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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Perfume Review: Agent Provocateur Maitresse

I did not expect to like Maitresse, the new Agent Provocateur fragrance, at all. The notes, white lotus, ylang ylang, osmanthus, jasmine sambac, white suede, made it sound as a heady white floral, a perfume genre I rarely enjoy. And the name, well, the name was rather irritating. If it was supposed to mean mistress as in “little bit on the side”, as someone who’s been on both sides of that side, I am not amused. I choose to think that it was meant to have a kinky dominatrix vibe. Agent Provocateur has to maintain its saucy image after all.

The scent surprised me. Yes, it is does start as a rather powerful white floral. The beginning of Maitresse smells like the lushest, biggest, most expensive white bouquet a rich admirer’s money could possibly buy. Everything is in abundance here. The fresh whiteness of the lotus, the warm, creamy whiteness of ylang ylang (and I believe tuberose too), the bright, luminous whiteness of jasmine. It is decadent, luxurious, it smells expensive. But not vulgar. In fact, the blend, lavish as it is, is very smooth and very sophisticated. The osmanthus in the middle stage brings in the subtly fruity, slightly spicy, tea-like undertone and warmth to the composition. The scent is further heated up and “rounded” by the base, which has a floral chypre vibe, and is, for me, the best part of Maitresse. It is piquant, velvety, a little leathery and very warm. That spicy, vaguely leathery accord is what makes Maitresse very “Agent Provocateur” for me, by which I mean not only that it is sassy but also that the same peppery warmth is present in the original Agent Provocateur fragrance and in Eau Emotionnelle. Maitresse, to me, smells the way Dita von Teese looks; it is insolent, flamboyant and very chic.

I am not sure how this raunchy number would fit my not particularly not at all decadent life-style, but when has the lack of occasion to wear something stopped me from buying it? Maitresse is available at, $80.00-$115.00.
Images are from and


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great fragrance. I have recently experienced the same feeling of encountering the lushest and most expensive of white flower bouquets in a perfume, so I am even more curious to try Maîtresse now. Am waiting for my sample.

2:18 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh M, now I'm really lemming Maitresse. a luscious white floral (a genre which I adore, wear and admire immensely) with a kick?! I need to try/have it ;). what are the sillage and staying power like in your opinion?
I must tell you that I love the new, autumnal look of your blog. warm, fiery colours of golden leaves, spices and pumpkins, it's just perfect.

4:28 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am kind of "over" lush white florals for now (I am sure I will love it again some day soon), but the twist that AP offers makes me curious, even knowing that I am not a leather or a chypre gal. And that bottle is gorgeous!

6:53 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Hmmmm. . .well I usually do like white florals---and leather: Ha! I guess I must at least try. Shouldn't be hard to do!

7:12 AM EDT  
Blogger priscilla said...

Ooohh, this sounds yummy. I haven't tried AP, but I was eyeing Eau Emotionnelle yesterday (like I need to). I liked your description of that one as a dry floral...but this sounds like it would be next on the list, possibly for spring.

8:21 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

This sounds like a must have for me. And I never worry about whether perfumes match my sadly prosaic life style or not - they often are how I get in touch w/ my inner wild side w/out getting into any trouble. :-)

8:34 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am intrigued! Please tell what scent that was! :-)

8:39 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I think, this one is something you'll definitely like. The staying power is very good and the sillage is appropriately big. This is not a shy scent. But not too in your face either.

8:40 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I actually don't think there really is leather there, that just an impression the drydown gave simply because it had that warm-spicy quality. For the lack of a better word I called it leathery :-)

8:42 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

This is definitely not a leather scent; the note, even if it exists there and not just in my imagination, is very, very subtle. But I think you'd like it anyway!

8:43 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I must say I am impressed with all 3 AP scents. The first AP doesn't work on my skin, but I think it is a great scent, objectively speaking. They are doing a great job.

8:44 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Well, of all the things they offer on their website, the fragrances are probably the least "out there" for me. Unlike "pasties" or "nipple refreshers" :-DDDDD

8:46 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have inspired me to wear the original AP this morning. The subtle leather in this feels especially lovely in this chilly weather. I layered with a dab of Fifi. I love this combination.

9:49 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Ooh, what a great combo! I don't have AP, but I do have APEE, I might try that with Fifi!

9:57 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The scent is Lobogal Pour Elle. I plan to review it:)

10:27 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I have a friend that would love this- I may have to drag her over to Melrose Ave to try it...

11:21 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with lush white florals if tastefully done. I'm thoroughly looking forward to the drydown of Maitresse. My sample should arrive soon.

11:38 AM EDT  
Blogger boisdejasmin said...

I was not interested in Maitresse, but now I am! White florals is my favourite category. Great review!

12:54 PM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Hey, sounds like something I might like? Maybe?

1:35 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am ashamed to say I don't even know this oen! I must investigate.

1:38 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I don't know if it is in the States yet...but perhaps AP boutiques do have it already.

1:39 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Nothing wrong indeed! Fracas, Jasmin Full are all wonderful.

1:40 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you!
White florals are tricky, some unexpectedly work wonderfully well on me, like Fracas. Some overwhelm and nearly suffocate me, like DK Gold.

1:41 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I think you might like it. At least I don't think it has any characteristics that would make you dislike it. :-)

1:42 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sniffed Maitresse today, and thought 'This is a white floral', then shook myself and said 'Nah! AP don't do white florals!'. So thank you for rescuing me from note-detection failure. I actually liked this one rather a lot, although I couldn't really work out what's in it. I just got a general impression of warmth and comfort - it did seem like a comfort scent. The bottle surprised me too - the photo gave me the impression of an ivory bottle, but in fact it's gold! I do not like the name. Terrible concept...and it reads as 'Mattress' in my head anyway!

6:26 AM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

Oh, dear one, I thought that was YOU behind [barely!] the feather fan...
SOO disappointed...

10:17 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Apparently AP does white florals and does them quite well! :-) Yea, I see "Maitresse" and I read, "Mattress" :-)

10:33 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Haha, very funny. Yeah, I wish!

10:33 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is an undeniably lush fragrance--but not overpowering. The Chypre finish note saves it from being crazily overpowering. Rarely have I smelled something that on first sniff said to me "this is it," but AP Maitresse was exactly that for me. It is sexily chic--or chicly sexy, I haven't decided--far more subtle than, say, Fracas or Chanel's Gardenia. I picture the kind of woman who would wear a cashmere V neck over well-broken in jeans and a butter-soft leather trench during the day, bare shoulders and a beautifully cut dress with her own rea jewelry at night. Definitely for a woman with a well-developed sense of style and self.

3:40 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the best, most sexy perfume I have had the pleasure of smelling & wearing all year. I bought the gift set, with the free small cute purse size, bottle. I sprayed a little on my neck, & I was chatted up 3 times on the way home, that day. Lots of guys comment on it. I love it & the lingerie. 10 x's better than the previous perfume. Smells expensive & v sexy! The gift set looks awesome!Elena

6:54 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this perfume is divine! i just bought a bottle and am hooked....... line and sinker. you're right, it does smell expensive....... it is by all means a completely indulgent and empowering scent.

7:44 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You described the fragrance perfectly. I have to say, this perfume is IT for me. After a three year hunt for a signature fragrance that would give me some MOJO, I knew instantly Maitresse is what I had been searching for. I've never received so many compliments on how good I smell, or had so many men lean in a little closer... Hands down AP knows what they're doing when it comes to blending a sophisticated, provocative scent.

1:04 PM EDT  
Blogger rajahcat said...

I love this scent. It reminds me of a classic scent such as Chanel No. 5 only better. Sexier. I'm a hater of all of the silly girly fruity candy fragrances being marketed now to sixteen year olds by the better brand names. Every one of them is horrible. This is a grown up scent, sophisticated but sexy. I'm so glad I got this sample from Sephora and then purchased a bottle.

1:22 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually smells a bit like J'Adore with "sexy" instead of "sparkling" as it's introduction. Love it...

1:22 PM EST  

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