what’s that incessant crinkling sound coming from the living room? nelson, what else. most cats like boxes. nelson likes bags. ask nelson if he wants paper or plastic… he’ll take ’em all.
Hey guys! I’ve been cleaning, organizing, making jewelry, and most excitingly, ironing out the details of a bead/perfume trade. This is very exciting, seeing as how it’s growing ever more obvious that I am hopelessly addicted to perfume. Silly, I know. Then again, there are worse things to be hooked on. Once this trade is completed, I plan on wearing one each day and sharing my thoughts on them. Meanwhile… I want to tell you about one of my newest acquisitions:
Cartier’s Le Baiser du Dragon
The further I delved into online perfume reviews (or the maze with no exit I know as Fragrantica) the more fragrances I stumbled across who had various sorts of booze listed as their top notes. One that really caught my eye was Cartier’s Le Baiser du Dragon, which has amaretto listed as the most noticeable note. I have had two Cartier vials since I was very young: Must de Cartier EDT and Must de Cartier pure parfum. Two very different animals these two, might I add. But I never saw Cartier for sale anywhere locally until very recently, so my exposure to anything Cartier was practically nonexistent. The Fragrantica reviews for Dragon were all over the place, but at some point I concluded that the less positive reviews were from people who were sampling the new formula (you can tell this by the lid – new formula has a flat black cap, old formula has a chrome maze in relief on the top of the cap.) I figured out that Dragon had actually been discontinued for a short while and then brought back fairly soon after with the black cap.
So I bought a parfum dabber in 2014 of the old formula – it was mistakenly listed on ebay as an edp or edt miniature, and it was priced accordingly to this mistake, so I practically stole it. I clearly remember the day I received it – I truly was disappointed. Even a bit insulted. It seemed rather… I don’t know… uncomplicated. All fuzz and no claws. Not worthy of the praise it has received, or even the cool bottle it was in. But I persisted. It took me at least a few tries of the parfum to decide Dragon deserved more than a dismissive Dr. Pepper + mothballs, which was my first impression. The problem with the parfum, which I only had in a little dabber bottle, is that it was a dabber. With a spray, you seem to get better coverage and the fragrance has more lift, more air, more sparkle. I continued to sample it, and continued to be unimpressed, but inexplicably fascinated by it at the same time. I guess I was interested enough to look on ebay and stumbled across a big bottle (close enough to full) on auction still at a low price. Additionally, it was one of the pre-reformulation bottles, with an estimated production date of 2004, only a year after Dragon was first released. What luck, why not – got it for $32 shipped.
So it gets here and I uncap it… okay, it’s definitely Dragon, the bottle shows some age, things are looking good. I spray it on the back of my hand… yeah, okay. This is nice, better than the parfum, but… I don’t know. Is it really something I would wear? I tend to buy similar fragrances all the time, so maybe I ought to stretch out a bit. Over the next few days, I continued to tentatively spray it on the back of my hand, which is probably not the best method of testing, but I was wearing something else. I liked it more with each wear but it just… wasn’t… quite. By then I had figured out that the parfum focused more on the sweeter boozy notes and not so much on the other cool stuff Dragon had to offer in its other concentrations. So I took a long bath, scrubbed myself fresh and gave Dragon a very serious try. Well? Honestly? Wow, this is pretty good stuff. After experiencing old and new Must, I figured out that Cartier fragrances bloom – not in an old school perfumery way, but in a fresh and modern way. It isn’t like my 90’s bottle of Chanel Coco that starts out on a choppy rollercoaster of old lipstick, then goes lemon Pledge, then goes what the hell is this, before it finally becomes the magical thing that is Coco. Cartier fragrances are delicate, but stealthy and strong too – like those naked lady lilies that literally appear overnight in your yard and stand curiously tall without tipping over in the blazing summer heat.
le baiser du dragon vs hypnotic poison
Another reason I was so persistent with Dragon is that I had the almond themed addition to my collection finally narrowed down to two choices: Dior’s Hypnotic Poison or Dragon. I wouldn’t say they smell alike at all, but they do have a thing or two in common: in addition to the almond, both have an effervescent, distinctively soft drink beginning to them. Dragon is Dr. Pepper, and Hypnotic is root beer. When considering food and drink I generally prefer root beer, but there are times when Dr. Pepper is unquestionably the better choice. As for these two fragrances, they’re both very sweet, but neither are nauseatingly sugary sweet. Once it has evolved on the skin, Hypnotic Poison hovers on the edge of almond cookies and baked goods but is kindly held back by Dior’s moldy flowers house accord. I hated Hypnotic Poison at first, but I’ve grown to at least respect it, I even like it a little bit. I ultimately decided against it because it doesn’t fit me somehow. Dragon, on the other hand, is a boozy amaretto further sweetened by amber, chocolate and orange, which could easily reach the heights of over the top syrupy sweet. But a gentlemanly patchouli and vetiver combination rescues it at the last second from landing face down in the 21st birthday gutter streaming with sticky, vomitously sweet booze. I’m no sugary sweet girly girl, and I gotta have a little growl, so a testosterone tinged facet is generally all I need to be convinced. (By the by, this patchouli+vetiver combination in Angel’s new Muse works similarly – the whipped cream and hazelnut, which I would usually find to be too much sweet, is grounded significantly with the addition of vetiver. Good move, Mugler! I like it!)
Anyway, what you’re probably most interested in is the beads. Right now, on etsy:
Go HERE to get to my shop, or click on the thumbnails below for each item.
Acid Grass Glimmer Strips:
Pink Tie Optical Ellipses:
These Funny Things:
Outsider Art in Red:
Outsider Art in Blue:
Grrrly Super Stripey Triple Toggles:
Nineteen Ninety Eight:
Rhodochrosite Mega Star Woozballs:
I hope you find something you like! Next up for me is a bath (and a generous spritz of Dragon afterwards), a Taco Bell taco salad and coffee at mom’s. Thanks for checking in!