We recently recorded an upcoming battle episode of Fume Chat at Perfume Lovers London and one of the subjects that came up was MUGLER. No surprises there, of course, everywhere I go MUGLER must be mentioned, but what was interesting was the fact that everyone seemed to agree that, when it comes to flankers, nobody does it better than good old Thierry M. I’m on board with this too and whether MUGLER are creating candy floss versions of Angel or spiced-up versions of A*Men, they’re always making some fascinting, and beautifully smelling things.
One of MUGLER’s fragrances that always lends itself well to flankerisation is Alien, the brand’s supreme being. Alien has been treated to many injections of flavour scent and texture, and following their launch of Alien Oud Majesteux last year, MUGLER have added Musc Mystérieux, another instalment to what they’re calling the Oriental Collection. Created by Perfumer Dominique Ropion, this version of Alien plays homage to the ancient ingredient of musk, presenting a smoother and more transparent take on tonkin musk – a solar musk.
Sambac Jasmine, Cashmeran Wood, White Musk, Tonkin Musk, Saffron and Vanilla.
How Does it Smell?
Alien Musc Mystérieux opens much darker and richer than any other incarnation of the fragrance to date. Gone are the sparkling citrus top notes, replaced by plumes of grey smoke and spice. Saffron immediately provides a savoury warmth that turns the smoke into golden light, providing an auburn richness that completely replaces the need for any lightness, reminding the nose that light can be warm and glowing, not just bright and refreshing.
The heart is full Alien, with oodles of that syrupy, high-pitched jasmine with its intergalactic throw. In Musc Mystérieux, the white floral notes are less green, amping up the warmth of the jasmine as opposed to its freshness. The Cashmeran contrast that plays such a bold juxtaposition in Alien feels rounder here, with the sharper edges softened in preparation for the pillowy musk-vanilla base that takes centre stage in this musky marvel.
Speaking of that musky base, let’s get straight to it because this dry down means business. Smoky sweet musk and vanilla come together like caramel, creating a nutty, silky quality that is unbelievably soft. Alien was known for its distinct woodiness against a backdrop of radiant florals however, Musc Mystérieux does away with the angular nature of woods to instead present the tactile texture of musk. The result is a really elegant take on Alien that manages to be bold without being challenging or overtly dramatic.
I like Alien Musc Mystérieux about much as I do Oud Majesteux, which is to say that I like it a lot. This version manages to be warm, soft, cuddly and sensual without heading down the gourmand route (a la the delicious Alien Essence Absolue), resting on velvety musks and silky vanilla to create a plush Alien that is exotic and dry. If Alien was crafted from amethyst then Alien Musc Mystérieux is chiselled from multifaceted tigers eye, presenting the iconic extra-terrestrial in shades of gold, bronze, brown and white. It’s bloody beautiful.
Alien Musc Mystérieux is available in 90ml non-refillable Eau de Parfum for £115.
Sample, notes and quotes via MUGLER. Images are my own.