One of the most ground
breaking perfumes of modern times was Thierry
Mugler's Angel. Some are attracted to Angel
straight away, some need a second take, and some
just run a mile. Hey, that's choice for you. But
if you explore the design behind it, you may
find it all together more interesting...
Angel is based very simply around the smells
of the fairground. Once you know that, you can
start to smell the elements that make it so very
What you might recognise first is the top
note smells which are the sweets and candies of
the fair. There's a touch of toffee apple and
candyfloss in there, caramel and chocolate and
sugared almonds. Sickly sweet and smells
strongly rooted in our childhood memories.
Smell again and you may just pick up a whiff
of cordite, that bright carbon electrical smell
as the bumper cars tear round the track, and
perhaps a hint of fuel oil powering the waltzers,
the ferris wheel and the ghost train. You can
almost hear the screams and hooplas of laughter
now. There is a mere hint of floral in there
also. Would that be the mix of fragrances worn
by the fairground goers, or perhaps a drift
across from neighbouring parks or gardens.
base note you may recognise that deep earthy mossy smell of the wet fairground.
Mossy, woody, earthy smells of the grass and mud trodden by countless footsteps.
Patchouli is one of the key smells used to create that feeling, which is all
part of Angel's love / hate nature. Various woods, balsams and resinous scents
add to the base theme.
Some say Angel, best worn as an autumn/winter perfume,
is sexy and alluring, some say it is one of the
most romantic scents ever created, and some as I
say, turn tail and run. From a perfume history
perspective though, it certainly is a landmark.
If you have never smelt Angel, go seek it
out, and see where it takes you.
Angel was created in 1992,
though it took some years to establish itself,
by the perfumer Olivier Cresp to Thierry
Mugler's brief. Cresp, borne, raised and still
living around Grasse, has since gone on to
create fragrances such as Joop Jette, Dune, D&G
Light Blue, Kenzo L'eau, Paco Rabanne Black XS
as well as the Angel floral variations.