Cartier Baiser Du Dragon: My Retro Friend with The Futuristic Price Tag


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Trying Cartier’s Baiser du Dragon today gave me two immediate reactions. Firstly: this is a glorious contrast to yesterday’s airy Lavendar, and Secondly: Why does this make me think of the 1970s?

This has a boozy start that I recall from my olfactory memories as a child in the 70s. My mother would often spray a perfume that would have the same high alcohol starting note before settling down to something more sophisticated.  This smells like many perfumes I have known from that era, but none that I can name. If I went to an old fashioned chemist in the back of beyond, maybe I could buy a bottle of something similar from a dusty shelf.

So why was I sent back to the 1970s? Was it just the Hai Karate style bottle with the plastic dipper? Or maybe it was the slight powderiness about it that smells a little retro, almost a Imagelittle like Charlie Blue (don’t shoot me, I don’t like Charlie, I’m just talking about the genre).  Just as the booze and the powder merge and fade, I am left with Patchouli. In fact, this reminded me a little of Borneo 1834, except that it lacks the Oompa Oompa of Borneo.

Now either my hayfever is playing tricks on me, or Dragon sillage isn’t very loud. I was testing the Parfum, no less, which you would expect to have impact, but sadly, this is no Lanvin Arpege when it comes to super strength. With Arpege, three dabs lasts me twelve hours and it just gets better and better. Baiser du Dragon seems to have been sucked up and absorbed into my skin within two hours flat, leaving a faint ghost of almonds and Patchouli in its wake before going “pouf” and disappearing.

I like this enough to wear again, but I secretly wish I was trying an Eau de Toilette just so I can upgrade to a stronger version. Unfortunately, after the Parfum, there’s only extrait and I’m not sure I want it badly enough to start tracking it down.

I was alarmed, gaspingly so, at the hefty price tag on this: on Amazon it was £116.99 for 50ml Eau de Toilette. I thought I must have got it wrong. To me this is a a pretty good Oriental with poor lasting power, (at least on me), and a definite 70s vibe. It’s good, but it’s not THAT good. Is it just me?

I looked this up in Perfumes the Guide to see what the Emperor of Scent had to say about. My puzzlement was vindicated. I give him the last word:

I handed a smelling strip to my colleague Ian Smith, an analyst of thirty years’ standing…he passed a judgment that has so far not been appealed:

That’s nineteen-bloody-seventy-two Old Spice, that is’”

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4 thoughts on “Cartier Baiser Du Dragon: My Retro Friend with The Futuristic Price Tag”

  1. Dear Iscent

    How I laughed at this one.
    Maybe that 1970s vibe that you can smell at the beginning is the Amaretto note… let’s not forget, that was the decade of the liqueur!
    Speaking for myself I can remember Amaretto, cherry brandy, advocat and all sorts of others lurking around the ubiquitous cocktail cabinets of that epoch.
    There’s also something decidedly smoked glass about Baiser du Dragon, something of the long lunch turning into evening.
    I must confess that even though this isn’t generally my genre, The Dandy made a definite exception ad really rather likes this Dragon.
    For me, it is luxurious, elegant and a little indolent…. rather like my good self!
    It is quite close to the skin, but the lasting power and subtle development are splendid.
    As for that price…. I know, it’s awful. Especially when I’m assured it’s a snip at discounters and on line in the US and Middle East.
    Probably discontinued, Cartier released a limited stock to Harrods fairly recently…
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

  2. I know what you mean about it disappearing! With a name like ‘The dragon’s kiss’, I expected something really big and wild and raunchy, or a total spicebomb, but this is more gourmand and a lot gentler than I anticipated.

    It’s one of those ones that is good, but not quite good enough to understand the high price it commands. IMHO, your mileage may vary etc etc.

    Totally unrelatedly, I wonder why Cartier have a thing about snogging? First they’re snogging dragons, now voles… 😉

    1. Agreed. The price is not simply a path to exclusivity, but utterly unfriendly. I agree about Cartier and all the snogging. Funnily enough I found “Baiser Vole” rather chaste and linear. Very well behaved considering its slutty name.

      1. Evidently that Shrew was *ahem* ‘beaten’ into submission. 😉 (though ‘to beat up’ isn’t exactly the vernacular translation I know of ‘baiser’).

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