The legendary house of Mugler does not create fragrances, they birth legends and raise celestial beings. As a couturier, Thierry Mugler crafted clothing that released the inner goddess or demon of the Mugler woman, turning them into vast Glamazons and Dominatrixes. His fragrances are no different: they are the strength, the passion, the beauty and the force of women, with each one, Angel, Alien and Womanity, possessing a bold character that celebrates the unending beauty of fascinating and strong women.
These three idiosyncratic icons, Angel, Alien and Womanity, cast large, Amazonian shadows that dim the lights of most things around them, so I’d like to shed a little light on a Mugler that doesn’t always get the attention that it deserves. I’m referring to Innocent, which is currently exclusive to Mugler online and some travel retail locations (let’s say thanks to the brand for still making it rather than discontinuing it, as many would). Innocent shines brightly in its own way and it deserves a little attention every now and then because it celebrates all that is Mugler but approaches this spirit from an entirely more dressed down place.
Innocent was launched in 1998 as ‘Angel Innocent‘ and was created by perfumers Laurent Bruyère and Dominique Ropion. As Luca Turin says in Perfumes : The A-Z Guide, it was the first “authorised clone” of Angel, working as a less confrontational and challenging version of Mugler’s flagship fragrance for those people that couldn’t quite handle all of Angel’s angular volumes. Essentially, the fragrance takes the DNA of Angel, retaining its fruity and gourmand facets in a lighter way, but dialling right down on the butch patchouli that makes Angel so, well, Angel! The result is a delightfully bright and cheerful version of Angel that definitely feels like her spawn, but is different enough to craft its own niche. Just as Mugler describes, Innocent is a mischievous and flirtatious take on a legend.
Effervescent Berries, Blackcurrant Jam, Pralines and Sugared Almonds
How Does it Smell?
If I were to describe Innocent in a pithy soundbite, I’d call it a ‘glossy gourmand’ because it presents pretty much all of Angel’s delectably edible nuances except for the fact that they are dipped in a crystalline sugar syrup that coats the whole thing in a beautifully lustrous sheen. No wait, that captures the style of the fragrance but not the spirit, which is pure Mugler couture, honey. So let’s go for ‘Glamazon Gourmand’ instead, which is pretty much the greatest drag queen name ever. You’re welcome.
Innocent opens with what I like to call Angel’s ‘fruit section’, which largely consisted of dewberry in the original. For Innocent, the fruit has been intensified and diversified to take a more dominant role within the composition. The initial impression is of dazzling red berries, squashed and pulped into a delicious jam. It’s all sweet, fresh and dewy, with a fizzy, mischievous vibe. Fruit notes in perfume can be sickeningly sweet, cloying and hideously overused in modern mainstream perfumery but in Innocent they are presented with lightness and complexity, with a wink and a smile, elevating them to a much higher level than the usual fare.
After the fruity opening, Innocent exists as a fragrance of two halves, specifically; one half gourmand and one half musk. The gourmand accord could be considered as a diet take on Angel, opting for praline over chocolate and meringue over candy floss. OK, that’s still pretty sugary to be fair and not part of a healthy, balanced olfactory diet, but the effect is most definitely lighter and less likely to require a swig of Pepto-Bismol after application. The musk section is soapy and fresh, adding an effervescence that allows Innocent to really play up that naughty little minx vibe. It’s all very delicious and all very Mugler.
Innocent is one of my favourite Mugler fragrances. I know that every Mugler fragrance is one of my favourite Mugler fragrances, so that probably doesn’t mean very much, but hey, I can only say how I feel. To me, Innocent manages to present the beauty of Angel without any of the drama, making for a less demanding wear that is perfect for a younger audience, or someone who wants something unique and interesting, but with a little less stubble (let’s face it, Angel rarely shaves). Innocent is a sparkling nymph of a fragrance that will try to lead you astray, but fear ye not, she only has fun in store for you.
Innocent is available in 25ml (£26.50), 50ml (£40.50) and 75ml (£49) Eau de Parfum exclusive to Mugler.co.uk and travel retail.
Sample and image two are my own. Image one via Fragrantica. Notes via Mugler.