Today, my strangest perfume. One that I have attempted to "review" for ages, with little success. Much of that is due to the incredible reviews already shared in the fumosphere. The rest lies in my indecision about this scent.
In 2010, Cartier released IV L’Heure Fougueuse, part of their Les Heures de Parfum series. This scent, whose nose is the very talented Mathilde Laurent, is meant to represent "The Ardent Hour" or "The Impetuous Hour".
Notes: Magnolia, Bergamot, Horse Mane note, Vetiver, Yerba Mate, Musk notes, Lavender, Coumarin. Oakmoss.
There are many stories about a girl and her horse. This is an olfactory tale about the same. It opens with the strong impression of dried tea which eventually folds onto itself and turns to fresh, green hay. And then the most incredible thing happens, but blink and you might miss it! From afar, L’Heure Fougueuse still smells of hay and barns and fields, but if you nuzzle your skin the way a horse nuzzles for a carrot treat, you'll get the distinct impression of horse. It's a musky equine scent that rides close to your skin - almost leathery, certainly animalic, but soft as the hair on a horse's nose. This facet, called "horse mane accord" by the perfumer, is subtle and fleeting (at least on me), but so incredibly integral to the scent that it seems to take over most descriptions of this perfume.
Moments later, the scent unfolds again and becomes a story of Summer days. It's Magnolia, light wafts of jasmine, breaths of hay... It's green and it's golden and it's light and it's expansive. It's clouds blowing gently over a field.
L’Heure Fougueuse is a scent that's designed to connect with your subconscious. I'm convinced of it. I haven't met anyone who has tried it and has not come away with memories of some kind...
For me, those memories are of trail rides with friends, sneaking grass and carrots to horses through the bars of fences, and of stuffing rabbit cages with fresh hay and alfalfa. I smell farms and barns. I smell my beloved bunnies, now long gone over the Rainbow Bridge.
Unfortunately, I also smell a lot of mate (that tea-like note), which gives me a headache and makes me a bit woozy. Hence my love-hate relationship with the scent. I've worked off of a sample vial for ages, as on me a little goes a long way. I may spring for a small decant at some point, but have no need to budget the $250 for a bottle, since I can only wear this on rare occasions. But I wish I could wear it daily. It's quite beautiful, aside from the mate. And who can't appreciate an arrow shot straight to their childhood?
Other beautiful reviews of L’Heure Fougueuse:
- Suzanne at Eiderdown Press
- Denyse of Grain de Musc
- Victoria of Bois des Jasmin
- Krista at Scent of the Day
- Birgit at Olfactoria's Travels
- Patty at Perfume Posse