Thierry Mugler Angel is here to stay. I don’t like the chocolate overdose it leaves on my skin, but many people do and there are too many of them for me to argue with. Alien is wonderfully strange, but manageable in small doses.
And then there is Womanity. This is so vile I was almost gagging at the thought of giving it a second chance for the sake of this review. This is no exaggeration. Womanity is the first perfume that actually makes me physically nauseous.
The concept behind Womanity was indeed unique, but unique doesn’t mean it’s going to work. In 2010, Mugler invited women to contribute to the finished product by writing their views and wishes on the Womanity website. The idea was that womankind itself helped to create Womanity. I can’t decide if this is insulting or not, seeing as the finished product is so very rank (at least to me).
It has not escaped my notice that despite being launched in 2010, Womanity has not hit any of the top ten best seller lists anywhere in the world. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, since many excellent perfumes stay small and exclusive, almost deliberately eschewing the limelight. Mugler, however, not so much. He’s a game changer and trailblazer. Exclusive he is not. But then if you choose to put Caviar in scent, you are either attention seeking or trying to show us new ways in which to perceive fragrance. The jury’s out.
So what does it smell like? Here’s what it’s supposed to smell like: Fig, Caviar, Fig Tree and Fig Leaf.
Here’s what it actually smells like: very old, crumbly Bakewell Tart that has been in a dusty, airless biscuit tin so long that the butter in the crust has gone rancid and the almonds have gone sickly sweet and rank. With a hint of fish.
I was lost for words. I was agog with astonishment that this sells to anyone at all. I am aware that all perfumes smell differently to everyone and no reaction, positive or negative, is bad or wrong, but Oh My Days…this is putrid.
Incidentally, my sample is an authentic Eau de Parfum and was obtained from the great Escentual. It’s not the supplier who is at fault here, it’s the panel that said “Mmm, yes, that’s it, let’s use this one.”
Womanity was made by Nose Alexis Dadier and the fragrance and flavour company Mane. Mugler was keen to include a savoury note. I can see how he might think that might work. He has changed the face of the perfume industry before. Angel was, and is, a shameless gourmand that has released thousands of wannabes in her wake. Alien has a uniquely strange bottle and is loud, shouty Amber and Woods. But Womanity? Old biscuits and a hint of fish. It’s not often a perfume turns my stomach.
Congratulations, by the way, to Halston Catalyst. You are now the second worst perfume I have ever smelt. Womanity has knocked you off your pedestal. And had me running to the sink.