Perfume Directory

Les Heures de Parfum - XI L'Heure Perdue (2015)
by Cartier

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Les Heures de Parfum - XI L'Heure Perdue information

Year of Launch2015
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 10 votes)

People and companies

HouseCartier
PerfumerMathilde Laurent

About Les Heures de Parfum - XI L'Heure Perdue

Les Heures de Parfum - XI L'Heure Perdue is a shared / unisex perfume by Cartier. The scent was launched in 2015 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Mathilde Laurent

Les Heures de Parfum - XI L'Heure Perdue fragrance notes

Reviews of Les Heures de Parfum - XI L'Heure Perdue

I’m getting a distinct fragrance echo with L’Heure Perdue. The perfumer said the fragrance refers to childhood, Proust and memory; a riff on home, via vanilla. She said it may carry the ghost of a L’Heure Bleue for the 21st century, that ability it has to play with memory.

So, saying that, the upfront association I get is with Jicky, minus the civet. Sitting with L’Heure Perdue a bit conjures up a wafting thread back to LHB, because of a vague heliotrope. And perhaps that is the deeper path with this. The vanilla here isn’t the trite foody one, or a sweet comfort note, but the vanilla of Jicky. It seems a little like a meander through Guerlain vanilla; a deconstruction, then reconstruction into a 21st century perfume, a little playful. I don’t usually follow such a tenuous theoretical thread like this, yet it makes sense of this fragrance to me, given the Jicky vibe and the L’Heure Bleue echo.

The strong Jicky vibe permeates this fragrance. It opens with a kind of vanilla-rubber chord, easy-going and easy to wear. Along the way it starts picking up heliotrope and mimosa. The drydown is a soft slide to a slightly vanillic nut at the end,with a smidge of sweetness. The Jicky association stays until the end. I like this fragrance more, the more I wear it - on my first wearing I was neutral. Comfortable to wear, suitable probably everywhere. Very unisex. Subtle and clever.
It last around eight hours - after seven hours the drydown gradually starts fading into an echo.
09th April, 2019 (last edited: 11th April, 2019)
smelldorado below, nails it—although in the end I decided on a neutral instead of a positive review.

If you’ve ever seen one of those competition cooking shows where the chefs deconstruct the components of a classic recipe and rearrange them in such a way that references the original but in a wildly different manner, then that pretty much describes what I experience when I smell XI L'Heure Perdue (the lost hour, indeed). It has all the components of a perfume, but one that’s been broken down and rearranged in a totally new, even experimental, way.

I’ve read that perfumer Mathilde Laurent’s inspiration for this is tied up in memories of childhood and Marcel Proust’s love of madeleine cookies. But this isn’t a confection to my nose—I don’t get any sweet at all. What I mostly get is a very sharp, almost vinegar-ey cardboard underneath which some kind of weird floral plays hide and seek. Trying to nail down this note is like trying to snatch at the rain to fill a bucket. Maybe there’s some smoke as well? A hint of clove or cinnamon, a bit of vanilla? But it’s all so bizarrely rendered and so elusive that I just can’t love it.

It seems that I’m in the minority, though. The reviews are by and large swoony, and each time I’ve worn this someone has stopped me to tell me how good I smell, begging me to tell them what I’m wearing. Too bad this costs the earth, for which, I'm sure, there are some good reasons. But the piss-elegant packaging, while befitting a luxury brand like this, shouldn't be one of those reasons. Ultimately, it's bulky and totally unnecessary. Just give us a good bottle, a fantastic juice, and a box we won't feel guilty about throwing away.

Major props to Laurent nonetheless. She has established a definitive throughline in her work for Cartier. Here, I smell echoes of Le Panthere and Baiser Vole, each of which is similarly beautiful but not without their difficulties. Laurent is clearly making her mark at Cartier, both defining the brand and her individual aesthetic. Which is fantastic—unlike some houses that spew out half-hearted mass-market-targeted juices by the shit ton, Cartier seems to take perfumery seriously (although not stuffily), and they are happily letting their house nose do her thing.
15th February, 2019 (last edited: 16th February, 2019)
Generally, I can't stand anything that smells too heavily of vanilla. But while L'Heure Perdue does smell sweet and vanillic, it also smells really weird. Like glue or rubber. But powdery. The parts are familiar, but they've been reconfigured in totally new ways. Like Mathilde Laurent broke off pieces of other materials and Frankensteined them together to make something beautiful, strange, and difficult to place. But how does it smell on the skin? Fantastic. Swoony even. And it is tender and light while still maintaining excellent longevity. At a lower price point and wider distribution, everyone and their mom would be wearing this stuff.
05th August, 2016

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