If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And for Thierry Mugler, the age-old adage has proven true. Since the launch of his runaway hit Angel in 1992, the eau de parfum’s popularity has been tremendous, continuing to inspire new fragrances and top best-seller lists. Angel a new olfactory trend in the early nineties with its combination of praline and chocolate-derived sweetness mixed with a strong accent of patchouli. Now, nearly 20 years later, Mugler has chosen to begin a new chapter in his galaxy and launch an eau de toilette of the same name.
“It’s a nice interpretation of Angel. More modern, a bit lighter, but not only lighter, it has its own personality,” says Joël Palix, president of Clarins Fragrance Group of the eau de toilette. “I decided that it would not be right to start altering the formula of Angel. I thought it would be criminal to do that … the only way to invent a new Angel would be an eau de toilette.”
In celebration of this launch, Mugler called on Michelin-starred French chef Hélène Darroze to invent recipes inspired by his fragrance collection. “I didn’t believe it,” says Darroze of the notion that there can be a genuine parallel between haute cuisine and haute perfumery. “I thought it was marketing crap until meeting with Pierre Aulas [the fragrance consultant from Thierry Mugler],” she says.
Taste enhancers—ingredients representing each of the four fragrances—were selected: bitter cocoa powder for Angel, fig chutney for Womanity, red pepper concentrate for A*Men, and salted butter caramel for Alien. The result was a Muglerian meal of the senses: sea bream tartare, cocoa bean mousseline, caviar de France, and fig chutney juice to start; followed by sautéed John Dory filets, celeriac purée, and piquillo and Espelette pepper as a condiment; the main was sautéed duck breast in a pink praline crust with an intense Mexican mole sauce; and for dessert, tonka bean ice cream, clafoutis cookie, and salted butter caramel.