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ANGEL MUSE – Creamy smooth, toasty warm, luscious and addictive

Angel Muse 30 ml. bottle

How does a person deal with the sensory vacuum that’s created when daily life suddenly changes and becomes so restricted? I’ve been cooking a lot, going back to old family favourites, also trying new recipes and new cuisines, eating way too much and savouring every mouthful. I’ve been sniffing and wearing perfume more, too. Rediscovering old favourites, trying lots of new samples. Tastes and smells have become my soul food.

Mugler Angel is one of my old favourites. A disruptor when it launched in 1992, its brash but highly original accord of patchouli, dark chocolate and vanilla was weird and powerful. I’d never smelled anything like it. Marketed as a “love-it-or-hate-it” scent, Angel and its ultrasonic waft went on to become a modern classic, inspiring a new Oriental gourmand genre which includes luxury mainstream and niche fragrances such as Lolita Lempicka, Giorgio Armani SiSerge Lutens Borneo 1834 and Jeux de PeauMDCI La Belle HélèneEtat Libre d’Oranges Bijou Romantique, Shay & Blue Salt CaramelSlumberhouse Sådanne, (click links to our Decant Store).

Mugler has launched several Angel “limited editions” and flankers over the past three decades, and many were very good, but got little of my attention due to my diehard loyalty to the original. I mean, how can a perfect creation be improved?  But a few weeks ago I discovered the 2016 release, Angel Muse, which changed my thinking.

Quentin Bisch, the nose who created Muse, describes the EdP on the Mugler site in simple terms as  “… a luminous, gourmand and woody fragrance…”. The Mugler product notes on the same page are somewhat more market-y and purple prose-y, describing Muse as “highly addictive…the first gourmand vetiver…wildly intoxicating…”. I have to say, after wearing Muse for the past few days that both those descriptions are spot-on. 

Angel Muse has three main accords and reveals itself in nuanced layers, top through bottom. In the first minute, there is a tangy explosion of citrus notes, orange over grapefruit amplified by the zest of their bitter peel. Then a tart and juicy sweetness of mostly orange, backed up by the unmistakable Angel patchouli/dark chocolate accord that reminds me of a box of handmade chocolates. The citrus notes slowly drift into more fruitiness with notes of raspberry and vanilla, the chocolate moves from dark to creamy milk, and vetiver joins with soft patchouli. The opening accord drifts into the heart with the vetiver adding a fuzzy dry quality as the second main accord emerges.

And it is Hazelnut Cream.  A silky smooth mousse of milk chocolate and toasted hazelnuts, sweetened with fruits and vanilla. Sweet but not sugary, with a hint of bitter green and dry cocoa – the vetiver again adding an intriguing contrast. This is deliciously addictive. 

Muse settles into a warm hum as it dries down into the base. The scent feels smooth, cozy and comforting from hazelnut and dark vanilla, the sweetness tempered by dry spicy facets of vetiver and cocoa, and the signature Angel patchouli waft, which is soft and enveloping in Muse. It’s creamy and luscious. The effect is magnetic.

The original Angel Eau de Parfum isdescribed on the Mugler website as being inspired by the duality in all women – “part childlike innocence, part sophistication and glamour”. That duality is obvious right from the first sniffs, and is part of its weirdness and its appeal. Angel is loud and soft, bright and dark, sweet and sour, light and heavy, weird and comforting, feminine and masculine. It’s loaded with contrasts and opposites. It makes a big statement.

Angel Muse has the Angel DNA but is quite different from the original Angel. The shape of their heavy glass flacons are a big clue to the difference. Angel is an spiky shooting star, tinted cool blue from the juice inside, beautiful to look at but awkward to hold  - see it here. Angel Muse is a smooth oval pebble, tinted a warm amber-pink colour, a sleek shape that nestles easily into the palm of your hand.

Angel Muse is Angel thirty years later, the sharp edges removed, the weirdness dialed down, the best parts refined, the duality merged into a modern, perfectly balanced scent which wears on my skin like it was made for me. Warm, feminine, but with a complex depth and a lovely controlled waft, Angel Muse has just enough weirdness to make me make me love it.

I’m addicted.

Angel Muse is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.