Saturday, July 26, 2014

Tackling the Classics: Angel by Thierry Mugler

Welcome to the first entry in the Tackling the Classics series where I take a look at iconic scents and see if they live up to the hype on myself. Today we take a look at the legendary and groundbreaking Angel.

What has not been said about Angel? It is considered the booming loud opera voice that brought the gourmand genre to the forefront*, it is without a doubt the scent that you will have an opinion on, in fact I would say it is impossible not to have an opinion on Angel.

What is Angel for me? I think first thing I should mention is Angel has always caught me off guard by its name, Angel you think angelic, soft downy cherubs, but Mugler instead decided to go with the idea of the avenging angel Gabriel. In this case Gabriel's sword is patchouli and chocolate and unfortunately if not used right you could easily bludgeon onlookers with this scent. We have all heard the stories of the person who wore too much Angel.

After sampling Angel multiple times I have found it to be patchouli overload and sadly it remains just that on me. Every once in awhile I will get a glimmer of the other notes, but Angel overall for me is a particular patchouli that I have come to realize never melds well on me. It is what I call damp hay patchouli. Damp hay patchouli smells of dry sweet patchouli with the unnerving and not delightful note of hay that has been soaked with water and allowed to sit awhile. The other note that causes issue for me is the candyfloss note, now for many this note is a delightful gourmand note, but for me takes on an acrid limp quality that that just stagnates on my skin. It took me awhile to figure out what was causing this effect but I fully realized it when I tried the discontinued L'Artisan Vanilia which uses the same candyfloss note in a much larger percentage.

Yet, I do know the beauty and proclamation of Angel, just not on me. Years ago I had a colleague who wore it and on her it was swoon worthy sillage, Kuljeet's skin brought out the bittersweet chocolate, and fruit notes. What it ended up smelling like on her was the dark chocolate the kind with wine and berry notes.

As for the type of angel that Angel is, I think it is far more akin to Tilda Swinton's Gabriel in Constantine (the only good thing about that movie).

*Although, it should be noted that there are many fragrances before it that skirted the gourmand territory but never fully bellowed it like Angel.

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Mlle Ghoul said...

"We have all heard the stories of the person who wore too much Angel."<---HA! Yes, too true!

It's never quite been the patchouli that's bothered me in Angel, or at least I didn't think so...but your descriptors of damp hay and acrid candyfloss sum up my issues with the scent exactly. And somehow, the still of Tilda there sums up the intersection of those two awkward, unpleasant scents quite perfectly. (No offense, Tilda. I am always, madly, yours.)

Jennifer Koth said...

Hah, I am glad my description of what goes wrong with Angel on me aligns with someone else's issues with it. For awhile I thought how can this be happening to me? Where is all the chocolate that everyone speaks of? The paranoid thoughts of a perfume lover.