Mugler Angel Muse Eau de Toilette (2018) {Perfume Review & Musings}

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The latest launch out of the Mugler stables of reliable working horses is particularly alluring you have to tell yourself with a little gasp upon opening the box containing Angel Muse Eau de Toilette. A most refined patchouli hits your nostrils, while the familiar ghost of Angel (1992) is evoked...

Angel Muse was launched in 2016 as an early 21st century reassessment of Angel, still gourmand, but benefiting from new ideas, including an accord of hazelnut cream. In this new eau de toilette version (2018) of Angel Muse eau de parfum (2016), the composition has not only been lightened, but more essentially perhaps, made to reach a new level of olfactive sophistication. The fine-tuning of ingredients contributes to the sensation of a more ethereal and elegant jus, the latter impression coming across as the main significant change that the perfumer wished to incorporate.

This flanker signed by perfumer Quentin Bisch of Givaudan, who did the first Angel Muse (2016), is in our opinion more pleasurable to wear than the first scent, thanks to this distinctive quality. It's good to know what you are bargaining for. The patchouli note seems to have been sifted and refined throughout, inviting you to look at it now through a muslin veil.

Initially, you discern what one might describe as a sensation of "smoky fruits". The juiciness of fresh fruits is contrasted with a dose of burning wood smoke, it seems (vetiver). But then, this sensation becomes even subtler turning into haze and dream, perhaps inspired unconsciously by the diphthongue "haze" contained in "hazelnut." The impression of light olfactive fog is sweetened with the perfume of exotic fruits - passion fruits actually - ripe, and even decaying with some indoles.

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Angel Muse EDT seems to rest on a base of cream of cedarwood or woods generally, which is interesting - and even more so when you learn that distillers in Japan have just managed to develop a new technique which enables them to distill a paste of wood chosen for the fragrance of its essence. Perfumers before them have been working on this kind of unusual collision of molecules, which remains novel enough to feel off-beat in perfumery.

By resorting to a hard-to-nail quality, somewhat intangible called "refinement" and the addition of an olfactive superposition of original, improbable sensations such as "the smoky juice of fruits" and "cream of cedarwood" (not to be confused with the more classical, unstudied reference to a milky sandalwood), Angel Muse Eau de Toilette manages to capture your attention - and more importantly to smell great. In the end, it's really about the three main necessary qualities in perfumery: balance, balance, balance.

Fragrance Notes: mandarin / hazelnut cream, passion fruit / vetiver, Agikalawood

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