Mugler : Aura

Created by : Daphne Bugey, Amandine Clerc-Marie, Christophe Raynaud, Marie Salamagne

Date : 2017

Genre : Infragreen floral

Concentration : eau de parfum

Do you remember your physics course back in college… particularly the one that dealt with optics?   You do?  Actually, I don’t.  But somehow I remembered the words infrared and ultraviolet and both were terms that refer to a form of light that we can’t see with human eyes.


So… what is the connection with Aura?  I think if Aura was a colour, it would be infragreen.  You see, Aura has a “supra” green vibe to it notably through the notes, rhubarb leaf coupled with wintergreen, which some people describe as medicinal.  At first, it’s a little jarring but it’s not THAT different from the indolic note that we find (and love) in so many jasmine perfumes.  Yes… wintergreen gives you that camphorous vibe but I got used to it easily enough.

But, Aura is odd.  It’s from a parallel universe, hence the infragreen reference.  It’s not easy to love.  I wore it for 4 days over a 2-week period and I kept wanting to love it but I couldn’t… it’s very standoffish… cool, distant, aloof.   If I was dating someone and I was hoping to take it to the next level, I wouldn’t wear Aura.  If I wanted to make an impression at work… I might wear it but I would wear it very sparingly.


Although I may never buy a bottle, I’m extremely happy that an important house like Mugler is putting money and brainpower into innovation.  If we had to rely on Guerlain (think, Mon Guerlain) or Chanel (I’m looking at you, Gabrielle) we’d all be wearing  the same old perfumes until the cows came home!  If nothing else Aura is a forward-thinking, push into new territory.  Other bloggers have referred to it as a pillar and so I’m wondering what the Mugler people will do with it.  No doubt they are looking for a new accord on which to build.  Perhaps they will add patchouli notes… or oud… or leather!

I think everyone who loves perfume should run out and try Aura, particularly if you are a fan of green florals (Mugler lists orange blossom as a heartnote).  Yes, it’s from another planet but you just might like it.

P.S. The first time I saw the bottle of Aura I thought “how beautiful”… but I also thought of the great Belgian surrealist, René Magritte.  I was half expecting the tagline to say, “Ceci n’est pas un coeur.”  I mean, a green heart.  It just seems so surreal!

Back next week… so until then, enjoy!


The Treachery of Images (1929) by René Magritte


Emma, Esmerelda and Katniss


After musing about opera heroines and which perfumes they might have worn, a librarian friend suggested that I do the same with literary heroines.  The only problem is that I’m much more of a reader of nonfiction… almost exclusively, actually.  And my fiction comes from way back… I can hardly remember Becky Sharp from Vanity Fair or Moll Flanders… or Samuel Richardson’s Pamela.  I read these books many, many years ago.  In fact, decades ago!  But my friend agreed to help out and so she recommended 3 heroines and gave me keywords.  Thanks to Wiki and YouTube, I think I gleaned enough information to come up with a couple of suggestions, so let’s see how I do.

Jane Austen’s Emma – Red Roses Cologne by Jo Malone

OK, so this one wasn’t very difficult.  In fact, my friend suggested an English rose perfume and I thought that Jo Malone’s Red Roses Cologne was perfect for Emma.  From what I read, Jane Austen’s main character is a 21-year-old who is described in the novel’s opening sentence as “handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and a happy disposition.”  She lives with her father in the English countryside, where I would assume there would be many beautiful wild rose bushes growing.

Jo Malone’s Red Roses Cologne would have been perfect for that handsome, rich girl look but I am certainly open to your suggestions if you have any ideas.

Victor Hugo’s Esmerelda from the Hunchback of Notre Dame – Opium by Yves Saint-Laurent

The three keywords I got from my friend were “spicy, gypsy, exotic” so I’m going to go with the spice monster itself, Opium!    I would have preferred something with patchouli but an over-the-top late 70s amber would also fit the bill.  I’ve never read the book nor have I seen the Disney animation but I think Opium should work.  Again, I am open to suggestions.

Suzanne Collins’ Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games – Aura by Mugler

The three keywords I was given were “clean, simple, strong”.  And, it was lucky for me that Mugler would launch Aura just last year which would be perfect for this very odd, very surreal futuristic tale.  In fact, from what I’ve read and from viewing a few movie clips, I’m wondering if Thierry Mugler didn’t want to attract a younger clintèle by coming up with this surreal, multi-faceted green scent that would have been perfect for Katniss Everdeen! (It almost sounds like overgreen).

Muriel Spark’s Jean Brodie from The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – Givenchy III


Maggie Smith as Miss Jean Brodie

This is my own suggestion.  What perfume would be perfect for a teacher with fascist leanings from a 1930s Edinburgh school for girls?  I’m going to go with a green chypre… no flowers, no ambers, no vanilla… just a smart and austere sharp-green overlay of a chypre base.  Of course, Givenchy III wasn’t around at the time so perhaps she might have worn Crêpe de Chine by F. Millot, the very first green chypre of them all from 1925.

Those are my picks.  Any other ideas?


Masculine and feminine beauty

In one of my all-time favourite books “Perfumes : the guide” (2008) by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez, the latter says this about beauty and gender :

For eye candy, both men and women look at women: men are simply not decorative, as everyone knows.  Except once in a great while comes a disastrously beautiful boy who turns every head in the street, even if his hair is overgrown, his grubby clothes fit badly, and he’s oblivious to the attention as he goes about his ordinary life — he breaks more hearts running out innocently to buy milk than we ordinary mortals manage to bruise in a callous lifetime.

I don’t know that it is all that simple.  For me, beauty is beauty.  Masculine beauty, feminine beauty… they can’t be compared.  And masculine beauty is absolutely not restricted to boys.  Not for me anyway.  And, at this time in history in both Western and Eastern cultures, one could make a case for men being decorative (see “Guys are the new girls.“).

For me, beauty, whether feminine or masculine, evokes a disturbing, troubling, uneasy feeling.  It transgresses physical attributes though it is based in the physical, obviously.  It provokes.  It leaves you with conflicting emotions and, dare I say, an impression.  This is why we love the impressionists so much because we understand them and they understood beauty and that to capture a beautiful day, it wasn’t enough to record every physical detail of the day.  You had to give the viewer an idea of what it would have felt like if he or she were there, at that moment, next to the painter.  Painting every poppy in great detail would not give you the same idea of the beauty of the poppy field on a cloudy day.  Claude Monet knew that.


As for human beauty, I scoured the Internet for hours only to fall on photos of Hollywood and other famous people… Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Gwyneth Paltrow, Halle Berry… no, no, no and no.  Catherine Deneuve?  No. Marlon Brando? No. Elizabeth Taylor?  Which film?  😉

Look at this photograph I took almost 20 years ago.


I initially wanted to explore the photographic concepts of focus, shadow and light.  I asked a friend to pose and it wasn’t a difficult photo to take… I had been taking photographs for over 10 years.  But in the darkroom (yes, I’m THAT old) the photo quickly became an allegory of Adam and Eve… desire, temptation and sin (yes, I’m Roman Catholic).  Today, it captures exactly how I feel about beauty.  It’s not about sexual orientation.  And, it’s NOT about perfection!  It’s about a glimpse into another world… untouchable and impossible to capture.  And, it’s not passive (see The impassive power of beauty).  It’s an assault on the soul, on logic, on rational thought.  It’s relentless and immortal… and it certainly makes life worth living!  Let me know what you think.

After reading my post on perfume and opera heroines, a librarian friend asked me to write about perfume and literary heroines.  So… I enlisted her and her colleagues to help out and we’ll see what we come up with in next week’s post.

Have a nice week!


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