By now we all know my thoughts on the House of MUGLER. I am and always will be, a lifelong MUGLER fanboy. I am indoctrinated in their ideology. I am a card-carrying member of the Muglerati. If you ask me where I’m from, I will tell you that I was born from a star in the far reaches of the Muglerverse. The brand is my favourite and their fragrances are some of my most-beloved. I am MUGLER, smell me roar.
So it’s always exciting for me when MUGLER launch a new fragrance and this year hasn’t been short in terms of output from my favourite brand. So far we’ve had two Alien flankers (Musc Mysterieux and Eau Sublime), some delicious Angel-flavoured chocolates, oh we can’t forget the entirely brand new feminine pillar fragrance in the form of Aura. It’s been a busy year on Planet Mugler, for sure, and there’s no let up yet, because the brand has just added the ninth fragrance to their exclusive Les Exceptions range: the intriguingly named Wonder Bouquet.
Orange Blossom, Jasmine, Beeswax and Shiso Leaves
How Does it Smell?
The first spritz of Wonder Bouquet is quite something. The initial impression is not of bread, nor flour, but yeast. That’s right, the opening is the bold, almost toasted scent of yeast and into this intriguingly savoury treat, perfumer Jean-Christophe Hérault has folded in the contents of a florist’s refrigerator. The result is a cool dough of fresh white flowers, kneaded softly into a smooth round shape, and that’s really the tone of Wonder Bouquet – a perfectly formed composition with no rough bits, no elements of discord and no divisiveness.
I’ve always wanted MUGLER to create a no holds barred floral, but I guess that’s what Alien achieves – it’s a woody floral, yes, but it’s so excessive and solar it boasts the character of an epic white floral – so yes, MUGLER already has an incredibly bold floral in the centre of their galaxy. The two florals within Les Exceptions (Supra Floral and Wonder Bouquet) are much quieter, with accords that aren’t as bold. Wonder Bouquet’s flowers aren’t as distinct as Alien’s but they present something a little less identifiable (and extra-terrestrial). The overall impression is of refrigerated petals placed softly into white dough, enfleurage style.
After that unusual and attention-grabbing opening, Wonder Bouquet suffers the curse of the missing dry down (see Gabrielle de Chanel for further examples) because what follows the Great Mugler Bake Off is just a satin-like musk, that breezes softly in the dry down like the curtains in a 1990s Celine Dion music video. All jokes and power ballad references aside, it would be fair to say that Wonder Bouquet is largely linear but the curiosity that is the yeastiness subsides quite quickly, leaving a pleasant, but rather pedestrian signature of soft white flowers and musk.
Wonder Bouquet, much like many other launches this year (I’m looking at you (rather fondly) Twilly d’Hermès) falls firmly into the category of scents with interesting things going on, but that don’t feel fully fleshed out. The cool yeastiness against a backdrop of sweet white florals is genuinely fascinating (and somewhat reminiscent of the biscuit-like savoury feel of MUGLER’s much-missed Womanity), but it doesn’t really go anywhere and that’s a shame. The idea of Les Exceptions is to create a sense of olfactory shock, with bold Mugleresque twists on familiar themes. To an extent Wonder Bouquet succeeds at this, it just doesn’t carry the intrigue all the way through. But overall, I think it has some genuinely interesting elements and is therefore, well worth a sniff.
Wonder Bouquet is available in 80ml refillable Eau de Parfum for £135.
Sample, notes and quotes via MUGLER. Images are my own.