A Cosmic Drag Queen – Thierry Mugler Angel EDP Perfume Review

AngelWhat can I say about Angel that hasn’t already been said? Angel isn’t just your typical perfume, she is a legend, a legend in exactly the same way that N°5 and Shalimar are legends. She’s also not just a legend, she is a fierce vixen and a complete diva.

Created in 1992 by Olivier Crisp and Yves de Chiris for avant-garde fashion designer Thierry Mugler, Angel is inspired by Mugler’s childhood memories, he wanted “to make a perfume that could have a common resonance for everyone, something close to tenderness, to childhood.” [1] The childhood memories that Mugler chose to recreate in Angel were those of the fairground.

The very first time I smelled Angel, right at the beginning of my perfumista journey, I was shocked, appalled and disgusted all at once. Who would want to wear this? I thought. But I kept finding myself coming back to Angel, there was something about her, she lured me in and wouldn’t let me go, I was helpless. I became obsessed and after many sniffs I finally bought a bottle, wore it with pride and didn’t look back.

The Notes

Top: Bergamot and Mandarine
Heart: Passion Fruit, Peach and Apricot
Base: Patchouli, Vanilla, Chocolate and Caramel [2]

How Does it Smell?

Angel has always been described as a ‘love it or hate it’ fragrance (my sister who is firmly pitching her tent in the hate camp describes Angel as smelling like ‘Baby Prostitutes’) and at her time of release there was absolutely nothing at all similar on the market. Angel has since gone on to inspire fragrances such as; Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf, Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel and many others.

Despite being a ‘feminine’ fragrance Angel has always seemed very masculine to me, she has lots of very manly parts and I’ve always thought that Angel may be a celestial being on weekends, but during the week she is a builder named Steve.

Angel opens with a cacophony of smells, there is bright mouthwatering tropical fruits, bitter dark chocolate, sparkly aldehydes and that stonking great big patchouli note. I can understand why some people may be put off by Angel’s top notes, there is a lot going on and the overall effect is loud and demands attention, but I LOVE them.

As she develops, Angel becomes considerably more gourmand, the vanilla comes through sweet and cosy and it works with the caramel to create something so delicious that it’s good enough to eat. Angel doesn’t smell like a particular kind of food, she smells like a new creation, a recipe that has never been made before. If Angel were to be edible she would have been created by mad chef Heston Blumenthal.

Angel isn’t just some ditzy sweet gourmand, no way, Angel is a perfume of contrasts. Just when you think it’s all getting too sweet to handle the patchouli comes to save the day and gives the gourmand notes the one thing they are crying out for – balance. It’s this contrast between masculine (the Drag Queen patchouli) and the feminine (all of the foody stuff) that makes Angel so wonderful, and at the time of her release, so groundbreaking.

The base is the most beautiful part of Angel, the patchouli, which has softened considerably since the start (Angel has taken her 9 inch heels off now and is putting on her slippers), feels almost powdery, spicy and combined with the creamy vanilla and caramel it creates, in my opinion, the best smell on Earth. The base lasts for days, especially on clothes and if you find that you can’t stomach Angel’s loud, abrasive top notes then you should brave it out to the dry down, I promise you that it’ll be worth it.

Angel is one of my favourite perfumes but I don’t seem to wear ‘her’ very much anymore, I need to be in the mood for all of that drama. Since I’ve started putting this review together I’ve really enjoyed revisiting and wearing Angel again, there’s nothing quite like rediscovering an old love and reigniting that flame is there?

Nomadic StarShooting Star

The Bottles

Angel is available in a variety of star flacons with the two most iconic being the shooting star (top right) and the nomadic star (bottom right).

Cold, silver metal is complimented by a precious blue juice encased within clear glass. The sharp lines are reminiscent of Mugler’s couture gowns. All of the notes point to Angel smelling golden brown but to me she will always smell blue.

You can purchase most of the bottles in either non-refillable or refillable formats. The idea behind the refillable bottle is that you can keep your beloved star forever and top up with a refill bottle or at ‘The Source’ – one of the Angel fountains. This idea of ‘eco-refill’ bottles is something Mugler has carried on to other fragrances such as Alien, A*Men and his latest release Womanity.

Availability

Angel is available in 15ml, 25ml and 50ml non-refillable and 25ml, 50ml and 100ml refillable Eau de Parfum. Matching body products and a new Eau de Toilette version are also available.

Disclaimer

This review based on a bottle of Angel Eau de Parfum from my own personal collection.

[1] mugler.com

[2] osmoz.com

Image 1 ikranm.blogspot.com 

Image 2 twwv.blogspot.com

Image 3 perfumezilla.com

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89 thoughts on “A Cosmic Drag Queen – Thierry Mugler Angel EDP Perfume Review

  1. Pingback: Gin, Gin, Where do I Begin? – Penhaligon’s Juniper Sling Perfume Review | thecandyperfumeboy

  2. Really enjoyed this review, you had loads of new stuff to say about it. The line “Angel may be a celestial being on weekends, but during the week she is a builder named Steve” really made me smile. It’s funny how some perfumes have so much persence you have to use “she” instead of “it”, Mitsouko (my SOTD) is like that for me.

    Oh and I adore that “nomadic star” bottle, one of the all time greats.

    • Thank you Tara, I’m glad to have made you smile!

      I completely agree, some fragrances are so much more than just an ‘it’ they definitely are ‘she’s’. Mitsouko certainly has a personality, doesn’t she?

      The nomadic star is gorgeous, have you seen the new EDT Comet Bottle? It’s to die for!

      • Just googled it and it’s to die forindeed. Didn’t realise Eva Mendes is the face of Angel now, love her!

  3. Steve! – that is hilarious, you made me smile too!
    I’m torn between fascination, admiration and absolute horror in the face of Angel. Like you, I keep coming back to it/her/him, but I am not yet at the “It’s love!” stage, maybe I will never get there, because Angel/Steve can’t seem to stop screaming at me, fairground indeed, the soundtrack matches.
    But one never knows…

    • Yes, never say never when it comes to perfume. I actually think you may quite like the new EDT, I haven’t spent too much time with it but it still has the spirit of Angel but it’s lighter and less dramatic.I’m hoping to have a review up by the end of the week.

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  5. I love you review! First of all, because it’s light and funny and very visual (“Angel has taken her 9 inch heels off now and is putting on her slippers” – just perfect!). Second – because Angel is one of my eternal loves and it’s so great to read that somebody else thinks as high of it as I do. I was writing my Angel story for a while now but couldn’t finish it. You inspired me: I’ll wrap it up and publish soon.

    I think that the first bottle is called “Rising Star” and the second one is “Shooting Star”.

  6. A worthy review of a masterpiece. I could wear this everyday for a month and not get bored!
    I really want to try Vanille Chocolat by Laurence Dumont, Nirmala by Molinard and Nuits de Noho by Bond no.9 as they’re said to be similar.

  7. I compare Angel to someone doing the “Walk of Shame” in their Halloween costume on November 1st….
    Seriously, I’ve loved and worn Angel since it came out, but then I adore loud, obnoxious and racy fragrances, Bandit, Secretions Magnifique and Kingdom are three of my all time favorites. One thing for certain, while I adore Eva, I’ll forever associate Jerry Hall as the face of Angel. Anyone who could leave Brian Ferry for Mick Jagger has the chops to carry it off in my book!
    Drag race anyone??

    • Ahh yes, the walk of shame, we’ve all been there *cough*.

      It sounds like you have rather fabulous taste IMHO, I’m with you for Kingdom and Bandit but you’re on your own with Secretions Magnifiques, I simply cannot abide that one!

      Jerry Hall was the perfect choice for Angel and none of the others have lived up to her campaign. I always thought that Madonna would be a good choice!

      • SM is a rather difficult one but my skin loves it, turns into a lovely woods and leather note on my skin. Explaining to my mother in law the name behind the juice is another matter!
        Madonna would be my next choice too!

      • Wow leather? I don’t get that, I would love to though. I’ve found that if you put up with SM for a few hours you do get a nice clean coconutty floral but that’s the problem, you have to work out how to put up with it 😛

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  10. Hi Candy Perfume Boy, Loved your description of Angel! I have been wearing it for a few years, and despite the fact that i offer Custom Fragrance events and presentations in NY, I still revert to Angel when I want to feel special, sexy and sophisticated. It is beautifully constructed and one of the elements I always talk about is how many designers and celebrities always go into their memories to develop fragrances that are inspired by their favorite childhood activities or memories. So Angel, as we know is a gourmand fragrance inspired by Thierry Mugler’s love of Cotton Candy (from going to the Fairgrounds as a kid), his love of Chocolate and Vanilla icecream from the treats he used to eat as a kid, AND (bet you didn’t know this), he loved his mother and the aroma that always reminded him of her was her nail polish remover or acetone. So, the perfumers incorporate that stringent acidic note intor the fragrance, along wiith the wonderful gournmand notes – and voila! ANGEL is amazing!
    Hope you like this tidbit of informaiton and would be interested to hear from you and your readers!
    Warmest wishes and keep up your great reviews! Scentfully, Sue

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  28. I’m a guy and I also wear angel, it was love at first sniff! And as everyone said it’s longevity and sillage are enormous.
    They are, but not on me… I dunno what’s different on my skin but it makes perfumes to lose both, sillage and longevity, I thought angel would be the exception to this but no. I LOVE Angel and I also wear it with pride, but I HATE my skin chemistry, do you think there might be a solution? Layering maybe? By the way I’m 16 so maybe that’s the reason.

    • That’s a real shame! Do you have dry skin? That can sometimes reduce the longevity of a fragrance.

      I’d suggest layering with the Angel Body Cream, it’s very strong stuff and should help increase Angel’s longevity.

      Let me know how you get on!

      • I think i’ll try layering with the body cream, thanks!
        and I don’t actually feel that my skin is dry but something weird happens when I wear Angel. After 4 hours or so, when the smell is close to the skin and almost unnoticeable, if i get my wrists a little wet the smell returns with a splash of patchouli like if it was just applied, but for a really really short time. It doesn’t happen if i wet my wrists again.

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  37. I just started reading your blog today and I just have to say, it’s ultimately the best perfume page EVER. You’re just fantastic. Thanks for the fun 🙂

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  65. Better late than never … December 2016 (!), Angel entered my world. Or should I say “I entered her world”?

    This year has been a year with most satisfying encounters (Diptyque Essences Insensées 2015, Lutens Fleurs d’oranger, Lutens Laine de Verre, Atkinsons Oud Save the King).
    Yesterday, after work, on a day after a Christmas party, I wandered through the department store, worn out, tired … until I sprizzed Angel. The scent went straight to my synapses and my alertness was switched on. This scent is pleasant beyond words.
    An olfactory full moon. In other words: this scent has the potential the keep me up all night. 🙂

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