When Thierry Mugler launched his famed Angel perfume in 1992 the love affair between this fragrance and its consumer devotees was like most great love affairs: instant. Call it love at first breath or leastways, love at first inhalation. Moreover, better than the average, ‘best’ love affair, the adoration was as long lasting as it was immediate. Conversely, among fragrance writers, the love affair was not quite instant. Sweet, candied perfumes have a way of not immediately garnering respect; creating fruity, sweet, ‘foodie’ perfume isn’t too esteemed and few perfumes manage to reach an exalted level when they go that route. But in time, with the leathery patchouli accents counterpointing the sweet froth within, Angel got the nod from the industry as well as the ladies who lunch. Not to mention, the aesthetic branding of the perfume (in blue glass star decanters) that are (how green is that and all before green was in…) refillable captured an enduring following. What’s not to love about a perfume that makes you smell like a candied siren and comes in a beautiful bottle that is less expensive because you can refill it?
Given the hype and loyalty Angel receives, it’s easy to explain how why almost two decades later, despite the plethora of perfumes on the market in an industry that is beyond burgeoning with new blooms year in, year out, Angel continues to dominate the ‘best selling’ perfume on countless perfume sites?
In his own words, Mugler is quoted on the Angel website, concerning his offspring, Angel: “This is a romance that is not all fluff.” Truth is, who could resist the sweet floral that somehow delivered candied notes in a fresh way?
Although the components of Angel are a closely guarded secret, Angel is renown for its gourmand-inspired sensibility, rife with essences of honey, chocolate and caramel. Blended with notes of vanilla, patchouli and sandalwood, Angel is definitely a romantic fragrance but one that takes itself seriously. In other words, it takes playful elements of welcome sweetness: chocolate, vanilla, caramel, berries, honey and citrusy-sweet bergamot which, like and fuses them into a bouquet of heady delights. As one Angel representative confided with me, ‘if you like food or are seduced by desserts and all things gourmet, this perfume is for you’. For a pastry chef who is also in love with fragrance, it isn’t then, a great leap to take Angel as a starting point and inspiration to create some ‘Angel-inspired’ recipes.
~ Chocolate Mandarin Angel Tea ~
~ Angel Honey Cake ~
~ Bergamot Angel Brownies with Earl Grey Ganache ~
~ Angel Crème Brûlée Blondies ~
(click Next to see the recipes)