Thierry Mugler Angel ~ an appreciation

Thierry Mugler Angel fragrance advert

Thierry Mugler's Angel, like Yves Saint Laurent Opium or Guerlain Shalimar, is one of those perfumes that is so iconic, and so widely written about, that it's hard to think of anything new to say on the subject. But as was the case with Shalimar, I want to review a flanker, and it just seems wrong to talk about the flanker when you haven't talked about the original fragrance. So: some brief thoughts, a few quotes, but nothing like a real review.

Angel launched in 1992. It was the first fragrance from Mugler, who at one time was one of the bigger names in French fashion but whose house had by that time already started to decline; arguably he is better known today for the perfumes.1 Vera Strubi, president of Thierry Mugler Perfumes, noted that:

Angel is not the product of a marketing recipe. Angel surprises and intrigues people at the same time. It is so different that some find it shocking, but others become addicted to it.2

I, for one, found it shocking. Angel was, and is, a bestseller, so I surely must have smelled it at some point over the course of the 1990s, but I was not especially interested in perfume at the time and have no memory of it — the perfume I remember smelling everywhere in the mid-1990s was Calvin Klein's CK One. My first memory of Angel is from many years later, around 2004, when I received a spray vial in a swap. The vial had leaked very slightly, and the smell of the package, even before I had it open, was horrifying. I quickly identified the culprit and sealed it in a plastic bag in an attempt to dampen the impressive sillage. I disposed of the smelly packaging, left the vial on my desk and went out to run a few errands. On entering my house a few hours later, the first thing I smelled was — you guessed it — Angel. I escorted it directly to the outside garbage cans, and that was my last encounter with Angel for quite some time.

What shocked me, mostly, was the patchouli, or more specifically, the "unusually high 30 percent concentration of woodsy patchouli" that had been added to keep the fragrance from being overly sweet.3 The heavy patchouli was the brainchild of perfumer Yves de Chiris, who knew something had to counteract the candyfloss, chocolate and caramel reportedly inspired by Mugler's memories of a childhood fairground. The combination is beautifully balanced, but it's also heady, and especially in the early stages, jarring — Angel invariably gets a mention in any discussion of perfumes people would least like to smell in, say, a small elevator, or a window-less office.

I'm no longer the patchouli-virgin I was in 2004, and it's been some time since Angel had the power to disturb me. Wearing it for the past week or so while writing this, I've been surprised by how much I enjoy it, and how much better it is than most of its (many) imitators. It still isn't something I'd wear regularly, but it's an impressive scent, and all the more so when considered next to modern, overly-sanitized versions of patchouli (see Kevin's rant yesterday). Angel makes a statement.

I will leave you with a few other opinions:

Oh my! This smells awful! I got it as a sample and I can't get it off soon enough! Ugh! The smell is a combination of cheap perfume and bug repellant! — reviewer kelaine423 at MakeupAlley

The surprising aspect is that the juxtaposition works remarkably well, resulting in a fragrance that fuses the gourmand temptations of melted chocolate swirled into warm honey and the unexpectedly masculine earthiness of patchouli. Although arresting and sensual, the combination can hardly be called pretty. — Victoria at Bois de Jasmin

Like a woman in a film who seethes, "He's so annoying!" and marries him in the end, I returned to smell Angel so many times I had to buy it. — Tania Sanchez, in Perfumes: The A-Z Guide, p. 96.

Thierry Mugler Angel was developed by perfumers Olivier Cresp and Yves de Chiris; the notes include bergamot, helional, hedione, red berries, dewberry, honey, patchouli, vanilla, coumarin, chocolate, sandalwood and caramel. It is available in Eau de Parfum and Parfum, in so many sizes and bottle styles that it is impossible to list them all here. Many of the bottles are refillable.

Thierry Mugler Angel perfume bottles

1. From the Telegraph, 5/29/2009: "Then, in the early 1990s, everything changed. His flashy clothes had been perfect for the power-dressing 1980s but began to look camp and dated next to the understated minimalism championed by designers such as Helmut Lang and Miuccia Prada. Meanwhile the grunge and waif looks were coming through as an antidote to the previous decade’s artifice and glamour." And from Women's Wear Daily, 1/21/2003:

In 1994, Georges Wichner, then U.S. president of Thierry Mugler, found himself in the aisles of a Publix supermarket near Palm Beach, Fla. It was about two years after Groupe Clarins launched Angel, the radical, blue-tinged fragrance with unmistakable food notes in a star-shaped bottle.

"I smelled it instantly on this woman and so I went up to her," Wichner recalled. "I said, 'Congratulations for wearing Thierry Mugler perfume.' She said, 'No I'm not. I'm wearing Angel.' "

2. Quoted in Michael Edwards Perfume Legends, p. 285.

3. Women's Wear Daily, 4/30/1993.

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  1. miss kitty v. says:

    It’s funny, I never thought Angel was that shocking. (I know someone’s going to chime in here about how I wore Lou Lou as a teenager, and therefore may have developed some sort of immunity to strong fragrances.) I like it in theory, and on others, but my problem with it has always been this pervasive sharp, spiciness that I can’t get away from. Wearing it, I feel like it’s constantly trying to pull away from my decolletage to stab me in the eye. Maybe that’s what others mean by shocking? I always thought it was that I just don’t like spicy scents. (And for years I would swear there was cinnamon in this, and am still surprised there isn’t.)

    • Robin says:

      Interesting. It does smells spicy, but to me mostly just in the way that patchouli (even on its own) smells spicy. But maybe there is cinnamon in there, who knows!

      • miss kitty v. says:

        I don’t know what it is, but it’s really cloying and hive-inducing on me. Much like Rapple has her Dreaded Sunflower Note courtesy of Elizabeth Arden, I have my Inflammatory Obsession Note that I can’t tolerate. Don’t know what it is, but it’s in Obsession, it’s in Angel, it was in Todd Oldham, and it makes me feverish and I break out in a rash. I thought it was cinnamon for the longest time, since I am allergic to cinnamon, but that doesn’t seem to be the culprit. I may never know. (And strangely, I can handle–and even love–cinnamon in things like Une Rose Chypree. Go figure.)

        • vinery says:

          Miss Kitty, could it be a resin? Do you get it in Opium, Fifi Chachnil or Shalimar?

          • miss kitty v. says:

            Hmm… maybe? I’ll have to do some investigating. I do ok with Opium, and I love vintage Shalimar. But that could be it.

          • Rappleyea says:

            Hi Miss K.! Thanks for the shout-out, but I think YOU actually coined the term for my aversion. I agree with Vinery (lol – name of a big horse farm here in central KY) – it might be one of the amber aroma-chemicals. I sometimes get it too! How about ANS – Amber Nose Singe? :-D

    • Owen says:

      is Lou Lou the plastic red and blue bottle? you wore THAT? as a TEENAGER?? omgosh, lou lou really is shocking, I first smelled a couple of years ago on holiday in Tenerife, my Aunty was trying it and was telling me how she used to wear it. all I thought was “thank GOODNESS you don’t wear it now. it made me gag.

      there are two Cacharel scents I hate. lou lou and the one with the red bottle what’s it called. oh yeah, amor amor that also makes me cringe.

      I don’t really like Noa either. but Anais Anais and Scarlett, my Grandma used to wear Anais Anais and I bought Scarlett last Christmas. and one of my other Auntys wears Eden and that’s quite nice.

      • Owen says:

        I mean I bought Scarlett for my Grandma last Christmas.

  2. Love that final quote, and the whole appreciation, especially from you Robin, since you are not exactly known for you patch appreciation.

    It’s kind of a revelation to me that Angel was launched in 1992 since I have it firmly lodged in my head next to the eighties blockbusters. Though that WWD quote about Mugler’s clothes makes sense of my mistake. It is an eighties perfume. It just happened to get launched in the 90’s.

    • Robin says:

      I’ve come a long way on patch — I now have several I’d wear if I had them! Haven’t bought one yet, but if I run across that Rem Patch Elixir on sale, I might.

      And agree — Angel feels at once like a 80s perfume, and like something entirely newer (because of the new-to-the-90s aromachemicals).

      • I love that about the blogs–that we can watch you and others develop a taste for something, and I love that you re-visit things knowing that happens.

        I read somewhere–Chandler Burr’s book, maybe?–that the success of Angel was a model for the possibilities of niche sales–not niche the way we use it here, but the technique of “going deep” in a market instead of “going wide.” It was rejected by something like 90% of the target market, but the remaining 10% loved it above all reason, bought back-up bottles and ancillary products, gave it to other people, and so on and so forth.

        Not sure of how to make sense of that story with its seeming omnipresence except that if one woman out of ten in a room is wearing Angel the whole room still smells like her, LOL.

        • Suzy Q says:

          Yes, I remember reading that in the Burr book, too. It was interesting. Something else interesting I read here on NST, that Angel is the third best selling women’s perfume in France after No. 5 and J’Adore.

        • Robin says:

          Yes, but I don’t think it works for most brands today for a very simple reason: there’s so much competition now for shelf space (and think about it, launches have increased exponentially, but most stores have the same size perfume counter they always did). It wasn’t just that the minority loved it, but that it was given shelf space for quite some time before it made money (reportedly, it lost money for 2 years).

        • I can’t stress ENOUGH how much money I made off selling Angel, selling tickets to exclusive Angel parties, the forthcoming purchase of Angel products and Angel ancillary products in the last 3 years. Angel lovers – both female and male (the men tend to buy for wives, lovers, gf’s and replacements gf’s – sometimes all at the same time, and I’m looking at you, Dr. Ahmed, you skank!) – LOVE the Angel perfume line and the Angel skin care line – which is produced by Clarins – and an even better money maker.

          Angel is a CORE product in mainstream perfumery and really has no stereotype – you may imagine the typical Angel wearer as a young French woman in the throes and passion of Anais Nin or an overblown menopausal and desperate New Jersey housewife in leopard print – but I’ve seen the most conservative Boston lawyers snap it up in cocktail-party-going hysteria. to the tune of $400 and upwards. I’ve found it at my East Coast, Brown -University-Jewish-Community-Center gym in the early a.m., in the streets of Caracas,

          PS – my first experience with Angel was doing the makeup of a stripper who swore by it.

          • Rappleyea says:

            Great inside look at the business of Angel. Thanks Alltheprettythings.

          • Wow! What great little bits of stories. Do come back sometime and tell us all more about strippers and Caracas and lawyers and such!

  3. LauraBFromBufaD says:

    I know that many other fans of this blog hate Angel…but I *LOVE* it.

    My first experience with Angel was sometime in the mid 90’s, a woman I worked with came breezing in one morning and she smelled DELICIOUS! I asked her what she was wearing and she told me, grudgingly, and said, “I don’t like to smell like other people.” Ha!

    My second experience – I hugged a drag queen and SHE smelled amazing but not like food, more like incense – she was wearing Angel.

    I bought myself a bottle soon after and it was all I wore for about a full year, so whenever I smell it, I think of 2002 with much fondness. I bought the refillable bottle and even though I don’t wear it much anymore (I feel like I outgrew it), I still really love it.

    My current scent is TF’s Black Orchid, so yes, I am a bit of a drag queen myself – I am dramatic and big scents totally suit me – kind of like my fiesty Grandma (She of the Opium/Fendi blend). So, YAY for Angel!

    • miss kitty v. says:

      I always loved the Dolly Parton quote: “If I’d been born a man, I’d be a drag queen.” I’m with ya on that one. I like my fragrances to have some… substance. (“Strong enough for a man, made for a woman” as Secret deodorant and later RuPaul were fond of saying.)

    • Robin says:

      I have a feeling there are lots of Angel fans here as well though! And how much nicer, in the end, to love a perfume that inspires strong reactions, than to love something that is so dull people don’t care about it either way.

    • Black Orchid is SOOoooo elegant!

  4. chasa says:

    Thanks for this, Robin — it was a great read! I definitely wasn’t paying attention to perfume in the 90s (I wore Ysatis for a 15-year span that included the 90s…not because I loved it incredibly, but because I didn’t think about exploring fragrances), so I didn’t know anything at all about Angel, aside from the fact that it was (and is) popular. I definitely didn’t know how controversial and polarizing it is!

    • Robin says:

      But how cool — do you still wear Ysatis?

      • chasa says:

        I haven’t in months, but I do still have a bottle with a wee bit left — when the urge hits to wear it again, it will be interesting to see if I experience it any differently after all of the scent exploration I’ve done in the interim!

        • Robin says:

          And hope it hasn’t been reformulated in the interim!

          • miss kitty v. says:

            The stuff from the 90’s isn’t the same stuff they sell now. Definitely horde your old bottle! Ysatis used to be lovely. It’s very bare and almost cheap smelling now.

    • Sunnyfunny says:

      Mmmm, Ysatis! I’ve been toying with buying a fb since this summer. I’m just not sure how many oriental sillage monsters one gal needs!

  5. Abyss says:

    I remember smelling Angel in the 90s (the L’eau D’Issey era :D ), I was always drawn to that bottle so could never resist giving it a sniff even though I didn’t like the juice.

    In the late 90s a good friend from college wore it exclusively so I’ll forever think it of it as her fragrance. It’s a monster and do don’t see myself ever wearing it but I’ll always be fond of it because of the nice memories.

    • Robin says:

      It is so interesting that they came up with the bottle before the perfume — would love to know how often that happens, and would guess not often.

      • ggperfume says:

        I’d say more often than you suppose, Robin. Marketing-driven launches probably have the whole campaign designed– logo, bottle, ads, model– and only then commission someone to make a fragrance to suit the package.

        • Robin says:

          Yeah, that’s true.

  6. Bunny says:

    I fist smelled Angel in the very late ’90s when I was given a sample when I bought another perfume. I thought the top notes smelled of rotten pina colada. I sniffed it again this last year and I still think the same lol! I can’t get past those top notes to smell anything else. And I like Fresh Cannabis Santal! that definitely has enough patch in it for the girl at the dentist office to tell me I smell great and that she loves patchouli lol

    • Robin says:

      The Fresh is to me a much cleaner scent though…none of the “musty” character of real patch. Angel simply does not smell clean, although not sure how much of that is the patch and how much is from other notes, and certainly most of the harshness is in the top notes.

      • Bunny says:

        I think the Fresh is also fairly sadalwood-ish and that’s mostly what I smell. It keeps the sweet down some.
        maybe one day I’ll be able to bring myself to actually put it on my skin but that top is just so nose hair curling. I’m afraid I won’t do that without a sink present lol My skin makes things very loud, scary or just makes things stay on forever sometimes… I could still smell Therorema on my wrist over 24 hours later.

  7. platinum14 says:

    “Angel is not the product of a marketing recipe.”
    This, in itself, might be the explanation as to why Angel has so many lovers and haters. By the time Angle hit the market, the whole formulaic trend was beginning. Angel came out at a time when most frags were starting to tame down.
    To me Angel is more closely related to some niche creation. For sure, it ‘s not for everyone. But it is not always as brash on the skin as one would assume from just smelling the bottle. Needless to say, a little goes a long way!
    I am a fan of Angel, but also of Angel Men– which seems to produce the same polarization of opinions.

    • Robin says:

      Angel Men is another great scent. I’m still having trouble with Alien…just seems such a let down, although I know it has fans.

      • Alien is my mental trip; a virtual genie in a bottle. I sometimes listen to Made Of Sun by Kyau v. Albert at my desk and it always sends me scrambling for Alien. Gorgeous stuff, if you’re inclined.

        • Sunnyfunny says:

          Mmmm Alien! I am so inclined, I thought it was a passing fancy but I totally dig Alien. It’s top three.

  8. odonata9 says:

    Very interesting Robin! My first experience with Angel was a co-worker who used to wear it, maybe in 2000? At the time I wasn’t paying attention to perfumes that much. I asked her what she wore since I really liked it on her. I was going to buy a bottle, but when I went to the store and sprayed it on me, whoa nelly! That is one big perfume, a bit too big for me so I didn’t end up getting it. But I do love it on others.

    • Robin says:

      It really is a BIG scent, and there are so few of them made anymore!

      • odonata9 says:

        It’s funny, just now reading all the comments, I remember I had a bottle of Angel Innocent (or Innocent Angel?) , back in 2002 or 2003. I can’t even recall what it smelled like – this was way before I got very interested in perfumes and just generally had 2 or 3 bottles of dept store stuff at a time. Don’t remember what I did with the bottle either – I know I didn’t finish it.

  9. Gilty says:

    It doesn’t get many outings these days but I love Angel. Smelling it makes me happy. My experience was a bit like Tania’s–after many visitations to the Angel tester in various duty frees, it wore me down and I had to buy it. I think it’s sexy and it seems to be a bit of a man magnet…

    • Robin says:

      I do hear it’s a man magnet!

  10. Tara says:


    Have you tried Angel de Liqueur? I sounds amazing and it has gotten rave reviews on the blogs. The reviews are so good I am making a speical trip just to try it and I was wondering what you thought.

    • Robin says:

      Love it, reviewing it tomorrow (that’s why I did Angel today).

  11. Rictor07 says:

    I think Thierry Mugler takes the award for my personal most abhorred fragrance, and thats B*Men. The smell actually made me physically ill. Ice*Men and Pure Malt are the only offerings of his i would consider wearing.

  12. Erin says:

    I have enjoyed your appreciations, R – loved the Shalimar one, too. Angel was my first real perfume love back in late 2004/early 2005; for about four months, I rotated Angel, Omnia and OJ Champaca. (What a weird rotation, when I think of it now.) Like many relative perfume newbies, I wore entirely too much of the stuff. I still love Angel, but almost never wear it anymore… maybe because it’s so common, but mostly, I think, because I associate it (positively) with my mother, who started wearing it almost exclusively about a year after I did. Angel is just the comforting, house-filling smell of my mom now.

    • Robin says:

      That really is an unusual rotation — hallmark of a perfumista, though, right?

  13. Tiara says:

    I am late to the perfume party and certainly missed Angel the first time around. A friend passed along samples she didn’t like and Angel was included but I didn’t try it until after reading all of the negative comments on various blogs. Had to see what was so awful!

    While the opening is quite harsh, it settles into something wonderful on my skin rather quickly. I’m stingy with it so it’s never overwhelming. And like Gilty mentioned aboved, men quite often comment, “Mmm, you smell nice!”

    • Robin says:

      Yep — the harshness really does settle quickly, more so than I originally thought.

  14. Jill says:

    Very interesting — I too was not that into perfume in the ’90s — I owned maybe three bottles total back then — and I was somehow completely unaware of Angel. I bet I smelled it, though, and just didn’t know it! To this day, I have never actually sampled it!

    • Robin says:

      I probably smelled it w/o knowing it too.

  15. Zazie says:

    I don’t wear Angel, but I have always appreciated the fragrance. I find it bold and unique, despite the many imitations. The notes of chocolate, caramel and fruit are not summing up to an easy gourmand in the French perfume-patisserie tradition: I actually find Angel difficult, brainy and unconventional.
    I remember my first shocked encouter: “you must smell this new perfume, with chocolate and fruits!!!” a friend of mine told me. I expected something cuddly, sweet and safe, and was amazed at how much dirt that piece of chocolate had gathered picking up fruits in the barnyard!!! Amazing! I wanted one of the flankers, once, but can’t remember which.

    And those star-shaped bottles…. Great!!!

    • Robin says:

      The packaging is wonderful. Somebody really should do a blog about perfume packaging.

  16. Great read Robin! I am def a backer of the Angel camp. I like most of the Mugler offerings. :-)

    • Robin says:

      It’s a wonderful line, although I really don’t get Alien at all.

  17. Karin says:

    I LOVE ANGEL!!! Brought a sample of it with me to Paris (first visit) when it first came out in the early 90’s, and I’ve always associated it with that trip.

    True, it’s a killer, though. I use it sparingly. I’ve noticed that I abhor it on others when they spray with abandon – it’s just too, too strong. My hairdresser wears it, however, and it smells really great on her – barely there, but noticeable. At one point I thought it was radioactive cause I wore the lotion, and it seemed as if every piece of furniture and clothing I touched took on the scent for the next week! Even washing in the laundry didn’t remove it from my clothes.

    So…I suppose I’m an Angel advocate, but in moderation. ;-) In moderation, it’s heaven.

    I also have the Extrait de Parfum – received it as a gift – don’t care for it as much. It’s seems drier and less sweet to me, and not as interesting. Very curious to read your review on the Liqueur, Robin! I’m also curious about the Alien Liqueur. Abigail over at I Smell Therefore I Am raved about it. I’ve never smelled the original Alien before, but would like to try this one.

    • Robin says:

      Interesting that you don’t like the extrait, which I don’t think I’ve ever tried, but would have guessed I’d like better.

      (and I am really not an Alien fan — couldn’t bring myself to try the Alien Liqueur although it has to be an improvement over the regular)

  18. norjunma1 says:

    Whenever I think of La Angle, I can’t help but remember Luca Turin comparing it to, “a transvestite, a gorgeous blonde with a five o’clock shadow and a wicked laugh.”

    That last quote really does kind of sum it up my experience with this perfume though. I mistakenly got it on me while trying some (far more innocuous) frags at Macy’s, and the thing clung to my hand as tenaciously as skunk musk. After spending a day with it (albeit unwillingly at first) I found myself reflecting on it days later, somewhat whistfully. Almost a year later I love smelling it on others, and toy with buying myself a small bottle…but haven’t quite gotten up the gumption to do it yet.

    • Robin says:

      Do go try the Liqueur de Parfum then! It might tip you over the edge.

  19. RusticDove says:

    Angel made such a splash when it arrived on the scene. First there’s the eye catching, can’t miss bottle. I remember distinctly the moment when it caught my eye [in Bloomingdale’s] and then having to smell it. I thought it smelled great! But funny thing is, all these years, I would pick up the bottle in a department store, give a sniff, admire it, then get something else instead. To this day, I’ve never actually worn it, but I do have a sample of it, & really must wear it sometime. BTW Robin, I giggled when reading that you had to throw it away you were so traumatized by the patchouli! LOL

    • Robin says:

      You simply can’t believe what a wuss I was. I was raised on floral & citrus & chypre — took me awhile to come around to ANY orientals, much less loud patchouli orientals.

  20. Haidee says:

    I’m a latecomer to Angel. I don’t remember ever smelling it in the 90s (though I was in high school at the time and wore, of course, CKOne!). Once I became interested in perfume I heard of the legend, and decided I wasn’t interested at all after considering the notes. Then I got it as a surprise sample from Sephora and decided to try it out as long as I had it. I surprised myself by… not minding it at all, and in time I’ve grown to love it. Of course, I treat it like napalm and wear one teeny tiny spray at a time, never to work, and in the coldest weather… that spray lasts me about 24 hours. I invariably get compliments about my elegant perfume, and my husband loves it.
    I credit Angel with helping me get over a patchouli aversion that stems from an ex-roommate’s boyfriend who thought that a combo of unwashed-for-a-week armpit and straight patchouli oil was the epitome of sexy (I wish I were exaggerating this). The packaging is amazing, but I don’t think I could ever go through enough of the stuff to justify one of those gorgeous star bottles!

    • Robin says:

      Off topic, but was thinking today about the little metal vials the CK One samples came in, and how utterly COOL I thought they were. LOL!

      Glad I never met the BF.

  21. Pimpinett says:

    This was a great read, thank you! I’m a long-time Angel lover, got my first bottle in my late teens, around 1995, and it’s one of only two perfumes I have ran out of and bought again (the other one is another early 90’s classic, Féminité du Bois). I hardly ever wear Angel these days, but I still own a bottle and if I ever run out, I think I would have to get it refilled, although I perceive today’s version as sweeter and less dirty than the mid-90’s Angel I remember. Could be just that my ideas of “sweet” and “dirty” have changed, though – I should do a side-by-side testing of my current 8 or 9 year old bottle and a new one.

    Anyhow, the patch overload is what really makes Angel for me. If anything, I would like it to be even dirtier, murkier and earthier, none of the flankers or imitators have appealed to me. I recently ordered a sample of Borneo 1834, and that really is rather close to the darker, dirtier patchouli/cocoa I’ve been dreaming of. I may have to spring for a bottle at some point, it is hauntingly beautiful.

    • mjr17 says:

      I totally agree about the Borneo! Compared to Borneo, Angel smells like a *mild* earthy gourmand.

    • Robin says:

      I utterly detested Borneo when I first tried it, wonder if I’d like it now?

    • Sunnyfunny says:

      I agree, as well. I love your description of Borneo as darker, earthier, and murkier; that’s exactly it to me! Number one fb lemming this year.

  22. minger71 says:

    I had never really heard of Angel until I recently started becoming a baby perfumoholic, but I’ve tried it in stores. On the other hand, back in the 90’s, I was definitely a CK One wearer! The idea of a unisex and androgynous fragrance seemed so new and refreshing to me then. Still have half a bottle that I spray once in awhile for fun : ).

    • Robin says:

      I still think CK One was a great scent, and it so perfectly captured that time and that age.

  23. SmokeyToes says:

    I’m a long-time Angel lover, got my first bottle in my mid-twenties, around 1994, I remember being a fragrance SA at Dillards when Angel first came out. It is a very polarizing scent, customers either loved it, or hated it. I remember loving it, instantly, especially the strong patch note. Not surprising because I wore Youth Dew at 16….

    Angel’s strong tempermental personality appealed to me (it still does). I’m sad to say I was guilty of over spraying, especially bad given I lived in hot humid Florida at the time.

    Anyhow, the patch overload is really why I love Angel. I wear just one spritz and it’s enough to last until the next day. It’s funny, my cats hate it when they smell it, they actually run from the room!

    • Robin says:

      Angel without the patch overload describes so many of its lesser spawn…and yes, they miss the point.

    • Sunnyfunny says:

      Lucky! I wish it was a patch overload on me. Instead it’s those red berries covered in a heaping pile of pepper. :( It’s beautiful on my hairdresser, all spicy caramel. I’d certainly settle for that!
      Btw, my cat lived it and tried to lick it off my wrist, making it berries, pepper, and cat breath. Lol.

      • Subhuman says:

        “Spicy caramel” about sums up Angel on my skin, too, although I remember the older sample I owned last year (from the early 2000s, perhaps late ’90s, judging from the short ingredient list) had a much more pronounced berry-ish character and an earthier patchouli base than my current bottle, purchased a few months ago. Maybe you should give it a re-try, it could be just the soft, spicy caramel you’re looking for? Or maybe my skin chemistry just loves Angel and de-claws its beastly aspects. (I do get more compliments on it than any other fragrance in my collection, even more than my HG “signatures”. Perhaps a testament to Angel’s loudness more than anything – someone’s bound to comment on the scented elephant in the room – but still food for thought.)

    • SiameseCat says:

      That’s funny, our cats love it. They lick it off my wrists. They’re Siamese, I wonder if it’s a case of so-called genetic memory. Oriental plants and spices and all that. One of them also steals Opium off my skin.
      I wonder which scents count as “Angel spawn”? I’ve only read about Lolita Lempicka, but I think there’s very little in common.

  24. DannyAngel says:

    Angel is my signature scent and its become a part of me. I didn’t love it at first though, I didn’t quite get until I spritzed some on then, magic I fell in love and had to have it. Angel is what got me into fragrances and although I stray, un jardin sur le nil, black orchid, angel will forever have my heart. Angel is a bitch, cloying and loud, but she’s all the more beautiful for being so.

    • Robin says:

      Nice description, thanks!

  25. Joe says:

    I really like this kind of meditation and reflection on a fragrance now and then in addition to the more typical reviews.

    Just before Christmas I had my first real exposure to any form of Angel via the Liqueur, and I think it’s pretty nice but I need to experiment with it more and maybe give it a full “wear”. I gave my mom the second sample that I bought and she seems to like it also (I made her a gift bag of several patch decants and samples). I’m SO curious now to smell the original.

    Since I came to it in the late stages of perfumista-hood, I didn’t find it particularly jarring, though certainly powerful. However, I also had just recently been introducted to Black Orchid, which I probably love even more and would be more likely to wear.

    Oh, and Robin, speaking of Alien, try the Liqueur if you haven’t. I’m not sure I’d buy a whole bottle, but I think it’s really VERY nice. And I assume you’ll be reviewing Angel Liqueur soon, and I look forward to it!

    • Robin says:

      Doing the Angel Liqueur tomorrow. I know it’s silly but couldn’t bring myself to try the Alien Liqueur. I really don’t like Alien — to me (apologies to its fans) it’s bold and loud but not interesting, as though they wanted very very badly to do something as striking as Angel but lacked the balls to really do it. But I’ll go back and try the Liqueur.

  26. Bela says:

    How funny, R: yesterday, I posted a sound file on how to pronounce the name Thierry Mugler on my new site ‘Frag Name of the Day’. I had no idea you were going to be writing about Angel.

    As for the perfume, I used to hate it with a passion when everyone seemed to be wearing it (in France and in the UK); it was suffocating. I don’t mind it so much now. I still couldn’t use it: I still think it wears you rather than the other way around.

    • Robin says:

      Went to listen — I’m close. At any rate, I don’t butcher that name nearly as bad as I do many others! It is a very happy thing you’ve never heard my (perfume) French. For anyone who wants to hear the sound files, you can find them all here:

      • Bela says:

        Thank you very much for posting the link, R. I’ve been using your Perfume Houses section to draw up my list. It’s an invaluable resource. :-)

        I’m sure you’re not as bad as you say you are. And anyway, as I said elsewhere, you have to make yourself understood by others. It’s no good asking for a perfume in the correct way only to be met with total incomprehension, is it?

        • Robin says:

          Oh no really — I’m awful! But in US department stores, you’re often met with total incomprehension if you DO pronounce correctly, LOL…

          • Bela says:

            You should have seen the look I got from the Selfridges SA when I asked her if they stocked Fille en Aiguilles. LOL!

          • Joe says:

            I can only imagine it would take my own brain at least five seconds to make the connection from “feeyawneggwee-luh”. ;)

  27. pyramus says:

    The first time I smelled Angel, I laughed out loud from sheer amazement. I bought a bottle soon afterwards, and wore it until I got good and sick of it. Then I bought A*Men, and wore that until I got sick of it. Then B*Men. Then Alien. Then A*Men Pure Coffee. Then A*Men Pure Malt. (Still not sick of those last two.) Mugler may or may not have his finger on the pulse of fashion, but he sure knows how to manufacture scents that I’ll buy.

    • Robin says:

      A*Men Pure Coffee is another I’d like to own, and I liked the Malt too although not quite as well. I have a little bit of B*Men, and TM Cologne is a long time favorite. So I’d agree!

      • Pure Coffee was amazing. I sold it to men and women alike and drammed out many, many samples. There are testers locked away in virtually every department store – if you have an in, you can get as much as you like.

        • Karin says:

          Hey, I recently got an email from Thierry Mugler (not the person, the company!) saying they were selling Pure Coffee for a limited time. Don’t know if it’s still available or not…

        • APassionateJourney says:

          AllPrettyThings, which stores in California do you think would still have Pure Coffee? I want to try it sooooooooo bad!

          I first discovered Angel in 2005. I was searching for a nice gift for my mother and I was just getting into fragrances. I can’t remember what Angel smelled like then, but the associate, who is now my main and #1 associate at Macy’s, told me that the Angel fragrance had some blue bath crystals that made your bathwater smell like the scent. My mother loves blue and I thought it was cool, so I bought it for her! I just bought me a small star bottle of Angel the other day! I can’t believe I finally fell in love with it!

  28. Minnie says:

    Thanks for the Angel appreciation Robin! I have a weird relationship with Angel: sometimes I love it and sometimes it disgusts me. It depends entirely on the day, my mood, the temperature, . . . I don’t know! Sometimes it smeels so enchantingly hypnotic and confectionary, and sometimes it smells like burnt plastic. There is no middle ground, however. I can’t wait to read your flanker review!

    • Robin says:

      I once described it as patchouli, windex and pipe tobacco…oddly, can’t find the windex & pipe tobacco now!

  29. jonr951 says:

    Ive tried to enjoy Angel. Even just a little bit but I just cant. Its like the classic/gold standard gourmand fragrance and it does nothing for me. It sickens me. Its such an unpleasent smell. I simply cant stand the smell of it. Its just so strong. I dont even know it thats the case. I mean I luv patchouli. Maybe its the combination of it all. The notes sound like heaven to me but it just doesnt work. O well. I guess Im better off seein as how the price is a little up there. I do LOVE Alien!! I LOVE it!! I want the new EDT and Sunessence. : )

    • Robin says:

      It took me a good long time! Even 2 years ago, I did not like it as much as I do now.

  30. CynthiaW says:

    I love Alien – but it isn’t so much for itself as it is that the smell of it brought back a moment in time so beautiful and sharp that I immediately adored it. Alien Liqueur, on the other hand, I love on its own merits – I think that it’s absolutely stunning and I actually paid full price for an FB (and almost paid full price for a back up, but that’s another story).

    Angel – that’s another story. I love big, oriental, patch, and 80s scents – but I can’t stand Angel. I don’t think that it’s Angel’s fault though – I have two very negative experiences with it. The first was an office manager who doused herself in Angel and I used to get trapped in an elevator with her on a regular basis. The other was a very unpleasant acquaintance who also used to douse herself in Angel. Now, even a whiff of Angel on someone makes me instantly nauseated – I still keep my sample vial though in the hopes of someday overcoming the negative associations with it and appreciating it on its own merits.

    • Robin says:

      Oh, what a shame (the bad associations, I mean).

      • CynthiaW says:

        Fortunately, there are plenty of other fragrances out there without bad associations, right? Sadly, one of my new coworkers wears Angel upon occasion and also seems to overapply. Of course, maybe she doesn’t really overapply and I’m just hyper-sensitive to Angel.

        Speaking of hypersensitivity – I don’t know how you sample so many fragrances at once. I got a package today and couldn’t decide which to spray first – Coromandel, Parfum Sacre or Un Jardin Sur Le Nil, so I tried all three and now I have a headache. So, I’m back to my rule about sampling no more than two fragrances at time – of course, it could just be the weather change, too. Major fronts tend to wreak havoc with my system.

        • Minnie says:

          Oh, I know about the spritz-happiness (as most of us do, I’m sure). I always end up sampling too many. Two is a good rule. I love Cormandel in the right environment, but I don’t think I would buy it because the atmosphere in which I would wear it is really very rarified. I might order a large decant at some point, however.

        • Joe says:

          Haha, Cynthia, you’d probably laugh or be horrified at the fact that I regularly sample 4-6 fragrances at a time. Certainly not generous sprays, but goodly dabs; I can do one on each forearm near the crook of the elbow, one at the wrist, and one near my knuckle or just a finger. Right now I’m trying Rossy de Palma, SMN nostalgia, Angel Liq on one hand and Alien Liq on the other. Ha! And even with this I feel like I still have WAY too many samples I haven’t gotten to try!

          • CynthiaW says:

            lol – after I started thinking about it, it’s probably the massive front that moved in that had me feeling headachey and woozy. After all, when I hit the frag counters, I routinely end up with at least 4, if not 6 – 8 scents up and down my arms. Which is ridiculous because I can’t even remember which is which by the end.

  31. JCline says:

    I began wearing Angel in the late nineties. I do not wear it that often anymore, probably because everyone, including all my friends, began wearing it. I love the way it smells, the mixture of the sweetness of vanilla and chocolate with the patchouli and tobacco smells. It is naughty and nice….of course it is definitely an evening out fragrance.
    I keep looking for something I love as much…..with no luck. Every time I go to a department store they keep trying to give me fragrances with a vanilla base….want something darker. Oh well my search will continue.

    • Robin says:

      Have you tried the Liqueur? It’s different enough that you wouldn’t feel like you were wearing something everyone else was wearing.

  32. Celestia says:

    When I first began my career in cosmetics and fragrance, a counter manager who worked for Clarins brought Angel back from Europe. It was so new to us in Canada back in 1995! I thought it was interesting and smoky. Another counter manager who had declared herself a white witch wore it and said it was “a fragrance that went straight to the groin”! Yes, I suppose it did. I had a boyfriend who used to buy me three items of Angel at a time. Even just wearing the deodorant, one could be identified as wearing Angel. I still have the hair spray but could only possibly wear it in winter. I do like last summer’s version that came in a frosty star.
    At work a few years later, when someone wafted by wearing Angel, we’d all turn up our noses at the sillage. This is because people insisted on dousing themselves in it. I’ve never thought that Angel was a “bad” perfume. (I could easily name my top ten most vile!) It is distinctive, an icon in the industry, no doubt, but I think it’s good, it’s just not me; I’m an ozonic type. And I always dearly wished that it came in EDT. The bottle is certainly one of the most fabulous in the business but why isn’t it called “Star”?

    • Robin says:

      It is really, really funny that there’s an Angel product for hair, which I would think would be the last place you’d want to apply Angel.

  33. Na says:

    I totally agree with Tania Shanchez in the Perfume Guide!
    At first, I hated the scent, not able to understand why it was so popular. I still can’t say I love it, but I keep wanting it.
    My hand hesitates over it everytime I visit Sephora.

    • Robin says:

      Maybe you’ll buy it too :-)

  34. sharviss says:

    I was either in my very late teens or very early twenties when I first sniffed Angel and I thought it was weird but oh how I wanted one of those bottles! Everytime I walked past the perfume counter I’d sniff it and, over the course of about six months, I started to really like it. Eventually my boyfriend at the time bought me a bottle just so I’d stop dragging him over to the Angel counter. I finished that bottle and purchased a second one myself. I did stop wearing if after a few years and I lost my second bottle in one of my many moves.
    I noticed that the Bay still has the Liqueur de Parfum there. I’ve been resisting because I don’t think I’d actually wear Angel all that often anymore but the thought of just having it to sniff and spray very lightly from time to time is tempting.

    • Robin says:

      The packaging is really half the story, & sorry I didn’t have space to talk more about it.

  35. Tama says:

    Thanks for the appreciation review! Looking forward to tomorrow, and sort of hoping it is not available locally. :-)

    My first real experience with Angel was when I first came here, believe it or not, so I really didn’t have any associations with it, good or bad. I like it quite a bit, although it can be a bit fickle. I haven’t quite bought a bottle. I recently found a bottle of the Un Lys at discount, and I like it because it is a refill bottle and has no sprayer. Dabbing is best for Angel scents, I think.

    A*Men was completely vile on me – my notes say “alien poop”. But I wish I had gotten some Pure Coffee – that one made me smile. Pure Malt is not nearly as entertaining. Cologne is one of my faves.

    I want to explore the Miroir collection a bit more deeply, too. I have one sample that I haven’t really tested adequately. They aren’t easy to find.

    Alien is an odd one – I wasn’t impressed. The Sunessence really just smells like Organza after the top notes are gone. Evs.

    • Robin says:

      Ack — I have not even tried the Miroir collection and keep forgetting they even exist.

  36. asuperlongusername says:

    I fell onto Angel a few years back when my mother and I went shopping for her new perfume. This was before I’d gotten my, maybe 3rd?, perfume, so still pretty new to everything. I know I wore Chinatown that year…. My mother had been wearing Light Blue, God help us, and had told the saleswoman that. Ms. Saleswoman brings out Angel and makes her a sample (Nordstrom, of course). My mom hated it and I was close to infatuation.

    So I wore it on a few test drives. Weirdly honeyed and maybe a little boozy (again, it’s been years): I liked it. Then I was giving my friends sniffs of my wrist and one of them said, “Wow, that smells like one of those old grannies up at the slots in Vegas.” I never thought that was /quite/ the image I got but it put my sample down. I’d explore it again but I don’t honestly know if I want to wear something that huge.

    Man, everyone has a story about Angel, don’t they?

    • asuperlongusername says:

      Oh, and Angel routinely has some of the most amazing packaging. Those parfum bottles can be so tempting….

    • Robin says:

      Funny story! Love that your mom says she wears LB, saleswoman brings out Angel. Huh??

      • SiameseCat says:

        It reminds me of a former acquaintance who worked in a perfumery. She knew that my favourite at the time was Cool Water for men. She gave me a sample of Poeme saying that was just my kind of thing. It was absolute misery till it came off!

  37. dremybluz says:

    Unfortunately i am one of those few who is crazed with the love of all those “monster” fragrances that the general population abhors–angel, poison, serge lutens muscs koubla khan and miel de bois, vivienne westwood’s boudoir, tabu. Granted a few of these are combustable when the texas thermometer is a raging 110 degrees-lol. The world would be a very boring place if we all loved the same fragrances, so continue to love all those scents that rock your world and make your toes curl with pleasure.

    • Robin says:

      Oh, you’re not in a small group at all — many people here love those fragrances.

    • fondofsnape says:

      Ahhh…I loved Tabu back in the day!

  38. megank4 says:

    This is one of very few perfumes that I absolutely hate. I first smelled it in maybe ’99. One of my roommates wore it and I found it just awful. It is, of course, the perfume my husband decides to buy for me. I try to wear it from time to time to make him happy.

    • Robin says:

      LOL! Wonder how he picked it?

      • megank4 says:

        He went to Sephora, smelled a whole bunch of different ones, and decided he liked this one the best!

  39. hongkongmom says:

    i love BIG, strong perfumes…but I don’t want to wear cinnabar, opium and i definately don’t want to wear Angel…i like it on others, but i find it to big on the syrup sweet !!! i do love borneo, so i get i need a little bit more earth and a little less cotton candy feel. funny, i smelled mkk the eother day and found the musc so typical of serge and didn’t really like it..the skank was there (great skank) but it seems like the musc was to sweet/strong…like the big, maughty sister of ephemeral clair de musc. i think if the skank had been added to that…it would have been more to my taste!
    Have a great weekend

    • Robin says:

      MKK is sweet and strong…perfectly possible to dislike it even if you love skank!

  40. parfumliefhebber says:

    I do appreciate Angel, but I could never wear it. It is really a big scent. What disturbs me is the strong patchouli scent. And a lot of people used to take a bath in it in the 90ies. A few weeks ago during the Christmas shopping I had to leave a store, again there was someone who has taken a bath in it. It took me my breathe away and I immediately became a headache, it is as if I was walking against a wall. For me this is a scent, which has to be very sparely dosed.

    • Robin says:

      Once I knew it, I was surprised at how often I smelled it on the street in really hot weather (like on the boardwalk at the beach).

  41. Absolute Scentualist says:

    Thanks for this post, Robin. I love some of the heavy hitters like Boudoir, Shalimar, Fracas, Versace Blonde and of course Angel. I’ve been tempted to try Black Orchid since it’s often included in the same category.

    I remember first hearing about Angel on an NPR program when the book about Luca Turin just came out. It was the show with Chandler Burr, and he was talking about how popular Angel was and had the host smell it. It didn’t go over well with her, and I, who’d worn mostly CK, Givenchy and Dior frags up until then, had to venture out and see what perfume could cause so much controversy, since I wanted to treat myself for surviving our first year with infant twins and wanted something different from all the light florals I’d been wearing. lol

    I walked into JC Penny in Feb of ’03 and asked the lady at the fragrance counter for the tester. She brought it to me and I sprayed some on the back of my hand and holy wow! I felt like I’d been hit in the face with a huge puff of patchouli-flavored cotton candy. I think I actually recoiled since it was so far afield from what I usually wore, and the clerk laughed and said that my reaction was pretty common. “It’s one of those the ladies either love or hate.” she explained and I had to agree.

    But as our trip to the mall wore on, I kept feeling compelled to smell the back of my hand again as I kept getting the loveliest little wafts, and by the time we were sitting in our little car with the kids and the sweet patch/chocolate/fruit had settled a bit, both The CEO and I were in love. He went out and bought me a bottle as a surprise present with his next pay check (yes, from the same clerk who’d brought us the tester lol), and I’ve had one of those gorgeous star-shaped bottles almost constantly ever since. I’ve even graduated to the 3.4 ounce EdP, which lasts about two years, and I have the hand cream, oil for body/face/hair, and want to add more to the line when I can find it at a reasonable price.

    It’s beautiful sprayed under my shirt or just a bit dabbed behind the ears at bedtime. I longed to try the La Part des Anges limited edition version from a couple years ago but never got the chance to try and/or buy. I’m really looking forward to your review tomorrow, Robin, and if the newest Angel flanker’s similar to that one, something tells me I’ll be snapping it up.

    It’s so good to know lots of other people like it. I remember reading somewhere that Hillary Clinton wears it, and that doesn’t surprise me one bit. It doesn’t get much love on MUA, but I think it’s fantastic. I also love Angel Innocent when I need something softer for the really humid summer days, and strongly suggest it as an alternative for those who are put off by all the patch in the original Angel. It’s quite different, sweeter and obviously lacks the earthy and sultry patch, but it is nice, more cute than sexy and also very well composed.

    • pyramus says:

      You most definitely should try Tom Ford Black Orchid. It’s nothing at all like Angel–hardly any patchouli, not so candied–but it is stunning, and enormous. It’s sort of a cross between Serge Lutens and Comptoir Sud Pacifique: imagine a hothouse full of Chypre Rouge, Un Bois Vanille, Mora Bella, and Vanille Extreme.

    • Robin says:

      I don’t know that it’s true that it doesn’t get much love on MUA…at least, the 2 years I ran the Top 50 poll, Angel was included both times! So it has plenty of nay-sayers, but plenty of fans too.

    • SiameseCat says:

      Back in the day I used to test Angel and Innocent at the same time. Of course Innocent seemed forgetable by comparison. But the first time I tested it on its own it blew me away.
      I also apply Angel in the evening and love smelling it before I fall asleep. But I wouldn’t call it an evening scent in the elegant sense. For all its strength it’s more of a comfort scent. But tell that to most of its fans!

      • SiameseCat says:

        What I mean is that the quantities most people apply are anything but comforting.

  42. Manna says:

    Patchouli virgin made me LOL a lot. I’m not a fan of Angel and people who bathe themselves in it, but do drown myself in Bandit. :)

    • Robin says:

      To each his own poison (pardon the very bad pun) :-)

  43. Funny, I just wrote myself about Angel again. I love this scent actually, but I get heavy headaches from it. I wore Innocent Angel instead a couple of years, and would like a bottle of Angel Star or whatever the flanker was.
    Still, I detest to smell it in public on other persons – it is like running against a wall.
    I know only one person, an ex-colleague, who wore it with confidence and was not worn by the scent. She was tall, loud and funny, a rather “big” woman, on the one hand very feminine and kind, but also smoking, beer drinking and gulping.
    I liked her, and I loved her pretty loud Angel scent.

    • Robin says:

      I need to go try Angel Innocent again — I hardly remember it!

  44. pigoletto says:

    Funny, I never found Angel shocking when I first smelled it in the mid-90’s. It did blow me away because it didn’t smell like everything else I had been used to smelling around me at that point (I was in my late teens/early 20’s at the time) Sung, Coco, Coriandre, Escape, Poison, Asja, etc. I’ll always remember what it smelled like to me, (surprisingly, knowing now what the notes are) overripe nectarines, dark chocolate and pine trees (I guess that latter was that high patch concentration, but never since then I have experienced patch as piney). I wasn’t the only one. My classic scent mad father thought it was really unique, and a former boyfriend described it as ‘Christmassy’ (I guess that patch-pine association again). But then as the years went by it was everywhere, and smelled less and less like those old memories. I don’t suppose we know if it’s been radically reformulated since? To be honest it’s been years since I’ve actually picked up a bottle or sprayed it on myself. I’m a fan of Angel Innocent as well – oddly enough that was what I wore the winter the first year I moved to England (I remember buying it at a Harrods counter after one sniff), so my memories attached to it are quite strong.

    • Robin says:

      I’ve heard it’s been reformulated somewhat, but haven’t heard major complaints. I probably should have mentioned that what I have is now several years old.

  45. cassieflower says:

    This made quite an impact on me the first time I tried it – but not in a good way. I was browsing the duty free in Crete, which was in the middle of a heatwave, and having heard so many people raving about it, I gave my arm a liberal spraying. It hit me like a punch to the head and solar plexus all at once. I ran to the loo and scrubbed and scrubbed, but the thing would not go away. Five minutes later there was a power cut, and off went the aircon, then our flight was delayed by a couple of hours, so I sat there steaming, with waves of this awful stuff washing over me. It lasted into the next day despite several attempts to get rid of it. I never, ever want to smell this again!

    • Robin says:

      Ack! Not a happy story.

  46. Racine says:

    I love A-men & Cologne. Angel it´s ok but i couldn´t wear myself although I love the body lotion and Shower Gel before I apply A-Men. I remember one evening out that I layer the Body Lotion with J´adore extrait and I fell in love with myself ;)
    Btw, can´t wait for your review of Licqueur, I havent smell it myself yet

    • Robin says:

      Oh, the lotion with A*Men must be nice!

  47. moon_grrl says:

    I bought a bottle of Angel my first week of college (1998) and you are right: what made Angel so great was how incredibly different it was compared to the “safe” scents everyone else was wearing (Tommy Girl, CK One). I still love it.

  48. fondofsnape says:

    The first time I ever noticed Angel was at the Sephora on The Champs-Élysées during a 2002 Thanksgiving weekend trip to Paris…someone had just spritzed some prior to me walking by and it made me think of Christmas trees! Smells quite spicy on me, as does just about everything I put on, and I love it because it reminds me of Paris :-)

  49. ceelouise says:

    Thank you for this! I very recently introduced Angel to my 19 year-old sister. I’ve never seen such an enthusiastic reaction to any scent upon first sniff! I guess she’s a gourmand girl like I am, and I guess it really is a love/hate fragrance. I bought her Lolita Lempicka for Christmas instead, because really, the only time I’d consider wearing Angel now is New Year’s Eve! But I just love it.

    • Robin says:

      How nice! Hope she liked the LL.

  50. Owen says:

    I love the smell of chocolate, and when it’s in perfume
    but I didn’t smell any chocolate or caramel or honey or vanilla in Angel, just a kind of creamy essence I can’t describe. I kind of like it, but I wouldn’t buy it. I’m an Alien lover myself.

    -Georges Wichner; “I said, ‘Congratulations for wearing Thierry Mugler perfume.’ She said, ‘No I’m not. I’m wearing Angel.’ – LOL

    • Robin says:

      Isn’t that a great story? And still true today…

    • Owen says:

      yesyes it is.

      I tried Angel again today in Debenhams. my Business teacher wears it everyday and I never get used to it. it smells so nice on her, the nicest I’ve ever smelled Angel on anyone, it suits her so well. but everyone else, even my mum…Angel turns into a monster. though I’m glad to sat it smells better on me than my mum :) she doesn’t like it anyway so she isn’t bothered.

      do you know if they do 100ml refillable of the black rubber spray of A*Men, I’ve only been able to find 30&50ml. the actual “refillable” is just a case and the refill is just a glass spray bottle. :S and they do different sizes of the refill, I’m so confused.

      but Angel smells different on everbody, not one person I know smells the same as someone else when wearing Angel.

      and today I smelled the chocolate, and the caramel, and a very little bit of honey. I don’t know what patchouli smells like but there is one thing at the start of Angel that makes me cringe, then about half an hour in, the fragrance smoothes out.

      I still don’t love it, but it get’s more bearable every time. I might end up even really liking it if I keep testing it. :)

  51. Subhuman says:

    Although I love the smells (and tastes) of chocolate, caramel, cotton candy, and vanilla, I don’t particularly want to wear them, and considered gourmand fragrances utterly anaethema to my tastes…until I recently discovered Angel. The patchouli is the deal-breaker for me, keeping the whole thing from going off the rails and striking that precarious balance between dry and diabetic that is Angel’s calling card…along with its tremendous volume and ungodly sillage, of course. Yes, bless its heart, Angel makes a statement; we all need a little drama in our perfume bottles from time to time, so it’s nice to still have Angel around and kicking to remind us how much fun a ball-busting, room-clearing, belly-laughing fragrance can be. I smile when I wear it.

    • Robin says:

      We all do need a little drama now & then, agree! Glad you’ve found Angel.

  52. AmyT says:

    (sorry – late to the party here)

    I only like Angel on other people, at a distance, or on myself, diluted with vanilla perfume oil. See, I find the initial notes really hard to stomach – I have a feeling that the very first time I sprayed it on myself, my eyes bulged and my tongue rolled out, cartoon style – but I LOVE the woody drydown.

    • Robin says:

      Try the Angel Liqueur de Parfum…it’s a bit sweeter, but the opening notes are quite different.

  53. fastred1 says:

    Does anyone have a recommendation for something similar, but with less emphasis on the sweet notes? It’s not that I don’t like the scent, it’s just that the sweetness is so in your face for an entire day. A day or two after the scent is finely balanced for me…

    • Robin says:

      Have you tried the Extrait? I think it’s drier. Many of the flankers also struck me as less sweet…maybe try some of the Angel Garden of Stars.

      Also worth a shot: Lolita Lempicka, or even better, Lolita Lempicka Pour Homme. Or possibly Prada Amber. Also try 2 by Bond no. 9: Nuits de Noho and New Haarlem.

  54. Owen says:

    I plan to buy Angel refillable 50ml on this coming saturday but whether Boots Leeds has it or not I don’t know :/ Boots are offering £12 worth of advantage card points for every £50 you spend instore, plus I need a couple of other stuff that will budge the total to over £100 so even more points for me :D

    I just hope they have the refillable in stock or I’ll have to get it from Debenhams at a later date. my personal xmas present to myself :)

  55. Michelle says:

    Today I went to Nordstrom to get me a sample of the Laura Mercier Ambree Passion. I loved your review and wanted to smell for myself. WELL…I got the sample and spayed what to me was a weak version of Prada L’ Ambre. I could not help but make this comparison and I was disappointed. Anyway I then proceeded to make my way down the wall of what to me was heaven and then I saw it…Angel. I have never smelled this or had the desire too so I almost passed it up. THANK GOD I did not. I got my sample and drove home trying to figure out if I liked it or not. Within the hour, I was completely in LOVE and could not stop spraying myself. With each movement I made, I was treated to the most gorgeous smell I think I ever wore. That is a big statement for me because I own and wear many many bottles of perfume. I was all at once shocked and horrified to be so addicted. So there is my story on Angel. That happened today, 11/10/10 at 1pm cst. I am outta my mind in love with this scent. Sorry for any spelling errors but I can’t contain my excitement!

    • Robin says:

      What fun! Hope you got a bottle?

      • Michelle says:

        Have not gotten the bottle yet. I am still experimenting with layers. Euphoria body creme is a good one that turns the scent into something beautiful….but my fave of Prada lotion is what is working right now. I am going to indulge in one more sample and if all goes well (and I am not offending any noses that live with me) then this goes on my Christmas list :)

  56. Brigitte says:

    I’ve always been a bit repulsed (strong words I know!) by Angel- it is quite distinctive, and for what it is, quite well executed. There’s something severely synthetic sweet about it that I can never quite figure out- it might be the caramel mixing with the overly clean patchouli note that Angel is known for. I’ve found that no matter how little one sprays of Angel, it just smells over-sprayed to me. I find this same sweet note in the many perfumed that have come out in recent years. Ironically, it’s compared to one of my favorite perfumes: Nuits De Noho by Bond No. 9, which is a much darker, less sweet perfume than Angel.

  57. jen5arah says:

    On a trip to Egypt a few years ago I went to a perfume factory where they blend perfumes from oils. If you had the time (and the money!) they would blend a perfume of your own choice – your own creation or any of the big names. They had some ready blended and I vividly recall their version of angel – it smelled exactly the same as the real thing! I didn’t buy it though – not sure it is my thing! I like my chocolate in SJP Covet!

  58. maryofsherwood says:

    I am wearing Angel today. My favourite bottle is the 30 ml. non-refillable flat bottle, bacause it can fit in your palm and it’s the closest to feeling like “you caught a star in your hand”. I first got is as a present from my best friend, who thought it was a nice reminder of my maiden name (Anghel). I loved it and I wore it feverishly ’til I finished it (in about a month or so). I also liked Innocent, it was one of my favorites a few years ago. Not any more though. I like Angel better. I never liked any of the flankers and I don’tlike any of the ones that followed. I like A Men though.

  59. Ambrosia says:

    I wore Angel yesterday in an attempt to see whether or not it would grow on me. Angel tends to be overpowering when first scenting it but calms down after a certain point. The thing I have noticed the most is that Angel doesn’t typically change as it wears down. It just becomes a more muted version of it’s initial spray. Personally I won’t be wearing Angel on any kind of regular basis, however I did get a lot of compliments while I was wearing it.

  60. blueroses says:

    I’ve just come across your site will researching for a new perfume, and felt compelled to comment on my fave perfume! I’ve been wearing angel since I was about 16 every so often I try different scents but always come back to this I love the fact it stays put and I am always getting comments on it from both men and women. Recently I have been using another perfume during which my father died I couldn’t bare to wear the new scent due to bad memorys so I put on my faithful Angel and I couldn’t believe how happy and comfortable I felt, like back in my own skin, part I’m sure due to the happy memorys it brings up and part due to the fact this is my perfume the one I can’t get enough off. So I am happy to admit my name is blueroses and I’m an angeloholic!

  61. p.u. says:

    My wife and I dread my mother coming over now as she insists on wearing angel. We ask her not to , but she insists that it is so wonderful.

    I just wish the cat would drag the smell into the kitty litter and put it where it belongs. It burns our eyes ,nose and leaves a film on our tongues.

  62. jonr951 says:

    The new Angel edt is on for pre-order! I’m loving the bottle. I can use an edt of Angel! : )

  63. OVincze says:

    Believe it or not I have only recently smelled Angel for the first time too, yet it smells so familiar, maybe it is that I smelled it often in the 90s but maybe because gourmands have become so much more common since then and maybe because I wore Pleasures Delight for two winters in a row which is also a complex gourmand. I no longer think that Pleasures Delight is me and though I am not sure Angel would be one of my faves, I do see the genius behind it and it is definitely one of those big and bold fragrances I love but perhaps not as unusual today as some are. I love the sillage and lasting power of it, when I sprayed it on a slip and stuck it in the pocket of my jacket, days later I would enter my condo and smell Angel. I like how the sweetness is counterbalanced with the strong woodsy base, though I am not sure I love it, I used to be an avid opponent of patchouli but I am fine with it now, though not loving it as much when it is overdosed and can definitely be singled out. If I received Angel, I would definitely wear it as I really like it, it just may not be one I would necessarily pick out myself, although that could change. At the moment I seem to be into big and bold florals, florientals. with musky bases more so than anything else, gourmands were my thing maybe 4 or five years ago and who knows what will be next.

  64. sweetgrass says:

    I tried Angel knowing it probably wouldn’t exactly be my thing, but more as a matter of satisfying curiosity. I used to *hate* patchouli, but I’ve come around to it recently. I think I need my patch in smaller doses because it just doesn’t work for me at all here. The patchouli came off sharp, bug-spray-like, and almost sour. That on top of so much sugar was just more than I could take.

    • sweetgrass says:

      So I decided to revisit Angel, inspired by reading about the upcoming leather edition, and I think I’m coming around. The opening is still a bit jarring, and the patchouli and gourmand notes feel separated from each other somehow. But I let it settle in for about 15 minutes or so.. I hadn’t given it that time before because of the opening, but it seems that the settling-in time is key. After that 15 minutes, the patch and gourmand notes merge together, and it becomes almost incense-y. I got a sample today from a SA at Macy’s, so I can explore a little more before I decide if I need a bottle. I’m kind of thinking about maybe getting the mini that Sephora carries.

  65. kellycraig125 says:

    So I’m a fairly new perfumista lol. For about a year I’ve been branching out and buying samples and comparing and reading (bordering on a tiny obsession or addiction if you ask my bf). I just tried Angel for the first time. Got a sample because it its reputation alone. Judging from some of the comments I did not expect to like it or be utterly shocked but I have to admit I think I love it. At first it was a bit overwhelming but after a little while it settled so beautifully to me. I wore it before bed and my bf wanted to cuddle and be close all night. He kept saying how good I smelled haha. Maybe it’s one of those you either love or hate but I could definitely see me buying a bigger size. Granted I don’t think my palette is as refined as many of you yet, but I love this one. More so than others I thought I SHOULD love but was just okay to me.

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