Some scents are playing games. They pretend, they conceal their real ingredients and they pose as masculine or feminine while hiding their true nature. Or maybe it's the nose of the beholder...
Agent Provocateur (the original): I had plenty of opportunities to sniff this one, and tried my best, mostly because I loved the bottle. There's something extremely sexy about its shape and color. The problem was that I absolutely hated it. I'm fond of many chypres and was never scared of them, but the rose in this one did me in every time I tried. In a very bad way. A few months ago I ended up with a bottle of the mini EdP among my possessions, which lead to more experimenting and the discovery that if I only spray a teeny tiny drop of it on a day the stars are in the right alignment, I get a boozy, saffrony opening, not unlike my beloved Black Cashmere or Idole de Lubin. Also, the rose is tamed and I can smell something almost violety, though there's none of that in the official notes. But what do we know? This secret agent of a perfume also doesn't have any oakmoss in it, though I'd swear I sense it all through the development.
It's a cute one, after all, though I don't get the sex siren it's supposed to be. Maybe because when it comes to lingerie I've always preferred La Perla.
Ambre Precieux by Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier: Despite a sharp opening that reminded me of too many men colognes, I liked Ambre Precieux. from the start. Something about the lavender and greens with an ambery promise has caught my nose and my heart right away. The woody development didn't hurt, either. It softens and becomes less and less masculine and more girl-friendly (though still very wearable for both genders, at least if you're me). I consider a full bottle every time I put it on, until the drydown. Not that it goes bad. Quite the opposite, actually; The vanilla takes over and the perfume becomes almost identical to Mazzolari Lei, a perfume I love with a passion. It manages to be both sexy and comforting, sweet, powdery vanilla with a special edge. Patchouli isn't listed among Ambre Precieux's notes, but once again, I smell it, just like in Lei.