The Smell of Heaven: Thierry Mugler Angel review

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     I used to think that perfumes had expiration dates – not only literal ones, but also figurative ones. I believed that once a fragrance reached a certain age it lost its appeal and market share, gradually growing discounted until it vanished entirely. I couldn’t imagine how Chanel’s N°5 ($76*) and Guerlain’s Shalimar ($72.99*, pictured below) were not only still alive but truly thriving, not with so many fresh releases popping up like mushrooms after the rain. I thought that perfume was about here and now, which is to miss entirely the point of the whole thing: to take you into the near or distant past, to foreign lands and otherworldly existences entirely.

     That was all before I actually worked in the industry.

© Gil Segev 2015

© Gil Segev 2015

     When you interact with clients about perfumes, a fine dance is performed in which the associate must carefully gauge the customer’s comfort level and suggest numbers that fit their mood in that instant and also in their day-to-day lives. Most people, I discovered, tend to shy away from anything deemed new unless it is exceptionally hyped over (i.e. Tom Ford, Jo Malone, and the likes). For the most part they prefer to stick to what they know, repurchasing the same fragrance like an iPod stuck on repeat or veering dangerously close to their usual should they decide to bravely explore something different.

     And so, it came to me as a bit of a shocker when I realized I was being approached far more for established scents than anything I was really excited about – Thierry Mugler’s Angel probably being number one on the list of requests, second only to its sibling Alien ($99.99*). I recently have had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with the latter’s 2009 flanker Alien Sunessence EDT Legere, and also the sought-after men’s fragrance Pure Havane in 2013, forming a deep mental bond between the brand and luxurious gourmand scents, and when I had the opportunity of meeting Angel face-to-face I began to understand what all the hype was about.

     Angel’s legacy goes beyond its signature aroma that one can grow to recognize on command. Thierry is a French-born designer, known for his signature accentuated shoulders and structured elegance. When he developed his first fragrance with Clarins, he’d come to the table with such bizarre requests similar to those of Lady Gaga and her fragrance Fame ($22.99*), only that his came about twenty years prior. Mugler wanted his fragrance to come in a ridiculously difficult-to-produce, not to mention costly star-shaped bottle, and what more is he wanted it to be refillable. How preposterous, indeed! And at a time of amber- and salmon-colored juices, he insisted Angel be a delicate baby blue. The result, coupled with the many films starring the hottest starlets over the years (see above), has made Angel a permanent fixture of the department store, and it is not going away any time soon. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Clarins releases a few new flankers by the time you’re done reading this!

© Gil Segev 2015

© Gil Segev 2015

     The pictured Angel set is one of many available on, an ever-changing catalogue of today’s and yesterday’s hottest beauty picks for a fraction of their retail price. I love that you get four mini bottles of Angel, and even though they all look different they’re the same signature scent. It begins with a powdery yet fresh chocolate note, and develops into a renowned blackberry and patchouli base that people tend to almost fear. It has monstrous projection and lasts all day, and gives the illusion of a very expensive course at a gourmet restaurant, like truffles and chocolate mousse and champagne all in one.

© Gil Segev 2015

© Gil Segev 2015

     Verdict: No longer am I fooled into believing that perfume has age restrictions, and in fact I think Angel in particular is a very relevant scent in our time. It is sold in so many doors and is worn by such a crowd that I’m sure you can get your nose on it, and when you fall in love with its ethereal scent head over to to find the best deal on it. You’ll be smelling like a little piece of heaven in no time! See my other holiday scent recommendations below, and let me know what you think of Angel in the comments!

*Prices true at time of writing.


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2 responses to “The Smell of Heaven: Thierry Mugler Angel review

  1. I enjoy Angel. Alien too. I only have sample vials of them but when I do wear them they leave me feeling satisfied. Sounds like you are enjoying your new job!

    • Hi Julie! Indeed, loving what I get to do – help people discover their noses again! Mugler’s are such sophisticated and grown-up fragrances, I’m glad to you are familiar with the two best-sellers. Do give A*Men a go, it’s a masculine version of Angel that’s pretty darn good!

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