Product Type: Elizabeth Arden fragrances
Newest Review: ... 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 ... more
A Tribute To Hollywood Glamour
Elizabeth Arden Provocative Woman Eau de Parfum
Member Name: missrarr
Elizabeth Arden Provocative Woman Eau de Parfum
Advantages: A beautiful, indulgent, hedonistic yet daily-wear perfume full of glamour
Disadvantages: None whatsoever, provided it suits your skin and senses!
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!
Summary: A perfume I will never tire of and will use as long as I can