If you want to see old-school luxury firsthand, take a trip over to the Cartier Mansion on 5th Avenue.
Earlier this year, we were invited to experience the latest, truly delectable Cartier perfume, Baiser Fou, with a member of the team behind the creation, and while we were there, they gave us a tour of the Cartier Mansion, too.
Friends, it did not disappoint.
A little fun history behind the mansion: Back in the day — the day being the early 1900s — Fifth Avenue was lined with mansions, hence its nickname, “Millionaire’s Row.” One of the finest of the lot, owned by rail tycoon Morton Plant, was at the cross of 5th and 52nd. Today, it is it indeed the Cartier Mansion, and Pierre Cartier managed to snag it in the most incredible way:
He traded a pearl necklace for it.
It was a double strand of enormous, natural South Sea pearls, a gift for Morton’s wife, Maisie (she’s rocking them in the portrait above), and it was apparently worth more than the mansion at the time, but still. Crazy, right?! (If you want to read more about it, this Hodinkee article is super juicy.)
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the mansion becoming the Cartier Mansion, they decided to give it a little facelift. Which is what we got to see. And you can see it, too! It’s open to the public. But just in case you haven’t been to NYC in a minute, or haven’t gone up higher than the first floor, let us show you…
Cartier is also the royal jeweler in Monaco, which is why you’ll find its crest (above the doors! ^) everywhere. Hi, Princess Grace. 👋
This is the fragrance corner. And yes, we opened up each and every one of those little red Cartier boxes. Each one is perfumed and activates a different digital mood board. Pretty cool, right?
Clearly, we thought so.
Finally, we went upstairs and tested out Baiser Fou. As the team explained, it was crafted by Cartier’s legendary in-house perfumer, Mathilde Laurent, and made to evoke “the aroma of kisses with lipstick.”
While that sounds super sexy, we smelled dessert, and we were not mad. The scrumptious top note is raspberry, and just beneath that is orchid and vanilla. Sweet, but mischievous. And just a little bit hunger-inducing.
Good thing they had snacks on hand.
We noshed on those while they spoiled us with something else: a bottle of the earthy, woody L’Envol de Cartier, designed to look like it’s floating inside its case. (Mathilde helps with the bottle designs, too — she really is a genius.)
They offered to personalize the bottles for us, too, and we gave them to two of our favorite gentlemen.
Just while we were saying that we were ready to move into the Cartier Mansion for life, the event came to a close, so we slowly made our way back out to Fifth Avenue. But not before snapping this hallway (casual hallway decor, you know)…
Or sneaking a peek at a few more diamonds.
Not bad, eh?
XO, R & C