When Angel by Mugler originally launched in 1992, it was all I wore and to this day whenever I’m feeling nostalgic and spray some on, I still get a ton of compliments on its vanilla/chocolatey yumminess. And while there have been several other hits from this brand, none have struck a chord with me … until Aura, that is.
A few weeks ago I was invited to the launch of this collection and while I had a vague idea of what this fragrance was about (which translates to: I knew that the colour green played a key role), I was unprepared for the gorgeous reality. But first, can we take a moment and admire the bottle? Actually, let’s admire all the bottles because no detail in this collection has been overlooked — and that includes the body care products.
Created by Daphne Bugey, Amandine Clerc-Marie, Christophe Raynaud, and Marie Salamagne, these four perfumers were charged with bringing to life Thierry Mugler’s vision of feminine primal instinct, a “mysterious vital energy, a wild and secret force”. Instinct is at humanity’s very core and beats to the pulse of every individual’s heart … and now it’s been captured in fragrance form within Aura. As cheesy as that may sound, it actually totally resonates with me as true.
The bottle is a small work of art in itself; crafted from emerald green glass and faceted in such a way that the light reflecting off its many surfaces giving it an almost ‘living’ presence, there is no cap to get in the way (as with all other Mugler fragrances) and the bottle’s shoulders come banded by a stylized metal ‘M’. Personally, I can’t stop thinking of Wonder Woman when I look at this bottle, and how at times this ‘M’ can appear as either her tiara or even the curves of her breastplate. Bet you can’t NOT see that either now, am I right? Another bonus feature of the faceted cuts on the bottle means that it fits ergonomically into one’s hand, and not slippery to hold. Available in three sizes (30 ml, 50 ml & 90 ml), all are refillable as well.
Aura Eau de Parfum (CAN $85.00/30 ml) | It’s quite difficult to put a label on what exactly Aura is; said to be both animalistic and herbal, you could say it falls in the woody aromatic group — but like everything on planet Mugler, things always take unexpected turns. It definitely starts off way differently than anything you’ve ever experienced; the first spritz yields a minty, almost medicinal tone and if I’m honest, it’s one which could have easily turned me off had the fragrance remained that way, but literally within minutes, it began unfurling into something weirdly wonderful and I could not stop sniffing my wrist as the scent twisted and morphed into a whole other animal.
Once that initial minty-ness fades, the opening becomes green & leafy — picture a mysterious sun-dappled jungle, where light and dark plays against the lush earthiness of the ground. This is made possible by an never-before-used ingredient called Tiger Liana with its ‘rich, sharp, smoky, sugar-almond tone’ and which also happens to be a Chinese medicinal plant that fittingly, is used to treat heart diseases. Following this intriguing opening is a crisp herbaceous-fruity combination, composed of Rhubarb Leaf with its tangy sparkle, along with Orange Blossom in all its pure daintiness — although what makes it different is a new co-distillation process that ‘reveals its ravishing native freshness and gentleness’. But this heart has another beat, one that is sultry and calls to mind warm skin — made possible with the inclusion of Bourbon Vanilla’s black flower pod and Wolfwood, an exclusive scent that is smoky & woody with resinous accents, yet soft & silky like a coat of dense fur.
Aura Eau de Parfum (CAN $150.00/90 ml)
Aura’s body care products come housed in deep forest green obelisk-like bottles with a convenient flip-top on one end — and are in fact much too pretty to be hidden away in some corner of your shower. For anyone unsure of investing in a bottle of the Eau de Parfum, I find that picking up either one of these is an excellent way to “dip your toes” (or any other part of your body, for that matter) with either the Shower Milk or the Body Lotion.
Shower Milk (CAN $55.00/200 ml) | I actually love layering my scent with matching body care products, as I find that this method not only helps to prolong the fragrance, but adds a unique layer of depth. A lighter version of the Aura’s olfactory signature can be found here, but in a much lighter tone and even though it will dissipate fairly quickly in comparison to the Eau de Parfum, a subtle hint will still linger. The texture is as the name implies; milky and fairly thin, so a little goes a long way, while the lather it gives is nice & frothy and leaves a nicely hydrated feel to skin once rinsed.
Body Lotion (CAN $65.00/200 ml) | I absolutely LOVE this body lotion; with a silky texture that almost melts into the skin without imparting any greasy residue, the signature scent is once again a softened version of the Eau de Parfum and has the added bonus of being fairly long-lasting as well (all things considered) — a plus for those who prefer wearing just a hint of fragrance, while also keeping skin well moisturized.
So here you have it: a fragrance that is such a departure from anything I’ve smelled up until now, yet absolutely compelling to wear — and all without ever feeling cloying or like it’s about to overwhelm. Aura IS different and where Angel is an unmistakable gourmand powerhouse, this comes at you from an unexpected angle, entwining itself around you in a secretive silent way, with a sibilant whisper that you just can’t ignore. Softer in nature but statement-making just the same, Aura is about as unique as they get … and I’m about that. By the way, how appropriate is this jewelled heart for Valentine’s Day? #GiftYourself
Kindly provided by the Mugler team for my unbiased consideration