March 4, 2013
Try as I might, I cannot keep up with every perfume house and the deluge of new perfumes every year. Agent Provocateur is a brand I have heard discussed frequently, but have not had the pleasure of experiencing. I’m not the target demographic for their sexy lingerie line, so I don’t frequent their website, making them a bit off my radar. I also don’t see their pretty egg-shaped bottles in any stores. The perfumes have many fans, though, so when I was offered the opportunity to review their latest creation, Petale Noir, I accepted gladly.
First, let me say that I really like the bottle. The juice is a peachy-pink, which shows the delicately etched flowers in white on the bottle surface. Hiding amongst the flowers are winding stems of thorns in gold. There is no cap on the sprayer; there is a little removable collar with a black chain on it that prevents the sprayer from being depressed until it is removed. The egg shape is nice to hold, and it is easy to spray. The advertising image, featuring actress Paz de la Huerta, is of a beguiling, raven-haired woman surrounded by lush greenery and black, twining brambles.
Flower Fairy by Lei Sheng
At first blush, I would not have called this Petale “Noir”. It is more like Petale “Exuberante”. Masses of floral notes pour out of that sprayer onto skin. It is as if you picked up a fragrant bunch of flowers and just crushed them all in your hand, leaves and all, then inhaled deeply. It verges on Too Much, but never quite goes there. Were you to heavily apply this and then walk into a garden party in your summery sundress, you’d be noticed, much in the same way the big perfumes of the 80’s were noticed, but people would wonder what smelled so good, and possibly confuse you with the flowers in the garden, as opposed to fleeing.
Dark Rose Petals by xMisaUsuix
It doesn’t take long for the bold, stemmy flowers to retreat and be replaced by a quieter cacophony of scents. The heart is just as complex as the top, but the aroma is spicier, verging on tropical. I like this section quite a bit. Although picking individual notes out of a composition like this is almost silly, I do appreciate the ylang ylang and fruity osmanthus. The perfume is still not in a place I would call “noir”, but it is definitely complex and interesting. Petale Noir dries down to a feminine and sexy skin scent. It is not overtly woody or musky, and is soft and pretty.
So, is it “noir”? I guess if you play into the PR prose of dangerous passion, “a beautiful flower entwined with prickly thorns”, then I guess it could be. I don’t find it particularly dark, nor thorny, but I do find it multi-faceted, interesting, pretty, and very wearable. There are those who think that saying a perfume is “pretty” is damning it with faint praise, but I, for one, love a good, feminine, flowery perfume, especially on days when I either feel distinctly pretty myself, so it matches my mood, or distinctly un-pretty, to give me a lift. I will happily keep my bottle handy to spritz on during the spring and summer, or when I just feel like singing “I Feel Pretty” in the mirror.
Notes: Mandarin, Water Lily, Bergamot, Violet Leaves, Hyacinth, Flower Stem Accord Magnolia, Rose Otto, Rose Absolute, Ylang Ylang, Muguet, Neroli Heliotrope, Orris, Osmanthus Cassis Blossom, Ginger, Cedarwood, Sandalwood and Cistus-Labdanum, Musks, Vetiver, Leather, Oak Moss, Tobacco Leaf, Benzoin, Patchouli and Amber. (per Agent Provocateur press release)
I received a full bottle for review from the wonderful folks at Agent Provocateur. You can have one, too! Leave a comment about your favorite floral perfume and you will be eligible to win a 100 ml bottle. Draw ends March 8, 2013.
We announce the winners only on site and on our Facebook page, so Like Cafleurebon and use our RSS option…or your dream prize will be just spilled perfume.
–Tama Blough, Senior Editor