Are you ready for the QUEEN MOTHER of fruitchouli fragrances? The trailblazer that started it all, back in ‘92? Well fasten your seatbelts, because Angel ain’t for the meek.
When this perfume launched; it was considered so incredibly weird and unusual that many in the beauty biz predicted its imminent failure. Fermented fruit, chocolate, pralines, cotton candy, and an obscene overload of patchouli— all in one bottle?!? And it was shaped like a star, with blue liquid inside?!?
Well. For as many women who totally hated the stuff; there were an equal number of women who became hooked instantly, and I was one of them. Back then Angel was even more expensive than it is now, and most of us had to settle for the precious little 0.8 ounce bottle of EDP and those tiny sample packets of lotion and shower gel. But I keenly remember huffing the Angel tester at Macy’s and saving up for months for my very own bottle of this perversely gorgeous and utterly intoxicating stuff.
Once in the ‘90s, my mom was trying on a mohair sweater that still smelt of the woman who’d tried it on before her. My mom commented, “At first I thought she was wearing Angel, but then I realized it was just her armpits.” The two of us Angel-fiends had a good laugh over that experience, because it perfectly captured the olfactory tension between the heavenly and the gross that makes Angel so fabulous. Overall, Angel smells delicious to me, but in the same way that Thai food made with fish sauce tastes delicious: There is just enough “funk” to make it special.
Fast forward 27 years, and Angel is still going strong— perhaps more importantly, it paved the way for hundreds of much safer, sweeter, more sanitized patchouli gourmands (most notably Coco Mademoiselle, Flowerbomb, and La Vie Est Belle— not to mention scents like Pink Sugar and Fantasy, which went full-on dessert mode and skipped the patchouli entirely).
While the Queen Mother’s progeny may be easier to wear, and I do own and wear several of them, I will ALWAYS have a special fondness for the original Angel. I have to wait for cooler weather to give it a proper wearing, but it’s always something I look forward to in the fall. One spray, and I remember all over again they this is one dramatic dominatrix! She’ll take your nice fluffy cotton candy and stab it with her spiky black stilettos. And I LOVE HER for it. Yum ♥️