I have an appreciation for Thierry Mugler, but I often find I like house’s flankers better than its flagship perfumes. See: last winter’s leather flankers. I’m just waiting for the day those leather flankers show up at the discounters, and I’ll probably get both the Angel and the Alien at that point. Over the winter, I got samples of a few lesser-known Muglers that seemed intriguing, and I’ve been enjoying them since.
Angel Garden of Stars Peony: The Garden of Stars collection was a set of three initial flankers that took Angel and gave it a floral cast. Later, a fourth (Rose Angel) was added. As far as I can tell, the Garden of Stars is long-discontinued, at least here in the US. Since I’m a floral fan who appreciates but doesn’t really want to wear original Angel, I figured these might be good bets for me. Peony is probably my least favorite of the set. Three of the four Garden of Stars have, to my nose, a green-stemmy aspect, and it’s most pronounced in Peony. Other than that, Peony smells fairly spicy-rosy to my nose. As you might expect with an Angel flanker, the patchouli predominates on the drydown. Indeed, all of the Garden of Stars smell pretty recognizably Angel-ish on the drydown. This one was done by Olivier Cresp, creator of the original Angel.
Angel Garden of Stars Rose: Rose is the Garden of Stars perfume I’d heard the most about and seemed to be the most beloved among perfumistas. I’d see it mentioned here and there in blog comments, although I don’t really think I’ve ever read a full-on review of it. I honestly find Rose quite similar to Peony… and I’ve now seen that Olivier Cresp is also credited with Rose, so there you go. It’s a rose over patchouli with fruit, with some of the greenness of Peony at the start, although not nearly as much. It’s maybe less spicy than Peony. I’m wondering if the reason I’m less enamored of Peony and Rose than the other two Garden of Stars is that the rose + patchouli combination is done so much in perfumery.
Angel Garden of Stars Violet: Violet was done by Francoise Caron… Violet also has a greenness to it, but it’s more that of violet leaves. There’s also candied violets. While original Angel has an over-the-top candy floss note, here the delicate candied violets stand in for cotton candy. It seems more sophisticated and “French” somehow. And then patchouli. Violet + patchouli doesn’t strike me as a common combination. I really, really enjoy this one.
Angel Garden of Stars Lily: This is far and away my favorite of the Garden of Stars. Just before writing this review, I found that Lily was done by Christine Nagel, which makes sense because I’m generally a fan of her work. In this perfume, the initial greenness of the other Garden of Stars is not as present. I smell spicy lily and what I would swear is honey. I have recently been trying Donna Karan Gold, which has so many fans, and I’m trying to love it. I don’t think I do. Garden of Stars Lily is a modern lily perfumer that’s more to my taste. Its lily aspect is much less intense than Gold’s, to be sure, but I far prefer its honey-patchouli drydown to Gold’s amber. I’ve put Garden of Stars Lily on my buy list, and there’s a bottle in my shopping bag at one of the big discounters… I probably won’t cave and buy it quite yet, though. But how much longer will I even be able to find it?
Dis-Moi, Miroir: The Miroir, Miroir collection is (I think??) Thierry Mugler’s version of an exclusive collection. I don’t know how widely distributed it is. I’ve never seen it in person but I think it’s still for sale somewhere – they’ve added perfumes to the set in the last few years. A few months ago, when Perfume Posse started their single note series, and inspired by my love/hate of Seville a l’Aube (which has now pretty much given over to love), I ordered a bunch of Patty’s recommended orange blossom perfumes. This was among them. It’s actually not just orange blossom. It’s a mix of orange blossom and lily. It’s a really interesting heady-yet-clean floral perfume. The flowers are big and blooming, and not particularly sweet, but it also doesn’t smell like it would scare perfume haters off. There are supposed to be “milky notes” and while I don’t smell anything that overtly reads as “milk,” there’s sort of creamy lactonic aspect that blends the florals together really strongly, so I can barely tell where one ends and the other begins. I really want to like this and it strikes me that I’m almost on the verge of liking this. I sort of wish it were dirtier. It seems like an a pretty well-behaved perfume for the house of Mugler. Maybe that’s the shtick of the Miroir, Miroir collection? I haven’t tried any of the others. I’d like to get to them.