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.