Tag Archives: Thierry Mugler Angel

Angel Eau Sucree: An Angel For Me

parfumo,net
parfumo.net

 

I’m not a fan of Thierry Mugler Angel, although I admire its genius. On me, it’s Brut for men, Body Odour and a kilo of chocolate, but on others it can smell utterly gorgeous.  Sadly, I’m not one of them.  I also think that heavy handed spraying of Angel has further distanced me from it: it’s nuclear to start with and has colossal longevity, so six sprays first thing in the morning is overkill ( are you listening, Lady On Bus?)

However, here comes Angel Eau Sucree, the Angel 2014 flanker and much to my surprise, I really like it.

The notes are:

 Top: red berries

Middle: meringue

Base: patchouli and vanilla

Red berries have been done to saturation point in the last couple of years, but the temptation to add pink pepper (which in my view is greatly overused with a heavy hand these days) has been resisted and the red berries blend seamlessly into a creamy, sweet middle note.  Meringue is an interesting choice, but its’s distinctive icing sugar blandness is the perfect foil here.  At this point, it could easily tip over into raspberry ripple ice cream, but the meringue, if anything, shows restraint.  This is a pale vanilla, with hints of cream and berries.

The base notes are vanilla and patchouli, and unlike Angel, the patchouli here is a whisper rather than a shout. The vanilla seems to show up at the very start and sit at the back the whole way through as if to say “don’t mind me, it’s not my show today”

 

fragrantica
fragrantica

Whereas I normally eschew gourmands on the grounds that they remind me of how I smell in an apron in an hot kitchen, Angel Eau Sucree is something else and I am seriously thinking about a full bottle purchase ( something I ration)

 Angel Eau Sucree shows restraint and is all the better for it ( although I do have a penchant for unrestrained perfume!). Eau Sucree is pretty, and girly  and whilst teens will love it, I would gladly wear this in all my mature 45 year old glory. It’s a feel good scent which doesn’t take itself too seriously, but the end phase is like smelling Angel through a veil: with a heightended touch of sweetness and a playful touch of fun. This is a perfect balance and a great scent. Angel Eau Sucree made me into a fan rather than a critic.

 Stockists

Angel Eau Sucree is a Limited Edition so scoop it up when you see it.  You can get it from  Escentual, John Lewis, Debenhams and House of Fraser.  My sample was from The Perfume Society Jet Set Discovery Box.

 

The Perfume Society
The Perfume Society

Find out More

The Candy Perfume Boy, as ever, writes beautifully on this and the link is here.

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YSL Black Opium: Look Away Opium Fans!

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You may recall my earlier reviews of old and new Opium.  You may recall how passionate the love is for old Opium, and the cries of dismay when that powdery, heady treasure was sanitised for a modern market.

Well the people that loved old Opium will be most upset when they read that the name of Opium has been used in vain. YSL Black Opium is frankly, a disappointment.

The name alone would hint at a possible return to the old richness of Opium, with a moniker that suggests the nocturnal and wicked.  “Black Opium” you would think, “sounds all mysterious and grown up” you would think. But no.

In fact, having plastered myself in it today and wishing I hadn’t done so, the first thing this made me think of was Chanel Coco Mademoiselle on steroids.

opiumOpium_by_YSL

There’s the Coco Mademoiselle Orange Blossom and Patchouli in spades, and Pear and Pink Pepper giving it a fruity tang, but there’s kind of an unwelcome butch note at the bottom of it all that reminds me of Thierry Mugler Angel when it goes all Brut For Men on me.

The basenotes of Black Opium are actually very similar to the basenotes of Angel, with an overly sweet vanilla richness juxtaposed over a load of immovable patchouli.  Oh yes, and don’t forget a ton of coffee and extra syrup in the middle.

black opium ad

It’s a sad state of affairs that perfumes today are generally launched at the 17-27 year old market, which would explain a lot.  However, us “over 27s” are getting short changed and Black Opium is like seeing your best cashmere coat getting covered in crayon.

YSL Black Opium was not made for me and of course, I have to accept it. That doesn’t mean I have to like it though.  In fact, it should have been given a completely different name altogether, because Black Opium and old Opium are not just unrelated, they are not even passing acquaintances.

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Library of Fragrance Moonbeam: Angelically Beautiful

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You may well guess why I chose  “angelically” to describe Library of Fragrance Moonbeam.  With a mixture of chocolate and vanilla over floral notes, it rang loud perfumey bells in my head.

Yes indeed, Library of Fragrance Moonbeam smells very similar to Thierry Mugler Angel, if Angel had been made with a lighter hand and with less patchouli and more flowers.

In other words, if Angel is too Titanic, then Moonbeam is your escape dinghy.  And there I was, thinking I would never get to use the word dinghy in a perfume review…

So if you like Angel, but find it too heavy (you wouldn’t be alone in thinking this, there are others like you), then Moonbeam is a good choice.

I would also add that if you were buying for a teenager, this would be a perfect gift, coming in at only £15 a bottle,  where Angel is more than twice that.  Longevity isn’t quite the same as Angel, nor sillage ( let’s face it, Angel could knock a boxer out at twenty paces without putting its gloves on), but I think I actually prefer Moonbeam to Angel.

Both have  flowers, in this case Jasmine and Lily of the Valley, both have Amber, and both have the all important chocolate note.  Moonbeam is a sprinkle where Angel is a fire hydrant.

What celestial names we are discussing on this autumnal Sunday! Maybe on Monday you can go out and catch a Moonbeam.

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Thierry MuglerAngel Aqua Chic 2013: Well Blow Me Down With a Feather

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My views on Angel are written elsewhere in my blog.  I’m pretty much on the anti Angel side of the battleground and battleground it is, since its critics and apologists seem equally vehement.

The thought of Angel Aqua Chic filled me with horror and I thought I would only ever try it as a joke.  I’m not keen on Aquatic scents and putting that idea next to the bombastic Angel was more than my nose could take.

However, here’s a surprise:  it’s not that bad.  That is to say that the chocolate note has gone and has been replaced by Raspberry Blossom.  On first application, when still wet, the fruit is so cloying and sweet it almost peaks, as if it is overripe and about to burst.  However, as it calms down a bit (and it needs to, believe me!), I have a perfectly acceptable fruity perfume with a definite Patchouli base and a hint of rather delicate flowers.

I have spent a lot of energy spouting off against fruity-florals and fruity-choulis and I am relieved that the tide is turning somewhat.  However, there is room for a little Raspberry or Blackcurrant in my life when it is done right.  I often find Strawberries and Cherries can be overkill and border on candy floss (and don’t get me started on peaches and pineapple!), but the Raspberry Blossom in Angel Aqua Chic seems to be about right.

It’s not my usual cup of tea, but it’s certainly not repellent as I imagined it would be.  It is most definitely an improvement on the original Angel, although I wouldn’t be so rude as to wear this in a small crowded space.

Oh and the good news is that there’s not a whiff of Aqua.

Elizabeth Arden Untold: Something Familar About This Angelic Creation.


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fragrantica.com

I have mixed feelings about Elizabeth Arden.  The smart packaging, the prestigious name and the accessible prices all appeal to me. However, the more EA fragrances I try, the more I am disappointed. I do like Fifth Avenue, but didn’t like Sunflowers, True Love, Mediterranean. Red Door or SplendorGreen Tea is excellent, and I say that objectively as one who doesn’t like Tea as a note.  Elizabeth Arden Untold is probably one of the better ones and they seem to have gone to some trouble with the pretty faceted bottle too.

I first tried Elizabeth Arden Untold as a spray across a beauty counter and wandered around pondering it a little. After receiving a sample in my Fragrance Shop Discovery Box (more of which anon), I was able to wear it a little longer.  This is very like Rochas Soleil Rochas, a lovely scent that I have on my dressing table, although the more perfume I try, the more I find its borderline too sweet for me.

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fragrantica.com

 Elizabeth Arden Untold has three quite dominant notes in common with Rochas Soleil: Pink Pepper, Pear and the Patchouli basenote.  It starts as a light white floral: the Pear and Pink Pepper are certainly discernible, but it ends up smelling not unlike an Angel Lite, although with a touch more of the old floral notes than Angel’s nuclear finish. The Patchouli base swamps all other notes, hence the slight Angel comparison. NB A slight comparison to Angel is like describing being only slightly knocked over by a demolition wrecking ball.

 Untold was created for its 2013 launch by Clement Gaverry, who is also credited with one of my favourite scents: Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely. He is obviously fond of the Patchouli base, which is no bad thing.

I was ready to like Untold, but at £38.50  for a 30ml bottle, I’ll stick with my almost identical Rochas Soleil Rochas for £11.75. There is very little difference, except in the twenty odd quid you’ll have left to buy something else.

Thierry Mugler Womanity: Run Don’t Walk (to wash it off)

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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.

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Cacharel Noa: Good Morning Starshine

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 Cacharel Noa is a like a caring beatific Guardian, dressed all in white, that nudges you awake on a cool summer morning, as the birds sing, and even offers you a strong coffee.

 Cacharel Noa was created in 1998 by Olivier Cresp. Yes, him. The one who thought Chocolate and Patchouli was a good idea when he made Angel for Thierry Mugler. He must be pretty good at this perfume lark though, because despite my deep loathing of Angel, it has been a bestseller for 22 years. No mean feat in the fickle world of fragrance.

In Noa then, he has made something that I find far more palatable. It has to be said however, that the opening is very reminiscent of Elnett hairspray. I have no objection to this at all since I think Elnett smells wonderful and would happily buy it if they made it into an EDT.

After the Beauty Salon opening number, Noa  becomes an ethereal mixture of  clean baby wet wipes, freshly washed hair, gentle Peony petals, clean skin just after a shower and a big pile of freshly laundered white sheets. And a cup of coffee.

Yes somewhere around the floaty middle notes full of wispy clouds and angels is a dark note of coffee beans. At first this is a little ambiguous. When I first smelled it, it was harsh against its feather pillow backdrop and I mistook it for spice or cumin. However, the coffee blooms and fades rather nicely, preventing Noa from becoming too insipid. It’s a bold choice for sure, but it doesn’t take anything away from its gentleness.

So pretty and inoffensive is Noa that I can well imagine it as a work perfume in any nurturing or calming environment. It is a clean, white scent that I am happy to add to my wardrobe for the days when I don’t want the edgy Orientals, or the prickly Chypres or the heavy Patchoulis (a day like that is rare with me, however).

Often, the Superdrug chain has a sale and recently, all 30ml Cacharels were just £10. That’s LouLou,  AmorAmor,  Noa,  Anais Anais and Eden (aka the strange new girl who eats her own hair and won’t play with the others).  I always find something agreeable in the Cacharel range. It’s affordable quality if you don’t mind smelling like lots of other people, and I don’t! And beautiful LouLou so reminds me of my happy student days…

In true Colombo style, I can’t help saying “just one more thing”…the bottle that Noa comes in is very beautiful, but alarmingly small! It’s not much bigger than a golf ball, but I can assure you that there is indeed 30ml in there, even it did take me a magnifying glass to read the little sticker on the bottom.

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Thierry Mugler Angel: The Marmite of Perfumes

angel naomi Non UK readers may be unaware that Marmite spread has a love/hate ad campaign. There’s no middle ground. You either love Marmite or you hate it. Thierry Mugler Angel is the same.  Angel’s critics are as vehement as its fans.  In the perfume industry however, it is regarded as a masterpiece.  Even hard to please Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez gave it five stars in Perfumes The Guide.

In 2007, Angel was the recipient of the FiFi Hall of Fame Award, an accolade not given lightly. Sales show no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Its creator, Olivier Cresp, will be remembered more for Angel than he will for the rest of his illustrious back catalogue, which is outstanding even without the success of Angel.

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So why the hate? Well, it’s strong. It’s uncompromising. It doesn’t disappear after ten minutes and it has sillage that could floor a man at twenty paces. It is a Gourmand Patchouli of all things i.e spiky but chocolately. Caramel and Vanilla with prickles. Gourmand smells alongside Patchouli confuse my palate and make me feel like I am eating perfume or snorting food. Sensory confusion is not my thing. (I will  make an exception for Coromandel, see my earlier review)

So why the love? See above: strong, uncompromising, doesn’t disappear after ten minutes… Some people say that Angel trod the path for the popularity of Gourmands. In fact, Fragrantica lists no fewer than 24 notes for Angel, including Bergamot, Peach, Lily of the Valley, Jasmine, Melon, Roses and Blackberries- not one of which I angel flashcould detect.

When I first tried it shortly after its debut in 1992 (in the Harrods Perfume Hall no less, get me!), the displays were huge. It was the Next Big Thing. Jerry Hall, model du jour in ’92, made it her signature scent and mentioned it in all her interviews.  Everybody wanted it. Every magazine carried the ads for it.

I tried it on my wrist and walked away to consider it. What did I get? Chocolate and… Talc? Cologne? In hindsight I know it was Patchouli but did not identify it back then as a 22 year old.

I tried again a few months later: Chocolate and Caramel. I tried again no less than twenty years later. It still made me smell as if I had just finished my shift on the production line in a Thornton’s Chocolate Factory.  Big thumbs down.  And yet I regularly walk through clouds of this in pubs, on High Streets and in restaurants. I can recognise it from a mile off. Millions of women love Angel, but I’m not one of them. My husband, on smelling this, grimaced and said “Eurgh, that’s what the train smells like in the morning”.

There comes a time in life when you realise that you are outnumbered by the number of people who disagree with you and so it may well be you who is in the wrong.  However, in fragrance, as I have said before, there is no right or wrong, only your response. So my response is not wrong- I cannot bear this!  The vast cohorts of Angel fans tells me that others see this rather differently.  Its success, and the admiration of its peers, tell me that its apologists are not wrong either.   As for me: well, I don’t “get” Angel.  It’s as if the joke’s on me

angel smallIf you love this, good luck to you. If you don’t, that’s OK too.  However, I have yet to meet anyone who stands in the No Mans Land between the two camps and just says “it’s not bad, I wear it sometimes, it’s OK”.  And that, my fragrant friends, is why I call it Marmite. I would never, ever spend money on a bottle of  Thierry Mugler Angel.  And for every woman like me, there is another who swears by it and who would never, ever let herself run out of it.

EDIT: Since writing this I have become secretly obsessed with Angel and wear little samples of it around the house.  We’re definitely on flirtation terms now.  Never say never.

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