Perfume review: Cartier La Panthere Legere eau de parfum

Finding Cartier perfume in South Africa hasn’t always been easy but that’s why it’s glamorous, darlings! You’re not just going to roll into your nearest Truworths (not that anyone shops there anymore) and toss it in your trolley along with a revolting mustard-coloured Ginger Mary turtleneck. Oh no! Cartier is a treasure but one that’s gotten a little less rare as you can now find it at select Edgars and Stuttaford stores. Price-wise, you’re looking at R720 for 30ml, R1 020 for 50ml and R1 285 for 70ml.

I attended the brand’s fragrance launch the other day and was given a gorgeous Cartier watch for my time.

That and a love bracelet, plus a nail bracelet and a mooi pair of diamond earrings ‘cos I got grabby hands yo!


However, I did leave with a Cartier La Panthere Legere eau de parfum, a white and woody floral in which magnolia is the hero. Price-wise, you’re looking at R720 for 30ml, R1 020 for 50ml and R1 285 for 70ml.

Can you spot the panther face in the bottle?
Can you spot the panther face in the bottle?

As far as the composition goes, this baby’s got a lot of notes in it, so much so that I’m not going to list them all. The basic gist of things, however, is that it opens ‘fresh and green’ thanks to bergamot, tangerine, ‘green notes’ but isn’t full on fizzy thanks to the temperance of pear and ‘dried fruit notes’. You then get lots and lots of gardenia, a good dose of powder (even though it’s not officially listed) then things dry down to what’s supposed to be musk, patchouli, oak moss and leather, but I just get ‘warm, dry wood’.

The other Cartier fragrances I’ve sniffed in the past have always given me the impression they’re for an older woman and again, even though Legere is supposed to be aimed at a younger market, I still think she’d definitely have to be a woman and not a girl. Maybe it’s the wood and powder, but there’s something very classic and ‘vintagey’ and ‘grown up’ about it. The person who likes to spritz on an easy-going aquatic scent like Acqua di Gioa and run out the door (yep, that’s me) is going to find Legere heavy. The girl who wants a fruity burst of sweetness a la Miss Dior Cherie just isn’t going to get it. But the woman who appreciates classic floral fragrances like Joy, Fracas and Chanel no. 5 is going to want to give it a sniff.

Anyway, before you run along please take two minutes out of your day to indulge in one of my all time favourite ads*. It’s not for La Panthere Legere, you can watch that, in which model Erin Wasson kills it as she channels her inner panther over here. What I want to show you is a general Cartier ad called L’Odysee de Cartier, a regte li’l masterpiece that raked in a bunch of awards a few years back. Just trust me, it’s worth slapping on the headphones in the office.

Magnificent, right? Does it also give you goosebumps?!

Love, love


*FYI, I trained as a copywriter back in the day and, while working in advertising, my life goal was to have my name on an ad that won a Cannes Lion. I only ever got as far as scripting Woolworths commercials but you never know, I’m not dead yet, but I am dead jealous of the creative team that got to create such a beautiful piece of film.

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