The Red Deserts of Mars – Thierry Mugler Alien Oud Majestueux Perfume Review

Alien in Red

Alien in Red

It was reported last week that NASA had found evidence of liquid water flowing on Mars. The red planet is no longer a dry, and arid collection of rock and dust, it seems. In other surprising and space-related news, Thierry Mugler has made the decision to launch a limited edition version of Alien called ‘Alien Oud Majestueux’, an oriental fragrance that sees the hyper-jasmine of the original accompanied by oud, the ever popular heartwood extracted from the Aquilaria tree, and seen so often in modern fragrances over the last few years. Composed by the masterful Dominique Ropion, who co-signed the original with Laurent Bruyere, this new version of Alien promises to tantalise with its opulent spices and sweet flower nectar. Colour me intrigued.

Now, I must confess that the news of an oud-injected version of Mugler’s successful Alien did arouse some titters on Twitter in addition to the usual moans about the over-exposure of everyone’s favourite noble tree rot. Of course, Mugler has all but resisted the oud trend for quite some time (although, they have flirted with the note in their Miroir Miroir! series) and the fact that the last non-oud converted bastion of the industry had finally given in did elicit a sigh or two, from yours truly included. As time progressed however, the idea of an Alien oud grew to be an interesting one. I mean, Alien is a pretty fierce woody jasmine fragrance that lends itself well to remixes (see Alien Essence Absolue & Alien Le Goût du Parfum), and a middle-eastern take on an intense, space-age floral actually seemed like something worth sniffing. At risk of spoiling the rest of this review, I can confirm that it is.

“Cocoon your mind, body and soul in Alien Oud Majestueux, the new oriental fragrance. This scent will transport you to the spice markets of the Middle East where your senses will be tantalised with the fragrant notes of opulent spices and sweet flower nectar.”

– Thierry Mugler

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2005 A Space Odyssey – Ten Years of Thierry Mugler’s Alien

Happy Birthday, Alien!

Happy Birthday, Alien!

“Alien is the very essence of femininity, it’s femininity incarnate. And femininity is a gift from heaven, a generosity, an instinctive intelligence.”

– Thierry Mugler

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a silence overtook the stars. Thirteen years had passed since the Empress Angel ascended her galactic throne, and loneliness had taken hold in her couture heart. All around her she saw nothing but copycats, pale imitations and weaklings that couldn’t live up to her fierceness, her avant-garde angles nor the sheer power of her olfactory force. She was a supernova of edible treats over a dark nebula of patchouli and the others couldn’t compete. Angel longed for a sister, an extract of her fearless DNA that danced along the same double helix. Little did she know that she would get more than she bargained for, and she imagined into being a friendly rival who shone brightly over the galaxy and threatened her reign. Or something like that, anyway….

Back on Earth in 2005, 13 whole years after launching his debut fragrance, Angel, fashion designer, Thierry Mugler launched Alien, his sophomore perfume. Few designers and brands are so patient however, the Mugler model is one of perseverance where fragrances are allowed the time to find their target market, and to grow fondly in the hearts of their fans. Take Angel for instance, a perfume that was as divisive as Marmite when it was launched, and in fact, still is to this day. Mugler and Clarins (who hold the Mugler license) started with a small launch and invested both time, and care in slowly building a fan base, and a name for their product until it became one of the best selling fragrances in the world – an accolade that it still holds today.

Both Alien and Womanity (2010) have followed this blueprint, receiving long-term success rather than being quickly canned if they weren’t immediately successful in their first few months on the market. That said, Alien seems to have been fairly popular right from the outset, due perhaps in part to the fact that, whilst it is utterly distinct (there really is nothing quite like it still to this day), Alien isn’t quite as hard to get along with as the others. Don’t get me wrong, Alien is still a complete weirdo of a woody jasmine, but somehow it manages to bridge the divide between fantasy and reality, making for an accessible olfactory experience, enjoyed in full 3D and iMax.

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New Escentual Post: Candy Crush

Candy Crush - Angel Eau Sucrée by Thierry Mugler

Candy Crush – Angel Eau Sucrée by Thierry Mugler

Thierry Mugler’s summer edition of Angel from last year, ‘Angel Eau Sucrée‘, is back and I couldn’t be more pleased. Eau Sucrée is my candy crush – she pairs Angel’s signature accords of patchouli and vanilla with a whole heap of sugary treats, namely raspberry sorbet, meringues and candy floss. The result is as delicious as it sounds, and it makes for a slightly unusual take on the summer fragrance, where lighter gourmand nuances are showcased rather than citrus. Click here to head on over to Escentual to read my full review (P.S. the bottle has changed for 2015, but the scent remains the same as last year’s).

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Super Orange – Thierry Mugler A*Men Ultra Zest Perfume Review

Super Orange - A*Men Ulra Zest by Thierry Mugler

Super Orange – A*Men Ulra Zest by Thierry Mugler

Thierry Mugler’s annual reimagining of their flagship masculine fragrance, A*Men (the counterpart to the iconic Angel) is pretty much a tradition at this point. Each and every year the brand treats us to the signature of Angel Men zhuzzed up into something new and exciting. So far, we’ve seen our mate, A*Men; smoke tobacco (Pure Havane), drink whisky (Pure Malt), chase some chilli (A*Men Le Goût du Parfum) and even dabble in the world of lumberjackery (Pure Wood). The A*Men family is made up of a bunch of fraternal twins that all have a different sense of style – and what a great bunch they are.

For 2015, Mugler is doing something a little bit different with A*Men by putting it into a citrus setting. The bottle has been dyed a fabulous shade of neon orange, as has the fragrance for that matter. This new edition (penned by Jacques Huclier and Quentin Bisch) is entitled A*Men Ultra Zest, and as the name would suggest, it focuses on an array of mouthwatering citrus notes to accentuate A*Men’s cosmic cocktail of gourmand treats. Unlike many other citrus fragrances, Ultra Zest is bold and daring. What else could we expect from Mugler?

“A*Men brings you a new twist on the original: Ultra Zest. Shaken, not stirred, this new male fragrance will tantalise the senses as it burst with fresh, citrus, spicy and woody notes. This refreshing cocktail dares you to stand out from the crowd, be bold and go where most won’t dare to go”

– Thierry Mugler

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A Galaxy of Stars – Mugler’s New ‘Gravity Star’ and a Retrospective of Angel Flacons

The New Angel 'Gravity Star' from Thierry Mugler

The New Angel ‘Gravity Star’ from Thierry Mugler

For 2015, the intergalactic perfumery of renegade fashion house, Thierry Mugler is launching a brand new star into the celestial wardrobe of their flagship fragrance, Angel. Dubbed the ‘Gravity Star’, this new 75ml refillable flacon has been designed by Mugler’s Artistic Directors, Virginie Delpeuc’h & Stéphanie Calvi, as a “three-dimensional star that captures light with its countless facets”. Most intriguingly, the flacon has been created with no ‘true bottom’, meaning that it can be placed on any one of its faceted sides.

As with all things Mugler, the Gravity Star is beautiful and multi-faceted, changing its form depending on which side it is laid. The asymmetry is remarkable, resulting in Mugler’s most abstract execution of the classic star to date. Faceted like a jewel, the Gravity Star is a luxurious objet d’art that takes Angel far into the future, via the medium of a sharp and angular starburst. The whole thing is incredibly and faithfully ‘Mugler’ from head to toe, and I’d even go as far as saying that it’s one of the best guises we’ve seen our beloved Angel wear. It’s simply stunning.

The Gravity Star is yet another example of excellent craftsmanship from the House of Mugler. Since Angel launched in 1992, the fragrance has been housed within a spetacular array or dazzling stars, ranging from classics such as the ‘Nomad Star’ to the alien purple tones of the ‘Etoile Mystique’. Presentation has always been a key part of the fragrance’s success, and to celebrate this latest instalment in the galaxy of Angel stars, I’ve compiled a retrospective of Mugler’s etoile flacons, in a handy slideshow. So, without further ado, please prepare your vessels for hyper drive and get set to jump below the, err, jump for our tour of the Angel galaxy.

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Got Wood? – Thierry Mugler A*Men Pure Wood Perfume Review

Got Wood - A*Men Pure Wood by Thierry Mugler

Got Wood – A*Men Pure Wood by Thierry Mugler

“An olfactory dedication to the woody note. [..] A*Men Pure Wood is an invitation to a journey to the heart of the woody note, an elegant yet rugged accent in masculine perfumes, boldly revisited for this occasion.”

– Thierry Mugler

Not a day goes by on this blog without me making some sort-of reference to the house of Thierry Mugler. It’s no secret that I am the Mugler fan boy and I consider his fragrances to be as much a part of my DNA as my blue eyes and brown hair. The Mugler fragrances speak to me because they are bold, edgy and entirely over the top – everything that I want to be, and I revel in their distinct and challenging olfactory signatures, the way Mugler’s muses lavished themselves in his structured couture.

A*Men (also known as ‘Angel Men’) is the house’s flagship masculine fragrance. Actually, it’s the brand’s only fragrance solely for men (not that that stops many women from wearing it) and as one would expect from the man that brought the world the motorcycle corset, it’s a bold and daring one. I love A*Men, it manages to throw in just about every note possible (peppermint, tar, lavender, chocolate, coffee, caramel, patchouli and vanilla), including the kitchen sink and manages to somehow work as a fragrance that is wearable. The problem is that I just don’t reach for it that much anymore, perhaps because it is so unique and demanding.

Each year, Thierry Mugler launches a limited edition version of A*Men that showcases one note or theme. Unofficially named the ‘Pure’ series, previous instalments have included; A*Men Pure Coffee, A*Men Pure Malt, A*Men Pure Leather and A*Men Pure Shot, and for this season, Mugler is launching an ode to the ruggedness of wood, cheekily entitled A*Men Pure Wood. Created by perfumer, Jacques Huclier (the man behind the original A*Men in 1996), Pure Wood is one of the most commercial interpretations of A*Men, and dare I say, one of the sexiest.

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