Agent Provocateur Eau Emotionnelle : Perfume Review

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Agent_provocateur_eau_em_1

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

At a time when the definition of sexy is either a pink fruity-floral or a sweet gourmand, Agent Provocateur, a lingerie brand with proclivities towards controversy, takes a stroll on the dark side with its eponymous release. Created by perfumer Christian Provenzano in 2000, Agent Provocateur revels in the quintessential rose, patchouli and oakmoss chypre duskiness, without apologizing for its sultry form. Their Eau Emotionnelle released this year offers an Eau de Toilette version of the original fragrance, but where the Eau de Parfum growls, Eau Emotionnelle gently murmurs. …

Essentially, Eau Emotionnelle does not deviate too much from the structure of the original offering. The rose set in the center of the arrangement is lavished with the same warmth of spices and the base offers the same ambery woody richness tempered by the chilly brightness of vetiver. However, in wearing Eau Emotionnelle, it feels as if one is glancing at a lightened photographic image of the original Agent Provocateur. The hues that were rich and jewel toned in the EDP take on a pastel character in the EDT, while the sharp edges of the original appear blurred.

Although Eau Emotionnelle is tamer than the EDP version, I do not find that this is necessarily a negative quality. As much as the original version compels with its smoldering character, it also has a slightly grating pungent aspect that ruins the drydown for me. This element is altogether absent in Eau Emotionnelle. Yet, if one is not willing to settle down with a softer, gentler sibling of the original, Jean-Couturier Coriandre and Parfums Grès Cabaret might be two additional interesting fragrances to explore. They each offer a startling, beautiful, rose dominated chypre with neither dissonant elements nor overt softness. If you are lucky to find Coriandre in the parfum concentration, be prepared for fireworks—it is that stunning.

Agent Provocateur EDP includes notes of saffron, coriander, rose, jasmine, magnolia, ylang ylang, gardenia, vetiver, amber and musk. Eau Emotionelle also features cape snow bush, lie de vin, pink pepper, white tea and osmanthus. The fragrances can be found at Bigelow’s, Hqhair, Escentual as well as directly from Agent Provocateur.

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17 Comments

  • Ayala: While I don’t think the original needed any changes, as I love it – including the quite adverse opening – I am curious to smell the Eau Emotionelle… Thanks for the review, Victoria! July 19, 2006 at 2:14am Reply

  • Elle: “Eau de Parfum growls, Eau Emotionnelle gently murmurs. …” I love that! 🙂 I was very fond of the growl of the original, but your review has convinced me that I must now retry Eau Emotionnelle. And I so agree w/ you – Coriandre in parfum for is indeed amazing. July 19, 2006 at 7:32am Reply

  • Ina: Great review! I must say I didn’t find Eau Emotionnelle a lighter version of the original. It’s a new rendition altogether, to my nose. Sort of like the case with Prada and Prada Tendre. But I need to do futher testing. July 19, 2006 at 9:24am Reply

  • Marina: Hurrah! We agree! “As much as the original version compels with its smouldering character, it also has a slightly grating pungent aspect that ruins the drydown for me.” – exactly!
    I am quite in love with Eau Emotionnelle. 🙂 July 19, 2006 at 9:46am Reply

  • Robin: You like EE much better than I did, V!

    Must add: in the old days, Coriandre was stunning even in the EdT. Since I never see it anymore for more than $10 a bottle, I would guess that is no longer so. July 19, 2006 at 9:57am Reply

  • patchamour: Lovely, incisive review. Though I haven’t tried either of the Agent Provocateur scents, I’m glad to see you mentioning Cabaret. As always, you find just the right word: “startling.” Cabaret does make me think of nightclubs, with something suggestive of tobacco and pools of bright light in the darkness. I hardly ever wear it (maybe because I never go to clubs :)). Do you think Cabaret is too heavy for summer casual wear — esp. for a nani? July 19, 2006 at 11:10am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Ayala, thank you. I very much enjoy the original, but it has some sharp elements in the drydown that affect the overall balance for me. I cannot say that I prefer Eau Emotionnelle over it, but it is a lovely alternative. July 19, 2006 at 2:47pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Elle, I think that it is quite pretty, and although it lacks some of the sensuality of the original, it has a slighly better balance. However, I do love chypre in general, especially the ones dominated by rose. July 19, 2006 at 2:49pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Ina, I do not remember Prada Tendre that well now, but AP and EE are remarkably similar. The main elements of the original are all there. However, the characters are different. One is sultry, another one is coy and pretty. July 19, 2006 at 3:02pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Marina, it is very lovely! The lack of sharpness definitely helps. I bet that you would also enjoy Cabaret. July 19, 2006 at 3:03pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, it is still beautiful in the EDT, however I need to qualify this by noting that I have not tried anything newer than 10 years old. I hope that it has not lost its former beauty. July 19, 2006 at 3:15pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Patchamour, I think that Cabaret might actually work really well in the warm weather. It has a chilly element in the base notes thanks to vetiver and oakmoss, which is a beautiful overlay to the darker notes. It is one of my favourite recent discoveries. July 19, 2006 at 3:17pm Reply

  • Diane: Sounds alluring, but frankly, what I am wondering about is: where can I get me some Coriandre parfum! July 19, 2006 at 6:44pm Reply

  • Zidane Game: I am a great fan of cabaret. I am sure you’d love it as well. Cheers from jo-burg…
    Sandra July 22, 2006 at 1:31am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Diane, I have no idea, to be honest. However, I see the EDT at TJ Maxx often. Even that one is worth seeking out. July 24, 2006 at 12:35am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Sandra, thank you, I do like Cabaret very much. July 24, 2006 at 12:36am Reply

  • Tlmuntz: I want my original with the sparkle gold in it June 2, 2016 at 12:57pm Reply

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