To live is to breathe, to breathe is to smell.
Through her Corsican background, Mathilde Laurent, Cartier in-house perfumer, inherited both a love of nature and the courage to fight for beautiful causes, such as the reconciliation of art with the sense of smell and perfumery.
The art of fragrance has been assimilated to the idea of scent and an animalistic facet of human beings. As a result, this craft has barely developed, leaving the industry to be the primary guiding force.
Laurent strives to balance this preeminence by adding a touch of poetry, art, and the sacred to each of her creations to encourage a love of olfaction and perfume, with all they awaken and elevate in us, just as we would explore art through music, painting, or sculpture.
She has devoted herself to this research within various leading Maisons (fashion houses): first Guerlain, followed by Cartier—a Maison that values art and is driven by a desire for timelessness and style—where she has been Perfumer and Creative Director since 2005.
Laurent seeks to translate Cartier’s imaginative and daring style into fragrance and elevate perfumery to its highest level. Her creations are not bound by any consensus and soulfully relate the art of perfume to the history of the Maison. What sets Laurent apart is also the way she considers molecular perfumery as a noble discipline. For her, beauty is not limited to nature. Synthetic compounds are responsible for some of the greatest masterpieces of modern and contemporary perfumery.
Convinced of the intrinsic link between perfume and art, she led the opening of new fields of experimentation for Cartier: USO or “Unidentified Scented Objects,” experimental installations, born out of a desire to “take perfume out of its bottle and allow the public to experience the unexpected power of olfaction.” The first iteration was created in 2017 outside the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, before being exhibited at the Louvre Abu Dhabi in 2019 as part of the “10,000 Years of Luxury” exhibition. In 2022, USO 2, entitled “The Scented Myth,” was presented in Paris.
Mathilde Laurent’s creations include “La Treizieme Heure” (2009) from the collections Les Heures de Parfum, honored with the Creative Perfumers Award and the Specialist Award by the Fragrance Foundation France; “Baiser Vole” (2011); “La Panthere” (2014), for which she was awarded the Olfactorama Prize in 2015; “Les Epures de Parfum” (2020); and “Rivieres de Cartier” (2021), a collection awarded two prizes for responsible innovation by the Fragrance Foundation France and the Accademia del Profumo, Italy (2022), among others.