Sleigh bells ring, are you listening?L'Heure Fougueuse (HF) is the fourth perfume in Cartier's "Les Heures de Parfum" collection of eight fragrances. The collection is meant to evoke moments of "pure emotion" and HF is the feeling of freedom in "the wild gallop of life."
Gallop is the key word here. In-house perfumer Mathilde Laurent has created something unique and beautiful but so shocking to me that I couldn't believe it when I first dabbed on my sample. On first sniff all I could think was "Holy cow...horse!"
I must have said it out loud, because my husband asked from the next room if everything was ok. I'm a little late to testing this perfume, and from what I've read I know that many other perfume bloggers smell tea and jasmine etc. in HF and not really horse. But I absolutely smell horse. Or a very clean, recently vacated, horse barn, with hay on the floor and leather tack on the walls.
After a few minutes a pungent green magnolia/lily note dominates the perfume, but the ghost of the horse remains, like a horse blanket and saddle in the background.
Mathilde Laurent calls it a "magnificent combination of animalistic notes recalling the history of luxury perfumery and humanity." Humanity has certainly been close to the horse for much of our history. The smell of HF reminds me of a time when the fragrance of animals was a part of daily life. It's a homey, comforting sort of smell if you've ever liked barns or horses.
Unfortunately the other side of the HF coin, that super green magnolia/lily note is not my favourite. I've smelled this green lily before, in Tauer Carillon pour un Ange (where it is also combined with leather) and recently in Jo Malone Bluebell (a lot cleaner and lighter.) I really have a problem with it. Maybe it's something I will grow out of in time, but for now it's a shame I can't wear it, because the horsey part of HF is really amazing.
Nose: Mathilde Laurent
Notes: Magnolia, "thoroughbred refinement" and "oak barrel" (from the Cartier website)