thierry mugler: 8 posts

Sugar Free

If you’ve been asking yourself why so many fragrances are sweet these days, then you are not alone. Even non-gourmand blends are getting sweeter, be they floral or woods. In my latest column in the FT magazine, Six Sugar-Free Perfumes, I explore various options that veer away from sweetness.

“Why does every perfume turn so sweet on me?” complained a friend, sparking a mission to find her a fragrance that didn’t have caramel, chocolate or other patisserie notes. With the success of Thierry Mugler’s Angel and other popular gourmands, perfumes have been growing sweeter and more edible over the years. While only recently a cotton candy accord of Lancôme’s La Vie est Belle would have been considered more suitable for pudding than perfume, today it’s a new benchmark. Our appetite for sugar seems to have found a parallel in the olfactory realm, and every season there are more perfumes promising to replicate famous desserts from crème brûlée to apple pie. To continue reading, please click here.

What other non-sweet perfumes can you recommend, for men and women?

Photography via FT HTSI

Thierry Mugler Angel Muse : Perfume Review

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Elisa on the Angel tribe and Angel Muse.

To my mind, the original Thierry Mugler Angel is pretty much unimproveable. Nevertheless, I enjoy almost all of its many flankers and spin-offs too. It’s like one of those great songs whose greatness is preserved in multiple cover versions. (“Wild Horses” and “Landslide” spring to mind.)

The latest version of Angel, Angel Muse, was billed in the ad campaign as “the new fragrance you will hate to love.” I’m pleased that the folks at Mugler have embraced Angel’s inherent divisiveness and want to nurture, rather than overwrite, that reputation. After all, is there any perfume from the past 30 years that inspires such strong love-it-or-hate-it reactions? I do, in a sense, hate to love it, since it’s so unpopular and so recognizable I wouldn’t really feel comfortable wearing it, say, to work or on an airplane, and I wear it most often at home.

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Thierry Mugler Oriental Express : Perfume Review

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What happens if you take iris, a note from the cool spectrum of a perfumer’s palette, and make it dark, smoky and sweet? The result is a new take on the oriental fragrance family, with lots of surprises. This is exactly what Thierry Mugler’s Oriental Express accomplishes.  A part of Thierry Mugler’s Les Exceptions collection, which also includes Chyprissime, Supra Floral, Fougère Furieuse, and Over The Musk, Oriental Express is a twist on the traditional theme. The idea behind the collection is to offer modern, novel interpretations of classical fragrance families.

Thierry Mugler

Easier said than done, especially in the case of the so-called oriental family. Loaded with balsams, sandalwood, vanilla, and incense, the oriental compositions have a very strong character, and to offer something new and different, yet still classical, requires unconventional choices. To solve this dilemma, perfumers Jean-Christophe Hérault and Olivier Polge took the direction of Shalimar.

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Thierry Mugler Angel : Perfume Review and Fragrance Poll

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Angel

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

I generally try to steer clear of too much hyperbole, but in the case of Angel, every hyperbole describes it perfectly. The most polarizing, the most memorable, the most dramatic, the most grotesque… Angel, created for Thierry Mugler in 1992, is one of the great perfume success stories of the last two decades. Its introduction on the market is also an interesting case study into what it takes to make a classic: quality juice, a strong character, a memorable signature and also time. Today, most brands go for the quick sell, releasing fragrances that are bland and derivative; the new launches are rarely given time to take hold in the market place. Angel was not a runaway success; it took three years of constant support from Thierry Mugler and its parent company, Clarins, for this fragrance to start topping the best seller lists. And the rest is history!

What follows is not so much my standard perfume review, but rather an exploration of how this fragrancew came about and what makes it unusual. In the end, I share some of my favorites among Angel offspring, including some fragrance that I find fantastic but that fared quite badly on the market. I also would love to hear your thoughts on Angel, positive and negative.

Angel: New Gourmand Fragrance Genre

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Thierry Mugler Womanity : Perfume Review

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womanity

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.”

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