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Mugler’s Alien Gets An Otherworldly Update

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Thierry Mugler’s fragrances, not unlike Nicola Formichetti’s designs for the house he built, which just showed its Spring collection tonight in Paris, can be quite polarizing. Consider Angel: 1992′s breakout success story that became the gourmand upon which all other gourmands will forever be judged has achieved such cult status, many women the world over can be recognized simply by the caramel, chocolate, and patchouli aroma that precedes them. And that very quality—a scent so intense it quite literally wears you—is what deters an entire other group of perfume fiends from indulging in it. We’ve always felt similarly about Alien. Mugler’s transparent amber eau that’s heavy on the jasmine sambac, green notes, and vanilla has fans and foes in equal measure. And as much as we want to like the fragrance that his longtime olfactory consultant, Pierre Aulas, reportedly created for “the feminine Buddha,” it’s never smelled quite right on us. The flacon’s brand new Essence Absolue, however, is an entirely different story. Alien’s core amber and vanilla heart is still very much present in this latest iteration, albeit in different concentrations that are counterbalanced by two new ingredients: A heady dose of iris has been layered with the jasmine to downplay some of it’s more animalic tendencies, while a smoky, musky hint of myrrh builds out base notes that already include cashmeran woods. Don’t get the wrong idea: It’s still incredibly rich and unmistakably Mugler in its potency. But there’s something much more palatable about the sweet but still fresh eau—which is to say, it very much appeals to our palate.

Photo: Courtesy of Thierry Mugler

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