Cartier’s Le Baiser du Dragon has been intriguing me for a while. The write ups about it are hilarious (“dangerous,” one read), but still captured my interest. Dragon’s Kiss? What the heck could that smell like? I imagined sulphuric clouds, like the steam coming off of a natural hot spring, which is not the most seductive scent in the world. So naturally, I had to buy Baiser and see what was going on for myself.

Perfumes often remind me of people or characters, and immediately, Baiser reminds me of Severine, one of the most recent Bond girls. She’s stunningly gorgeous but wears a smirk similar to disgust, and her eyes give away that she’s one damaged chick. Baiser smells like a smoky serpent winding around your body: there’s a woody quality, enough musky almond to draw you in, and a touch of neroli to make it enticing. Baiser smells like ox-blood red, with rich intoxication – a Matisse during his red phase – mildly disturbing but you can’t quite walk away. I have to wear it for a full day but haven’t yet been able to because this is not a day-time scent. It’s for night – or more specifically, after midnight, during the witching hours.

I have to admit that I’ve outfoxed myself with Baiser. I buy minis to make sure I haven’t spent a fortune on a perfume that I’ll hate. Instead, Baiser is demanding that I buy a long slinky dress and get a razor-sharp manicure. Baiser is indicating that I may end up with an opium addiction. So my mini is going to end up costing way more than I’d bargained for.

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