Since almost a month ago, my abiding passion for incense-based fragrances received a new coordinate: Cardinal by Heeley. The fact is that I was so thrilled by my discovery, that I instantly placed it right after my trusted benchmark, Olibanum from Profumum. And I know that soon after purchasing Olibanum, Cardinal will follow inevitably.
Heeley is a Paris-based perfumery house, founded by the British designer James Heeley, subsequent to a meeting with Annick Goutal that took place in 1996. Captivated by the world of scents, the young designer focused his passion into producing a line of nine perfumes (so far!), all made with the most careful selection of ingredients, recyclable packaging and engraved wooden caps (designed ‘in house’). Following the house first releases (Eau de Menthe, Eau d’Iris, Eau de Cedre, Eau de Verveine), Cardinal arrived on the market in 2006, as a unisex woody chypre scent.
If I was to characterize this fragrance in short, I would say that Cardinal is an everlasting aroma based on incense, highlighted by a couple of interesting notes as its facets. The description on the official website talks about “incense enrobed in folds of white linen” and as I was analyzing its composition during the all three development phases, my olfactory memory imagined a priest (also from the same source, Cardinal is referred to as “an immaculate young priest”).
This scent is not aggressive as one might imagine and the combination of notes manages to capture exactly the association between linen and incense, from the fresh accords in the beginning, going through a mystical mid development, until reaching a woody dry down, juxtaposed to the aroma of amber. The persistence is longer than the usual and the official listed notes include white linen, baie rose and black pepper for the top notes; labdanum, frankincense and myrrh for the heart; and vetiver, grey amber and patchouli in the base.
The flacon that holds Cardinal is Heeley’s signature scent, with a cylindrical shape and made from transparent glass, highlighted by the above-mentioned wooden cap. The image associated with this is that of a restrained elegance and this represents what you should have in mind, in case you’re after a perfume with similar features.
Heeley Cardinal Perfume Details
- Cardinal by Heeley is available in 100 ml Eau de Parfum Spray; the lasting power is above average (more than 10 hours!) and the sillage is excellent.
- Olfactory Group: Woody Chypre
- For: Unisex
- Year Introduced: 2006
- Recommended Wear: Day and Evening
- Dress Code: Casual