I wasn't familiar with Sirop de Bois, a limited edition flanker from 2000 to Cartier So Pretty until I stumbled upon a bottle. I love So Pretty. I love it so much I stocked up on a lifetime supply before it was discontinued, including a rare(ish) bottle of the extrait de parfum. But I admit that my interest in the flankers has always been very low and I didn't bother with them until the original vanished from the shelves. I probably would have also ignored Sirop de Bois based on the name alone even if I've known of its existence eleven years ago.
Which brings us to today and my apparent increasing tolerance to certain fruity-florals. Cartier So Pretty Sirop de Bois is a delicious rose and raspberry jam. It's saved at the last minute from being too treacly and heavy by a sheer veil of airy notes that give the impression of pale petals swirling in a light breeze. Still, Sirop de Bois is warmer and snugglier than the original So Pretty, which is a ladylike and very pulled-together perfume, with its high cheekbones and tailored notes of iris and orchids.
Some of the structure of So Pretty is still there- the transition from light fruity opening onto a floral-woody base, but these perfumes were meant to create different atmospheres. So Pretty evokes a different era in perfume and dress codes and I feel it's more related to Chamade and Caleche than to perfumes like Hanae Mori Butterfly or Moschino Cheap & Chic that were released the same year, 1995. Sirop de Bois tries to bridge that gap, as its contemporaries are Trish McEvoy Blackberry & Vanilla Musk #9, the original Guerlain Aqua Allegoria perfumes and Flower by Kenzo.
The dry-down of Sirop de Bois is all creamy musk with a nice swirl of sandalwood. It's tenacious, cuddly and somehow avoids being obnoxious even if this Cartier perfume is far from being high brow or even half as sophisticated as the original. It's girly, it's fun and it feels perfect on a fall weekend. This is more than I can say about anything from Cartier's main line in recent years (not including some of the Les Heures).
The list of So Pretty's other flankers includes (according to Basenotes): So Pretty Eau d'Or Blanc (1999), So Pretty Eau Fruitée (2000), So Pretty Rose Verte (2004). The only one I remember trying is Eau Fruitée, which failed to impress me. Do you own any of them? Are they any good?
Notes (straight from the back of the tester): raspberry, rose, musk, sandalwood.
Raspberry clutch by Fulvio Bonavia.