Thierry Mugler A Travers le Miroir : Perfume Review


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

Smelling and dismissing one new launch after the next, I start to worry that I am becoming jaded. It is even more depressing when it comes to reviewing, because unless a strong emotion stirs me, it is difficult to find inspiration for writing during my morning train ride. I would rather catch up on my sleep. Thankfully, there do exist new fragrances that manage to awake me from my literal and figurative slumber. Since I smelled À Travers le Miroir from the new Thierry Mugler Miroir Miroir collection a couple of months ago, it has been on my mind. Therefore, I decided to return to it for a closer look. …

Created by a young Mane perfumer Alexis Dadier, À Travers le Miroir means Through the Looking Glass, in reference to Lewis Carroll’s tale. It is rich, herbal, bitter, resinous and heady—quite a surprising mélange. The bright green absinthe notes confirm my discovery that the scent of this intoxicating drink shares a lot in common with the aroma of cherry leaves. For instance, that same tangy crushed stem and sugary sap note fills my mouth whenever I bite into sakura mochi, Japanese cherry leaf wrapped rice cakes.

On the blotter, the white floral notes—unctuous tuberose, fruity jasmine—dominate the composition, but on my skin, À Travers le Miroir dons a retro aura. Its dark balsamic notes set against the woody base produce an interesting chypre like effect, although classical chypre it is not. It is not a quintessentially feminine fragrance, despite its tuberose presence, and in fact, as a masculine À Travers le Miroir is very successful (albeit less dramatic.) I would pair it with a gauzy silk dress and red lipstick, since after all, playing up the contrasts makes for more excitement.

While the presence of an absinthe note would first lead to a comparison with L’Artisan Fou d’Absinthe or Victorie Gobin-Daudé Biche dans L’Absinthe (I still mourn its disappearance,) À Travers le Miroir is softer, sweeter and decidedly more feminine. Thierry À Travers le Miroir and the rest of the Miroir Miroir collection (Dis-Moi, Miroir, Miroir des Envies, Miroir des Secrets, Miroir des Vanités) is available from Saks 5th Avenue. I was less thrilled with others from the collection, although Miroir des Envies is another fragrance that I found to be unique and memorable.

Image from L’Express. If you read French, I highly recommend the accompanying article by Maïté Turonnet.



  • Robin: Am I allowed my old standard comment — would I like it? I have so far not bothered with these, since Saks is too far a drive for someone as lazy as I am. April 29, 2008 at 10:52pm Reply

  • k-amber: I have heard the following and wondered the authenticity of that: Sakuramochi is flavored with an extract of its leaves, that is coumarin which is also derived from tonka beans. Is it correct? Coumarin can be lethal in large doses, right? Whenever I eat Sakuramochi I think about it.

    Kaori April 29, 2008 at 9:42pm Reply

  • violetnoir: I agree with Robin, V.

    I love your thoughtful reviews, but something about this line makes me tired. Maybe the names of the fragrances are just too confusing (and not descriptive enough) for my addled brain!

    Hugs! April 30, 2008 at 12:02pm Reply

  • Marina: I think I liked Miroir des Envies the most. Although I might be thinking of another Miroir. My mind is definitely in slumber, literally and figuratively 🙂 April 30, 2008 at 10:21am Reply

  • Boisdejasmin: Kaori, it is true that the cherry leaves contain it. In large doses, coumarin can be poisonous, but in small, it should not have an effect. Unless one is on blood thinners, I would probably not worry. Plus, I would guess that sakuramochi contain very little coumarin, but of course, it might vary brand by brand. The local Japanese confectionary carries various wagashi directly from Kyoto, and the mochi come wrapped in salted cherry leaves. Frankly, even if I wanted to overindulge, by the time I get there, someone manages to buy all but 1 or 2! April 30, 2008 at 10:25am Reply

  • Boisdejasmin: R, you might. I now do not remember what you think of absinthe. It is fairly dominant here. April 30, 2008 at 11:39am Reply

  • Boisdejasmin: M, I keep confusing them myself! And yes, slumber is my companion too. 🙂 April 30, 2008 at 11:45am Reply

  • Peter: I must have missed it at my Saks. This one sounds interesting enough to return. Thanks for reviewing again. May 1, 2008 at 9:07am Reply

  • Boisdejasmin: R, they are worth trying. Another thing I forgot to mention is gorgeous packaging. I would love to have these just for the mirrored boxes alone. May 1, 2008 at 7:07am Reply

  • Boisdejasmin: Peter, you are welcome. I would be curious to hear what you think. May 2, 2008 at 9:39am Reply

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