Thierry Mugler Womanity : Perfume Review


Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Whether fashion or fragrance, Thierry Mugler is among the most avant-garde designers, capable of creating unique and memorable experiences. Consider this one fact—while most new launches wilt as soon as they hit the counter, Angel has maintained a strong following and a top position in the market for more than a decade. Even the numerous Angel clones could not undermine its allure. Of course, such success is extremely difficult to replicate, as Alien proved quite patently. Womanity is the newest release from Mugler, a pink potion that tries “to encompass energy, tenderness, and sophistication at the same time.”

The composition of Womanity is based on the contrast between the sweet fig flesh and the salty caviar, which the house describes as the new savory gourmand concept. The crisp, effervescent opening of the composition leads straight into this accord. If the fig is a strong player, suave, velvety and jammy without being cloying, the caviar makes itself evident only as a salty, marine effect. I first smelled Womanity blindly, and I could definitely notice a subtle salty facet, but frankly, I would be hard pressed to identify caviar as such. In fact, I wished I could earlier versions of this fragrance, because the salty note is so alluring. As it is, caviar is merely a tease.

While the fig-caviar contrast is interesting enough, for me, the beauty of Womanity is in its splendid woody base. The incense richness of labdanum wrapped around a green woody fig leaf rendition and cedarwood produces a sensual, smoldering finish. Set against the fruity fig, it strikes me as especially opulent. It also evokes the richness of absinthe, bringing to mind another Mugler creation I admire, À Travers le Miroir.

Womanity is built on the idea of surprise that Angel explored well: icy blue juices and star shaped bottle usually lead one to expect Cool Water, not a high voltage gourmand blend. Likewise, a pretty pink Womanity is no wallflower—it is dramatic, intense and opulent. It has a gorgeous sillage, which draws lots of compliments. While comparisons with Angel are inevitable, it is too early to draw conclusions. Yet, I cannot help wishing for a more polarizing blend, for more punch, more surprise, more risk. Perhaps, this is the tall order, but I know that Thierry Mugler can do it.

Thierry Mugler Womanity launches August 2010 at Bloomingdale’s, October 2010 at Nordstrom and at Thierry Mugler online boutique (this and quoted information is from Clarins press release.)

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  • sweetlife: Oh all right, enough with the smoldering finish, I’ll go try it…

    I love the way you cheer Mugler along in your final sentence, V. We know they can do it! They just have to put their minds (and their wallets) to it! July 20, 2010 at 4:26pm Reply

  • Carla: Thank you for this review. Your reviews are so beautifully written. “Savory Gourmand” is certainly an interesting concept. I haven’t seen any signs of Womanity here in Hamburg, Germany, and I just stopped by the local Douglas perfume chain store an hour ago. Is it launching in the US first? July 21, 2010 at 8:24am Reply

  • Boisdejasmin: A, yes, I’m curious about your opinion on it. Personally, I enjoy it very much. From a critical standpoint, it could have taken more risk. Who else if not Mugler? Clarins, the parent company, do not market test for one thing, which is already a huge plus. July 21, 2010 at 2:43pm Reply

  • Boisdejasmin: Carla, thank you. I think that it is launching in the US first and then in Europe. It is only starting to appear here, I have seen testers in stores already. July 21, 2010 at 2:44pm Reply

  • violetnoir: Ooh! So happy you are posting, V. I missed you.

    I will definitely try this when I see it, but I have to admit I am not dying to try it. Maybe it’s the name, or the caviar note, but all of the hype smacks of Clarins trying just a bit too much to sell this fragrance to us.

    Hugs! July 21, 2010 at 11:44pm Reply

  • Boisdejasmin: R, nice to see you! :))
    Yes, hype is a necessary ingredient for every big launch and with the 900 yearly launches, the companies better be trying hard to sell their new perfumes. I cannot even keep up with all of the new things anymore. July 22, 2010 at 2:08pm Reply

  • Lavanya: This sounds very interesting, V (and so glad that you are back!). I am intrigued by the sweet and savory concept- I love that in food too..:). I’ve been loving saltiness in perfume (I call Silver Factory ‘salty’- is that what you mean by salty too?). July 22, 2010 at 5:16pm Reply

  • Boisdejasmin: Lavanya, I love that in food too, which is why I love Persian food so much–the combination of meat and fruit is delectable.
    Womanity is salty like seaweed or beach rocks, that kind of effect, not metallic or overly mineral. Very pleasant note. July 23, 2010 at 7:05pm Reply

  • Ali: Your description of this fragrance is intriguing but I’m not sure that I would want to wear anything that has any semblance to fish (caviar). I am anxious to smell this scent for myself. If hype won’t get people through the doors, curiosity will! Great review. :) July 25, 2010 at 6:34pm Reply

  • ScentScelf: Salty is something that makes me happy…and you clearing up just how much “caviar” defines the salt makes me happy, too. Thanks for that.

    I am intrigued enough to give it a trial when it makes it to a store near me. I am trying to recognize that something may work in a perfectly nice way, even if it does not bring a “punch” or grand suprise.

    Say, maybe your encouragement could lead to the more challenging version, a flanker. (Of course, I say that, and immediately grow playful, wanting to call it something like “Womanity: Whalloped by a Tentacle.” I am coarse…like sea salt? :) )

    Always delightful to find a post from you, V. July 26, 2010 at 8:14am Reply

  • Perfume24: Oh, Im so happy for this posting.
    I will definitely try this when I see it.

    Thank you so much! August 6, 2010 at 2:10pm Reply

  • Perfume24: NICe!!
    Hope I can get some of this stuff. I will!.
    The reviews are beautiful. I enjoyed reading it. August 11, 2010 at 1:02pm Reply

  • Marlene: I have such a different impression of this fragrance.

    Maybe a tinge of salt-sweet, then a blast of hot melting cheap fruit candy in the sun. Not nice, not subtle. The sweet candy get worse and worse.

    I adore this Blade Runner retro-futuristic bottle, but this fragrance should be in a round pink bottle with flowers and candy hearts on it. The women in the ad can’t possibly want to smell like this. They’re all about 10 years older than the 14 year old who would like this. April 16, 2011 at 12:30pm Reply

  • Barcares: Victoria, your reviews are always so beautuful and poetic and for last few months that I discovered your site, I silently admired you and you’ve been my true guide to the world of perfume. Thank you for that!
    And being, as usual, blown away by your perfect review, I rushed to Inno this lunch and sprayed my right palm with womanity…oh, Gosh… yes, I know I had to wait, so, I did, but being hungry and smelling this scent didn’t agree at all! yes, I was trying to recall your saying about “not staying in comfort zone”, but it wouldn’t help!
    Once a while ago I forgot to eat in time a can of salmon eggs, so, a “red caviar”. I still hoped for the best, so, I opened the can and put my nose there straight away… it was rotten. I still remember the smell. And that was the one I got on my right palm after spraying it with womanity…
    even after washing my hand with cheap soap available at the office, I still have it so distinctively, that my day is nearly ruined, since my nose is blocking every tought.
    So, bottom line, it might be a very good perfume, but far for everybody… May 8, 2013 at 9:11am Reply

    • Victoria: Urgh, I hate that. I’ve had similar experiences with some perfumes (when you expect something delicious and get a blast of something awful), so I can sympathize.

      Hope that I lead you to something better next time. :) May 14, 2013 at 3:35am Reply

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