Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thierry Mugler Angel

All of us have fragrances that we want to love and will try on several times in an attempt to fall in love with the fragrance.  Sometimes it is hearing a million great reviews on a fragrance and sometimes it has to do with loving the brand that makes the fragrance and wanting to add their newest one to your collection.  The first try of the fragrance doesn't work well and we refuse to give us.  Personally, I give a fragrance three tests before I really decide what I think on it.  I rarely find a fragrance that I fall in love with on first wear (Versace Yellow Diamond and Stella McCartney are exceptions to my rule) and visit Sephora several times to keep testing the same fragrance.  Gone are the days where I try something and then take it right up to the register, I had made way too many of those rookie mistakes when I was younger and still have a shelf full of fragrances from that time.  I have to really love a fragrance now before I can add it to my huge collection and will test it many times before I make my decisions.

I have been trying to love Thierry Mugler's Angel for several years now, I first tried it back in college and preferred Angel Innocent to the original version.  I then tried the men's version about a year and a half ago and this was a dismal failure for me.  I then decided that I wanted to try Angel yet again and see if anything has changed.  I was obsessed with liking this fragrance when I read about it in the Perfumes: The Guide book by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez.  This is one of the few scents in this book that received five stars and is considered one of the most original scents on the market.  I wanted a unique fragrance for the cold weather and this is one that I was determined to like.  Angel was equally as determined to not like me...

Here is the review of the fragrance from Perfumes: The Guide, this review was written by Tania Sanchez. 

"The first time I smelled Angel, a flamboyant six-foot-three salesman with the shoulders of a linebacker encased in a baby blue zoot suit leaned over the counter and sprayed me.  I recoiled.  'Is this a joke?' I thought of it, for years, as possibly the worst thing I had ever smelled.  I suffered then from the naïve belief that women should smell only like flowers or candy; yet Angel, perversely, smells of both, with the same relation to your average sweet floral as the ten-story-high demonic Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters has to your average fireside toasted sweet."

"In that sense, Angel certainly is a joke.  Countless perfumes have copied parts of it (for a sample, see Euphoria, Flowerbomb, and Prada), but they mistakenly play it straight.  Although Angel is sold as a gourmand for girls, spoken of as if it were a fudge-dipped berry in a confectioner's shop, it's all lies.  Look for Angel's Adam's apple: a handsome, resinous, woody patchouli straight out of the pipes-and-leather-slippers realm of men's fragrance, in a head-on collision with a bold black currant (Neocaspirene) and a screechy white floral.  These two halves, masculine and feminine, share a camphoraceous, icy brightness above its overripe (some say 'rotting') rumble.  The effect kills the possibility of cloying sweetness, despite megadoses of the cotton candy smell of ethylmaltol, leaving Angel in a high-energy state of contradiction.  Many perfumes are beautiful or pleasant, but how many are exciting?  Like a woman in a film who seethes, 'He's so annoying!' and marries him in the end, I returned to smell Angel so many times I had to buy it."

"When this striking idea proved a hit, it gave perfumers hope that, as once was done with Chypre, they could mask this structure a thousand different ways to create new effects.  It doesn't really work, though not for lack of trying.  The fruity chypres, leather chypres, floral chypres, green chypres, and so on, smell very different.  But the Angel format, combination of masculine and feminine, in nearly all cases still smells like Angel no matter what you use from columns A and B.  Don't fuss with pretenders.  Buy the perverse, brilliant original, but wear it only if you know how to sell the joke properly."

I will counter Sanchez's review with a product description and fragrance notes from Sephora.  "Angel, the first perfume by Thierry Mugler, evokes the emotion of tender childhood memories together with a sense of dreamlike infinity.  Angel, which launched a new fragrance category called the "oriental gourmands," seduces us with angelic flavors found deep within the heart of our memories, as well as sensual and passionate notes."

The notes are: Bergamot, Hedione, Helional, Honey, Dewberry, Red Berries, Vanilla, Caramel, Patchouli, Chocolate, Coumarin.
I wanted to love this fragrance and I used the tester over and over again in attempt to make this fragrance work with my skin chemistry.  Alas, it never did and I think it got worse every time that I used the product.  I got a super strong mixture of caramel and chocolate which is then soured with a massive hit of patchouli which just smells horrible on me and would horrify those around me if I would wear it.  This perfume is very strong and lasts all day and well into the night on me, this is yet another fragrance that still lingers around after I shower and try to wash it off.  Of course this is one of those fragrances that would stick on my skin for over twelve hours...

In short...I wanted to love this unique and untouchable fragrance and it wanted to hate me as much as I wanted to love it.

photo courtesy of Sephora

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