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I've always had a weakness for proper Hollywood glamour, and to me there are very few women in Hollywood these days who embody it; she may not be to everyone's taste but someone who I have often felt does still have a mixture of sexiness and class is Catherine Zeta-Jones, so when Elizabeth Arden launched a new perfume in 2004 with her fronting the campaign, I was instantly intrigued.
I'm so glad I was. I've held off writing this review because I want to do justice to a product that, since then, has not just become a favourite but has in fact become a part of my persona, and that has made me one of those lucky few women who not only think that still wearing perfume is a feminine luxury we should enjoy but also one who has found the scent that is absolutely perfect for her.
So, finally, here's my review of Provocative by Elizabeth Arden.
Originally called Provocative Woman, the scent seems now to just be referred to as Provocative. The original campaign featured Zeta-Jones in a corset-like dress with ribbons criss-crossing the front, a design that was reflected in the packaging the perfume bottles were, and are, sold in; a deep purple and black box with crossed rows of holographic reflective light blues, pinks and silvers.
The perfume is available in a range of sizes, the most commonplace being 30ml, 50ml and 100ml. There is a body lotion version available and it can be found in gift packages containing both.
Originally quite pricey, this can now be found in its 30ml form in places like Wilkinsons and QD for about £10, whilst various perfume websites stock it for slightly less and, if used via Quidco, you can even get cashback on such purchases. You can expect to pay about £40 for a 100ml bottle.
Ah, the bottle. Once you lift it out of the beautiful, eyecatching box you have a bottle that is tall, usually backed with dark purple but otherwise clear, although lately I've noticed that the 30ml bottles sometimes are clear throughout.
The back is straight and the bottle quite narrow, but the front is concave, sweeping from a wider base to a tiny thin waist, then the shoulders of the bottle are wider again, reflecting the reference to corsetry in the advertising and the female shape in its ideal form; a contemporary hourglass, maybe.
***WHAT THE PRODUCERS SAY***
According to elizabetharden.co.uk's product page:
"Seductive. Intoxicating. An intense fusion of tantalising Oriental ingredients combined with a sexy, magnetic floralcy.
Incites a new, exotic sensuality which magnetises the emotions with a bold seductive signature. Experience the ultimate fusion of desire and sensuality."
This product has top notes of quince, water lotus and ginger. Middle notes are midnight orchid, papaya blossom and pink freesia. The base is formed of white sand, red amber and Hinoki wood.
The fact that this has been largely my only perfume since 2004 tells you everything. But, scent is a strange thing. What is flawless for me and enticing, indeed provocative for me, may not first of all be to everyone's taste but also there may be some women out there who would love this on the scent alone but ultimately find out that it just does not work with their skin. So as with all perfume reviews this is a personal account of how I feel about this product.
The second I tested this scent, I loved it. It's deep and intricate without being heavy, it's glamorous without being cloying and the mix of the notes is sensational, spicy and oriental and extremely sexy without being obvious or clichéd. It is, to me, as sophisticated as the choice of woman used to advertise it, a scent that embraces all the best aspects of women who are aware of their beauty and individual character yet want to retain a sophisticated, glamorous air.
I am so lucky that this scent works on my skin. I love it and wear it virtually every day, and feel that if I want to be at my most confident then I have to have this on.
I have said in past reviews that I am not the most confident person but I see nothing wrong in needing to use make up and perfume to make yourself feel more together and ready for the world on a daily basis, so I always wear perfume, and whilst some might think it condescending or even sexist, I love getting compliments on this scent. More on that later.
First the practical stuff. This product lasts well and stays on the skin for some time. I sometimes carry a small version if I can find a genuine one on ebay, particularly if I am going for a night out. I find that if you are brave enough to wear a scent that has quite a lot of character during the day (I do feel this is light enough to do so though) by misting it around your body and clothes in the morning, you might want to add a top up to the pulse points if you're straight off for a night out after work.
Personally I feel that this is just light enough to wear throughout summer, although it comes into its own for me in winter, but then personally I always feel more glamorous in winter anyway, swathed in beautiful coats and luxurious scarves and cosied up to the one you love in a warm and welcoming countryside pub (as opposed to rammed under someone's armpit on the underground in August....sorry, but no perfume on earth can make you feel sexy in that scenario!).
Now to my personal experience of this. I have used this for virtually all of the years of my life in which I have dated or had relationships. I can say without fail that every chap I have dated (don't get me wrong, there haven't been epic amounts, but it has been nearly ten years!) has commented on this scent. They've all loved it, I've been told I smell beautiful by virtually all of them, one past boyfriend was so smitten with my signature perfume that he once caught a scent of it on the air where he worked, assumed it was me and whipped around, stopping himself short of hugging a complete - and quite alarmed - stranger!
Co-workers have commented on it, friends have said it completely embodies all my characteristics of Hollywood glamour and class, strangers have commented on how pleasant it is and one even said, after telling me that it was a lovely perfume, that it's a shame not enough women wear beautiful perfumes just to go to work any more. Again, you might find that sexist, instead I find it hugely complementary and I feel that it underlines that Elizabeth Arden achieved what they went out to do with this perfume; create something timeless yet modern, something that is sexy without being brazen and traditionally glamorous without being dated. I feel confident to wear this on a date or when meeting important people related to my work and wanting to seem polished and professional, and all along I feel that it is sufficiently feminine to be glamorous. It may be a very sensual scent but I enjoy wearing it for me as much as I do other people; it has become a part of my style and persona and I love it. Heaven help me if it is ever discontinued!
I love the spicy, oriental tones of this perfume, the fact that it manages a sweetness which makes it light enough to wear during the day without being in any way sickly; the notes balance each other beautifully and I have to say this is without doubt the most enticing, beautiful scent I have found - it is beautifully named in Provocative because to just call it "sexy" would be too cheap. This is glamorous, multilayered and manages to be playful, confident and seductive all at once, so the name suits it perfectly.
I hope this doesn't read like a biased rave review, but I cannot fault this product. From a cost perspective, when you can get 30ml of this product for less than £10, this has become the bargain perfume buy of recent years. It may not be everyone's cup of tea but then perfume is a very personal expression of personality and for me, this ticks every box and even enhances the personality aspects that I would like to be most confident about. If you prefer a light, sweet, citrus scent then it may not be for you, but for those who miss the elegant sensual glamour of classical Hollywood, you may find it's modern interpretation amongst these spicy, woody, lightly gingery notes.
Just don't tell everyone. I don't need too much competition!
I first came across this perfume whilst I was killing time in Cairo airport, Elizabeth Arden is not a brand I was hugely familiar with before I tried this scent and this was the first beauty product of hers I had purchased. The brand itself is very well renowned around the world and there is a huge collection of beauty products available. I always thought it was a more mature beauty range and possibly out of my price range however after having this perfume I soon changed my tune.
The perfume comes in a rich, velvety purple/black/silver coloured box, the colours fade into one another in diamond shapes down the length of the packaging. It is quite a subtle yet classy design with simple font in a silver colour across the top, middle and bottom of the box. The name Elizabeth Arden and perfume title Provocative Woman stand out against the deep and dark background.
The perfume bottle design is tall and thin, being approximately 20 cm tall and having a 4 cm width (100ml bottle) it is rectangular in shape. The crystal clear glass is very thick and chunky looking. From the front of this bottle it looks perfectly straight and rectangular, but from the side it has a flat back with a curved circular moulded shape much like someone pressed it against a rugby ball whilst molten. The bottle cap follows this curve but is made of a hard plastic, I presume so if you accidentally drop it it doesn't shatter. The perfume has a spray nozzle for application. On the back of the bottle down the length of the glass there is a block of deep purple/black colour that in keeps with the box and gives the perfume a more dramatic look.
The colour of the perfume is a very pale, slightly off yellow colour which doesn't sound particularly nice really I know! But with the darkened background you cannot really make out the colour. The smell of this perfume is what attracted me to it, I am not a huge fan of subtle and faint smelling scents in a perfume. This is just the right balance, not overly overpowering yet a strong presence. The scent is very floral but not with your usual ingredients and extracts that so many perfumes use. The fragrance contains;
Top Notes - Quince, Water Lotus and Ginger
Middle Notes - Midnight Orchid, Papaya Blossom and Pink Freesia
Base Notes - White Sand, Red Amber and Hinoki Wood
The aroma is bold and seductive, the chief elements I can smell in this perfume are the water lotus, orchid and freesia flowers which I suppose is because I am more used to these and can recognise them. The mix is very intoxicating and a great scent to wear of an evening. I would say this is more of a formal perfume than day wear as both the bottle and the smell suggest romantic and sexy occasions. I am not quite sure what white sand should actually smell like, but I am sure it adds to the richness of this perfume. There is a definite muskiness to the scent which add to its potency and sophistication.
I wouldn't say that this scent lasts long enough on the skin, on first application it is very intense and rich, but after a half hour or so of wear and this intensity fades which is slightly disappointing in my opinion. It is still present after a couple of hours but not nearly as impressive as it first was, which is why I am deducting one star off this perfume. It is recommended that you apply this perfume to the bends of elbows, back of knees, wrist, neck and cleavage for optimum coverage and longevity.
Boots prices for this perfume;
100ml - £40
50Ml - £30
30ml - £23
This is readily available on the high street as well as online.
--Where Beauty Begins--
Elizabeth Arden is a well known name in the beauty industry. Elizabeth Arden was born Florence Nightingale Graham and she established the American beauty industry 100 years ago. in 1910 she opened a salon in New York called the Red Door on Fifth Avenue. Now, the brand Elizabeth Arden produces a wide range of products including, skin care, cosmetics and of course fragrances. Elizabeth Arden was the first person to introduce eye-makeup to American women and was the inventor of the "makeover". 20 years later, Red Door Salons could be found in major cities around the world.
The box that the perfume bottle is housed in is in my opinion, very impressive and appealing. It consists of a black box with a hollographic design which crosses in various directions across and around the box which reminds me of ribbon. The design as a whole comes together to give a mysterious and seductive impression.
The bottle is rather an odd shape. It is constructed of thick clear in the and resembles a half moon shape when viewed from a certain angle. The design was inspired by the curve of a woman's back and is tall and slender which lends an air of sophistication and elegance. The back of the bottle is straight and is coated in a very deep purple colour which shows through the transparent glass. The lid is constructed from transparent plastic which when in place, continues with the shape of the bottle. The part that the perfume is sprayed from is chrome with the word "provocative" wrapped around it in capitals and this can been seen through the clear plastic lid.
Top notes: Quince, Water Lotus, Ginger
Heart notes: Midnight Orchid, Papaya Blossom, Pink Freesia
Base notes: White Sand, Red Amber, Hinoki wood
The fragrance is described as an oriental scent and is recommended for evening wear. To me the aroma is quite heavy and strong when first spritzed onto the skin. I would describe the scent as sweet and warm with a hint of musk and the floral and fruity notes are very much present. As the scent is quite a sweet woody fragrance I will also agree that this scent is best suited for evenings out and special occasions. This is a delightful fragrance and one that I feel would appeal to many women regardless of age. It is warm and inviting and rather a sensual, sexy scent as the name suggests. It's a firm favourite of mine.
--Price and Availability--
As you might expect, due to the popularity of this brand, this product is widely available on the highstreet and also online and is available in 30ml, 50ml and 100ml sizes.
As a guide to prices I have included the following:
30ml - £10.20
50ml - £14.40
100ml - £17.85
In my opinion the prices above all from www.cheapsmells.co.uk are absolutely outrageous for such a lovely, great quality fragrance. This is also an Eau de Parfum which makes it even better value for money as these seem to last a lot longer on the skin compared to an Eau de Toilette.
**Also on Ciao under the same username**
****Elizabeth Arden: Provocative Woman ****
My friend received this for Christmas but since she hated it she have me the full bottle for free!!! I wasnt sure if i would like it because we tend to like the same perfumes but no point letting it got to waste.
Generally perfumes are the only things i like from Elizabeth Arden and they always tend to be nice smelling and long lasting. You can also buy cosmetics and they have the 8 hour range which i love the results of but cant stand the smell off.
I thought the bottle design was very sleek and modern looking. It has a very "grown up" look both in design and colour-no pinks or girlie shapes here!!It is tall and has a slight curve down one side.
Again i would describe the scent as being more "grown up" The reason i say that as it doesn't have a floral smell to it and its not that light - both things that perfumes such as curious have. This has a more sophisticated,oriental smell to it. I really like this as it is not too overpowering and because it also isn't that common. This includes notes on midnight orchid(in midnight fantasy?),papaya blossom,pink freesia,water lotus and white sand. The overall smell is quite sweet and i would say that this would make a great perfume for a special occasion.
Reasons For Purchasing:
To me this is a beautiful oriental type fragrance, that I bought for myself online just before Christmas. It was advertised for sale, on a regular website I visit and for it's price, I thought it was very good, compared to what my local store was charging for it. I had purchased this perfume for a gift for my Daughter for Christmas, but when I tried it out for the first time, I was so taken with it's very unique and fresh fragrance, that I actually kept it for myself. I love trying new perfumes and toilet sprays when they are first released and of course I had never tried this one before and when I did I was very impressed. It is a lovely new fragrance, that I now own and enjoy wearing. It is not top of my favorites lists, but it is postioned high. It's a great fragrance that lasts well and gets complimented on highly by others when I wear it.
This Elizabeth Arden Eau De Parfum Spray comes in a lovely little gift box that is really nicely designed and very eye catching. It is a beautiful Lilac color, that really stands out well and has a lovely lace design of etched flowers going up both sides of the gift box. It has the name Elizabeth Arden and Provocative Interlude Eau De Parfum Spray nicely printed onto it. It also has the size this perfume bottle is, which is 1.7 fl. oz printed onto it also. Overall it really is a lovely gift box the Elizabeth Arden Provocative Eau De Parfum Spray comes in and it compliments the perfume bottle very well indeed. It would make a lovely gift to give to friends, as it really is very pretty and very feminine in my opinion.
Design Of Bottle:
The bottle this Elizabeth Arden Provocative Eau De Parfum Spray comes in is really nice. It is some what different to the many other perfume bottles I have. I think a well designed bottle is very important to a perfume and it certainly is one of the reasons why I am drawn to it. Well this bottle did catch my eye and I am really pleased it did because of the great smelling fragrance inside. It is a very slim and elegant looking bottle that curves slightly upwards. It is made of clear glass with a beautiful etching of lilac lace with a flower pattern, that really is beautifully designed and placed perfectly onto it. The lace design really sets this bottle off a lot in my opinion and the vivid lilac color makes it stand out well. The little lid is made of heavy glass and is also nicely designed to finish of this bottles great apearance. The overall design of this perfume bottle is really lovely and very eye catching indeed. It also looks really great on my little glass shelf in my bathroom.
The perfume spray in this bottle is a pump action one. I am not overly keen on them though, as I find that they are not as good, as other designs, as they are harder to press and accurately spray. This one is not too bad though and seems to spray out just the right amount of perfume each time I use it, without wasting a lot of the spray. It is a lovely purple color spray that compliments the bottles overall design. It pumps down with a few pumps and this can be done quite easily. It has a little clear plastic top that fits serculey over the top of the pump, which is good, incase you accidently hit it by mistake and waste the perfume inside. Overall a good spray action pump that works very well.
Fragrance Of Elizabeth Arden Provocative Parfum:
On first ever trying out this fragrance I really was very inticed by it. It is very unique and very fresh smelling indeed. It really is not an overpowering scent at all, and I find it is a perfect strength and not weak. It reminds me of an oriental type of fragrance, that is gently spiced and some what fruity. All of the different blends and notes in it are very perfectly mixed together to create a very beautiful, and unique fragrance indeed. It really is a lovely fragrance that I really love and it is not too flowery a smell that I hate in a perfume. It is just perfect in all it's blends. There is plenty of notes in this perfume, and they work well together and are carefully chosen.
To me the top notes are a great blend and I find the wild berrries are what gives it it's fruity fragrance and the one the stands out the most to the overall fragrance in this perfume in my opinion. They have been choosen well and really compliment each others fragrance perfectly. A great selection of top notes overall in this fragrance that I love.
*Sunset Orchid Accord.
*Velvety Rose Petals.
To me I can really smell a tint of mango from this perfume, but the best middle note is the rose petals which really do give this perfume a very soft flowery scent, that is really nice, but does not overpower all the blends included. I am not keen on strong rose fragrances in a perfume, but this is just a perfect included note that is very fresh and noticed in the overall fragrance.
*White Chocolate Accord.
I love the fragrance of musk in any perfume and to me, the best scented perfumes always seem to contain it. I think it is a lovely fresh unique fragrance, that you can recognise straight away and in this perfume overall, you can smell a slight tint of it. These really are three great base notes that compliments everything in this perfume nicely.
Strength And Longevity Of Fragrance:
Elizabeth Arden Provocative Eau De Parfum Sprays overall strength is a perfect one. It certainly is not over powering at all. It is not weak either and I can still smell this fragrance hours after first using it on my skin. The perfume also lasts very well and does not seem to fade away too much like many others can do. To me it is just perfect in strength and lasts for hours after first applying it.
Overall Opinion Of Fragrance:
My overall opinion of this fragrance is a good one. I personally love the unique, seductive fragrance this Elizabeth Arden Provocative has. It really is a very unique blend of notes that work well in creating the overall fragrance. This perfume has got me lots of great compliments, the few times I have worn it. One of my friends wanted me to write down the name of it, so she could buy it for herself, as she liked it so much. My husband even remarked on it's fresh fragrance also and said it was great and that also he really liked it. I personally love this fragrance and it is good for evening and everyday wear, as I find the fragrance lasts, well, it's scent is not over powering and it really is a very pleasant and really fresh aroma around me when ever I have it on.
Overall Conclusion Of This Perfume:
Overall this is a great perfume, I really am pleased I bought. The bottle is very pretty and stands out well and even it's little gift box looks great. The fragrance it's self is really lovely and it certainly is not that strong or over powering to me. All of the blends really work well in this fragrance and nothing stands out too much to ruin it. I find this perfume assures me confidence, when ever I wear it and makes me feel great. It really is a very oriental and luring perfume in my opinion and certainly gets you noticed. It really is a very feminine fragrance that the men do seem to love, from personal experiences of wearing it. The price of this perfume is really great value at the moment and it's a lot cheaper than what I paid for it before Christmas. I would recommend this Elizabeth Arden Provocative Parfum Spray for all women to try out, as I find it is liked by friends I have, from all age groups. Everyone seems to love the fragrance, including myself and it's a great little perfume I am pleased with overall.
(Also published by me @ Ciao.com under the same name hildas)
Bought this gift set with comes with the body lotion as well. The bottle is attractive and gives an easy grip as the same time. I bought this scent mostly because I have read recommendations in a forum where they have carried out surveys to test different scent and this one comes as highly preferred by most men they tested on and I'm not wrong, I use it on a daily basis and have received nice compliments from it, it might comes across too powerful to begin with but it does wear off quickly which is one of the negative side consider it is Eau de Parfum which suppose to last longer and stronger than Eau de Toilette. I would say that this definitely suits for a more mature lady with elegance and femininity, a better buy will be the gift set as it comes with a big body lotion which should prolong the scent when use together.
Provocative Woman by Elizabeth Arden is certainly one of her best perfumes. It has a warm, musky kind of smell so I would think it would be better for evening and winter wear but it smells really nice. Mine was a small bottle that came as a free gift with something else I bought on ebay so I didn't actually pay for it but price seems to vary alot from place to place. I actually intended to give mine away but one smell and I knew it wasn't going to happen! The bottle is a lovely shape and looks very attractive but is prone to falling over because of it's shape. You don't need much either so it will last a long time, just a quick couple of squirts is enough to keep the fragrance for hours. It's not really floral and the musky smell isn't pronounced so it's hard to describe the scent exactly but sandalwood springs to mind. It's certainly worth trying one of the 10ml bottles to see if you like it.
Having received this perfume as a gift, I wasn't really sure whether to review it. However, I will be as critical as usual as I'm sure is fair. It is my first perfume review & to be honest, although I seem to have acquired a large number of perfumes recently (mostly gifts) I've never been very good at the girly stuff like cosmetics. To tell the truth I don't even know which brands are most or least expensive, good quality or classy! Instead I will share with you my experience of this perfume as best I can describe it without those 'technicalities'.
Packaging & appearance
The bottle has a very up-to-date look to it, tall & slender like the current trend restaurant glasses. It's flaw is that like those glasses, this does in fact make it that much more prone to toppling over. I have a tendency to keeping my perfume bottles in their boxes as my mum once told me the sunlight & warmth will spoilt the scent, so this keeps it fairly safe & protected, but if left out, it is not one to leave near the edge of a surface or where it may get knocked over. The box itself is actually quite decorated, with holograms shaped as diamonds along the front. They actually look quite tacky.
The bottle is a little fiddly to get out of the box... note to self: do not turn box upside-down, shake hard & tap the end to get bottle out when aimed at floor. Once out of its box, the lid is big & chunky, so easily removed. The bottle has one flat end & one concave curved end. This probably fools the eye into thinking there is more in the bottle. Once the lid is off, the whole bottle looks a lot smaller. It is a typical spray perfume, with a silver button.
As the name "Provocative Woman" suggests, this fragrance does attempt to be different & bring out the sexiness of the woman wearing it. For some, the strength & style of the fragrance may have made the perfume itself seem quite tacky. It hits you hard when you first spray it. I also found that the spray itself lets out too much of the perfume, so that the bottle probably will not last me long (I haven't used it enough to say so - I use it very rarely, but I expect to use it fewer times than other bottles of perfume of the same size before it runs out).
To be honest, when I first tried the fragrance I actually quite liked it. It has a deep, spicy, sexy tone with a slightly fruity feel to it. In this sense it does reflect its name fairly well. It even reminds me of incense sticks a little! I suppose it is fair to say that if you do not like incense you won't like this but thankfully for me I find that quite pleasant & harmonious now & then. It also fits in well with other Elizabeth Arden perfumes, but I do not really normally wear this kind of thing as it is just not my style.
In smaller doses, I do not find it tacky at all, in fact it has that upmarket scent to it. Unlike the shape of the bottle, however, it smells quite old-fashioned (not sure how to explain that but hope the girls will understand!). I think it is aimed at a slightly older age group to myself, but I would still happily wear it. I think this fragrance is best suited for the evenings & can be worn at parties or special occasions. It is a very overpowering smell so not one for needing top-ups. It lasts reasonably well so you probably could wear it out clubbing etc too if you are nearer my age group & like this kind of thing.
I haven't really seen this perfume much in high street stores recently. Obviously as I received this as a gift I cannot say what was paid for it & whether it was really worth it. I've had a look online for the perfume & it seems to be typically available for around £15. Amazon currently has it on offer for just over £8. Personally because I tend to be incredibly fussy with spending on perfumes etc. & this kind of perfume is not really my style I would not have bought it given the option. I don't find the quality to be poor but it is just not my kind of perfume, so I would try it, maybe use it occasionally but not invest money in it.
I can't really say one way or the other whether this is really the perfume for you as perfumes are quite a personal thing. Quite frankly, I think you have to try before you buy, but hopefully at least my opinion might give you an idea of whether it is going to be on your shortlist. I am only in my twenties & I think most people younger or in my age group will not be particularly keen on this one. I would probably only say below that I recommend the perfume everyone I know that has tried it liked it & I'm fairly sure most people would. This is not the case for this one, so I will not be recommending it, but this is not to say that everyone will not like it!
(I have written this review on Ciao as well.)
Seductive and intoxicating. Every woman's dream is to provoke an emotion. Elizabeth Arden Provocative Woman arouses emotions and provokes desire. It brings out the side of a woman that is always present but not always seen. The fragrance is an intense combination of tantalising Oriental ingredients combined with an alluring floral. Top notes include water lotus, quince, and ginger lily. The heart is composed of midnight orchid, papaya blossom and pink freesia. Base notes of Hinoki wood and red amber.