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


Constance, Countess of Trentham : Difficult colour, green… very tricky.

Maggie Smith in Gosford Park

Maggie Smith as the Countess in Gosford Park

One of the funniest lines in Gosford Park (2001) was unscripted.  And who else but Maggie Smith could come up with such a line and deliver it in such a way that would leave the wearer wondering if she had just been given a compliment or the rudest of insults!  So when Claudie Blakley as Mabel Nesbitt arrived on set in a green dress, Maggie instinctively said, “Difficult colour, green… very tricky” and the associate producer, Julian Fellowes, burst out laughing.  They decided to keep the line.

I would say that green perfumes are also difficult, if not tricky.  On my skin they come off very chemical.  And, even a hint of green is sometimes rough as in Chanel No. 19 with that poisonous galbanum opening.  Judging by Michael Edwards’ green family of his Fragrances of the World 2012, it certainly is one of the smallest families… so I assume that they are not that popular either.

Of those that I have tried, I think Sisley’s Eau de Campagne is wonderful, but expensive. Chanel’s Bel Respiro is also lovely, also expensive. I’ve tried Devin by Aramis a couple of times.  Not expensive, but not great either and almost no lasting power.  On me, it smells too soapy.

It seems that to enjoy a really good green scent, you have to break the bank.  And then again, maybe not entirely.

I recently tried Eau de Céleri by Montreal-based Monsillage and I was delighted.  It recently won the Artisan Category of the 2015 Art and Olfaction Awards.  I’ll get back with a full review shortly.  In the meantime, if you know of any green scents that work for you, I’d love to hear about them.


Mugler : Les Exceptions – Supra Floral

The Death of Hyacinth (1769) by Nicolas-René Jollain (click to enlarge)

The Death of Hyacinth (1769) by Nicolas-René Jollain (click to enlarge)

Created by : Olivier Polge and Jean-Christophe Hérault

Date : 2014

Genre : Hyacinth soliflore

Concentration : eau de parfum

Over the years I have read and heard many references made between Thierry Mugler and Guerlain fragrances… not least of which is Luca Turin referring to Angel as the Shalimar of the Nineties.  And a very smart perfume enthusiast I know immediately recognized a nod to the famous Guerlinade in the first version of Angel… so I wasn’t completely surprised when I first sniffed Supra Floral and Chamade came to mind even before the sales associate said it was Mugler’s take on hyacinth.

Admittedly, I was ripe and ready for Supra Floral because I had been looking for a green floral for the past several weeks.  I always look for green scents in the spring and in late March and early April I threw myself into an orgy of green chypres and green fruity scents such as Premier Figuier. In addition, I must have tested half a dozen green florals including Estée Lauder’s Private Collection, Fidji, Bel Respiro and Romance by Ralph Lauren… even pulling out my Chanel No. 19 on occasion to keep me grounded.  I once said that white florals were the Holy Grail of  perfumes because they are so difficult to do beautifully.  I now think that green florals are even trickier.  Too much of one or two ingredients and the perfume comes off smelling like window cleaner!

So what does Supra Floral smell like?  I decided to use Chamade as my yardstick because most people have easy access to Chamade and the Les Exceptions collection is still only available in Canada and Italy as I write this post.

Both Supra Floral and Chamade highlight hyacinth but Chamade lists hyacinth only in the topnotes (according to Michael Edwards’ Perfume Legends : French Feminine Fragrances) while the promotional material for Supra Floral refers to the fragrance as a hyacinth soliflore with amber and incense.  So they definitely both share some DNA but they are not meant to be direct competitors.

On my skin, both Supra Floral and Chamade came out of the starting gate similarly because of the hyacinth note with Supra Floral being greener and more stark and Chamade boasting a powder note.  Supra Floral made me think of an early-morning stroll through a field of spring blossoms on an ultra-dry day… when sights and smells are surreal.  It awakened my senses all day long when I wore it.  Chamade reminds of later in the season… an early August late-afternoon stroll in the same field but on a VERY HUMID day with not only hyacinths but also other field flowers having grown in… maybe a few rose bushes here and there and jasmine in a neighbouring field.  Where Supra Floral is highly concentrated and saturated, Chamade is diffuse. Both Supra Floral and Chamade are wonderful… and both are complimentary.  If I had to choose one on any given day, I wouldn’t.  I would start my day with Chamade and then layer Supra Floral overtop for evening drama… and bump up the volume, so to speak.

As for classification, I would be very surprised if the Société française des parfumeurs puts Supra Floral in their “ambré” category even if Mugler says it has amber in it.  Apart from a discreet vanilla note at the end of the day, I think this is a hyacinth soliflore through and through… well worth testing.

To read about the Greek myth behind the genesis of the hyacinth flower, click here.





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