The secret of making a good curry is proportion, the spicing must be calibrated with some elements highlighted, others playing a supporting role. Attempting a curry by throwing together various spices will result in an edible but invariably muddy result.
This iteration of Angel throws up a similar problem – one senses a multitude of materials but they resolutely refuse to unite into something grand, a bit like a high definition recording being played through muffled speakers.
First up is an amazingly strong cassis note that smells just like the underwear of a dribbler who doesn’t change their smalls for days. This dried urine whiff had me chuckling; it was mercifully short-lived.
Then we were in the realm of a powerful thing dulled somewhat – I don’t know whether it is the attempted leather to blame. I say attempted because had I tried this blind, I wouldn’t have plumped for leather, just something that smells a bit worn and tired.
However, this is clearly a perfume of two parts, with the elements cohering much better after a good few hours, where a rich yet frothy, mainly abstract but quite fruity scent of considerable charm and sophistication remains.
As an Angel fanatic and one obsessed with leather fragrances, I adore this fragrance. I have gotten tons of compliments wearing it, typically when people hug me. The sillage is not as great as Angel, but the subtle leather notes more than make that up to me.
I've only used a tiny bit of my current bottle, but I'm already wondering if I should order another, to keep in reserve. One of my favorite fragrances, refined, subtle, beautiful.
Angel les Parfum de Cuir & Alien les Parfum de Cuir
While I loved Angel Liqueur, I found the Mugler annual thematic releases uninteresting except for the apparent belief that branding is more important than perfume. It might make the magic of marketing synergy easier to achieve, but slapping a new flavor across an entire line seems at least cynical and more likely haphazard. I suppose, though, that every now and again a match has to occur. It also makes sense that Angel, with its fingers in so many different genres (gourmand, oriental, floral) is more likely than Alien, Womanity or Mugler Cologne to be fertile soil where the flavor of the year can plant itself.
Angel les Parfum de Cuir can hold the leather note without it seeming entirely out of place, but the leather does nothing to enhance Angel. It muddies Angel’s distinctive qualities, but it doesn't negate them. Sort of, meh. Not exactly the Angel battle cry.
Alien les Parfum de Cuir matches a dulled leather notes to the radioactive jasmine of the original Alien, giving us a real head scratcher. There are no interesting commonalities and no juxtapositions to exploit. Until the leather note fades, when it is ultimately crushed under the weight of chemo floral oppression, Alien Cuir just seems like a mismatch, more of a smell that a scent.
Mugler's Cuirs are by definition formulaic and lack inspiration. They seem to come from the same thinking that give us, "Ugghhh. It’s November again. What should this year's holiday office party theme be? "