Perfume Review: Angel (Thierry Mugler)

This weekend, I worked at a huge event at a DC-area mall. It was packed and I felt like I was standing at a conveyer belt doing makeup! But as busy as it was, it was a blast. The women I worked with (coworkers and clients) were lovely. Except...

Except for the woman who worked for the department store in some aspect, the one who kept walking past dragging a huge cloud of Thierry Mugler's infamous Angel in her wake.

                                                    It was exactly like this...                                       via

Angel. Infamy! It's strong. Intense. Rich. Distinctive. Polarizing. Easily overdone.

Each time this woman walked by she nearly choked me. You're reading the words - maybe even nodding in understanding. But I don't know you really get it. Let me flesh out this scene a bit more, make it more clear. When you stand in a cosmetics department for 8 hours, you lose all ability to discern scent. You no longer smell your own perfume, even snuffling your wrist. The wall of perfume, the women and men milling about in their own fragrances... It's immediate olfactory shut-down.

The fact that I could smell that woman's Angel in such a setting and to such an extent...Damn! That's a testament to the power of the stuff. And I didn't just smell it - I could nearly taste it. It literally stuck in my nostrils and stayed with me for over a half an hour after leaving!

Ok, so we've talked about Angel's power. *Shudder*

What does it smell like? No, really, I'm kind of joking now. Just about everyone and their mother know what Angel smells like. Well, maybe my Mother doesn't (Hi, Mom!). For her, let's briefly discuss...

                                                Not a fan.                              via
The list of notes shows the insanity: melon, coconut, mandarin orange, cassia, jasmine, bergamot, cotton candy, honey, apricot, blackberry, plum, orchid, peach, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, red berries,rose, tonka bean, amber and vanilla, patchouli, musk, vanilla, dark chocolate and caramel.

Bizarre, right? But somehow, it works. It works! And it's the scent that launched a thousand ships, too. Angel opened wide the genre of gourmand fragrance: foody scents, perfumes that smell like dessert or confections.

On me, Angel is a pleasant chocolate patchouli. (One hundred and fifty thousand notes, and that's all I get: chocolate patchouli!?)

I love it, though, I really do, but grab my sample rarely. I have to a moment to consider why that is, huh? In part, I think I don't want to smell like anyone else. (Imagine if TWO of us wore it this weekend?) Also, it such a polarizing scent (many people loathe it 1) - do I want to offend? Of course not! And then there's the power. As someone who was a teen in the 80's, I live in fear of overwhelming throw and stifling sillage.

So I wear it at home from time to time. Just a drop! And I revel in the chocolate patchouli for awhile.
Like most overly rich confections Angel is a treat best enjoyed in small amounts only now and again.

House: Thierry Mugler
Fragrance: Angel
Perfumer: Olivier Cresp & Yves Chirin
Released: 1992
Notes: melon, coconut, mandarin orange, cassia, jasmine, bergamot, cotton candy, honey, apricot, blackberry, plum, orchid, peach, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, red berries,rose, tonka bean, amber and vanilla, patchouli, musk, vanilla, dark chocolate and caramel
Sample: I can't even recall where it came from (ages ago).

Final Word: Sweet in small doses.

Here's an Angel many of us can agree on!
[1] Got some free time? Peruse the Basenotes, Makeup Alley, and Fragrantica reviews of Angel. What a riot! Example: Fragrantica's ADAMbergris says "This is surely (Madam) Satan's signature scent..." Meanwhile, MUA's ipatieva says "...My friend tried it too and she smelled like a homeless person with wet dog." My favorite, though, is autumn89 on Basenotes: "It smells like diabetes would if it had a smell."

Tell me: do you Angel? And were you a Buffy fan? Team Spike or Team Angel?
(While I can appreciate Angel, I was firmly on Team Spike!)


  1. I feel exactly the same way (I left a comment to this effect on Victoria's blog last week) -- love Angel, but usually only wear it at home since so many people hate it and it's so recognizable. I have worn it out, to a party or something, a few times for fun (and when I dressed up as Rayanne Graf from My So-Called Life for Halloween!).

    I had no idea melon and coconut were in the notes! This scent changes a fair amount between wearings, I find, but I do get lots of chocolate, patchouli, burnt sugar, and berry, and sometimes a cumin hit as well.

  2. Not so much an Angel fan, I like it in small quantities but don't really wear it.
    I was on team Angel first but then I was also firmly on team Spike. :) I loved Buffy!

  3. I was an Angel fan, although the producers most likely didn't think of me when they devised the series. And I was definitely on the Spike team - oh yeah!

    You've captured my thoughts on Angel very well. I do like it. But do I want to be associated with it? Maybe not. I've only known (in the sense people who also know me, not just passers-by) who've worn Angel. One was a woman in her early 30's with an angelic face, very young looking, very sweet and likeable. The other one is a women in her late 50's. She's a high ranking civil servant, wears black nail polish and red lips and her long hair down. And Angel worked on both of them. So, maybe it's possible to make Angel one's own. I think I will ultimately find something else that's a bit different and sport that instead. Or do as I always do - just wear what I like whether it's a Dior that only draws bored yawns from blasé perfumistas or whether it's my sample of Keiko Mecheri's Oliban.

    Incidentally, I once by accident washed a sample of Angel Lily with with clothes - it made for a very nice fabric softener. I don't think I want Angel - the mothership - mixed with wet clothes. It would be like inviting space invaders into one's home.

    I think chocolate patchouli sounds rather nice - I wouldn't mind having you walk by my office :-)

  4. Elisa, thanks for visiting. I read some of your writing. I'm a fan! As for Angel, I'm such a patchouli-amper, the scent doesn't morph on my skin. Steady Eddie, it's all choco-chouli, all of the time! I wish I got the melange you experience.

    Ines, Spike makes me swoon. :)

    Junelady, Spike is lotsa yum. Don't think I was their demographic, either, but who cares?! I'm not too snobby about other people smelling like me. Heck, all perfumistas seem to adorr Bois des Iles like I do; I figure we all smell pretty similar. But soooo many people object to Angel, with many claiming it's a headache-maker. I just can't do it... :)


  5. Oh wow, thanks Jen! It's a good thing you like patchouli.

  6. I'm loving the pictures you put on this post! The angel from 'Blink', my favorite Dr. Who episode!! I had nightmares the first time I saw it!

  7. Alice, thanks. Sorry if I gave you more nightmares, tho...? :)

  8. I am using other brand for almost a year now and I think this is something I want to try. Where I can find to buy this?

    pheromone cologne

  9. Angel is one of my favourite perfumes :) I love fresh fragrance of fruit and flowers notes and in this perfumes they are a lot :) This one will be the next one which i will buy. :)


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