Alien

“If you don’t like jasmine then you are probably going to need to put on your Space Suit, a Close Encounter of the Third Kind with this Alien may leave you feeling completely overwhelmed.”

I remember Alien’s release well, in 2005 I had just started my love affair with perfumes and one perfume I had fallen for big time was Angel by Thierry Mugler, so the news of a brand new Mugler release was big news for me. My excitement grew even more when I heard the perfume was to be named ‘Alien’, has there ever been a more perfect name for a fragrance? I think not!

Alien also holds a special resonance with me because it was that year I met my lovely boyfriend (technically he’s my fiancée but I don’t like the word) and Alien was the perfume I wore when we first met. He probably doesn’t remember the perfume that I wore, but I do and that makes it all the more special to me.

On Thursday I will be reviewing the latest incarnation of Alien, ‘Alien Le Goût du Parfum‘ so I feel it’s only fitting to give the original a proper review, after all Alien is one of my all time favourites.

Wardrobe

Last weekend, after much nagging from my long-suffering partner, I decided to have a tidy of my perfume collection and samples box. Now, anyone who knows me well will be fully aware that tidying is not really something I do very often, in fact, it is something that I avoid at all costs.

Anyway, during my tidy up, I totalled up the number of perfume bottles in my collection and I was genuinely shocked when I came to the nice round number of 120. “How can I have so much perfume, I never feel like I have enough choice” I thought, “Do I really need so much?” and “Do I feel like I don’t know what to wear because I have too much choice?”

This led me to think in depth about my collection of fragrances, what would I choose if I were to reduce its size considerably?

Angel

“Angel Eau de Toilette is still a diva but she is Angel before she puts on her drag queen make up and high heels, she is the daytime Angel, just as fabulous and dramatic but less likely to throw a tantrum.”

When I first read the news that the Thierry Mugler brand was releasing an Eau de Toilette version of their infamous flagship fragrance Angel, my first thought was ‘I’m surprised they haven’t done one already.’ Well it’s taken nearly 20 years, but Mugler has finally decided to launch a lighter version of the heavy oriental gourmand.

Along with the launch of the new Eau de Toilette, and it’s fabulous new ‘comet bottle’ Mugler has created a brand new television and print campaign for both versions, starring Eva Mendes. I’m probably not supposed to say this, because I like Naomi Watts as an actress, but she just didn’t suit being the face of Angel, so I’m very glad that the sultry Eva Mendes is now fronting the campaign for my favourite Diva.

Now, Angel fans, I can sense that you are perhaps feeling a little uneasy and even slightly sceptical about this new release, after all why would you want a lighter version of Angel? She’s perfect just as she is. Well if you’re anything like me, you love Angel but on some days she’s just a little bit too much, and you can’t be doing with all of her diva antics all day long, every single day. You’ll be relieved to know that Angel Eau de Toilette is faithful to the original and what Mugler has done is create a more ‘everyday’ version of Angel that can be worn to the office/school/park/(insert everyday place here) without terrifying people

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.

Marc Jacobs

I don’t know about you, but when I wear fragrance I wear it for myself and myself alone. Sure, I love to share my passion with others, that is a huge part of my hobby, but when I wear perfume, I wear it because I enjoy it.

And I wear what I like!

Ever since I bought my first proper perfume (Kingdom by Alexander McQueen) I have loved ‘feminine’ fragrances. Looking through my collection it’s obvious that the ratio of feminine and masculine is weighted considerably towards the feminine. To this day I find myself drawn to the feminine releases much more than masculines. Don’t get me wrong I do enjoy wearing masculine fragrances but they just don’t wow me the way a lot of the feminines do.

I guess that I’m the King/Queen of fragrant gender bending.

OK, I may not be ‘woman’ but Womanity most certainly is, she is all woman and she definitely knows how to roar.

Womanity was released in 2010 and is the latest feminine fragrance by renegade fashion house Thierry Mugler. It is the house’s first major feminine release (i.e. not a flanker) since Alien in 2005. The fragrances is described as a woody oriental and is based around a juxtaposition of sweet and savoury notes

To coincide with the release of Womanity, Mugler also created a social network site womanity.com which, just like the fragrance, celebrates ‘the invisible bond between women’. I have to admit that I find the concept more than a little bit tedious…

Us perfumistas/fumeheads/fragonerds/whatever it is we call ourselves are keen followers of the mantra ‘It’s all about the juice’, meaning that we don’t care about the marketing, the bottle or any of the other stuff that comes with a fragrance. We just care about the smell!

It seems that we may differ from the mainstream consumer.

In the mainstream perfume industry the bottle is seen as the key marketing tool for a fragrance. Those of you who watched the recent BBC4 documentary ‘Perfume’ would have seen that in the case of the latest Tommy Hilfiger fragrances (Loud for Him and Her) the bottle and the marketing were the prime focus of the development team and the juice very much seemed like an afterthought.

So how important is the bottle to a perfumista?

I asked my Twitter followers whether they were swayed by the bottle design when purchasing a fragrance. The general consensus seemed to be that no, the bottle doesn’t matter, however an attractive bottle does help. Some even mentioned that if the fragrance was good and the bottle was bad they would decant the juice into something more aesthetically pleasing. We kept coming back to the same conclusion – it’s all about the juice…

I feel that I may buck the perfumista trend slightly, if I love a perfume I will buy it, regardless of whether it has a nice bottle or not. That said, I do like a nice bottle and have on occasions found myself wanting a fragrance because it’s housed in a nice bottle (Hello Lola by Marc Jacob!) I can’t help that I’m drawn to shiny, pretty objects can I?!

There are some brands out there with some really fabulous bottles and in this post I would like to highlight just a few of my favourites.