Now, this is what I call a perfume! Bold and sensuous, Cartier's La Panthere is also full of personality. It wasn't created to be a "safe," let's-appeal-to-everybody perfume. In other words, I think that it's one of those polarizing scents that people will either really love, or really dislike.
La Panthere is one of the best chypres (woodsy-mossy) I've ever smelled; there is something dark and enchanting about it, making me feel as though I have been transported to a lush, moss-covered enchanted forest.
Frankly, I am so tired of the perfumes of my generation: fake florals mixed with notes that don't exist ("iced amber," "frozen strawberries," "crystalline pomegranate," etc.), synthetic woods, cloying resins, and fake vanilla; perfumes that are afraid to have personalities.
Thus, La Panthere truly is a breath of fresh air, because it is a real perfume, which means that it is not something that will please everybody (just like in real life! Some people you meet will immediately like you, while others might feel more neutral or indifferent).
The perfume is a blend of oakmoss, gardenia, fruits, rhubarb, strawberry, leather, and patchouli. It opens with a blast of dried fruits, and is then quickly tempered with the smooth gardenia and tarty rhubarb notes. The strawberry note enters, but quickly gives way to oakmoss. Once rounded out by the oakmoss, leather, and patchouli, La Panthere is a beautiful chypre-floral and stays that way until the very end.
The oakmoss note (which gives the perfume that woodsy-mossy quality) is the standout star here, with the light gardenia and smooth leather notes to enhance it.
Cartier's La Panthere is definitely in the same league as Shalimar, Opium, and Joy, and just as iconic. The reason why I tend to reference those three is because they are so memorable. Do not mistake La Panthere for an old-fashioned perfume, though; it appeals to the modern aesthetics, yet was created with the same care and respect that the classics were given.
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