Thierry Mugler Alien
I am re-posting some of my perfume reviews from Basenotes here. If you want to read my old perfume reviews, you can do so here. I won’t post the old ones, just new ones as this blog enjoys a brief renaissance (will it last?! who knows. tune in next month).
Today I am wearing Thierry Mugler Alien. I dig Mugler’s designs (so over the top), and I want to love this perfume, because c’mon, it’s called ALIEN and it comes in a cool alien-shaped bottle. But sadly, I am only ambivalent.
If you were wondering if I spent thousands of dollars on perfume, the answer is no. Most of the perfumes I have are samples, decants, or things I have gotten on trade. I have maybe 30 full-size bottles of perfume, most of which I have bought on eBay or at discount perfumers. I have not yet gotten to the point of spending gobs of money on perfume. I think that’s a right of passage, something you do only if you are truly, completely, madly obsessed with perfume (such folks exist, bless their fragrant souls…I think they are a bit like vinyl collectors…equally prone to flirt with homelessness to feed their passion). One day I will buy myself a niche fragrance or a classic, like a Guerlain extrait, but for now, sample sample sample is the name of the game.
Anyway, my review of Alien…
Ambivalence. Depending on weather, body chemistry, and amount sprayed, Alien can be either delightfully floral, warm, and woody or overpoweringly vanillic, sweet and synthetic. Today it was the latter, and when it manifests like this on me, I really don’t like it. On gentler days, Alien has a synthetic, metallic quality which can appear as gasoline, lighter fluid, or acetone. This adds an intriguing edge.
The opening is powerful, lasts for hours, and screams JASMINE! soaked in gasoline or acetone: a heavy floral cut with a dark industrial note. This makes Alien interesting but can also lead to headaches. A synthetic vanilla rises. This makes it a little…boring. Pretty, but boring. As the juice dries down, it becomes far tamer and less interesting: amber, wood, the Cashmeran accord. It’s a nice floral-oriental, but it looses that weird quality that it has in the opening when all the notes are tumbling together like in a particle accelerator.
Overall, it’s a very feminine, floral fragrance but doesn’t align with the bottle or concept at all. Alien? How? If Dominique Ropion had been able to extend that synthetic quality throughout the scent’s life, then yes, perhaps it would really smell like something alien…a strange creature from a planet covered in white flowers who has acetone for blood. That would create an interesting juxtaposition. But that quality fades rather quickly and we’re left with a jasmine/wood/vanilla juice that smells like something a matronly 5th Avenue Lady Who Lunches would wear rather than something that might waft off an alien being. Too bad too, because I really wanted to love this one.
Long lasting, massive sillage (alien fumes!), headache inducing if over-applied, slightly opulent, very linear, feminine, ok for day but absolutely for night, and a bit boring.