Thierry Mugler Angel

...drama in a bottle.

The first person I ever smelled wearing Thierry Mugler Angel was my friend Brix Smith. Brix used to play guitar in the seminal post punk band The Fall, and we officially met onstage during a performance at the Sadler's Wells Theatre in London. The show was I Am Curious Orange, a collaboration between The Fall and Britain’s most electrifying choreographer, Michael Clark. I was dancing in it, and Brix was playing her guitar on top of a giant cheeseburger.

There was disco freak-out part of the show where the music was pounding, the lights were flashing and the audience couldn’t hear us if we talked onstage. I caught an unexpected whiff of perfume and called out, “Who smells so good?” and this girly little voice came back through the dry ice and strobe lights, “I think it’s me.” It was Brix.

That night, Brix was wearing Clarins Eau Dynamisante, and she invited me to her dressing room after the show to try some. It sparked a kinship between two Americans in London who shared a love for perfume and arty rock boys.

Brix and I drifted in and out of each other’s life, always picking up where we’d left off. I lost track of her for a while, until one day on the King’s Road, I smelled this baroque, Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory of a fragrance. Who smelled so good? It was Brix, again. This time, the scent was sweet and strange, strong and soft -- all at the same time. Just like Brix. Just like Angel.

Thierry Mugler Angel is available at and, starting at $54 for 25ml


  1. I too am very prone to randomly asking 'who smells nice'. I find no shame in telling a complete stranger that they smell divine and finding out what the scent is. People are often taken aback, but usually flattered. Apart from men, who just assume I'm gay or mental.

  2. Yeah, how does a guy ask a guy what fragrance they're wearing in a "hetero" way? Maybe use some manly swearing. And mention strippers. "Dude. You smell f#@kin' great. How many strippers have come onto you today? What IS that sh*t you're wearing?"

    Although in my experience, guys who have the taste to wear something nice usually take pride in having it acknowledged. I'm finding there are many straight guys out there who are "closeted" cologne freaks, and love a chance to have a good natter about fumes.

  3. Katie - I adore the new hair.

    I love Brix. Have you seen her on 'Gok's Fashion Fix'? She's a hyperactive designer loving pixie on that show - She entertains me no end!

    Also, I'm madly in love with Angel and all it's sugary goodness. One of my best friends always smells of it. So if anyone is ever wearing it, I get a huge dopey grin on my face and take it as my cue to call her.

  4. "An Oprah gift basket melting in the sun. After she sat on it." Bwahahahahahaha! Exactly.

  5. nioi - hey! Happy to see you checking in. I've not seen Brix on "Gok's Fashion Fix". I should look it up. Brix has really made a mark for herself in fashion and styling with her gorgeous London boutiques, Start. I'm always reading glowing write-ups about her and the shops in all the big fashion mags.

  6. Hi Katie,

    I love the image of "an Oprah gift basket melting in the sun...", made me laugh so hard that I almost fell from the chair. I admit I bought the entire range of Angel when it was launched (even the hand cream, and hand creams are something I NEVER use), but I just don't like to smell like everybody else, and there were too much people wearing Angel those days. This was one of the first ones I got rid from during my collection downsize and today I just find it overpowering... I mean I should be the one who wears the fragrance, not the other way around. Besides, I am not a big fan of sillage, and you just can't avoid it with Angel!



  7. Sabrina, it's Angel's world -- we're just smelling it!

  8. My skin chemistry seems to declaw a lot of the sweet sillage monsters like Angel, Hypnotic Poison and Dior Addict. One spray of something sharp and bitter like Aromatics Elixir simply fills whatever room I'm in and takes up ghostly residence for a week, but Angel turns soft and cuddly (!) on me rather quickly. I do love it, though. I can take or leave the cotton candy/caramel stuff - I mean, it smells great, but I'd rather eat it than wear it. But that armpitty patchouli and "menthol haze"? Ohhhh, yes. The sample of Angel that I went through in record time haunted me for months until I finally bought a bottle. There are days when I find it too sweet, but then that peppery patchouli rears its head and I'm in love all over again. My nose perks up when I smell it in passing - the only other fragrance I can pick out of a crowd as reliably is Coco Mademoiselle, which is also pretty patch-heavy. Guess I likes me some girly armpits.

    Oh yes, great review. "Crazy Mom" indeed. Angel really is worlds better, and kookier, than its (many! endless! omnipresent!) imitators.

  9. Angel staked its territory early and boldly. The Angel-ettes may be fawning imitators, but they'll never possess Angel's shock value.

  10. Having forced myself to discover Shalimar, Arpege, No.5 and L'Air du Temps before Angel,and coupled with the refusal to pay any double digit sum for any amount of a juice that has been called a 'transvestite with a 5 o'clock shadow' by LT, I finally lay my hands on this armpit-and-choc-coated-dead-things scent as the last slots in my perfume wardrobe are filled up, for the abovementioned sub-double digit sum.

    Wow! It doesn't disappoint in the least:and I believe its ability to simultaneously attract and repel like a PT Barnum carnival is the secret of its tremendous success.

    I can understand why this could be addictive on the right skins, both for the wearer and the smeller!

  11. DP - you certainly made sure you worked up an appetite for that crazy layer cake called Angel! If Angel is surprising now, just try to imagine how it smelled in the context of being the first foodie perfume, with no real reference points for the innocent bystanders.

  12. I only recently discovered your perfume reviews and you, Katie, are a delight. I especially enjoyed this review as it nourished the contempt I already have for Angel (I think it's a scent that draws a line in the sand and I fall in line with the 'I do not like this' side.

    I knew a woman who used to bathe herself in the stuff and it is worth mentioning that she was batsh*t poopers crazypants.

    For me it smells of Borderline Personality Disorder.

    1. Angel is an extremely colorful but domineering perfume. People who wear it insensitively could well have a screw loose - at least in their own nose.