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’.

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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

Taylor Swift ‘Wonderstruck’ eau de Parfum

 

I am very enthusiastic about my freebies and samples and am forever filling in forms to get freebies. It is so exciting when I get them in the mail and I do get to try so many things that I otherwise would never have heard of or tried so it does the job for the company too as often I am then tempted to go out and buy the full sized product after trying it.

This was one of my many perfume samples that I received through the mail. I have to say I wasn’t expecting much as so many of these young pop stars feel the need to add their name to perfumes and create their own ‘brand’ and they are usually pleasant but often pretty forgettable in my view.

My sample came in a cardboard folded ‘book’ with a small 1.5ml spray bottle of the perfume inside so it was enough for a two or three good uses. I love these little sample bottles as they are perfect for when we travel as I can put a few in my suitcase and a couple in my bag (the airport security doesn’t seem to pick them up) and it means I get to smell nice and once the little sample is finished I throw away the bottle and as we come home I have none left so have plenty of room for buying things when we are away ( fat chance as my husband doesn’t do shops).
‘Who is Taylor Swift ?’ I asked as I opened my sample and husband had no idea, step son said some girl singer from the USA – not his scene. So I had to find out for myself. She is a pretty young blonde singer song writer who achieved ‘fame’ in 2006, she appears to be more country style as she has been honored in the Nashville Hall of fame and has sold an astounding 26 million albums!!
Her perfume ‘Wonderstruck’ was created as something she had always wanted to do since a young teen.
“It’s a line from my song ‘Enchanted,’ and the line says, ‘I’m wonderstruck, blushing all the way home. I’ve always loved that line and that phrase, ‘wonderstruck.’ You don’t hear it very often. So I just felt like if I ever got the chance to make a fragrance, which I’ve dreamed of doing since I was about 14 years old … Ever since I wrote that song, I thought that would be the title. And I’d want to create a fragrance that smelled the way that word feels.”
Needless to say Taylor swift was not actually the creator the perfume was launched in cooperation with the Elizabeth Arden and the actual scent created by Olivier Gillotin of Givaudan.

THE BOTTLE
This is a fairly plain looking purple coloured rounded bottle with a gold lid. Around the lid is a chain with a few charms which does look a bit young teenager in my view and as such it probably would not have been attracted to buy myself as I am a touch older than the age I feel this is aimed towards.

The bottle reminds me of Britney Spears and other teen aimed scents with a simple rounded shape and the rather bling like charms which look like ones you might buy a child to wear for dressing up. I think it would appeal to young teens because of this. Strangely the ‘book’ cover my sample came in is quite classy with gold highlights and a deep and blue design a bit like wall paper. I think the cardboard cover is similar in design to the box the bottle comes in.

THE SCENT
Top notes: Raspberry, dewberry, green tea, freesia, apple blossom,
Middle notes: vanilla, honeysuckle, white hibiscus,
Base notes: amber, musk and sandalwood,and peach

I used to absolutely love Body Shop’s Dewberry fragrance and this does have a very fruity initial blast with both raspberry and dewberry and it does remind me a bit of the old Bodyshop scent at first. The fruity scent stays as the peachiness comes in strongly as well despite being listed as a base note.
I am a huge fan of the creaminess of vanilla and in this it brings a creamy quality to the fruitiness. The hibiscus listed I can’t detect but hibiscus doesn’t smell, or at least all those I have ever grown have never smelled of much really.
The green tea note is also not easily detectable as the fruity sweet notes develop with the base notes on amber and sandalwood and musk to just become deeper, warmer and more creamy fruity sweet scents. To me it is a fruity sweet rather young although quite uplifting and pleasant sort of scent. It isn’t offensive yet is also not one that I will be rushing to but as it is a young smell. I think it must be the tea note that lifts it above sickly and cloying as it could become that very easily. This is definitely in the fruity and youthful and feminine group of perfumes.
It was happy enough to wear it for the few days my sample lasted and did quite like the fragrance but not enough to make me want to buy a larger bottle. This is a young and very feminine scent make no mistake. It will not appeal to those who favour more masculine smells. I find it quite light and refreshing though and one that suits summery sort of weather. I found it lasted well on me a good few hours on my skin and longer on my clothes as I could still detect it the next day on my top.

Looking around on line I find that prices vary as always but the price seem to be around 30ml costing £20 ,50ml for £29 and if you are really keen then 100ml will set you back about £38 . This is not too expensive and possibly because it is aimed at a younger market or maybe because it has rather more synthetic ingredients as these tend to be cheaper.

Freesia

This is a pleasant enough light fruity scent that I would be perfectly happy to wear during the day when out and about. I don’t think it is one I would choose for a special night out. It is the kind of perfume I like to use on the plane as it is quite strong enough to stay with me and yet light enough not to be sickly. I hate smelling of plane so do always have some perfume with me to try and counter the plane smell and this one is the kind that works well. I usually lather myself from the Duty free and then take some samples with me to spray on after a few hours to freshen up.

Al Rehab – Sultan concentrated perfume

Al Rehab 'Sultan'

Al Rehab ‘Sultan’

the souk

The Souk

Musquat

Musquat

This was ‘Sultan’ concentrated perfume oil was the one I liked best so it was quickly finished as I only bought 3mls in a small roll on bottle. I hunted around on the internet and found some on Ebay so I bought it keeping my fingers crossed that it would be the same smell and not something else. You can imagine how thrilled I was when it arrived and smelled just as I had remembered it.

A bit about perfume oils and the Middle East

I was fascinated to learn that the word ‘Taib’ which means oils, fragrances or perfume comes from letters in Arabic which mean:

Perfumes

To be good, pleasant, agreeable, delightful, delicious, to please, to regain health, ripe, to ripen, recover, cheerful, in good spirits, feeling happy, to heal, cure, mind at rest, goodness, sweet smelling, fragrant, and sweet scented.” [Hans Wehr Dictionary / P577-578]

The Company

Sultan is manufactured by the Al-Rehab company which is one of Saudi Arabia’s leading perfume manufacturers. They make traditional Arabian and oriental perfumes using the finest and often most expensive natural essences including Oud, Rose absolute, Incense, Musk, Sandalwood and other rare spices and oils.

What I like about this company and their perfumes is that they make perfumes in a choice of options so you can choose liquid perfumes, perfume oils or solid perfumes all in the same fragrance. The oils are the strongest and most lasting scents but they are all made with no alcohol so they all last pretty well on your skin.

Musquat

 My choice

I was not aware that this was aimed at men when I chose it. I sniffed a great number of perfume oils while in the souks and this was one that really appealed to me. I asked the man to write the name of the perfume on the bottle and I am so glad I did as it has enabled me to get more of this since I have been back in England.
My perfume of choice is called ‘Sultan’ and has been described by
Al-Rashad Books:

“Sultan has a  Powdery Woody musk fragrance with white musk, oudh and very soft rose. A DEEP mystifying aroma.  Popular among men.”   

Oh well never mind I still like it despite the fact that it is popular with men , perhaps that means I will be too!

What I think

The bottle is very plain and not really anything to shout about. In fact many of their bottles are pretty plain until you choose to have a fancy one. They concentrate of the perfume rather than the presentation. I think a lot of people decant the perfume into their own beautiful bottles as there were also lots pf pretty glass decorated bottles for sale in the souks as well.

Incense

The first thing I found with the oils from this region is that unlike the designer perfumes these tend to have just the one smell. They don’t really have top, middle and base notes notes they tend to be more linear. So the smell you first smell is the same as that you smell two or four hours later.

The other thing I have found is that you don’t need a lot of the oil and also it lasts a good long time on me. I can still smell it at the end of the day if I stick my nose where I have put the oil.

The smell is very musky but sweet. It reminds me a little of ‘white musk’ from the Body shop or Biba in the day but there is definitely a very obvious rose element. Hence you get the sweeter musk, very gentle and in my view feminine but the manufacturers might disagree. I find it creamy and musky with a very Middle Eastern air to it. I never tire of the smell and can happily stick my nose on my pulse points several times a day to give myself a bit of a lift.

Antique perfume spritzers

Antique perfume spritzers

As it has not got the top notes changing to middle then high what I put on my pulse points at the start of the day is the same as what I end up with at the end of the day and I like that. I love the fact that my scarves smell of ‘Sultan’ after I have worn them while wearing this perfume oil and it stays for ages giving that musky heady sweet smell for quite some time.

I find I only need the small roll on my pulse points in order to enjoy the scent all day long. I tend to put a tiny bit behind my ears and a little bit more in the creases of my elbows. In winter I also add a bit on the inside of my wrists as I like to smell it myself during the day.

I find that this is the sort of smell that people are intrigued with. Once close to me people often comment on how nice I smell and what is it? It is not a knock you over smell more gently around me once you get close is what I have been told.

Casbah

I find I can wear it day long, both night and day as it fits with both times equally well. It isn’t heavy so can be worn during the day but has the headiness enough for evening too.

Because these are oils they don’t seem to be quite as quick to deteriorate in light though I do keep mine in the box it came in.

As with any perfumes the actual smell can vary from person to person and also different people have different tastes so it is always wise to test the perfume on your own skin before paying out a huge price for one. The good thing about these perfumes is that you can buy 3ml to try it before you pay out for a bigger bottle if you decide you like it. These oils seem to have a pretty long shelf life but probably best to keep them somewhere cool and dark if you can.

Mosque

Where can I buy this?

I found these on Ebay and the seller has lots of different oils available with a bit of a description of what that perfume is like but a very brief description not a flowery romantic type of description you will find. I just typed in Sultan perfume in Ebay or goggle and it came up so you take your choice from there. I have also now found this on Amazon so easy to buy with any Amazon vouchers you have going spare.Alternatively look out in the souks if you are anywhere in the Middle East

 Final Thoughts

I was so delighted to find this perfume oil in Muscat as it was just my sort of scent and then to find a supply in the UK was even more exciting.

I love the musky rose scent and every time I smell it I am taken back to the Middle East and the smell and buzz of the souks.

The fact that this lasts so well on me and the scent is the same when I out it on as when I sniff it at the end of the day is very satisfying.

 I would heartily recommend this perfume oil is you like musky scents and a rose combination. As they are so cheap to try on Ebay it is worth sampling a few and see if you like them as you won’t lose much even if you hate them.

Barth by Alexander Barthet Barth

Barth by Alexander Barthet Barth

Barth by Alexander Barthet Barth

 

This is first perfume released by the designer Alexandre Barthet Barth and it was first introduced in 2009. In my ignorance I had never heard of this designer in fashion but I am not a big follower of high fashion so that is probably my ignorance rather than his lack of fame.

Pink hearts

I spotted this on ebay one day and was attracted by the beautiful pink bottle with the heart shaped lid. It looks so girly, pink and fresh that I decided to risk bidding on it. I think I paid about £12 so it wasn’t a huge price and the bottle was an unused tester bottle so a big bottle at least 100 ml so I thought it was good value and worth a try.

The perfume was created by the perfumer Michel Almairac who was born in 1953 in Grasse, the perfume capital of the world! He attended perfumery school at Roure Bertrand Dupont. Other perfumes he has created include a few I really like such as ‘Secret wish’ by Anna Sui, Chloe  and a number of the Ghost perfumes so I thought it had a good chance of being one I might like .

The bottle is a pretty shape

Its bottle is pyramidal shape and is made of transparent glass and is crowned with a heart. It is clear at the top and has a pink base so that the EDT looks pink and girly. My bottle is big and quite heavy, because of the large base it stands well with no danger of accidently being knocked over however this makes it quite tricky to hold in order to spray as it has such a wide base, too wide to hold in one hand and spray so you need two hands!

Design by Alexander Barthet

The scent was designed to go with the designers fashions which are apparently young, contemporary and lighthearted and  I  found some  photos of his designs which I have added so i leave you to decided as to how well the aroma fits with his fashion range.

The top notes are freesia, grapefruit, blackcurrant which give an instant fruity smell which is fresh and quite light. The middle notes are cedar, amber and peony which bring in the warmer sweet slightly woody aromas this later and quite quickly develops when the base notes of caramel peach and musk come through to an even sweeter smell. The scent develops very quickly but does not last very long in my view which is quite disappointing.

 

Considering the notes that are in this perfume/EDT I was expecting it to be sweet and creamy. It is certainly light and fresh but the fact that the smell is so short lived does not shout quality to me. It leaves a sweet extremely gentle or very subtle smell if you stick your nose where you know you have sprayed the perfume. It is not the sort of perfume you wear and people say ‘you smell nice’   as I don’t think they would actually notice unless they were next to you when you sprayed it on.

To quote the press release for the perfume

Alexandre-Barthet design

Alexandre-Barthet design

“ Alexandre Barthet’ s BARTH is a declaration of love to the young, trendy, chic woman who doesn’t’ t take herself, life, or fashion too seriously. A woman with a whimsical approach to fashion, who seeks quality above all else. A woman with a natural, quintessentially modern elegance.”

Well I am sorry I think he has failed to produce a perfume of quality above else, it might be young, trendy but that is as far as it goes. I am disappointed with its staying power. The smell is quite light and pleasant but you only enjoy it for such a short time. It doesn’t last as long as the body sprays I have previously reviewed produced by Soap and Glory so I will not be spending any more of my money on this as I get better smelling power  from body sprays than this EDT.

Barth by Alexandre Barthet  is  available in 30, 50 and 100 ml Eau de Toilette for anyone still interested in trying this. A very pretty bottle and lid but the contents were a big letdown for me. I won’t be buying this one again.

Bleeding heart flowers