Thursday, February 5, 2009

Cartier So Pretty: A Review

Brian told me Cartier’s So Pretty was really good. I bought it unsniffed. He says I’m highly suggestible. He’s right, but I also trust his nose.

So Pretty arrived a few days ago. It is aptly named. Perhaps more appropriate would be *SO* Pretty. Before writing this review, I poked around online, to find the list of notes and see what others have to say about it. I’m surprised to find very few reviews. The Non-Blonde just wrote a review a few weeks ago where she noted her surprise at how little has been written about this gorgeous perfume. (Brian, is there where you found out about So Pretty?!).

So Pretty is an ultra feminine scent, but it’s not girly. A real adult woman can wear So Pretty with confidence. So Pretty starts off smelling like a fruity rose floral hovering at the edge of a modern chypre. I know I just wrote the dreaded words “fruity floral” but So Pretty is not insipid or thin instead it’s quite classic with some “heft” and depth. I agree with The Non-Blonde that So Pretty is a classic floral in the same vein as Annick Goutal’s Grand Amour and Guerlain’s Chamade – I would also include Yvresse, Joy, Rive Gauche, 1000 and Parfums de Nicolaï Odalisque as being perfumes in a similar style with So Pretty. If I had to categorize So Pretty I’d call it a classic *fresh* floral – it doesn’t have much in the way of spices, musk or woods – so it’s mainly a well-blended abstract dewy floral scent.

Cartier So Pretty is a beautiful fragrance and one that deserves more high praise.

Longevity: excellent, 5+ hours
Sillage: good, depending on application could be strong, 2-3 spritzes are plenty
Rating: 4 starts

This review is based upon the eau de parfum – I do not know how the eau de toilette compares.

Basenotes list the notes as: mandarin, dewberry, neroli, iris, diamond orchid, rose, sandalwood, musk


Andrew said...

I was at Costco, in Van Nuys, CA this morning and I saw an elegant, older woman who, as she moved past me, smelled wonderful.

I asked her to name her perfume, and she said it was a Cartier cologne. She used the word "cologne". All I can say, is that the fragrance was subtle and elegant, somehow powdery and understated.

Abigail said...

Hi Andrew,
A friend of mine calls perfume "cologne" as well. It's often perplexed me - I generally think of cologne as either a term used to distinguish perfume for men (vs. women) or a specific concentration like 4711 or eau de cologne.

I wonder if the woman at Costco was wearing So Pretty? It's truly a classically beautiful perfume - understated and elegant for sure.

I bet she was so complimented that you asked her the name of her perfume! :-)

Brian said...

Actually, my attention was first drawn to So Pretty in Perfume the Guide, where Tania Sanchez writes glowingly about it. I looked for it back then and smelled it from the nozzle of the bottle and wasn't blown away. More recently I've become obsessed with Jean Guichard, the nose behind La Nuit, Eden, Loulou, Asja and, it turns out, So Pretty. I revisited So Pretty, spending more time with it (i.e. I sprayed it on paper) and was "pretty" instantly smitten. I'm not a huge fruity floral fan but this goes beyond it I think, it's richer than customary for the genre, more adult. It's wine like rather than fruit punch, something you might get drunk on if you didn't watch yourself and do something you would regret, if you could remember it later, as opposed to something you'd be served in a plastic cup at a birthday party to wash down cake someone bought pre-made from the grocery store bakery.

Brian said...

Update: I've since learned that the bottle I own is an older formula. It dates back to 1995 or soon after I suspect. And I'm guessing it's lost some of it's richness since then. I haven't smelled it anywhere else to compare.