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.


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.


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