While haute parfumerie is an art in itself, imagine a refined fragrance that goes beyond the scent. The ultimate luxury, to a house like Cartier, is in living and breathing artistry in your everyday life – elevating the gesture of perfuming yourself, no matter where you go, to an act of beauty.
This is where the Cartier Nécessaires à Parfum collection comes in. Launched a year ago, this range of perfume bottle cases is inspired by Cartier vanity cases that date back to the beginning of the 20th century. Engraved, enamelled and lacquered, such perfectly proportioned objects collectively termed Nécessaires were the expression of art de vivre, during an era that was attentive to details and ultra-feminine gestures. And why shouldn’t such sophistication in going out, putting on make-up and touching up with a spritz of fragrance be cherished in modern times?
In addition to celebrating this custom, the Nécessaire was also a testimony to Cartier’s creativity between 1920 and 1930. The making of each case involved the close collaboration of many crafts: designers, case makers, marquetry craftsmen, carvers, lapidaries, setters, engravers, sometimes jewellers, and even other ancestral, Asian or Oriental skills borrowed from the world of art. A very important role was also that of the enameller, which helped Cartier create its own colour palette.
The maison had also explored all the possibilities of ornamentation inspired by contrasting shapes and motifs from around the globe, an abundance of colours, and gold-working to take full advantage of light to create a solar radiance. It was then that the Nécessaire captured the essence of the Art Deco movement, apart from adopting global influences and modern geometry.
Today, Cartier’s house colour red, along with a captivating geometric motif, take the spotlight with the launch of a new Cartier Nécessaires à Parfum case that pays homage to the maison’s red case. Inextricably linked to the brand’s creative history, geometry is a powerful marker of its style, and draws on forms and patterns designed from the effects of symmetry and asymmetry.
This latest iteration is chiselled with a red lacquered motif, the process of which takes more than seven steps to complete, from the intaglio metal engraving to filling it with lacquer. Everything is achieved by hand, colour by colour, cavity by cavity, before the piece is finally precision-polished.
Designed not just to last but also to travel with you – in your pocket or bag, the Cartier Nécessaires à Parfum collection is sleek, original and chic. Fitted with a magnetic mechanism that has been specially developed to facilitate the flow of fragrance, each case can house any of the maison’s scents in 30ml refillable glass bottles.
As all journeys, epic or daily, should be olfactory ones, Cartier makes it easy to keep yourself scented on-the-go with a choice of refills from its library of 27 fragrances.
La Panthère, Déclaration, Baiser Volé, Pasha, Rivières, Oud & Santal, l’Heure Diaphane or Pur Magnolia? The decision is yours.
Cartier’s perfumes are intended to be enhanced over the years, opening up infinite possibilities that allow you to change scent at any time, based on your mood or the occasion. Another small but crucial detail luxury lovers would appreciate is the personalisation of your fragrance through bottle engraving and hot-stamping of the case.
This story first appeared in Prestige Online – Hong Kong