be made with sandalwood in the base.

I thought I'd wrapped it all up when I found D&G By Man and Gucci Envy. But then a vintage bottle of Santos de Cartier fell in my lap. This is the dressed up version with brushed silver metal casing and gold accents secured with flush faux screws. The very high end luxury presentation in Remy Martin like padded red faux leather box does not disappoint for what is inside.

Sandalwood and lavender go so well together. Add on some peppery spices, herbs, richness from amber, patchouli, vetiver, and a little sweetness of coconut and vanilla, and something magical happens. Bold and beautiful. I sampled the recent version and it's so sad what Cartier did to it. Definitely make a point of trying the vintage if you can.

Fragrance 9.2 / Value 8.5
06th April, 2017 (last edited: 07th April, 2017)
Okay, Lately I've been spending some quality time with Santos. I am partial to the more masculine fragrances and this is one of them. The first few times I wore it, I thought it was very similar to Lapidus. It does remind me of that, but it really is much more complex and refined. From what I read from some other reviewers, I had assumed that Santos would be a cloying, dated fragrance, being that it was launched in the 80's. This is not true. I have yet to wear anything quite like it, and if it is not a masterpiece, it's close. I think it really is very, very well balanced, somewhat linear, but that's okay because the notes are on target right out of the bottle. Spicy, woody, exotic..., just sweet enough, and not floral or "aqua" or "cloudy" at all. It has very good projection and silage (medium to strong), and it makes me feel calm and confident when I wear it. I wish I could trade my bottle of Lapidus for Santos. Love it.
06th May, 2015
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This is the distinction between the men and the boys. SANTOS DE CARTIER is a sophisticated Oriental-Woody blend that beautifully incorporates exotic wood and spice notes.The top notes has a very distinct smell which peaked my interest enough for me to try this EDT.Classic,Warm,Rich,Strong,Passionate, Classy, Gentlemanlike and Very Oriental.

Herbal and fresh notes of basil,lavender and bergamot sit over a spicy heart of pepper,nutmeg and geranium while a rich base of woods,patchouli and vanilla bring masculinity,strength and also sweetness to this lovely classic and makes it an intense and great choice for the confident and perfect man.

SANTOS DE CARTIER is reserved for the Winter Evenings.It is not seemly for a young or teenager and I highly recommend this real Orintal-Woody fragrance to a dandy man 30/50 years who wants to smell great before a big event.CARTIER never disappoint you indeed.


Longevity?Very Good on my skin.

16th December, 2014
Puts all these punk kid scents to shame Santos is in a class of mature men scents. A cold weather evening scent that will drive women to delite with one whiff. Put down the dept store nose clogging, headache inducing juice, And put on some real classy edt. Santos, there is no substitute!
22nd January, 2013
I am writing this post because I recently tried Santos last version .... I was very happy to see him on the shelf, but just sprayed already noticed the difference in intensity and for sure the ingredients are different. I do not know why they are no longer utilizabili or is no longer worthwhile to produce with certain things, but not free to criticize the new Santos is a very faded away copy of the first ... sure who has lived with the first note the similarity but also notes the significant difference .. thumbs up for the old man no comment for the new
07th January, 2013
I love the smell of the 80's. Back then, scents were loud, in-your-face and unique. Santos de Cartier is the best example of a raw, edgy, incredibly masculine scent from that time period.

Compared to those more modern scents, some may think Santos de Cartier is too strong, too earthy and too different to be worn by anyone today. I tend to disagree.

This fragrance hits you like a surprise punch in the face. For the first few seconds, it's bitter, green and herbaceous. As it settles, it begins to smell somewhat leathery and sweet. I find Santos de Cartier a stronger version of Chanel Antaeus.

There is a definite hint of vanilla and incense, particularly in the drydown, which makes this fragrance suitable for women to wear as well. Personally, I wouldn't feel ashamed to wear such a bold, manly scent like this one, and honestly, I'm fussy.

The rich, dark woodsiness of this fragrance is divine. In lots of ways I'd rather a man smell like Santos de Cartier than those non-descript citrus aromatics that tend to flood the male market these days.

The man that wears Santos de Cartier, is mature and sensible. Honestly, I can't imagine this being worn by or being bought by any young man. This fragrance is for real men.

There's nothing to fear in terms of lasting strength and sillage. Santos de Cartier is quite possibly the powerhouse fragrance of the century. I highly recommend.
01st March, 2012
Elegant and conservative this fragrance is a real epitome of the 80's, an old formula performing an eminent example of elegance. It's dark-boise as the aroma of a dark forest, it's vaguely rubbery, musky with a weird hint of fruity incense. The inizial whiff of earthy patchouli, woods and fruity resins conjures a bit the original Aramis that is "complicately" leathery like this one but with a different type of ostensibly fruity after smell (myrtle oil plus an obscure, vaguely berrish, fruity touch, spices and flowers for Aramis). Three are in my opinion the key elements of Santos: the gummy-incensey galbanum, the earthy patchouli and the spicy orangy neroli. A well dosed initial lavender provides that discreet, traditional touch of aromatic virility. Nutmeg and vetiver keep a fair dose of mild earthiness till the end of development. The combination of galbanum and vetiver produces a sort of earthy but resinous dark-green incensey sort of "aura". The deeply woodsy temperament is supported by juniper, heavy woods and green vegetal notes while an addition of dirty dustiness is blown around by "molecular" cumin. The slightly acid after-smell of the latter is barely perceivable by brave noses far more expert than the mine. The final outcome is a sort of velvety, vaguely oily-resinous and leathery aroma of deep forest and smoky orange with a touch of incensey "mist", some earthiness and "organic" ambergris. A pillar of classicism.
21st April, 2011 (last edited: 13th June, 2014)
this is beautiful, can be used in hot weather and it is virtually inoffensive. However it doesn´t last for more than 2 hours. Be aware that santos is totally different of concentree version. Concentree is highly male scent, its drier, less smooth, much more herbal/woody and lasts for 8-12 hours swithing notes and do not just fade away. This version has a powdery drydown. Concentree has a resinous base plus the herbals that stand till the end. Antaeus is more similar to this standard version. Concentree is more in the drakkar dry way, some told me concentree smelled i little of polo green, showing me that concentree is good, bad maybe people nowadays would feel Conc. more agressive because of the marine/toilet aura that rules market today...
07th October, 2010
Vampire Weekend - Diplomat's Son (2010):

It's not right but it's now or never
And if I wait could I ever forgive myself?
On a night when the moon glows yellow in the riptide
With the light from the TV's buzzing in the house

Cuz I'm gonna cut it where I can
And then I'm gonna duck out behind them
If I ever had a chance it's now then
But I never had the feeling I could offer that to you

To offer it to you would be cruel
When all I want to do is use, use you

He was a diplomat's son
It was '81...

10/10 for Santos
11th August, 2010
I had it ... back in the 80's
I also was young and full of Ideas or Dreams ...
Notions of what I thought made me feel Rich,Sophisticated and Elegant...
Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme along with fave Santos Cartier...
created that illusion for me...
wow.... who knew that a long-lasting,
sweet-strong sandalwood, mix of lavender, basil, vetiver, carnation, patchouli..
with a dry down that is an exquisite mixture of ambergris in a deep-down leathery/smokey/incense-like chords
would make me long for those youthful days .. now!
07th July, 2010
An eminently wearable fusion of fresh, crisp top note components with warmer edgier elements. The opening seems dominated by the presence of the Bergamot, which combined with Basil creates a tightened, astringent yet surpisingly pleasant accord. The real delights occur further into the Santos experience, when some real masculine staples enter the fray. The warmth from the woods married to the the condiment components in the middle notes creates an attitude of strength and success. This may not be the best in the Cartier showroom, but it more than holds its own.
11th April, 2009
The best moments in Santos remind me fleetingly of Ungaro ll- and that is saying a lot. The sweet lavender opening is among the best in my recollection. Though the drydown is a little too subdued and common for my liking.
26th February, 2009
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I was surprised at testing this one. I don’t believe that I have ever smelled it before although I have worn and loved Santos de Cartier Concentrée for years and years. I tested the two side by side. I was surprised because the opening on this one is smoother, fuller, and more attractive than the opening on the Concentrée version. I didn’t expect that, and for a while I was concerned that I might have been using the wrong fragrance all these years. The opening is a green, sweet, citrusy accord with aldehydes and a bare touch of lavender. It smells like an excellent version of the all too common green / citrus / lavender accords of so many ‘90s fragrance. After about ten minutes, the two Santos’s smell the same, the better accord in the opening was just a flash in the pan for the regular Santos. The heart notes for the regular Santos are pretty much the same as with the concentrated version: green, aromatic, a little bit spicy, and floral to round it out. After a little over an hour, this regular Santos, has already moved into the mossy, coniferous, drydown while the Concentrée is still spilling out its excellent heart. Two hours later, the regular Santos is almost done – the last gasps of aroma are wimping off the skin. The Concentrée, however, is still going strong. I like Santos, but I’ll stick with Santos Concentrée.

17th October, 2008
Strong herbals and a genuine scent of lavender without the use of vanilla, that gets high points in my book. Slightly peppery which is reinforced by cedarwood. Strong masculine scent. Best of the Cartier mens fragrances.
09th August, 2008
SANTOS,what can i say,tuxedo and a rolex,very 007.ciao!
14th December, 2007
oolong Show all reviews
United States
Last night my girlfriend nuzzled up to me and asked what fragrance I had on? Santos, and she told me how much she liked it on me. Strongly masculine but also smooth and sophisticated. If you have the presence to carry it off, get it. If money is no object, get the Santos Concentrée, if money is an issue the standard Santos is almost as good.
29th June, 2007
Alongside Declaration, this one is one of the best masculine scents by Cartier. It is named after Santos Dumont a dandy and aviator who lived at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century and truly smells like conservative elegance. Stylish chypre scent with citrus and green notes. Starts floral and herbal, especially with a touch of lavender including all the characteristic sweetness and warmth of this note, then it tends to end in a very leathery way, but in spite of the dry-down, the citrus
(almost lemony, Mediterranean note) is still very powerful, but mixes perfectly with the more potent, woody and cypress ingredients. Literally an old-school and old-world scent, luxurious and discreet, designed as if someone had the refined and elaborate pleasures of the Parisian dandy or the high-end resorts of the French Riviera in mind. Being a fan of citrus and chypre scents- as it is easy to notice- i truly was impressed by this one.
30th December, 2006 (last edited: 17th September, 2016)
I have the older packaging - dark brown glass bottle instead of black plastic. I have compared the two side by side and the old formulation is superior IMO. It's all wood & spice with a very warm leather?/tobacco? drydown. Sillage and longevity are both very high. The new formula is weaker, with an extra (or perhaps missing) note. the new one is also gone in a few hours. The old one lasts 8+ hours for me. I save this one for fall and winter - mostly evening wear. I don't know WHAT I'll do when I run out - maybe try Antaeus! I do feel rich when I wear this - Donald Trump would smell at home in this, as would James Bond. This is definitely a dressier scent for the older (35+) "Man Of The World", type. You will get comments on this!
01st December, 2006
Definitely a power scent. A real winner. But I really dont remember it this way from when I was young. Maybe I used the After Shave back then since it was cheaper. It is any way a great scent. Not far from my nr 1 favourite Antaeus.
17th October, 2006
LOVE this fragrance, but just wanna be honest here and say that this yummy stuff is, IMHO, really just Halston Z-14 after it's wiggled out of jeans and gotten dressed in a tux.

The concentree is a little stronger and a little more complex, granted, but there ya have it.
01st October, 2006
This is the elegant's man fragrance! A classic indeed. Rich and "in your face" as the good 80's scents, this formal fragrance makes me feel like a millionaire! The combination of juniper, patchouli and Sandalwood produces a powerful minty woody smell, cold and luxurious. A man wearing Santos will always be perceived as a Gentleman.
28th September, 2006
The original 1980's formulation of Santos (not the recent one that's been altered and now seems watered down) was fabulous! It is how I imagine James Bond to smell!!! Smooth, sophisticated, in control, manly, yum! Some have commented this fragrance is strong, however I think of it more as having great sillage, which 007 would definitely have! Thumbs up all the way.
18th May, 2006
One of the finest adult men’s fragrances ever, and the best and spiciest of the 80’s Power Scents. This fragrance is almost peerless and unrivaled next to Chanel’s Antaeus. They both are a dynamic duo as far as colognes are concerned. You will smell and feel like a million bucks when wearing this. Cumin and woods, dark and sexy, masculine and powerful – no flowers here! Leather, patchouli, musk… and lasts unbelievably long.

It's quite simple and straight forward.... Do you want to be a macho hunk? Wear this and you shall be. Or would you prefer being a Mommas boy, a punk, a pansy, or a couch potato... then wear your Tommy's, Cool Water, Polo Sport, Acqua Di Gio, etc... It truly separates the men from the boys. It isn't for young "jeans-people", it’s for the elegant man.
10th February, 2006
Surely Santos is the grandfather of gourmand scents (sigh) but saved by the artistry and finesse of its blending? Does my nose detect coconut, vanilla and only the sweetest of sandalwoods? Or is it my imagination? Paradoxically, a pimp of enormous distinction. (de Charlus).
02nd February, 2006
Great!! A great evening scent, but not overly sweet or peppery. Reminds me of Clive & Christian's 1872, but more agreeable and lighter,
not as peppery.

Very sophisticated and refined; just like their jewelry.
25th January, 2006
moon_fish Show all reviews
Russian Federation
For my taste, it`s best masculine fragrance from Cartier. Warm and potent, it smells like The Real Man in good shape in his 40-s. I`d love if my memory would keep my father smelling of Santos. Pity, it would not. He always used Chypre.
Wear this, and it will add you 5-10 years in eyes of young girls... ;) And will add you some Bruce Willis character!
24th November, 2005
Definitely sharing characteristics with the original Polo (another favourite of mine, especially since we don't have the nasty frat-boy association with it outside of the US) this really is a bad-boy in many senses. It's just very uncompromising in it's less than subtle blend of basil, nutmeg, lavender etc. Not a single ingredient leans towards the fresh, clean spectrum ( except for some hardly noticeable bergamot) and it's definitely in your face. However I continued sampling it and eventually got the shower gel from my girlfriends father who found it to strong(!). Its a classic though and there is definitely something extra about this more than 20 year old chypre...
22nd September, 2005
It is one of the best ones out there. I love it.
I got a Compliment from a co-worker at a party.
That was something. I don't get alot of compliments about my colognes. If you like this
Fragarance. What Are you waiting for? It's one of
the best stuff ever maid
Jeff. St. Paul,Mn.USA
24th November, 2004
Probably the best most well-rounded chypre scents produced by Cartier. Though introduced in 1981, and dominant in notes from that era in fragrance, it is quite adaptable to today's social climate and is truly a gentleman's scent with a soft, smooth, sophisticated presentation that lasts quite well.
06th August, 2002