Agent Provocateur for Women -EDP

The house of Agent Provocateur is mainly a luxury lingerie fashion house but this scent is their signature fragrance. This scent was created in 2000 by Christian Provenzano for Agent provocateur.

PACKING IT UP

This comes in a black box with the name of the fragrance is on the centre front of the box in the text of the fashion house in pink. It isn’t the most exciting box I have seen but is a pretty and feminine colour.

The bottle is the shape of a tear drop or hand grenade rounded at the base and is sort of china not glass so not clear. It is a pink colour and pretty plain but feels nice to hold as I have tried it in the shops in the Westfield centre. The only problem with bottles like this is you can’t see what you have left.

magnolia

Magnolia

TAKE NOTE

Top notes are magnolia and India saffron
Middle notes are gardenia, vetivert from Haitti, Moroccan rose and Egyptian jasmine
The base notes are Amber, musk and cedar

MY THOUGHTS

Initially I could not detect anything floral but I got a bit whiff of the saffron, not sweet at all but rather earthy.

After about half an hour the floral notes developed and I could smell the jasmine and gardenia which are both very strongly heady perfumed flowers. I loved this stage, it was also quite soapy and quite strong. It carried well around me.

After an hour or so the scent was still very evident and the woodier, musky notes are hanging in there and really lingering nicely with a lovely cedar and musky scent.

jasmine

Jasmine

I just love this one me as it has the notes I love I in the right mix. I love rose when combined with woody cedar or vetivert or patchouli as it gives depth to the rose and this does just that. This doesn’t actually have patchouli but almost smells like it has.

Many people hate this perfume but it works on me but I also do like original and unusual scents. This is rose but so much more, it isn’t light and pretty and feminine . It is more dark, sexy and heady with depth from the base notes coming through.

I loved it from the rose and amber saffron herby opening through to lovely warm woody and rose almost incense rose dry down. I find it quite exotic, a but sexy and one for the ladies who want a darker, deeper perfume as opposed to the light flirty feminine florals.

RECOMMENDED?

Yes I would thoroughly recommend this but I do think it is a matter of preference as I am not greatly into light florals and like something with a bit of a punch and a good lasting heart fragrance which this has.

It costs around £30 for the 30 ml bottle so not bad value for an eau de parfam and this does last quite well on me and does also have pretty good sillage and carries well so not bad I feel.

I would be happy to buy this one again and do test it frequently when I go into Debenhams and at airports it is one of my main ‘tests’.

Advertisements

‘La Petite Robe Noir’ – eau du Parfum by Guerlain


MY GUILTY SECRET
I just love getting free stuff to try and as a result I apply for every freebie going and most weeks I get at least one small gift in my mail box. It is like a little Christmas tree surprise each week and most times I have to do nothing except try it and enjoy it. Sometimes I am asked to write a review and others want a bit more input but I enjoy it and get to try lots of new things.

WHY DID YOU BUY THIS?
This small sample, 1 ml in a tiny spray comes in a cute pale, old fashioned pink with a sort of French chic style picture of a black dress and the name of the perfume in fancy writing. This came from Boots as I am a member of their Boots.com product testing panel. They send me samples of products to try in return for writing a pretty short review on their website.

WHAT GUEULAIN SAY ABOUT THIS SCENT
“I am absolutely essential and utterly irresistible. I have met with the greatest actresses and charmed the most glamorous of men. I am the chic, elegant and very seductive, perfumed creation by Guerlain. I am La Petite Robe Noire Eau de Parfum. My scent is Fresh, enchanting and delicious….Cheeky and captivating….I am the warm spark beneath the sweetness.”

Okay so that sounds very promising. An air of mystery and elegance with classic chic and glamour thrown in. I was really looking forward to trying this.

LA ROBE NOIR PACKAGE

Means of course ‘little black dress’ which can imply that outfit which can take you anywhere and also at the same time implies style and glamour. The packaging is elegant and French chic style. The bottle is clear glass and sort of square with the little black dress on the front; the top corners have a sort of rounded decorative corner.
The bottle is a replica of the classical bottles of Guerlain . The little black dress is slightly different as Guerlain has been altered it each time the scent has been rebranded and released which has been three times so far., in 2009, 2011 and now again in 2012. I am not sure what they have changed apart from the packaging as i have never tried it before this.

The lid is large and like a diamond it is made of plastic looks like clear glass Around the lid base is a little piece of ribbon around the base with ‘Guerlain’ printed on it. I can’t say it is the most impressive bottle I have ever seen but it is also far from being the most boring so an average sort of looking bottle. Being clear you can see the pink, almost blackcurrant diluted cordial coloured perfume through the bottle so you would know how much you have left. This also means that it would be easily damaged by light so I would keep it in its box or in a dark place so that it didn’t get spoiled by the light and lose its fragrance.

WHERE TO BUY AND HOW MUCH
La Petite Robe Noir is available as 30ml for £42, 50ml for £60 and a gift set for £42 which has 75 ml body lotion and 30ml eau de parfum so that seems a pretty good deal. These can be bought from Boots stores or on line and very probably other stores selling good perfumes.

LA ROBE NOIR NOTES
La Petite Robe Noire combines top notes of black cherry and bergamot, heart notes of black rose and almond, and base notes of black tea, Tonka beans and patchouli.

Patchouli

MY THOUGHTS
I sprayed this on a few days ago and spent the day sniffing and thinking about it and what it smelled like and then I tried again today.
The first scent that I get is sweet almond like powdery cherry. It is pretty strong and gives a real punch of cherry sweetness with powdery vanillary undertones. This is in no way a male scent, it is feminine and to me very girly very sweet and fruity.

I would say this is probably for someone younger than I am as I find it a bit too sweet and sugary. It reminds me of cherry liqueur at first sniff but as though you are also wearing a talc while sniffing it or someone has wafted talc around while you are drinking cherry liquor.

Cherries

After about ten minutes the scent does calm down and the powdery scent remains with a hint of tonka and vanilla . It sort of smells like you have walked into a sweet shop with that combination of fruity and caramel like smells that you get in an old fashioned sweet shop.

The deeper heart notes never really materialise for me as the scent fades very quickly. I have read a number of reviews which say this lasts really well and has excellent sillage. Sorry but it doesn’t on me, after an hour or so i am struggling to smell anything much at all. I am not sure whether the powerful initial notes hit my nose so strongly that after that I can’t smell anything. After about ten minutes I begin to detect a hint of liquorice which is very pleasant but subtle. It is still very sweet, i am still in the sweet shop here.
Others have talked about how classical this is and how sophisticated but really I am struggling as to me it smells very young and one that teens would like. It isn’t my idea of sophisticated at all.

After about an hour the rose begins to sneak out, still sweet but not sweet shop sickly sweet a more floral note creeps in to blend with the rather lighter bergamot. These two flit back and forth with the powdery notes for me.

I am sorry but this will not be one I will be rushing to buy. It smells too much like a mix of sweet shop and fruit shop for me to take to. I really feel it is aimed at the younger audience and I can’t believe all the people saying how long it lasts on their skin as it disappeared after four hours leaving barely a hint on my wrists.

Nicki Minaj Minajesty – Eau de Parfum


I have never heard of this person or brand before I received this sample through the mail. The sample came as a small spray glass vial in a folder of card which was a deep pink colour with black edges top and bottom. It was fairly plain and gave no hint of what I might expect from a bottle of this perfume! Probably not a bad plan considering it has to be quite the ugliest and oddest perfume bottle I have ever seen.

This is a fairly new offering, only released last year by Nicki Minaj. The lady I have discovered is an American rapper or hip hop singer which is why I have not heard of her as I avoid all rap music. She is an attractive girl who seems to dress quite normally. Not in an outrageous manner like some singing stars do. She seems to be outspoken and has come to blows verbally with a number of other singers I have read.

She has released a couple of perfumes, this one and the one that was released before this was called ‘Pink Friday’ has an equally hideous bottle but with straight pink hair on the lady as opposed to the red curly hair on this one. Both bottles show the top half of a woman wearing a decorative bra but they both look a bot dominatrix to me.

It isn’t an expensive perfume so obviously aimed at the younger market and despite it rather odd bottle it is aimed at women as it is a light sweet perfume. It costs around £16 for 30 ml which is the cheaper end of the perfume market I would say. It is marketed as a perfume not an EDT but I feel it is a very light scent and more like an EDT.

The scent is marketed to appeal to those wanting a sexy sensual scent “Rule your queendom with Nicki Minaj Minajesty, a captivating and sultry fragrance.

A thoroughly sultry and glamorous statement that raises the bar, Nicki redefines reality with a wink of playfulness. With a nod to her vibrant and animated personality, Nicki conquers with power and femininity as the majestic queen of her luxurious world. “

MY VIEWS

lemons and peaches

Apart from the fact I think the bottle is hideous and would not allow it in my house I find that the scent is very light. I would describe it as a light fruity floral EDT and sensual and sultry would be low down my list of descriptive words for this.

The notes in this perfume are:
Top notes are red berries, lemon and peach
middle notes are magnolia, frangipani and orchid
base notes are tonka bean, vanilla and musk.

Looking at the list of notes you can see there are no deep base notes, they are all sweet creamy and there is no earthiness or depth to me.
I sprayed this on my wrist about two hours ago and after the first fresh hit that made me sneeze which was very fresh and sweet with the citrus and peach coming through strongly. It didn’t smell too natural to me though, rather synthetic.

The dry down has left me with a hint of sweet talc like scent with a hint of creamy magnolia. It has virtually disappeared in reality.

It has very poor longevity for a perfume , it is even poor for an EDT. The sillage is also not great. When I asked my husband if he could tell if I was wearing any perfume he said no, he couldn’t smell anything so considering he is in the same room sitting next to me shows that it is pretty poor at carrying it scent.

RECOMMEENDED?
Well I won’t be buying it. I don’t think I am the target audience and I certainly wasn’t attracted to buy it by the packaging or the fact it was a celebrity fragrance as I have never heard of the young lady in question.

I think the bottle is hideous and the scent is weak, sweet and doesn’t really have any lasting quality. It is far from sensuous and sultry.

Thanks but not for me.

Bulgari Omnia Crystalline EDP

Continuing my journey through my bag of perfume samples and I chose this one to review today.

This EDP is from the House of Bulgari and although the EDT of the same name was launched in 2005 this EDP wasn’t released until 2013 so is fairly recent.

The tagline description states ;

“ Crystalline illuminates, reflects and reveals a woman’s radiance, luminosity, gentle sensuality, and graceful femininity. A sparkling jewel of light.”

This, like all Bulgari Omnia perfumes and EDTs this was created by the perfumier Alberto Morillas of the house of Firmenich. He is quoted as saying this is his most feminine creation in the Omnia series and it is “extremely sexy but not vulgar.”

This perfume is different from the EDT of the same name, it is not just a stronger version of the EDT like some are.

WRAPPING IT UP
The box is a creamy colour with a paler square in the centre and the name Omnia Crystalline in the centre and BULGARI at the top of the box. It is all pretty minimilist and simple but quite classy.

The bottle is very unusual and like the others in the Omnia collection. It is a 3D circle at the bottom, the actual bottle but the lid or top is set at ninety degrees fitting into the circle as another circle. Hard to explain but it does look quite different and elegant.

 

ABOUT THE NOTES

In this perfume the notes are:

Top Notes: Mandarin and Lotus
Heart Notes: heliotrope and orris root
Base Notes: Sandalwood , Siam benzoin and musk

MY VIEWS AND EXPERIENCE
From the very first spray I liked this one. Initially it is quite sweet but fresh and fruity with a leafy sort of note.

The top notes are mandarin and lotus so that is what I can instantly smell mandarin fruity freshness and this combines with the lotus to give a fresh, sweet yet also floral. It isn’t heavy nor is it too sugary sweet.
As far as I know lotus blossom doesn’t have a scent that I have ever noticed but in perfume they are apparently the floral notes that have a slightly watery. It brings to mind tropical gardens in the mist. That must be the slightly leafy notes I can detect.
After about half an hour the creamy vanilla aroma that comes from the heliotrope begins to develop and the iris floral notes of orris root also and at this stage the perfume is very beautiful and warmly pretty.
Leaving this and the beautiful atmospheric sandalwood becomes more evident and while I can still detect the floral notes these headier warm notes of creamy vanillary benzoin combine with my favourite sandalwood and musk.

This is a very ladylike and feminine perfume that lingers beautifully in this elegant and classy perfume. It is a warm and quite sensual scent that to me shouts sexy and beautiful.

I found that this scent lasted well on me and could still smell it on my wrist three to hours later. It lasted on my clothes long after that as I could still smell it the next day.
The sillage wasn’t bad either as I could smell it in the room when I left and came back in when I sprayed this on my husband as a test. He is a willing conscript for my reviews so long as we are not going out!!

Sandalwood

WHERE TO BUY AND HOW MUCH
This EDP Is available in 40 ml and 65 ml bottles which are unusual sizes compared to most others which seem to come in 30 ml, 50 ml and 100 ml sizes. The prices range from around £50 for the 40 ml size and around £66 for the 65 ml size which I think is not bad value for a quality perfume that smells so great.

RECOMMENDED?
Yes I would happily wear this. It is a perfume that will be okay to wear day or night and would work in winter or summer as it is both fresh fruity floral initially and yet it is lovely, deep, creamy and woody warm. I would certainly be this one again as it is my kind of scent

Versace – Bright Crystal EDT

 

Once more I have delved into my drawer where I keep my perfumes and found another little spray sample that I have not yet reviewed.

This one is from the House of Versace which really needs no further introduction as it is one of the more well known fashion houses. This fragrance was released in 2006 and was created by Alberto Morillas.

ALL WRAPPED UP

This one came in a nice mini box similar to the one the full sized perfume comes in. the box is pale pink darker at the top then fading as it goes further down. The top of the box is silver with an embossed diamond pattern. It is quite understated but also classy.

My mini spray is white plastic with a pink lid. Simple and rather functional to my mind. The actual full sized bottle is more attractive and is sort of chunky square in clear pale pink glass with a clear diamond cut plastic/glass stopper of the spray. It is quite attractive but not earth shattering in it originality.

I see on the Boots website that 50 ml of this in a spray bottle will set you back nearly £50 while 100 ml is pretty close to the £100 mark. I suspect if you shop around you may find it cheaper but it is one of the more expensive eau de toilettes generally. I find fragrance direct on line is usually a lot cheaper and often half the price of Boots.

WHAT NOTES ABOUND?

The top notes are pomegranate, Yuzu and frosted accord.
The heart notes are Peony, magnolia and fresh lotus
The base notes are amber extracted from plants, musk and red woods.

MY THOUGHTS

The initial spray of this is very light and fresh, sweet but with a pleasant sort of water melon note to soften the sweetness. That is probably the pomegranate as that is not a sweet aroma. The yuzu is a Japanese orange type of fruit so again fresh and citrussy and heaven knows what frosted accords are except presumably fresh and like a frosty day.

Pomegranate

It began to fade after about half an hour which is not surprising as it is an EDT not an EDP. The floral notes became more obvious but again in a subtle way not heavily floral nor too sweet. The strange thing is that I can also smell roses and there is no rose element listed in the notes maybe it comes from the peony notes combined with others. This stage was lovely freshly floral and a very ‘pretty’ feminine fragrance to me.

About three hours after I first applied the eau de toilette I could still smell it on my wrist which is where I apply all my perfumes for reviewing purposes. I then write the review over time taking note of the scent developing and changing.

The dry down is still floral and fresh with the warm musky notes giving a depth to the scent. I am afraid the amber was too subtle for my unqualified nose but the end result is a lovely fresh floral scent with a warm heart but not at all heavy.

Peony

This to me is a lovely light fresh floral, very feminine and perfect for a summer ‘s day. It is not dominating but it is very much there and I would be happy to wear it.

I can’t say I will be rushing to buy it , mainly as I already have far too many perfumes but also because it doesn’t have the wow factor for me. It is a pretty and youthful scent and I will happily use my sample and would apply it at an airport but probably not buy it myself.

Lush – Karma solid perfume

The current range of Karma perfumes

Lush sells a fairly large range of perfumes now and every scent comes in three or four different forms. There is usually a solid perfume which tends to be the form which has the shortest staying power, the next is a small spray which is less concentrated than the 30ml black bottle which has the strongest concentration. Many of the scents also have a small 2ml sample bottle too which is usually in the same concentration as the mini spray or spritzers which I believe has 8ml in it. The solid perfumes weigh 12g so they are not huge but I rather like them to carry in my handbag as there is never a danger of any leakage and you can quickly pop a little on your pulse points without spritzing others in the bargain.

HOW MUCH?
The perfume I am reviewing here is the solid version of Karma. The solid version costs £5.00 while the small spritzers are £10.0, the large 30ml version is £21 and the 2ml sample sells for £2.00. This scent is one of the cheaper ones that Lush create and that is why I bought this one first of all my Lush perfumes. I think the solid version offers good value as the 2ml wouldn’t give me many uses and the solid one has given me plenty of use over the last months although mine is very close to the end now. You don’t need a lot to get a pretty decent aroma but you do have to be careful if it is very hot weather as it does melt very easily. I would also suggest that keeping it in the fridge may affect the scent so would not advise that.

THE STORY BEHIND THE CREATION
Karma is one of the oldest scents from Lush and it existed when they we ‘Cosmetic to Go’ I remember buying it some fifteen or more years ago. I love hearing the inspiration behind the creation of the different Lush scents. They are all so different and rather like poetry but of smell rather than words. This one is no different. I really admire Mark Constantine and his philosophy and the fact that he does things he really believes in. His story about how this perfume came to be is another great, rather poetic sort of story.

Karma solid perfume

“This is Mark’s ode to hippies and head shops – and another one of his creations heavily influenced by music. He reminisced about going to the Kensington High Street market in his twenties when “people were bonged out on God knows what” and weaved in the “layers and layers of creamy sound” from listening to Massive Attack.”
It really is another perfect summer fragrance as it is a refreshing with its orange blossom notes but then hits you with its more heady patchouli and pine taking you back in time to the late sixties and early seventies in my case. It is orange but it has got a very strong heady note which my husband hates as he says it smells like sick!! It doesn’t and his smell buds are really weird but I do know what he means , it is the same sort of slightly sickly smell that i find ylang ylang is for me.

THE SCENT

What does this smell like? It smells creamy, heady and a sort of heady deep orange fragrance. It is the deeper version of ‘Orange Blossom’ this has more depth and very heady heart notes, sweet, slightly citrus but as though it is Orange Blossom on a holiday in India as it has picked up all the incense smells from there. I find it is lovely at any time , it works for both night and day and lasts for ages without fading. As lush describe it on their website it is like “running through a field of flowers on your way to Woodstock” Which sums it up perfectly.

The retro elements of the perfume take me back and it is a combination of shopping in ‘Biba’ and a trip to India. Although it is very strongly orange there is a strong warm heart and depth which comes from the patchouli and pine. Patchouli is one of my all time favourite essential oils so I am bound to love it in whatever .

Oranges

WHAT HAVE THEY HIDDEN IN THIS ONE?
This is not as complex as some of the Lush perfumes and although this has layers of notes which hit you as the perfume develops there are fewer of them. This perfume has these main notes: Orange, patchouli, pine, lavendin, lemongrass, elemi, cassie. Orange is obvious and that is what hits you initially then the creaminess comes through and the scents combine and I really struggle to separate the notes in this as they seem to be all there together. The orange stays but it isn’t just orange it is sweeter and has more depth than just orange, it may be the lemongrass that lifts it a bit.

WHAT DO I THINK

This was a scent I remembered from years back so that is why it was the first solid perfume I bought when our Derby store got their full range of perfumes in.

I always try each perfume out a few times in Lush before I buy it. I put one smell on each wrist and allow it to settle. It is actually quite hard to smell different perfumes in the Lush shop as there are so many smells going on in there. What I usually do is put the perfume on using the samples there. I then go off and do my shopping. I do one or sometimes two perfumes at a time. If I like it still after I have finished my shopping it then does on my ‘Wish List’.

Patchouli

I have to admit I do buy a lot on Ebay as you can often get them cheaper there. I just look for which are on there and bid to a certain amount. I miss out on loads but I decide what I am prepared to pay and stick to it. I also ask for them for gifts from the family too and that is how I have built up my collection.

I have the solid perfume in this and I am happy with how it works on me. Sometimes the solid ones smell different from the 30ml full concentrate. I haven’t tried the concentrate in this so I don’t know how that works in comparison. I think maybe I would not like the concentrate as it might be a bit too much.

I love the way the solid perfume lasts behind my ears and down my cleavage as I can smell the aroma rising as my body heat helps it dissipate.

This is a lovely retro sort of perfume and I do like it but I have to choose when to wear it. I know a lot of people are not keen on the scent so I avoid wearing in when with them. I think this is one that you either love or hate as it is very distinctive.

Karma solid perfume balm

The nice thing about a solid perfume is that you can put it exactly where you want it. It is also very handy for the handbag as it NEVER leaks unless the weather turns very hot. It isn’t a good idea for example to leave it in a car as the sun will cause it to melt. I had to be very careful when we were on holiday recently in the USA and I kept my solid perfumes in our cold bag with all our cold stuff when we were travelling from place to place. I also left them in the hotel rather than in my handbag as it was over 35°C most days and that was enough to make them very soft when in my bag.

The solid perfumes usually have a use buy date about a year after they were made. I have not had any that I have had last longer than a year so I am not sure how the scent lasts should you have one over the use by date. I like mine too much to have them last that long as I use mine daily.

Another good thing about these little solid perfume tubes is that when you finish them these little tubes or pots count as one container to recycle so if you take five back to Lush you can choose a FREE fresh face mask or fresh hair mask so even the container is worth something.

Original Karma perfume bottle

If you are lucky enough to have a Lush store like the one in Derby with a full range of perfumes I recommend you to give them a try. They are not to everyone’s taste as they are quite strong and a lot of them have quite deep strong and more heavy notes but I love them and spend ages listening to the stories as to the inspiration behind their creation.

To me perfumes are a sort of experience that is more than just the smell. They are a bit like fine wines and single malt whiskeys in that there is poetry and art in their creation. These to me are all part of the perfume, the inspiration, the poetry and the images that are created by you in your head as you first sniff the perfume as well as the effect you have on the scent, the way it changes on you and your own skin. It is all part of the magic to me.