Friday, October 16, 2009

If Love is a Red Dress, Hang Me In Rags...

Agent Provocateur EDP

I love roses. I think I have more rose scents than just about any other note. I know it’s stereotypical and girly, but I just can’t help it. I just love them, and I can't seem to own enough of them, so I'm always up for trying new ones.

Christian Provenzano’s Agent Provocateur is an “exotic floral chypre.” The notes are saffron, coriander, rose, jasmine, magnolia, ylang ylang, gardenia, vetiver, amber and musk. It is the namesake of a UK-based lingerie company.

On application, Agent Provocateur falls strongly into the dirty rose camp. The herb and musk notes are present from the moment it’s applied, giving it that little sour edge that ensures it definitely does not smell “old lady” like, but instead feels young and a little trashy, kind of like the lingerie Agent Provocateur sells. That said, I tend to enjoy the trashy roses, so I put it up next to my favorite trashy rose Juliette Has a Gun Lady Vengeance. In a head-to-head comparison, Lady Vengeance wins out for me. It smells more natural and less plastic-y than Agent Provocateur.

I think the biggest different is that, where Lady Vengeance has an undertone of fresh herbs and green grass, Agent Provocateur is leather and musk underneath. Lady Vengeance coincidentally seems more like a Spring-y or Summer rose, where as Agent Provocateur has a cold-weather darkness to it. Lady Vengeance seems a brighter more innocent rose, like a girl in her first negligee; Agent Provocateur seems more like what a woman confident and experienced in the bedroom might sport. Where as Lady Vengeance might be the new hip 20-something diner club (for you Portland peeps, read: rose The Doug Fir Lounge), Agent Provocateur is that ratty hole-in-the-wall, cigarette smoke seeped lounge you love despite itself (again, for my Portland peeps, think Dot’s Cafe). And that will work for a lot of people. Me? I’m sticking with my Lady Vengeance, but there’s certainly a place in the world of perfume for Agent Provocateur, and I have no doubt that one could easily prefer it over the other.

You can buy Agent Provocateur direct from the UK company, as well as several department stores and even Amazon.

"There goes the fairy tale.
Lord, ain't it a shame?
In all this comfort,
I can't take the strain.

If we played even,
I'd be your queen.
But someone was cheatin',
and it wasn't me."

- "If Love is a Red Dress," Maria McKee

Want more reviews? Try…
~ A review from Robin at Now Smell This!
~ A review from Scentzilla!

Images from Agent Provocateur and Basia McAuley.

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