Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Angel is turning 20!

Angel is turning 20!
Angel, the iconic yet divisive fragrance from Thiery Mugler is turning 20, and The Bay in downtown Vancouver is throwing a party! This week, you can marvel at 5 haute-couture gowns by the Parisian contemporary fashion designer whose fantasies inspired this peculiar scent that have turned from an obscure cult fragrance into one of the top 10 best sellers world-wide.

Spent my lunch today at The Bay learning about the fascinating world of Theirry Mugler and his obsession with stars, the colour blue, tall angular blondes and cotton candy. There was sushi, popcorn, marshmallows, mimosas, a giant blue cupcake - and blue macarons!

But, the best part for me was smelling the three "facets"* of Angel:
1st being the "celestial facet" - which smelled like pristine, clear, cut citrine stone. To be more specific - it smelled of crisp green apple, calone, helional and a lot of bergamot.
2nd is the "delicious facet" with notes of blueberries, blackberries, coumarin, cotton candy and a slightly mikly fig (which kicks in only hours later on the scent strip).
3rd and last is the "sensual facet" -  voluptuous notes of patchouli paired with musk galore.

In the picture above you can see one of the Limited Edition Angel Parfum flacons - from 2002 (same campaign as the ad featured in my SmellyBlog review). They brought a limited number of them to Canada to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Angel today and I tried some on my wrists - the Parfum is so much nicer and softer than the EDP and dabbing is a much welcome practice for such a powerhouse fragrance. And I could detect the merest hint of vetiver in the mix...

It was a rather enjoyable lunch affair (except that I would need more food to handle a mimosa that early in the day!) and the presentation quite delayed, and much prolonged with multiple sampling of ALL the various body products scented with Angel. According to the sale reps there - all the lotions, harisprays, shimmering powders, shower gels and exfolianting creams are scented with no less than 30-40% (!!!) of perfume. They must be mistaken. This can't possibly be a legal and safe level for use in a body product... But regardless it explains why Angel is always so overwhelming - for those who embalm their entire life with them, it's more than required for scent alone. It becomes more of an environmental-fragrancing that could take care of an entire mall. And I am not exaggerating. You could smell it across a building when someone wears it with the "layering"** method.

I had to dash off to my next meeting before the presentation was completely wrapped up, and will have to come back to snatch photos of the rest of the bottles and dresses. My only regret is, that all along - the nose of Angel - Olivier Cresp - was not mentioned AT ALL. What a shame to pretend as if Thierry Mugler is the nose/perfumer. This is not incidental. The booklet that came along with the presentation sites the same. Supposedly Thierry Mugler is a dancer, choreographer, photographer, fashion designer AND perfumer. I would have not doubted his many talents otherwise; but adding the perfumer title makes everything else look less reliable, somehow...

With that being said, it did not take away from my appreciation of the artistry behind the gowns themselves - each crystal is hand-sewn and arranged in a specific pattern. Each gown is completely impractical and if I had to choose between strutting down the street naked or wrapped in one of these, I would most likely pick the first. They are so impractical to wear that it would have been simply dangerous unless you have invisi-cables lifting your weight away from the ground and ensuring you're not being weighed down by all those rocks! Some of Thierry Mugler's SS13 ready to wear collection (which is actually wearable) has already arrived at The Bay. 

Even the bottle of Angel is a thing of marvel. A new technology had to be invented to carry out Mugler's vision: a device for rotating the mold while it's being filled with the liquid glass to ensure even distribution of the glass to the very uneven and angular shape of the bottle. This was a breakthrough in glass-making technology thanks to Mugler's very particular vision and his evident obsession with the shape of stars and the colour blue...

Thierry Mugler's Angel gowns

*FYI: By "facets" what they really are saying (without knowing it) is that Angel is linear, and this is one of the main accords or themes that are woven into its linear being. And of course it works nicely with the faceted, angular bottle shapes...

** Layering application of scents refers to using the same scent in various stages of one's body care: showering with it, applying it as a moisturizer, and than also adding the scent. 

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