Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Thierry Mugler A*Men

Right after my last semester ended, I reread Perfumes: The Guide from Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez, a book that details almost every single fragrance currently on the market and gives a background on many of the large perfume houses and the science behind the making of the fragrances.  In addition to providing lots of information on fragrance, the book also makes recommendations of what the authors feel are some of the best crafted fragrances.  One of their choices as the best crafted fragrances is the Angel line from Thierry Mugler, they recommend all of the fragrances in the line including the mens ' version of the fragrance.  That fragrance is recommended for both genders, a fact that surprised me and made me want to out a mens fragrance on my skin.

I have never tried to wear a mens fragrance before, I know many women that love mens or unisex fragrances but I have always preferred girly floral scents, none of which smell anything like I would imagine a man wearing.  The Angel line of fragrances are considered to be gourmands, so I thought that this one might be a fragrance that would work for me also.  The mens's version contains all fo the gourmand notes in the original version but lightens it up a bit with mint and lavender notes.  I was seeing this as a lighter, easier to wear version of Angel. 

I love the description that is given in Perfumes: The Guide so we will start with this and then go into the actual fragrance description and notes from the Sephora website.  From Perfumes: The Guide; "Angel was at once the inspiration for dozens of perfumes and a devilishly hard act to follow.  To this day, of all the progeny only three stand out: Lolita Lempicka, Angel Innocent, and A*Men.  The dissonance at the heart of the original lay between the floral base and the remainder of the fragrance, a chocolate oriental.  This irreconcilable difference, this clash at a crossroads between two marching bands playing different tunes, was what made Angel unforgettably great.  Jacques Huclier has managed to reinterpret that effect brilliantly.  Instead of flowers, he gives one band a herbaceous lavender-mint chord brightened by aldehydes.  In the other, he reinforces the roasted section with caramel, coffee, and tar.  The result, while much less radiant than Angel (thank God for that), has the same wonderful, simultaneously poisonous and delicious eat-me-and-die feel as the original.  Hard to imagine on a guy, but a great feminine."

The official fragrance description from Sephora, "Angel Men, the first perfume for men by Thierry Mugler, offers an unexpected shock or woody and fiery notes.  When creating Angel Men, Thierry Mugler was inspired by a vision of an imaginary hero moving through a legendary universe in which the past, present, and future merge."  The notes of the fragrance are: Lavender, Bergamot, Helional, Aldehydes, Peppermint, Roasted Coffee, Patchouli, Caramel, Tonka Bean, Tar, Musk, Vanilla, Chocolate.

This fragrance was not quite what I had in mind, my body chemistry was at odds with this scent.  The first spary of it produced the strong lavender scent and then went right into the chocolate notes.  It was ok at first but as soon as the coffee, tonka bean, and tar notes began to develop, the fragrance became very strong on my skin and completely changed.  The coffee and tar notes really stood out and made the fragrance nauseating on me, one of my friends couldn't even stand next to me after I applied it.  I don't know if mens' fragrance are stronger in general or if the fragrances from this designer are very strong in general (the traditional Angel is) but this one was so strong that I couldn't breathe around it.  This fragrance was too masculine for me, but I imagine that it would be too feminine on most men, this is a fragrance that doesn't really fit into the traditional fragrance mold and therefore is among one of the hardest to wear.  This isn't a fragrance that works with my chemistry but I would lovely to smell someone who can wear it well!

photo courtesy of Sephora

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