This is a lovely perfume that I almost skipped because it's so commonly worn.
Alien starts with some sharp white florals (mostly jasmine), a lot of sweetness and a hint of woods and metal. After about an hour it settles in nicely to a somewhat sweet creamy (almost nougat like) jasmine that has a touch of powder to it (possibly some sandalwood).
I like it much more than I had originally thought I would. Because it is so widely available and because Thierry Mugler is such a popular house, this has the stigma of being seen as "ordinary" or "generic", when it isn't. Yes, it has the ever popular elements of white floral and sweetness, but it's done in a way that is different enough (and lasts decently enough) to be more enjoyable than mass market sugar or fruity/floral bombs. Sillage is soft to moderate (about 2-3 feet) and lasting power is about 5-6 hours. Really lovely and versatile fragrance. I think my favorite time to wear it would be Fall/Winter day or night.
This is a perfume I fell in love with, beautiful, different, true to its name. I went to buy it, but when I got to the counter to smell the tester to make sure the love and attraction was still there, it turned me off. The scent was overly strong in the commercial way. Perhaps that was an old batch or one that had been in the heat. If there was a lighter version of it, I would reconsider.
Alien is the fragrance I love despite myself. I sort of dislike everything the perfume stands for, it's name, the gaudy packaging, not to mention it's notoriety. Alien is too well known for it's own good in a way, it's celebrity making it feel that bit too obvious, and therefore overplayed and unrefined. Thierry Mugler seems to be the worst kept secret in perfumery. And yet, the scent itself is so appealing and irresistible to me, that I overcome my snobbery and all these things, the name, the packaging, they pale into insignificance because at the end of the day: I love that smell. It's as simple as that. However loud and conspicuous there is something in the combination of notes in this fragrance that always pulls me in. It is sort of a throw back to the 80s in it's big brassy unabashedly sexy floral nature. It's kind of brash and overt in it's sexiness so I have to be in a very specific mood to wear it - usually a winter's evening, it should be worn with heels. It should feel dated by now I tell myself but Alien remains a heady and intoxicating magic potion I can't help but adore, an ex-lover who is no good but I keep coming back to anyway.
So Alien smells a little trashy. I think the house of Thierry Mugler wears trashy on its sleeve like a badge of honor, so there's kind of no point in pretending otherwise. The "space jasmine," as another Basenote reviewer perfectly describes this scent, is a spicy cinnamon-inflected nuclear jasmine overlaid with a streak of menthol. The tension generated between the warm cinnamon and the cool menthol is, to my nose, what makes the jasmine seem to vibrate in the air--for hours and hours. (So much so that overspraying can send me straight into the fetal position with a migraine--beware).
Lots of reviewers feel disappointed by the drydown, but this style of loud perfumery really doesn't leave a lot of room to manouver. As it is, I find Alien creamy and alluring on skin. After all that oscillation, Alien gently gradually slows down and comes to a rest. What's wrong with that?
I really enjoy this perfume; but then, I wore Poison in 1986 and Paris in 1990. Big florals like these can be marvelously beautiful, and they're also a lot of fun. I reserve Alien for evenings with noise and drinks. Even then, a judicious trigger finger is the secret to these beasts.
25th February, 2016 (last edited: 13th April, 2016)
Honestly, I wanted to love this fragrance because the bottle reminded me of the Halo video game. But I found it over-hyped for what was promised. The wood/leather notes felt really harsh and synthetic against powder. Not interesting, just weird and migraine-inducing. I had to wash it off after an hour. I much prefer the Alien Eau Extraordinaire which is less synthetic leather smelling.
05th January, 2016 (last edited: 13th March, 2016)