Dolls, Strawberries And A Dead Russian – Review: Cartier L’Heure Convoitée

L’Heure Convoitée, the coveted hour, is the latest release in the boutique exclusive line by Cartier. I own one perfume – L’Heure Fougueuse, I still think it is the most unusual and unique of the entire line.

L’Heure Convoiteé is lips reddened, rustling fabrics, blushing,  it is the hour of the lovers parade. A fragrance which recalls the smell of a theatre box, a stage, a lipstick. A floral and spicy fragrance around the carnation, with Iris notes, velvety and powdery notes, to make the cheeks turn red.”

– from the press release

Created in 2011 by Mathilde Laurent, L’Heure Convoitée includes the official notes of strawberry pulp, chestnut cream, iris, red rose, clove and fresh green notes.

Although it sounds like a recipe, it is not nearly as gourmand as the delicious sounding notes make you believe. *short pause for getting a snack, meet you back here in five*

Despite the images the press release wants to evoke, mine are decidedly different.

When I was in New York, I smelled this for the first time a the Cartier counter at Saks. The SA told me it reminded him of the smell of dolls. Plastic dolls, he or his sister played with as children. This image stuck with me.

Now every time I freshly apply L’Heure Convoitée I get an amalgam of weird images:

  • My doll Sonja: an unfortunate plastic child I practiced plastic surgery on. She never recovered and my dreams of becoming a surgeon where nipped in the bud (at least I married one, talk about projection!).
  • Strawberry candy: sugar-coated, artificially colored and flavored foam candy.
  • A bouquet of red carnations on the open coffin of a Russian General Secretary (Leonid Brezhnev to be exact), who is being kissed by his party friends for the last time at his funeral. (I did see that live on TV as a child and it has left a major impression, not the best one, I might add.)
  • Soap. Huge bars of white Camay soap, my grandmother used to use and those bars where to be found in every closet and cupboard in her house.

On some days all I get is the soap and I find myself wondering what exactly Cartier was thinking, some days there is more of the floral aspect and I’m quite charmed, and on some occasions the highly artificial strawberry takes completely over and I can only resort to real soap to end the drama.

It was either this image or a dead Brezhnev...

While L’Heure Convoitée is not a perfume I would pursue, I enjoyed the memories it triggered (well, I could have done without Brezhnev).

Did you try the latest L’Heure? What did you think?

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About Olfactoria

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35 Responses to Dolls, Strawberries And A Dead Russian – Review: Cartier L’Heure Convoitée

  1. Georgy says:

    I really wonder, if I actually want to smell like late leonid, even though he was probably kissed by more men then I am, so maybe I should consider to give it a try:-)

  2. Maria says:

    What do you think of Cartier XIII ?

  3. Safran says:

    I’ve tried it now three times and still cannot make up my mind. To me it starts with the most authentic williams pear smell, I’ve ever smelled in a fragrance. So vivid, you’d think you could bite in it. Then slowly, the carnation note sets in (and the pear vanishes), at first quite authentic and pleasant and then it gets very soapy for a while – and artificial. After an hour or so, the pear comes back, hangs around in the background and the carnation’s soapyness is almost gone. Apart from the opening, this is the phase I love about this scent. I like the whole line and proudly own (now only decants) Nr. XII and Nr. VII, but this one is the most adventurous and challenging to my nose.


  4. lady jane grey says:

    Well, just one of the ingredients of your amalgam would be enough for me to reject a test for this scent. The complete amalgam make me run though ! What were they thinking ?! And I guess it isn’t cheap either..

  5. Alexandra says:

    I haven’t tried any of the Cartier’s and I can’t decide if that is wise or a shame. This fortunately doesn’t call me at all but I quickly revisited your review of L’Heure Fougueuse, sigh… I had forgotten quite how perfectly tempting you made it sound.

  6. chris says:

    L’ H’eure Convoitee is not worthy of Cartier nor Mathilde Laurent. It’s a fairly cheap smelling concoction (Made even nastier, if every time you wear it it remind’s you of Leonid Brezhnev -Too many medals + Too many Eyebrows ). It certainly does not justify it’s exclusive tag line or £205 price. There are some gems in the series ( La Treizieme Heure, L’Heure Defendue, L’Heure Promise, L’Heure Mysteriuse ) and i agree that L’ Heure Fougueuse is the most unique and FB of the L’Heure range. Given Cartier’s huge budget and Mathilde Laurent’s talent, i hope with the next 4 L’Heure releases they can come up with something way beyond the mediocre L’Heure Convoitee.

  7. flittersniffer says:

    Love your fun review but this was definitely not for me – or Tara, as I recall – for we were together when we tested it. Sweet Carnation Central is my abiding impression, carnation not being a favourite note at the best of times!

  8. Suzanne says:

    I found that the more I wore L’Heure Convoitée the more I was impressed by it. I wore it side by side with a fragrance it most reminds me of — vintage L’Air du Temps — and found myself preferring L’Heure Convoitée. It actually smelled deeper and more expensive, in my opinion … like a very beautiful tribute to L’Air du Temps. One must really love carnation to get on with it, and generally I don’t think of carnation being a note I love, but I have to say I really liked it in this.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Good to hear you got on so well with L’Heure Convoitėe. I just can’t get those associations described above out of my head, and so it doesn’t stand a chance…

  9. Despite the fact that the smell of new plastic is really awesome this sounds as if it’s a case of a bit too much going on.

    I love the title for this review btw!

  10. Undina says:

    Birgit, I really enjoyed this review! I will just have to try this perfume to see what memories it would avoke for me (since yours seem to be close to what I might remember). What I want to say now is that carnations (more flowers than a scent) for me for many years had a strong connection to either official political holidays or funerals.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed it. I thought of you of course, while writing it. Did you see the Breshnev funeral as well? It is burned into my memory. 🙂

      • Undina says:

        Of course I did! We had no choice: all class rooms got TV sets and we had to spend the whole day watching it. It was scary. But then we got used to it: several top leaders would die soon after being “elected” to that post so we’ve got farce instead of tragedy.

  11. Tara says:

    Vanessa is right, I really didn’t like this though I only tried it once (perhaps that is telling). I was so looking forward to it too! If I recall correctly I got a lot of that artificial strawberry note and there may well have been some plastic too. Not nice but I’m glad it worked for Suzanne at least.

    Fascinated by all your associations! Poor Sonja 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thank you for thinking of poor Sonja. She is still in her miserable state and my older son found her while we were at my parent’s house. I explained that she was in an accident… 😉

      It makes me happy we are of the same opinion regarding Convoitėe.

  12. Joe says:

    I have a tiny bit of this coming my way any day now. It’s been on my mind since smelling it in January at Saks San Francisco. I like the interesting carnation effect. On a friend’s skin, it smelled *very* strongly of green apple; so different from on paper, and it disappointed her greatly, as she loved it on paper. I’ll see how it performs on my skin when I give it a proper wear.

  13. Meg says:

    I went for the snack option too, after reading the list of notes! 😀

    Strawberry in a perfume can be lovely if handled subtly. It’s best when you have to look really hard to find it amidst the other notes, so that tiny kiss of pinkness is like a reward– just like when you hunt for wild strawberries in the grass. But a FAKE strawberry smell is most unpleasant– I’m thinking of Frankenberry cereal or Strawberry Quik. And paired with soap…. ick.

    • Olfactoria says:

      So true, Meg. A real strawberry peeking out is lovely, but that is sadly not the case here. I don’t know the Frankenberry cereal but the name sounds absolutely right for this one. 😉

  14. thegoddessrena says:

    This is my next full bottle purchase, the fragrance to commemorate when I move and go back to school, and I knew it the minute I smelled it on skin. To me the strawberry and rose pull it into the freshest carnation and it is only when it reaches the cosmetic smelling base 14 or 16 hours later that I don’t love it but since that would be close to bedtime anyway, it doesn’t matter

    • Olfactoria says:

      I’m glad you found L’Heure Convoitėe! It seems to be perfect for you. That’s the beauty of perfume, there is something for everyone.

      Good luck with your move!

  15. Pingback: Laughs, Lemmings, Loves – Episode 9 « Undina's Looking Glass

  16. catcardamom says:

    This sounds intriguing! I must try it.

  17. Pingback: L’Heure Convoiteé II by Mathilde Laurent for Cartier 2011 « AustralianPerfumeJunkies

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