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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