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.)