Thierry Mugler Supra Floral ~ perfume review

Hyacinth and leaves

The soliflore, reinvented around a remarkable flower, rare in perfume making, the hyacinth. A fluid, profound and richly-faceted flower, velvety, green and crisp, quickened by an unexpected ingredient with a fiery temperament, incense. The spicy aromas of a great perfume in a paroxysm of pure sensuality. Unsuspected mystery and depth.

«By blending notes of incense and an amber base, I imagined a hyacinth with a bold temperament, far from the idea of the emblematic, romantic flower. Supra Floral signals a seductive perfume for women and temptation for men.» Olivier POLGE1

The Thierry Mugler Les Exceptions series launched earlier this year, although they're still very tightly distributed. Supra Floral was the first that caught my eye when I read about the collection, hyacinth fragrances being rather thin on the ground as it were. I bought an extra bottle of L'Artisan's Jacinthe des Bois when they discontinued it so I've still some left, and there's always Guerlain Chamade, although that one is not a soliflore. And there's Tom Ford's Ombre de Hyacinth, which made so little impression on me that I can hardly remember what it smells like. Do comment if there's a lovely hyacinth soliflore I've forgotten!

Supra Floral opens sharply green, somewhere between freshly cut grass and the more bitter smell of crushed plant stems. It's crisp and airy, and it stays quite green for a good long time — if you don't like green, I don't think you'll like Supra Floral — but the effect softens as the hyacinth comes to the fore. As Polge has already (accurately) warned, it's "far from the idea of the emblematic, romantic flower". Instead, what we have is a modern sort of hyacinth soliflore: it does smell like hyacinth, but it's likewise crisp and airy, almost like an abstract but recognizable conception of hyacinth. For anyone who has smelled Jacinthe des Bois, or stuck their nose into a bouquet of hyacinths in early spring, Supra Floral smells cleaner, with less floral depth and richness. The early stages, though, have the nicely spicy bite of a just-picked hyacinth.

The base is pale-ish, with a very light incense (I would hardly have noticed it if it wasn't mentioned in the notes) and a likewise light woody amber. It's slightly warm, just enough to keep it from being the sort of fragrance you'd only reach for in the spring. It's more dry than sweet, and while a man could probably pull it off, it's easily the most feminine of the five Exceptions.

Verdict: I'm not bowled over, but I do like Supra Floral. Admittedly I would probably find the "emblematic, romantic flower" more to my taste, but Supra Floral has a kind of radiance and casual elegance that is attractive in its own right, and that will almost certainly be more appealing to modern tastes. Personally, I'd call it radiant and modern, and of course I'll vouch for crisp and green, but not bold, sensual, fiery, mysterious, seductive, or anything much else in the official description. Regardless, hyacinth fans, or anyone looking for a wearable green floral with a contemporary feel, should certainly give it a try. I'm not sure it lives up to its price tag, but as regular readers know, that's a common complaint of mine — it's hardly exclusive to Thierry Mugler.

The lasting power is excellent.

Thierry Mugler Supra Floral

Thierry Mugler Supra Floral is available in 80 ml Eau de Parfum in a refillable bottle, $225. It is already out in Canada at selected Hudson's Bay stores, and it will be introduced in the US in late September, at three Nordstrom stores (Miami Aventura, LA South Coast Plaza and Chicago Michigan Avenue). It was developed by perfumer Olivier Polge, possibly with perfumer Jean-Christophe Hérault (it is not clear from the press materials whether they worked together on all five scents).

1. Via press materials.

Note: top image is hyacinth [cropped] by rosmary at flickr; some rights reserved.

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35 Comments

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  1. AnnS says:

    Your description of this makes me think of what Mathilde Laurent did for lily in the Baiser Vole. Lily is such a rich and major note, and she really reined it in w/o making it boring. I love hyacinth flowers, but the smell is so poweful, that I’ve not really wanted to experience a hyacinth soliflore. I had a sample and liked jacinthe de bois, but it was never something I wanted to own. This sounds interesting for sure if they’ve figured out how to make hyacinth play nice.

    • Robin says:

      Sorta kinda, yes, although without the powder. Now I’m wondering if it will still be too much hyacinth, for people who don’t really want a hyacinth soliflore…do try it and tell us!

  2. PriscillaE says:

    The best hyacinth scent that I know is Demeter’s Wet Garden.

    • Robin says:

      Forgot that one, it’s a great scent.

    • kindcrow says:

      I wore Wet Garden the other day for the first time. I liked it and I agree that it smells like hyacinths. I should slip the rollerball into my pocket tomorrow morning …

      • Robin says:

        Greenhouse was good too. And just noticed Demeter has started selling 3 ml spray samples for $2.50 each, which is not bad at all.

    • mals86 says:

      ooooh. (makes note of Wet Garden)

  3. monkeytoe says:

    Thank you for the review. This one sounds like a pass to me–I was hoping against hope it would be an oddball collection like Miroir Miroir.

    Neither are soliflores, but I remember Silences and Le Temps D’Une Fete both having a noticeable hyacinth note.

    • Robin says:

      I have to admit I basically skipped the MM collection — I only smelled 2 of them, quickly, on paper, and can’t even remember which 2 they were. But have sniffed all 5 of these and would not call it an oddball collection at all.

  4. nozknoz says:

    I’m curious to smell this. It sounds like it may be softer than most Muglers, which I often like initially but soon find overbearing.

    For hyacinth, I always think of Guy Laroche Fidji, but, again, not a soliflore.

    • Robin says:

      Bearing in mind I skipped the Mirror scents so don’t know how strong they were, I’d say yes…these aren’t the usual bold Mugler style.

  5. Erin says:

    Hmmm. Sounds kind of Gucci Envy’ish. Like monkeytoe, I was one of the oddballs who loved a few of the weirder Miroir Miroir scents, so was hoping perhaps for less modern — although well-crafted sounds good — and more TM strangeness. I note you say most feminine of the five, so… I guess we can expect reviews of the others soon?? ;) I was particularly interested in Fougère Furieuse (from the notes) and am always willing to try a chypre, although the pear sounded sort of alarming.

    • Robin says:

      None of the 5 strike me as even slightly strange, so maybe Mirror Mirror fans will find them a disappointment? Over the Musk smells to me like the expensive version of The Body Shop White Musk, so doesn’t much interest me. I will try to finish a review of the Oriental Express for Thursday.

      Doubt I will do Chyprissime or Fougère so here are quick impressions (OR, I could send you my samples and YOU could review them, how’s that for a public nag? Ha)

      Here is what Polge says about Chyprissime: “I updated the structure of chypre by sharpening the edges more precisely
      and made it more colorful by designing a new shade inspired by
      this palette to give it a new brightness. Pear takes away the vintage sheen from this great monument of classical perfumery.” And I would say pear takes away all the chypre-ness along with the ‘vintage sheen’ and that the edges are duller instead of sharper, but hey, I’m a chypre snob plus I don’t like pear.

      Herault on Fougère Furieuse: “«Playing on the codes of the genre, borrowing some elements from the male wardrobe then changing them, daring to be outrageous, these precepts have been applied to the fragrance. Feminine floral facets of the fougère structure have been intensified and the contrasts amplified. The approach is resolutely Muglerian.»” And what it is, basically, is a nice, rather soft neroli / orange blossom scent. It might grow on me, who knows, but offhand it strikes me as a bit tame.

      • Erin says:

        What an amazing response, thank you! Great public nag, boo on pear and tame “Furieuse” orange blossom. Oh well, sounds like I won’t need them and, at $225 a pop, that’s a good thing. I should probably go to the Eaton’s Centre Bay and just check…

        • Robin says:

          Never hurts to check! And would love to hear how they compare to Mirror Mirror.

  6. Elisa says:

    Again, not a soliflore, but AG Grand Amour has a lot of hyacinth. I gave my bottle to a friend over a year ago and now I can’t seem to conjure up the actual smell.

    • Robin says:

      Ack, I can’t conjure up the smell either, and didn’t even remember that it had hyacinth…just remember that it wasn’t a favorite.

    • AnnS says:

      Huh – I never really think about GA with hyacinth, but you are right! I get so much “dirt” and sharp greens out of it. I do like it very much. It makes me think of playing in the garden. I’ll have to smell it again from the hyacinth point of view.

  7. mals86 says:

    Smell Bent Florist’s Fridge!

    I’m always thinking I love hyacinth because I adore the flowers so much (the headier the better!), but I sometimes have difficulty with it in fragrances. I purely hated Bas de Soie and Envy, which to me have this chilly, metallic edge that works my last nerve. Ombre de Hyacinth I blind-bought a decant of, and I don’t care much for that one either – it’s such a silvery-gray thing, not much of the blooming flower about it.

    Still might like to smell this one, if I can get a sample.

    • Robin says:

      Love the name Florist’s Fridge! Don’t think I’ve tried it though.

    • Joe says:

      I love Smell Bent and hyacinth, so I really need to try that Florist’s Fridge sometime, Mals!

  8. poodle says:

    I love hyacinth and would love to smell what TM does with it. It will be a quest for me to find it though I’m sure. I never ever saw the Mirror Mirror scents and the stores around here don’t even seem to bother with the flankers for Angel and the like. When I asked about the leathers the SA looked at me like I had two heads.

    • Robin says:

      7 stores in North America is not a lot of stores…I guess we can hope that if they sell, they’ll get more widely distributed. But don’t know how many stores ever had Mirror Mirror — I only saw them once, long after they’d launched.

      • jovejove says:

        They don’t plan on distributing them to more than 14 stores.

        We sell the Les Exceptions collection in my store for $185…I don’t know where you got $225 from.

        Over The Musk is sold out everywhere in Canada by the way.

        It launched in Italy about a month after Canada and now is in Lebanon.

        • Robin says:

          I got the $225 from Mugler’s press people. Which obviously does not mean it will turn out to be correct when they launch at Nordstrom :-)

          • jovejove says:

            If the states has to pay more, i hope that means it brings more business to Canada when it comes to Mugler fans that are visiting.

  9. Joe says:

    I love hyacinth. And I actually really liked/like TF Ombre de Hyacinth and I got a second, larger decant when I had the opportunity.

    I hadn’t heard of this Mugler at all, but I guess that’s not surprising since it’s so limited. Not sure I like the idea of a warm, amber base, even if it’s light. I’d prefer my hyacinth more green. Thanks for the review. I don’t think I’ll seek it out due to the price point anyway.

    Grand Amour, also not technically a soliflore, is one that reminds me of Chamade and is quite good.

    • Robin says:

      I think you will find this pretty darned green…long into the dry down, and a very pale, summer-weight amber. But even if it turns out to be cheaper than $225, I would probably still think it was too expensive, so totally understand not seeking it out. It’s one of the reasons I didn’t chase down the Mirror series.

    • mals86 says:

      Grand Amour is good.

  10. Dina C. says:

    I was also going to suggest Gucci Envy as a hyacinth scent. It’s one of my favs, along with Chamade. I’m not a big fan of Mugler’s usual work (Angel, Womanity), but I’d like to sniff this one.

    • Robin says:

      These really don’t smell even slightly related to Angel & Womanity…

  11. Carolyn says:

    I’ll be in Seattle in Oct & London in Dec so will keep a look out for this, although it’s a tad pricey! I would also mention the hyacinth note in AG’s Grand Amour, which I did have a bottle of some years ago when forcing myself to try out something other than my beloved Eau de Camille… I will also look out for the Demeter one mentioned – Demeter is hard to come by in the UK, especially in my part of the world. I used to wear Le Temps d’Une Fete but always believed it was narcissus rather than hyacinth.

    • Robin says:

      Would think they’d be in London somewhere, but don’t know where…probably Harrods.

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