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


Twilly d’Hermès versus Woman by Ralph Lauren versus Gucci Bloom

Twilly d’Hermès

Created by : Christine Nagel

Date : 2017

Genre : Juicy then dry tuberose accord

Concentration : eau de parfum

Woman by Ralph Lauren

Created by : Ralph Lauren

Date : 2017

Genre : Fruity tuberose accord

Concentration : eau de parfum

Gucci Bloom

Created by : Alberto Morillas

Date : 2017

Genre : Tuberose (soliflore)

Concentration : eau de parfum

So… here we have 3 new fragrances for women based on tuberose, all launched in the spring/summer of 2017 and first coming out in the eau de parfum concentration.

Let’s talk about Twilly d’Hermès and Woman by Ralph Lauren first.  In technical terms, this is tuberose-ish versus tuberose-ish.  Both fragrances have tuberose in them but neither are soliflores… they’re both built around a tuberose accord.

Right out of the starting gate, both fragrances are similar in that both were designed to have you reaching for your credit card faster than Harvey Weinstein can make a move on a Hollywood starlet (allegedly, of course).  Initially both fragrances are mouth-watering with Twilly giving me a wet, juicy vibe well as Woman has a definite fruity vibe.  A couple of colleagues and I argued over whether the fruits were mangos or berries or peaches but, basically we were all right.  Woman’s top notes are a collection of fruity notes which lasted all of 10 minutes, at most.

Although Hermès tends not to publish notes, their website does list “striking ginger and sensual tuberose”.  I’m not so sure about the ginger but if this IS ginger, then it’s well camouflaged.

Into the heart, both project a tuberose-centric accord with the Hermès definitely drying out and giving off  parched powdery  notes and something edible.  Maybe it’s the ginger but I’m not sure.  Hermès lists sandalwood as a basenote.

Woman has no powdery veil over it but I’m definitely getting a cedar note.  In this case, the cedar is subtle but once I got the pencil shavings image in my head, it was hard to get rid of it.  One thing about Woman that I like is that the composition remains juicy and wet.

Which one would I recommend?  Well, both.  They are both well-made and easy to wear and long-lasting.  Just make sure you test them out first because, as with tuberose fragrances, they’re not for everyone .  As for me, I’m out of luck here because I don’t like powdery notes nor cedar so, for my tuberose fix, I’ll stick my with my Truth or Dare by Madonna or one of the easiest tuberoses to wear, Histoires de Parfums’ Tubéreuse 2 Virginale.

As for Gucci Bloom, it was Karine, a reader, who corrected me last week in a comment.  I referred to it as “tuberose-centric” which it is not.  Bloom is definitely a soliflore… a pretty, straight-up tuberose which I would consider buying if I didn’t have so many.

And, as for comparisons, let’s end this post with one of the most interesting comparisons of them all.. three statues of David by three masters, Donatello, Michelangelo and Bernini.  Which one is your favourite?



Elizabeth Taylor : White Diamonds

White diamonds

Created by : Carlos Benaïm

Date : 1991

Genre : Glamorous white floral

Concentration : eau de toilette

Diana Vreeland once said, “I loathe nostalgia.  I don’t believe in anything before penicillin!”.  I know exactly how she feels.  As I get older, thinking of the good ol’ days seems so pointless!  As with life’s regrets, better to leave the past where it belongs… in the past.  As Ingrid Bergman said, “Happiness is good health and a bad memory.”

But I think even the least romantic of us can be pulled back into nostalgia every now and then… usually when we least suspect it.  And so when I saw the photo of Elizabeth Taylor on the cover of the White Diamonds’ gift set… something pulled at my heartstrings. It brought me back to younger days and late-night movies and talk shows. You know with all the talk of Cate and Angelina and Beyoncé channelling old Hollywood glamour… they never really get close to the original goddesses of the time… and Elizabeth Taylor was certainly at the top of that list or darn near it.

The creator of White Diamonds is Carlos Benaïm who also created Ralph Lauren Polo, Calvin Klein Eternity for Men and Frédéric Malle Eau de Magnolia.   No doubt about it, Carlos knows his stuff!  So when in 1991 he set out to capture old Hollywood glamour with White Diamonds, he hit the bull’s-eye!  White Diamonds is a creamy-rich, elegant white floral with a woody base that could easily be marketed by a prestigious French house at twice the price.  This fragrance is beautifully constructed… no jagged edges, not a shrill note to be heard.

According to Fragrantica, White Diamond’s composition is as follows :

The top notes are aldehydes, bergamot, neroli, orange and lily. The heart unites the classical trio, violet, rose and jasmine, accompanied by ylang-ylang, Egyptian tuberose and narcissus. The base is composed of oak moss, patchouli, musk, sandalwood and amber.

As you can see all the usual suspects are there but you’d be hard-pressed to pick out any individual note… at least I was, particularly in the heart.  The overall effect is symphonic.

The only problem I see with White Diamonds is one of perception.  Because it’s a celebrity perfume, one automatically assumes that it will be badly made and leave you with a chemical stink bomb after all the lovely notes have evaporated.  Not so.  This one is gorgeous from beginning to end.  Don’t let the blingy packaging and discount price fool you.  For added sillage, I’ve been putting a drop of the parfum on my wrist preceded by Chanel’s ultra-expensivo Crème pour le Corps from their Les Exclusifs collection. Together, they’re sublime. If you had told me the combination was the latest Lauder fragrance, I would believe you.  Serge Lutens?  No, because White Diamonds is better than any Lutens floral.  Guerlain?  Probably not because the genre is off. Tom Ford?  Yes. Chanel?  I don’t know.

If you see this package at the store, buy it and enjoy.

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