Ipso Olfacto

fragrant musings

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Womanity- A Refreshingly Weird Summer Scent



Womanity┬áby Thierry Mugler is an infamously weird, wacky fragrance that actually isn’t that weird. It’s certainly unique- there’s not really anything else out there that smells like it. But there are so many overwrought reviews of this one that insist that its downright disgusting- that it smells of rotten fish, puke, and/or “dirty vagina.” Hoookay. No. (And uh, maybe see a gyno?) What Womanity is is an incredibly unique, fresh beach scent that conveys summer without resorting to cheesy coconut/suntan lotion vibes.

I was very late to the game in trying Womanity– I bought my bottle just last summer after acquiring and subsequently falling in love with my sample. The rather graphic reviews only made me want to try it more – after all, I was already a huge devotee to the other Mugler creation with a stinky reputation: Angel. I was morbidly excited to try my sample, bracing myself for something nasty and… hmmm… yeah, it’s a bit metallic… there’s a sweetness that’s a tad ripe… definite saltiness… but nothing gross. In fact, what I was met with was a lovely fresh, green, woody sweetness wrapped in that same cold-metallic-fruity quality found in Muglers Alien. Womanity has this weirdly metallic, sour nuance that reminds me of that feeling you get in your mouth after sucking on a sour warhead candy- it kind of makes your mouth water. ┬áThat’s thanks, I guess, to the full fig lineup featured in the notes- fig tree, fig leaf, and fig fruit, but the result isn’t exactly naturalistic. The metallic sweetness combines with an incredibly vivid, not aquatic, salty sea air accord. They call it “caviar” in the note listing, but it really feels like a cool, fresh beach breeze. Completely refreshing.

Now, even though I already stated that I completely disagree that Womanity smells like “dirty pussy”… I actually get where these people are coming from (hyperbolic as they are.) I think it’s pretty apparent that the concept behind Womanity was, shall we say ” the scent of a woman.” The pink juice, focus on the fig tree, the scent’s metallic nuance in the opening, the fact that ITS CALLED WOMANITY- yeah, they’re not exactly hiding it. But Womanity is no Secretions Magnifique- it doesn’t veer into vulgarity. Its just a lovely perfume inspired by something human. Like how Chanel No.5 (with both its soapy aldehydes and animalic civet) was inspired by the smell of a woman’s clean skin – even clean skin will have something dirty in there, because that’s what makes it human.

With Womanity, Mugler set out to make the first “savory” gourmand. The sweet/salty juxtaposition certainly provides that, but I’d say that what makes Womanity truly weird is how its a (summer!) gourmand that also feels (to some, vulgarly) human. In a world where summer fragrance options are mostly limited to generic fresh-ey citrus aquatics, Womanity, in all its ripe, metallic, salty glory is, ironically, a true breath of fresh air.




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New Fragrance Hype Train: Aura by Mugler

Looks like Christmas came early this year, as Mugler has announced a brand spanking new fragrance to add to their Angel, Alien, Womanity, and Innocent lineup. Even after such an amazing release like Angel Muse recently, I think even diehard Mugler fans were getting a bit of “flanker fatigue.” I mean, the flankers tend to be good to great, but c’mon. There are only so many flankers one girl can have, ya dig? That’s why I’m so pumped for a completely new release from one of my absolute favorite houses.

First of all, can we talk about that bottle? The emerald green is gorgeous, and it immediately reminded me of something out of a Zelda game:

The green is likely a nod to it being a green fragrance, as its notes (according to fragrantica) are:

Top: rhubarb leaf

middle: orange blossom

base: bourbon vanilla and “wolfwood”- whatever tf that’s supposed to be.

Rhubarb is a note that I feel has been subtly trending recently, as in Hermes Rhubarb Escalarte and the enduringly popular D&G Anthology L`Imperatrice 3. I’m so ready to have a rhubarb based scent in my collection- it’s such a unique way to add some tart, quasi-fruitiness without going the typical fruity route. And I’m sure the fact that it’s rhubarb leaf will make it more on the green side. It doesn’t look like this is a straight up gourmand, but I’m already seeing some Alien “sweet and juicy but not a gourmand” vibes from the fact that there is bourbon vanilla in the base. And “wolfwood?” I am a woody fragrance lover, so I’m intrigued to see how that manifests.

Apparently, a green aura (according to totally legit website “reiki-for-holistic-health.com“) represents:

“…growth and balance, and most of all, something that leads to change.”

Aura is definitely a big change for Mugler. Their last original release was 7 years ago with 2010’s Womanity, so I think we’re all ready to be sporting green auras this year!


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Review: Angel Eau De Toilette


Probably everything that can ever be said about Angel EDP by Thierry Mugler has already been said at this point. Everything from “this smells like the pheromones of aphrodite herself- plus it cleared my skin and saved my marriage!” to “smells like nasty B.O. and rotten fruit, and also it killed my family. ” You will either love or loathe that distinctively asymmetrical star bottle and the sweet, fruity, earthy juice inside. I happen to love Angel in all its forms. Probably my favorite, though, is a version that I think people tend to forget about for no good reason given the fact that it’s infinitely easier to wear: Angel EDT.

Angel EDT is the ideal EDT version of a bold, rich EDP fragrance in my view- it still retains the key characteristics of the EDP while softening its rough edges (and Angel EDP sure has a lot of them!) In a world where the EDT version of an EDP is often a totally, confusingly different fragrance, Angel EDT is clearly, proudly related to Angel- she’s just a bit less unhinged.

That polarizing dirty, gritty patchouli found in the EDP is replaced here with a cleaner, more medicinal version that nudges the scent more to the masculine side. Those overripe, sweaty berries from the EDP are now more fresh and crisp. And that ridiculous cornucopia of random syrupy, sugary gourmand notes is replaced with a single, much more well tolerated one: praline. This adds just the right amount of sweet, slightly chocolatey gourmand yumminess without the heavy syrup. Like in the EDP, the EDT is dominated by patchouli, but that menthol, medicinal quality that it’s given is quite refreshing. One of my favorite things about Angel in general is that it’s a gourmand that doesn’t smell literally edible. It smells yummy in many ways, but has enough earth and human grime going on to prevent me from feeling like a walking cake. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a walking cake. You do you.

But yes, you can sweat in this and not smell completely disgusting. Even though Mugler has released a number of good “summer” flankers of Angel, I think that the EDT is kind of the “true” summer Angel- in that it provides maximum Angel DNA while still being summer appropriate. Angel EDP is kind of the last thing anyone would think of when looking for a summer perfume- so it’s surprising to have the EDT where it still feels like Angel EDP, just much easier to tango with. And given that it still has that trademark beastly longevity that we’ve all come to expect from Mugler, It feels great for this gourmand-lover to be able to have my dirty patchouli cake, and eat it too- even in summer.