Agent Provocateur L’Agent : Fragrance Review



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

Agent Provocateur, a spicy oriental rose, aimed and succeeded at conveying the same dramatic sensuality as its parent British lingerie brand. Its pairing of dark, chocolate redolent patchouli, orange tinged coriander, and honeyed roses is voluptuous, decadent and heady. On the other hand, an austere undercurrent of dry woods and mosses creates a memorable tension and an interesting interplay of cool and hot within the composition. Next to such a bombshell, other Agent Provocateur fragrances—Strip, Maîtresse, Eau Emotionnelle—seem pale and listless. L’Agent, unfortunately, does no better. It is merely a pleasant tuberose and incense twist on the idea of Serge Lutens Féminité du Bois.

Created by perfumer Christian Provenzano, the same nose who is responsible for the original Agent Provocateur (2000), L’Agent possesses the same dark moodiness as its predecessor. This character trait is perhaps the only one that ties two fragrances together. While L’Agent is marketed as a flanker (sequel) to Agent Provocateur, it is a completely new fragrance. It opens up on a bright green rose note, amplified by geranium and bright citrus. The violet tinged woods that give it a strong resemblance to Féminité du Bois unfold soon thereafter, with plum and apricot notes playing up their dark sweetness.

A strong feature of L’Agent is its rich white floral accord, which is built around jasmine and tuberose, with a hint of orange blossom. However, the drydown of the composition is mostly comprised of woods and amber. A cool twist of myrrh lends a pleasant buttery richness, while the cocktail of musks drapes the base notes in a soft, velvety veil. Despite the initial richness, L’Agent is surprisingly mild tempered, with the late drydown being disappointingly pale. While I like the opening stages of this fragrance, like many modern fragrances, it lacks an interesting and memorable drydown. Once the melody of spice and flowers vanishes, it is nothing more than a familiar tune of pale musks and sharp woods.

Agent Provocateur L’Agent includes notes of geranium, rose, jasmine, tuberose, osmanthus, davana, pink pepper, ylang ylang, rosewood, angelica, patchouli, sandalwood, amber, tonka beans, labdanum, myrrh, incense and musk. L’Agent is available in 50 and 100 ml Eau de Parfum. It can be found online at, Nellbutler as well as from Agent Provocateur boutiques.

Sample: my own acquisition

Photo credit: Elle Espana (Spain) editorial inspired by Catherine Deneuve’s Belle de Jour, September 2009 by Mario Sierra, from idsetters.



  • Elisa: Too bad about the drydown. A geranium-tuberose-amber structure sounds so interesting! I think the drydown of the original AP is the best part. August 23, 2011 at 12:29pm Reply

  • Vanessa: I must say I love this one best of the whole range, and nearly sprang for a back up bottle at the airport yesterday. I don’t know what it is about it but it works really well on my skin and I have had a number of compliments while wearing it (most uncharacteristically). I also own Strip and a mini of the original AP, but this one is more moody and affecting. Maybe I like it precisely because it is “mild-mannered”, which is my normal style, though I would actually have said that it quite va-va voomy – yes, it is plenty ballsy enough for me, haha! August 23, 2011 at 5:15pm Reply

    • Rose Marie: I agree. I love this perfume and it is perfectly fine for daywear. I find myself reaching for it again & again. January 3, 2016 at 5:32am Reply

  • dee: Bummer! I’m really fond of the original, but none of the flankers had caught my attention—I was hoping this one might work as an “office-friendly” version of the original (the only perfume to date that has caused me to blush at work, lol).

    The lamentable dry-down epidemic needs an anecdote, STAT! August 23, 2011 at 10:56pm Reply

  • Victoria: I also love the drydown of the original AP the most. It is so voluptuous and rich. August 24, 2011 at 12:52pm Reply

  • Victoria: I can see that. If one wanted a more tempered take on the idea of the original, L’Agent could fit the bill. I just miss the drydown. It seems so pale and limpid to me after the initial burst. August 24, 2011 at 12:53pm Reply

  • Victoria: I much preferred Portrait of A Lady as an office-friendly version of AP. Or maybe even Narciso Rodriguez or Stella for if you enjoy the musky rose + patchouli of the original. They are different, of course, but they still manage to convey a similar opulent character. August 24, 2011 at 12:55pm Reply

  • dee: Stella IS a great office-friendly fragrance! It’s one that I’ve often leaned on when I didn’t know what to wear 🙂 August 24, 2011 at 10:01pm Reply

  • Suzanna: I am glad that you mention how fragrances are being front-loaded nowadays, only to peter out in the end. I’ve noticed that the experience lasts a far shorter time from opening to closure than it did with yesterday’s fragrances. In fact, this phenomenon often causes me to wonder if what I’m trying is a counterfeit (assuming I picked up a bottle on eBay)–no, it’s just the way they build things today. August 25, 2011 at 9:55am Reply

  • Victoria: So many traditional base notes are either too expensive or regulated. It is a shame, because it means that the drydown lack richness. Also, the current development really puts all of drama into the top notes… August 25, 2011 at 11:36pm Reply

  • Victoria: Mine too! I love that fragrance. August 25, 2011 at 11:36pm Reply

  • Olfacta: I’m trying it now and the drydown has a strong civet note on my skin. Within 20 minutes of application, which is strange. It breaks down very quickly. August 26, 2011 at 5:31pm Reply

  • Lynn Morgan: I adore the original AP but it has to be carefully applied- too sexy to wear for business; to heavy to wear in over 75 degree weather. But after dark, dressed in black with fishnets and stilettos, it has few equals for hormonal firepower. I have never heard of a scent called Portrait of a Lady, but as a Henry James fan I will have to investigate! I like the juxtaposition of these two scents: the yin and yang of a woman’s personality, light and dark. August 29, 2011 at 6:40pm Reply

  • Dominique: L’agent is the only perfume which gets me compliments and male interest every time I wear it. There is an intoxicating, amazing civet-like animalistic note which blends wonderfully with the rose. I find that the rose in L’agent is not as pungent as in AP original or Portrait of a Lady. The dry-down of L’agents lasts a long time on me, 5-6 hours, longer than most other perfumes. Has anyone else noticed the similarities between AP original and P of a L? November 4, 2012 at 12:46pm Reply

  • Sharon: I just bought l’Agent without sniffing, simply because of the descriptions and press I’ve read lately… it’s a tiny bit disappointing I have to admit: another rosy-patchouli-woody perfume. After I sniffed it I realized that it’s very similar to Aedes de Venustas (the l’Artisan version). That’s not a bad thing, but it is worth noting. There are SO many perfume twins out there! August 20, 2014 at 11:47am Reply

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