I picked up a sample of Agent Provocateur recently from a House of Fraser counter alongside numerous new launches and free tote bags. I had low expectations of it, to be honest. It seems that everybody is launching a new scent every week and I’d heard no particular buzz around this one. Well here’s some buzz: this is great. It’s described thus: “Exotic. Floral. Chypre.”. With today’s eulogistic blurbs about perfume, even that could mean anything. However, I have tried my little 1.5ml bottle of Eau de Parfum and I love it. My happy thoughts regarding the opening notes could not quite be located at first until it came to me like a shot. It smells like Gucci Envy. At least at first anyway. I couldn’t find the Lily of The Valley that is so strong in Envy, so it must be her cousin Gardenia spreading the White Flower love around, and the Coriander adding the Green note.
After a few minutes, the scent becomes more Rose and Magnolia, reminding me a little of SJP Lovely. The smell is intimate, as if you are right up close smelling skin. It’s floral but lacks that high pitched screechiness you can sometimes get with flowers alone. Agent Provocateur is softened by Musk and warm, white Magnolia which makes this both cosy and sexy at the same time. It’s lightened with the Coriander, just the right amount, but I must confess to not recognising the top note scent of Indian Saffron unless it’s in a Chicken Pilaff. This is a Magnolia Musk and a Powdery Rose, with enough Vetiver and Amber to make the basenotes warm and rich. It had me at “Bonjour”.