Thirteen years after bringing upon us the great Angel, Thierry Mugler introduced Garden of Stars, three floral versions of the classic, Angel Lily, Angel Peony and Angel Violet. I do not wear Angel often, it is a difficult scent for me to pull off, but I do admire its dark gourmand composition; it is undoubtedly a masterpiece and one that launched a thousand scents. I must admit that I thought that the new trio will not be original enough to actually justify their existence. I still find it somewhat ironic that, after receiving much acclaim for creating a non-floral composition, Mugler decided to add flowers to the blend.
I will start with the one Garden of Stars scent that confirmed my misgivings, Angel Violet (Top note: Violet Green, ‘Crystallized Sugar. Middle note: Violet, Woody Notes. Base note: Patchouli, Vanilla Notes). For some reason I expected to like it the most, but then I always imagine I would like violet fragrances and I am often wrong, perhaps the sad fact is, violets and I don’t like each other all that much after all. Do therefore take what I say with a grain of salt, but the fact remains that, on my skin, there is nothing left of Angel in Angel Violet, just dusty old violets that dry down to something reminiscent of the scent of sweaty skin…Angel Violet had a certain dull powderiness that I found rather disagreeable.
Angel Lily is a different story altogether. The image of lilies dripping with chocolate comes to my mind whenever I smell Angel Le Lys (Top note :”Dew” Note, Green Stem. Middle note: Nutmeg, Lily, Honey. Base note : Patchouli, Vanilla Notes) . The chocolate note is much stronger in this composition than it is in the original. Chocolate and lilies flourish side by side for quite a long time, which I found to be a great and unusual effect. The luminous cool scent of lilies and the dark warm scent of chocolate are stunning together. Unfortunately, Angel Lily dried down to a rather pale, vague smell of lilies more than anything else, thus somewhat spoiling the effect. Still, it is a lovely scent and I wouldn’t mind owning a bottle of it at some point.
I also like Angel Peony, in which Angel’s heady gourmand notes are made softer by the sparkly and delicate peonies (Top note : Airy Notes, Stem Green. Middle note : Peony, Pepper, Floral Notes. Base note : Patchouli, Vanilla Notes ). This is a pretty scent, no other word can describe it better. Pretty in a pink but not overly girly kind of way. Whereas lilies pick up and showcase the chocolate note of Angel, peonies emphasize vanilla and patchouli. This is a warm and soft composition, and I like the fact that does not lose its complexity in the drydown, the way Angel Le Lys does.
Angle Lily, however, is my favorite “Garden Angel”, despite the fact that I am not a fan of lilies in perfume (or indeed in real life) and regardless of the disappointingly bland drydown. I admire the way it contrasts the cold incandescent lilies and the warm opaque chocolate note making it possible to smell them simultaneously, side by side. I found the new floral versions of Angel to be significantly softer and thus much more wearable than Angel The First (or Angel The Terrible, for some people). They don’t last on the skin as long as their formidable ancestor, neither do they leave a fearsome trail of sillage. Like it or not, Angel has Presence and Charisma, both of which were sacrificed in the Garden of Stars to perhaps make the new scents more wearable (less feared?). As I mentioned before, I am unable to pull off Angel as often I would liked to, so for me this is a positive development.
Angel Garden of Stars scents are strangely expensive. They can be found at Nordstrom Online, $60.00 for 0,8oz each.
Next, the scents that remind me of my icon, the incomparable Marlene Dietrich.