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Monday, January 26, 2015

The Bargain Bin Monday Series: Eau De Cartier Zeste De Soleil Review

When I started on my perfume journeys, I was haunted by the overspraying and pervasiveness of 'commercial' scents, so when I got 'serious' about perfume (whatever that may mean), I was very insistent on only wearing niche and hard-to-come-by fragrances.  However, there were scents that always lingered on the periphery that I recalled being rather nice, but somehow I felt that to wear them was to fold to commercial pressure.


Over the years I have hit a nice balance of niche, luxury, indie, and department-store scents.  I love that there are scents available for low prices online at many perfume discounters, and in some cases you can get some really good deals on niche lines as well.  So, with the knowledge that many aspiring and exisiting perfumistas are on a limited budget,  I'm embarking on a new little project.  Today I'm going to start a series that will repeat every Monday, covering fragrances that are readily available at prices more suited to a limited budget.  I've purchased these fragrances from either online discounters or brick-and-mortar discount stores like TJ Maxx.  I realized that it's important to wear what you like.  I like fragrances from all types of sources.....I can appreciate the odd or purely artistic, but sometimes I just want to wear something that smells nice, no matter where it came from.  So, onward we go!

A recent acquisition of mine is Eau de Cartier Zeste De Soleil.  I tend to like Cartier fragrances, and when I saw that this scent features a passion fruit note, I decided to blind buy a tester bottle (28.00!  How could I go wrong?).  Additional notes listed are yuzu and mint, which sounded alright to me.....I had a little bit of trepidation with the yuzu.  A few years ago, around 2006, everyone went yuzu crazy and an extremely sharp yuzu fragrance oil was showing up in a myriad of handcrafted bath products.  It used to grate on my nerves and was so strong it made my toes curl.  But, this being Cartier, I had faith that it would be done with a light hand.

The opening of Zeste de Soleil prominently features a very tangy passionfruit, unsweeted, and a dash of yuzu.  Having traveled to the tropics multiple times I've had many experiences with passion fruit, both when ripe and unripe.  This passion fruit is the fruit just before it sweetens.  The white rind is still firm and the pulp is a little hard to remove from the pith, and when you taste it your senses are overwhelmed with a slightly sweaty and sour sensation that is oddly appealing and just this side of sweet.  I'm surprised at the lack of sweetness in the opening.  With all the fruity florals running around the world right now I expected a slap of fruit punch, but instead I got fresh-off-the-tree tropical breakfast.  It feels very much like standing in a sunbeam, slowly warming to your skin and allowing your body to add its own twist to the fragrance.

There is an herbal element that now becomes apparent.  Is it mint?  Not in the traditional sense.  This is the mint leaf that you pick off the plant and chew.  It's a bit more green than cold, and it feels restrained and (should I say this?) spa-like.  The top notes blend with this green creating a wholly unisex scent.  It's a bit like a tropical Cristalle EDT,  dry and balanced.  I can see someone getting off a private jet in the Caribbean and spraying this on to refresh themselves as soon as they were enveloped by the heat and humidity of the tropics. 

The yuzu fades a bit but the passion fruit and mint continue their journey.  No other notes are listed for the scent on any site, but I get the impression of white sand and perhaps a hint of breeze through a palm tree.   There may be a touch of wood at the base but it's faint.  I like the linear quality of this scent for summer, I don't have to worry about the fragrance morphing unexpectedly in the heat.  What I spray on is very close to what will remain a couple of hours later.  This is a quirky, tangy little scent.  I'm really glad that it doesn't incorporate anything floral, sometimes I want my juice freshly squeezed, containing bits of pulp and the slight bitterness of seeds and stem.   Zeste de Soleil achieves this experience.  It's not incredibly long lasting but is does have a bit of staying power, 4 hours or so.  For an Eau, that's not unusual on my skin.  Is it a masterpiece?  Nope.  But it's really a nice fragrance and for the price you really can't lose. 

*****If I don't post for the next few days, I'll be back.  We are currently dealing with the vicious flu in my house and with the way I feel today, looks like I'm next.  If I can't get Tamiflu I'll be out for the count for a few days.  I'll try to put together something from my backlogged notes file, but if not I'll be back in a week or so.  Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. Pleased to see a review of this light and charming scent, there' aren't many online!
    A friend bought it for me as a surprise recently and being a fussy perfume obsessive I was worried I wouldn't like it, it has an almost aqueous feel, but once I'd forgotten I was wearing it, then later got the drifting notes that reminded me of salty sea skin and subtle green fruit, I definitely liked it!
    You're spot on that's it's like a ray of sunshine in the rainy weather. Just the thing for February, and definitely ideal for a beach holiday