The celestial Muse
I remember like it was yesterday. I was still in college and there she was, this stunning tall, blonde woman, in her mid-30s, emanating fierceness and power, but being somewhat sensual and angelic in the same time. If you couldn’t spot her immediately, for sure you could sense her perfume. And I’m telling you, it wasn’t a discrete one. No, this perfume she was wearing, was conceived especially for her: intense and captivating, with sensual and devilish notes – a perfect duality for such a perfect woman, I would think back then.
She was going at the bank near my college and I could tell that she was a confident Business Woman. I admired her elegance, her way of seducing everyone around her, distinguishing herself from everyone around and I dreamt of becoming that kind of woman someday, in my mid-30s.
All she left behind was her scent, the testimony of the fact that a strong, delightful and unforgettable woman happened to pass by. I was intrigued by this perfume, an overdose of sensual and sweet notes leaving behind the mystery and the sensual essence of the woman I wanted to become. This perfume was not like any others I’d smelled.
This one was unique, strong, with its own personality, seductive and eternal. It was like telling to the world: Love me or hate me, I don’t care, because I get to be me. I could see myself becoming that angelic or demonic woman or, somewhat, a little bit of both. It was like the Universe was telling me that this is the fragrance It created especially for me, to reveal the multiple facets of the woman in me.
Only months after, my best friend came to me and showed me the perfume her mother received from her students. And instantly, I projected myself back to the moment I first spotted that stunning blonde woman and it all came back to me: her amazing allure, her confidence, her sensuality, everything. She was like a muse to me, but it hit me just then: it wasn’t her, it was the perfume, it was Angel by Thierry Mugler that gave her the confidence she needed to overstep everyone around her. Only Angel, my celestial muse, had the power of transforming me into that woman I so strongly wanted to become.
Will I be worthy of this magical perfume? – I would think back then. Time showed me that I am truly worthy of it and I wear it with dignity even today. It gives me confidence when I feel like failing, it gives me power when I am week, it gives me sensuality when I don’t feel worthy of it.
The rise of a Paradoxical Fragrance
In the Ancient World, any form of perfume or aromatic herbs, was described as a Gift to the Gods. Thierry Mugler understood that and he wanted to go back to the roots of the Ancient Word, but this time, to create a perfume, a scent, as a Gift from God. A perfume sent by the immortals to the mortals.
It wasn’t easy to find the right perfumer to do this celestial masterpiece, but he believed in his dream even if it took him 10 years to make it happen.
“I always wanted to create a fragrance that struck a chord with everyone, something close to tenderness and childhood memories. I wanted to have an extremely sensual contact with this fragrance, so that the person one loves smells good enough to eat.” said Thierry Mugler, a true passionate for chocolate and decadent flavors of his childhood.
Master Perfumer Olivier Cresp, along with Yves de Chiris, was the only one to accept the challenge of creating a celestial, delicious, yet voluptuous perfume. Olivier Cresp had previous training in the United States in raw materials and it was here he learned about food aromas. This experience helped him create a never imagined perfume that evokes childhood memories.
“I wanted to make a perfume that could have a common resonance for everyone, something close to tenderness, to childhood.” Olivier Cresp would say.
Angel by Thierry Mugler has been ever since marketed as a fragrance of paradox:
• CELESTIAL FACET – The Celestial Muse with a wisp of fresh air
• DELICIOUS FACET – The innocent child in every woman that evokes the pleasures of childhood and images of decadent treats
• VOLUPTUOUS FACET – The mysterious and sensual essence in every woman
The Olfactory Notes
The initial Olfactory pyramid
Top: Bergamot, Helional, Hedione and Jasmine
Heart: Red Berries, Dewberry, Honey
Base: Patchouli, Vanilla, Coumarin, Chocolate and Caramel
The unique personality of Angel is given by its accord of patchouli + cotton candy (resulting in the so called barbe-à-papa).
“On the one-hundred-fortieth trial, I was completely blocked by my overdosed vanilla-patchouli accord: powerful, unique, interesting, but not feminine at all. At the same time, all flowers seemed to make it dull and remove its purely oriental character, which we really wanted to keep.” said Olivier Cresp, the Perfumer.
The integration of synthetics molecules changed the perfume business in many ways. While some people were less open to buy perfumes, who used synthetics, because of the less natural scent, it allowed the creation of tremendous new scents. The whole world of perfume was now like a universe waiting to be discovered.
With the creation of synthetics, in perfumery business, come many advantages. First of all, it allows to increase the possibilities of creating new scents. Those synthetics are called “olfactive family”. There are, for example, the families of “fougères”, “floral oriental”, “chypre” or “oriental”. Angel is known to be the first gourmand, a combination of oriental notes such as vanilla and chypre notes such as Bergamot and Patchouli.
A true revelation when it first saw the light of the day, Angel has since inspired fragrances such as Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf, Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel and many others.
Angel is a perfume that opened the door for other gourmand perfumers, but still more subtle and less sweet than its disciples.
“I wanted to have a touch so with this sensual fragrance that you almost want eating the person you love.” Thierry Mugler said.
Perfumes tend to evolve over the hours because of the difference in volatility of their various ingredients. It is the case for Angel. As it develops, Angel becomes considerably more gourmand, the vanilla melts with the caramel to create something delicious and lickerish.
The Base, where the vanilla-patchouli accord is the star, the most preeminent and beautiful part which has softened considerably since the start, it gives a soft-woody scent and combined with a touch of caramel it creates The Gift from God.
Angel can be summarized as a food-recipe that has never been made before.
Imagine you are about to prepare a romantic dinner for your loved one. You will want to start with something light and sparkling, so you will bring a note of Bergamot, spiced with Helional and Hedione to obtain an airy, radiant texture. You will continue with the main course in a delicious note, for a delightful sensation given by the redberries and dewberries, to obtain a savory freshness. Given the fact that is a romantic dinner, you will want to finish in a sensuous note, with the help of Patchouli and Vanilla dressed in a chocolate-caramel fondant. And there you have it. Your Angelic dream dish!
DEFYING THE LAWS OF GLASSMAKING
Thierry Mugler was much like any other mortal who dreamed of creating something immortal. He knew he wanted something special, but didn’t know what exactly, until he met Vera Strubi who was hired to launch what we know today as Angel. At that time, receiving an invitation to a couturier’s show was something rare, so she made sure to encapsulate all of Thierry Mugler’s show in a small bottle with scented jus. Her job wasn’t easy at all. She did a lot of research to get to know Thierry Mugler’s universe in order to create the perfect product that would illustrate everything he stands for, everything he adores and admires.
The idea for a star-shaped bottle came to Vera Strubi after seeing that the star was the most important element in Mugler’s shows. He even had a ring on his finger in the shape of a star and buttons with printed stars on his clothes. It was then clear for Vera Strubi that she had found his fetish: The Star.
When she came with the suggestion, Mugler instantly fell in love and he designed the bottle. It was a real masterpiece, something that has never been seen before. Problem was that it defied all the laws of glass-making, because of the form that couldn’t let the melted glass filling the bottom of the bottle.
It took one year and a half for a glass-maker to find a way of manufacturing the design proposed by Mugler, a blue star-shaped bottle that illustrated the perfect duality of the fragrance: the coldness of the bottle in contrast with the warmth of the jus inside.
The result was amazing, but it came with a problem. The bottle would become so expensive that the fragrance would have to be sold at twice the price of its competitors.
A marketing strategy had to be put in place and it was Strubi who came up with an idea inspired by Caron’s urns: The Source, a modern-day fragrance fountain with refill bottles. A new voice is emerging: the responsible fragrance which works to promote the protection of biodiversity, a new direction of luxury. The legendary Angel perfume is refillable for life at the Angel Perfume Source, with Angel perfume refills or Angel eco-refills.
Angel it’s a very complex perfume destined to manifest itself on a 3 scale-level: its voluptuous contrasts, the sensuous notes with a strong impregnated childhood memories and the freshly notes evoking the blue ski and the space.