To celebrate the fifth birthday of La Panthère, Cartier is launching a limited edition of its iconic fragrance. One new brightly decorated bottle highlight the multiple facets of this feline, floral fragrance. Animality emerges from a gardenia, revealed by a musky structure that is both animal and molecular, physical and abstract. Feline and floral are brought together to embody the Panthère, Cartier’s allegory of femininity. Created in 2014 by Cartier’s perfumer Mathilde Laurent, La Panthère has made its name as a classic fragrance by daring to reintroduce the legendary chypre with an innovative feline-floral accord. It embodies the contemporary and unrestricted creative vision of Cartier’s olfactory style: to escape the dull consensus and instead spark emotions. An encounter between the Panthère de Cartier, the iconic figure of the Maison who holds a mythical place in the world of perfumery, and a perfumer who perceives perfume as a language.
The olfactory equivalent of Panthère jewellery, Mathilde Laurent’s creation is based on the same quest for excellence, the same desire to pay homage to the panther, to its feline qualities, its agility and its sensuality. Whilst the jeweller attempts to mimic the panther’s movement, the perfumer recreates its velvety aura, resulting in the same magnetism. Five years after its creation, the La Panthère eau de parfum has become a reference, radiant and chic, winning the Olfactorama prize in 2015. It is the latest addition to a collection that includes: l’Eau de parfum (2014) and l’Eau de toilette (2018).
Why the Panthère? Because she is the symbol and source of inspiration for Cartier, a creative signature for the Maison since her first sighting on a watch with spotted motifs in 1914. Under the impetus of Jeanne Toussaint, it marked the beginning of a profound connection between Cartier and the panther. An eccentric, emancipated visionary, in 1948 she fleshed out the creature in three dimensions. The Panthère has prowled the annals of the Maison ever since. In the 1980s, it inspired the first Cartier perfume which perfectly captured the period. It needed a modern incarnation, a sillage for today, a hitherto unexplored, almost paradoxical accord: a feral floral.
A perfume born from a fresh flower, this was the vision of Cartier perfumer Mathilde Laurent, who chose a gardenia, a flower with a pure, crystalline and carnal scent, a fragrance pushed to its animal limit. The charming panther awaits within, the sensual climax of a solar sillage, floral yet feral, like a love trap set by the most irresistible of creatures. Greats such as Theophrastus and Dante celebrated its scent, the most seductive in the animal kingdom.
Mathilde Laurent laments the art form’s transcendent and spiritual decline. As the art of fragrance was assimilated into the idea of scent, she maintains, it was reduced to the animal dimension. So, the art turned away, leaving the industry in charge. Truly devoted to her art, Mathilde Laurent instils each of her creations with poetry, artistry and a sacred quality.
Just as one can enjoy accessing art through music, painting or sculpture, an appreciation of olfaction both elevates and awakens oneself… They all carry profound meaning. Mathilde Laurent built this research up over her career at the grand Maisons: first at Guerlain before becoming a perfumer at Cartier in 2005, a Maison that is not only committed to art, but driven by the desire for its continuation.