Must de Cartier

Must de Cartier by Cartier
Must de Cartier (Cartier)
Must de Cartier (Cartier)
Must de Cartier (Cartier)
Must de Cartier (Cartier)
Must de Cartier (Cartier)
Must de Cartier (Cartier)
Must de Cartier (Cartier)
Must de Cartier (Cartier)
Must de Cartier (Cartier)
Must de Cartier (Cartier)
8.2 / 10     159 Ratings
Must de Cartier is a popular perfume by Cartier for women and was released in 1981. The scent is oriental-spicy. The longevity is above-average. It is still in production.

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Fragrance Notes

Top Notes Top NotesGalbanum, Mandarin, Neroli
Heart Notes Heart NotesJasmine, Narcissus, Rose
Base Notes Base NotesMusk, Vanilla, Vetiver



8.2 (159 Ratings)


8.8 (122 Ratings)


7.5 (114 Ratings)


6.6 (112 Ratings)
Submitted by Sani, last update on 05.02.2016

Interesting Facts

Multiple notes are reported for this fragrance. See Parfumo Research for details.

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Sillage 7.5
Longevity 7.5
Scent 8.0
Helpful Review    2 Awards
I Must, You Must...
For some time, about 8 years back, I tried, and then dismissed Must for being too easy, as I did with a couple of other big perfumes (L'Heure Bleu par example..., which is now a favourite) : I was still on a long term quest for 'something really special' to replace Opium.
Now, out of curiosity, I ordered Must, because I could not remember exactly how it smelled, the quest is over and I know my taste fluctuates:

It is sweet, but it is with leather and a fine citrus!
It is sweet, but it is heavy!

Orange fluid rules and so do the late seventies!
(1981, to be precise and the fluid really is orange, not at all like the picture)
Bottle 10.0
Sillage 2.5
Longevity 7.5
Scent 6.0
3 Awards
Disappointed with the EDT
I'm disappointed with the (current) EDT because the dry down doesn't have enough sillage. It smells watered down. Also I smell very little amber. I have to apply 6 or 7 sprays (drenched) to get acceptable sillage. It's mostly a nice vanilla scent.

Having said that, and considering the low price I paid at a (reliable) online discounter, Must de Cartier EDT still has quite a lot of interesting notes: Short-lasting amber nicely combined with galbanum, warm spices, a very small amount of carnation, a nice vanilla that seems woody, and in the end vanilla plus some patchouli.

I find it interesting but not satisfying. Be aware of what you're buying.
Bottle 7.5
Sillage 7.5
Longevity 10.0
Scent 8.0
1 Award
No if, no and, no but! It's a Must
You MUST let this scent perform its magic without, necessarily , following the pyramid of notes.
You MUST listen to it calling you to enter other dimensions of the world. It is spring and winter at the same time. It is dew and dust. It is rock crystal and opac onyx. All in one .
A dusty rose transports you in an italian palazzo and its vaulted ceilings. Inhale the aroma of mandarines piled on the corner table and open the windows to let the warmth of the last autumn days welcome you. Who said it was autumn? It is summer and the deep scent of flowers is the proof. What a beautiful summer morning! Who said it is a summer morning? You MUST be dreamming! It is a cold winter day, the windows are covered in mystical drawings . I am in Denmark , in Andersen's fairy world and feel like the little girl who was creating her dream places at the spark of a match stick.
One MUST keep the dream alive.
Helpful Review    4 Awards
When wealth brings comfort, you get Must de Cartier
Reviewing the parfum and the EDT, both bottles from the mid 80s and late 90s.

The parfum and EDT are two very different animals. The parfum was created first, marketed as an evening scent, so Cartier eventually decided to create an EDT and call it "Must de Jour".

Where the parfum is opaque and narcotic, the EDT is gentle warmth and golden light. Both are unparalelled stunners, each in its own way, and both have their place in any life situation.
The parfum is a take no prisoners ambery-vanillic oriental, which chooses pineapple and labdanum as its chief top notes, while the EDT is a more subtle, but no less impactful floral-oriental with bergamot and mandarin as its main citrus notes.

One is dense and slow moving, building up to a crescendo of dark, mystery laden notes, underscored by a superb sandalwood accord, whispering on the skin with a smoky-vanillic fugue created with the addition of galbanum. Along with the civet, this helps give the scent a subtle leathery edge, just enough to impart a deeply sensual and lingering touch.

The other is almost mouthwatering, glowing and definitely more sheer, with an emphasis on gentle citrus to tie in with the floral notes, and a gorgeous neroli filigree throughout. Less vanilla than the parfum, it relies on amber, musk and vetiver to complete the impression of veil like transparency: If it were a fabric, this would be a silk backed burnt out velvet, fluid and luxurious, in deep copper tones.

Both are profoundly expressive scents, but I find the EDT far more versatile: I love the parfum, but I have to really be in the mood to match its intensity, whereas the EDT seems more agreeable for a broader variety of occasions.
Scent 9.0
Very helpful Review    3 Awards
Just a little wanton!
Fantastically good!!! I tried this many times in the 80's and thought "peeeyew" ... oh the misguided mistakes of an immature nose :o). I recently rediscovered this gem, and I am happy to report that it is JUST WONDERFUL ... still!! The best thing about this fragrance is the superbly blended Vanilla, Amber and Sandalwood base lifted by the Aldehydes up top and just the smallest hint of skank from the Civet. I'm sure the florals and fruits enhance the overall beauty of Must ... but they are such soft players as to be hardly there at all. Definitely not a "hip" frag but alarmingly unisex and ever so cultured! I see a few comparisons with Obsession ... comparing Must to Obsession is like comparing a thoroughbred arabian to a pack mule!! IMHO of course ;o). Smells of wealth, prestige and luxury.
Sillage 7.5
Longevity 7.5
Scent 8.0
6 Awards
Sensual elegance
Finding this fragrance was a true God-send. Where I live, Must de Cartier is pretty much unheard of, in fact the name Cartier barely registers as being a fragrance house. A lot of people think that Cartier only makes jewellery.

From what I have delighted in, Cartier is an amazing perfume house. Must de Cartier is my favourite so far.

Classic yet extremely unique, Must de Cartier can be compared to the likes of Cacharel Eden, Gucci Rush and Rochas Byzance. As you may have gathered from the perfumes I compared it to, this fragrance is a love it or hate it.

Must de Cartier is so very complex in its composition. It tends to be rather heavy and very 80's in its approach. Initially, Must de Cartier goes on very oriental with an ambery spiciness mixed with exotic fruits. I usually detest pineapple in fragrances, however in Must de Cartier the pineapple note is absolutely beautiful.

In the heart, this fragrance becomes rather powdery, a scent that I find resembles cosmetics. I smell vintage lipstick, perfumed face powder and inky eyeliner. A strange concoction, which is strangely appealing at the same time.

I picture a dramatic woman when I smell Must de Cartier. She's the kind of lady that decks herself out in diamonds every day, wears intensely coloured clothes, high heel shoes and has perfectly manicured nails. Essentially, Must de Cartier is the kind of fragrance that would suit a much older me. At the age that I am now, Must de Cartier would feel wrong, however in the next fifteen or so years, this fragrance would suit me well.

This fragrance is so well balanced. The combination of spiciness, powderiness and vanillary amber is beyond words. I could praise this fragrance for at least another 1,000 words, however I wouldn't want to bore you all to tears.

Getting back to the important aspects; Must de Cartier has bold sillage and commendable lasting power. All I can conclude with is my strong desire to have everyone test this fragrance, especially now seeming that it is still relatively easy to find. You may be disappointed if you leave it too long, as I fear that a discontinuation of this fragrance may be on the cards.
1 Replies
Sillage 10.0
Longevity 10.0
Scent 8.0
Helpful Review    4 Awards
The Very Definition of Noir
Another no-holds-barred oriental by Cartier in the spirit of LE BAISER DU DRAGON, MUST ramps up the noir and dims the lights further by throwing both leather and civet into the mix.

Deep and evocative, MUST reminds me of my night at the Melkweg in Amsterdam (fortunately I was in the company of people from my rue de vaugirard foyer whom I trusted...). Or the shock of seeing the redlight district for the very first time.

MUST reminds me of my first trip to Paris, when upon arrival, bright blue suitcase in tow, I somehow found myself walking down a street all alone, wondering why there were so many women standing along the walls of the buildings either smoking or conversing with men. I was wearing a pink sweater and, yes, it was rue saint denis...

MUST is the very definition of NOIR: dark, seamy, urban (Humphrey Bogart MUST be nearby...)--a bit like NYC: the city that never sleeps and, let us be frank, often stinks. No, MUST is not your vanilla-sugar-sprinkled-cupcake oriental.

Legend has it that Napoleon used to ask Josephine not to bathe for two weeks at a time. My hunch is that he would have liked MUST very much.

When I held my MUST-annointed wrist to my sleeping cat's nose, his nostrils began to flare, and then he licked his lips. Need I say more?
Bottle 5.0
Sillage 7.5
Longevity 5.0
Scent 9.0
Helpful Review    4 Awards
If Opium is the Fire De Cartier is the Ice
A more refined and more introverted sister to
the extroverted Opium, if opium is the party girl and libertine who hunts night clubs get down and dirty on the dance floor hot and sexy Cartier is an Ice queen
of all orientals with it's clinical elegance
of green notes and orris makes
it cooler and more reserved then opium,
She frequents high end restaurants where
her sexuality is more in hidden codes
like a slip of a note with black ribbon
embroidered on the edge to bring him into
her room at an luxurious hotel suite making
love all night Cartier uses
a more subtle approach to seduction then
the fire of opium.

It opens cold with aldehyde i also can
detect cool wet green notes then dries
warm with spicy carnation and musk makes
it almost an masculine feel to the skin
orris root adds to the earthiness of
Cartier jasmine starts to steep through
the senses the velvety note of rose is
prominent and yet elusive dries the middle
part of the fragrance.

The drydown is warm and leathery like
soft supple with civet to make it an
animalistic exotica then dries to an
fiery and dry sandalwood and grounded
tonka bean amber sweetens the base and dries with vanilla.

If Opium is the Fire Must de Cartier is
the Ice.

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