Ménage a Trois: Angel and TDC Jasmin de Nuit

Today’s review is of the iconic Mugler Angel created in 1992 featuring notes of honey, vanilla, chocolate, caramel and patchouli (and some fruits/berries, depending on where you look up the notes.) Whether you love it or hate it, it was (and remains) an undeniable, unmistakeable, ground-breaking fragrance. We also review The Different Company Jasmin de Nuit, with notes of jasmine, star anise, cinnamon, cardamom, sandalwood and amber, for no other reason than we dithered and dallied in our decision-making regarding a man’s scent to review. But it’s undoubtedly worthy of a word or two.

Mugler Angel

  • Patty: Whyyyyyy did I agree to this? Just stick razor blades in my coffee next time… I’d rather that than ever have Angel on my skin again. Years ago, I put on Angel, and was seized with a fit of snerfuffling (this is like when you spit out something really awful out of your mouth — think Tom Hanks in “Big” when he ate the caviar — but with your nose). And this is the weird thing about this scent. The actual notes don’t bother me, and if it were a room spray, candle, etc., I’d happily have it around, but having this gooey mess on my skin is just awful, and… it.won’t.come.off. Good thing I have a good set of choppers, I’m going to have to gnaw my arm off now.
  • March: One of the joys of being a mother of four is that I have, with each child, experienced the magic moment when they throw up their Easter candy. Angel evokes for me – literally – the smell of chocolate vomit. It is the smell of 18 Cadbury eggs, a hollow milk chocolate Peter Rabbit and a few marshmallow peeps dropped on an otherwise empty stomach before breakfast, with natural consequences. I´m aware this is not the prevailing viewpoint regarding Angel, and I´m prepared for some trash talk (Apres L´Ondee smells like gerbil pee!), but I am sorry to report that´s what I get when I smell Angel. Given the endless popularity of this scent, clearly I am a bonehead. Please don´t flame the blog on my account.
  • Lee: I didn’t put this on my skin. In fact I never have. I’ll tell you why. I spent a large number of my formative 20something years in London. I used to catch the tube everywhere. It’s always warm and damp down there and you can feel the fungi start to grow in your pits if you wait too long for a train. I used to entertain myself by watching the little dun coloured mice run along beside the tracks, imagining their funny little nocturnal lives. That’s if the platform wasn’t crowded, because then my nose would take over as my chief sensory domain. Body odour, burgers, stale hair grease (how does fresh smell?), perfume. And the dominant force, striding ahead of the pack in all her glory throughout the whole of the 90s was Angel. She could slay any other smell at 20 paces. If she wasn’t busy mating with them. Angel and burgers and fries = nice babies monsters from hell. And she was omnipresent, no matter the season. A dark underground tunnel where the exits are blocked by heaving bodies is not the place to have your bronchioles close up. I choose to avoid her nowadays. She’s Lucifer’s own juice.

The Different Company Jasmin de Nuit

  • Lee: Now, if the London Underground smelled like this, that place would be transformed into a bower of bliss. Naiads and dryads and other ads would nimbly caper across the platform, laughing merrily and singing hey nonny nonny. It’s gorgeous. A very pretty scent that goes on a gentle journey from floral (rather than indolic) jasmine, with a touch of zing and pinch of powder, to a spicy ambery mix. It’s more spice than flower, at least from an hour in. Give me sinful nocturnal blossom over heavenly wings, any day or night.
  • Patty: There is nothing not to love here. That is all.
  • March: I appreciate TDC fragrances more in theory than in practice. Mostly I don´t like the way they smell on me, although Bergamote and Bois d´Iris smell gorgeous on normal people, and I´m particularly terrified of Sel de Vetiver. My favorite is probably Rose Poivree, confirming any doubts you might have that I am, indeed, a bonehead. Somehow I seem to have missed Jasmin, which (and I´ll be checking this tonight) I believe our local niche perfumer doesn´t stock. Now this one is working on me. Jasmine is a tough note. It´s such an ass-kicker; what are you going to put with it that can stand up to The Force? I have a particular loathing for “jaznilla” (does Scentzilla have a copyright on that word?), that unfortunate confluence of jasmine and vanilla that can produce a nauseatingly sweet result. This scent is a completely different way of looking at jasmine: it toys with jasmine´s indolic aspect (that slightly-rotten note of skank) by enrobing it in cardamom and cinnamon (the main spices I smell), although there might be a dab of pepper in there, and the anise is very subdued (a good thing, in my view.) The drydown is less sweet and more subtle than a typical jasmine soliflore — it makes me think of a milky, jasmine-scented dessert — with just a whisper of sandalwood. Wow, I do go on, don’t I?
  • evilpeony says:

    i am ashamed to admit that i have never tried the original angel. neither have i smelled this on other people.

    i have, however, tried angels peony and violet on my wrists on separate occasions. those memories were forever repressed from my consciousness. (particularly the peony one)

    thanks guys, for the hilariously commercial that is my lunch hour. now i must crawl back to my ball-and-chains… :((

  • Lee says:

    J – a weddding is NEVER the place for Angel, even if others could attempt to convince me that elsewhere is.

    JdN hides its vanilla well when I’m trying it out – that note’s often a turn off down my way (except in Guerlains, for some reason).

  • justine says:

    My only memory of Angel was at a wedding, during the ceremony, I kept smelling something that seemed to be growing *stronger* as time passed. I could NOT fathom how that happened, but it did, and by the end I was gagging. That scent, my friend, was Angel.

    As for JdN, this scent is nice on me, but nothing like the raves others give it. As time grows the spice fades and vanilla takes center stage. I like it, but it smells a lot like a ton of other vanilla scents on me, and no, not jasmine and vanilla, just straight up vanilla.

  • minette says:

    angel used to be a favorite of mine – but i found it in france before it was imported to the states, so it was new then. now i’m less fond of it, and prefer angel men and angel rose.

    now, jasmin de nuit is flat-out gorgeousness in a bottle. glad you all agreed! it’s by far my fave by tdc… though i have yet to sniff sel de vetiver.

    fun reviews as usual. i was right there in the tube with you.

    • Lee says:

      If you were there, you must’ve seen the hot guy standing a few feet down the platform. I’m sure he was checkin’ one of us out…

      *slaps self*

      See, A*Men is another one I just can’t do, but I think that’s because it does a disaster zone performance on me… Either that, or I’m muglerphobic.

  • Teri says:

    Angel is something I can appreciate only on others. It becomes a murky, muddy, mess on me and as you’ve stated — lasts forever. If only Jasmin de Nuit would last forever, but alas, it’s as fleeting as those 3 twenty-dollar bills I put in my wallet on Monday. Poof. Gone. And that’s a cryin’ shame, because it’s a lovely fragrance.

  • Skye H. says:

    I gotta say I too enjoy Angel (in small doses). It is very much a comfort scent for me. I often use it on my pillow cases when I am having trouble sleeping. It cuddles me all night long – the olfactory version of a childhood blanket. I have been meaning to try the Garden series. Any warnings?

    Skye

    • Lee says:

      I’ve not been near them, but lots of others can help you out – I think you’ll even find reviews in blogdom somewhere.

      I can kind of understand the comfort scent thing РAmbre Narguil̩ is that for me, but some people would find that too too much.

  • IrisLA says:

    Poor, poor Angel. *pats her soothingly*

  • tmp00 says:

    Personally, I don’t care for Angel much. I know it can be a delight on others (I have proof) but if there ever was going to be some perfume Guantanamo, this would be the torture that got me to talk.

    The jasmine one I’ll have to give a whiff, when the whiffer is back on line. 🙁

    • Lee says:

      Am I wrong to imagine you in a red boiler suit? :p

    • Lee says:

      and I hope the whiffer isn’t out of order for too long, Tombo!

      • tmp00 says:

        Darling, this is LA. I’m wearing Juicy Couture!

        Actually, I am wearing a velour polar thingy I got from work as our annual “we appreciate your hard work, here’s a bit of tat” gift, orange flannel pyjama bottoms from Paul Frank with a pattern of Kung-Fu fighters. In short: stand back Daniel Craig, I’m too sexy for my white cotton socks!

  • donanicola says:

    I distinctly recall where I was when I first smelled Angel – it made that much of an impact on me as it was so different. I got a little sample bottle which is very cute but I didn’t ever dare wear it – just toooo much sweet chocolate. In my perfume ignorance back then I thought the offender was vanilla and it took me years to realise vanilla is not necessarily a bad thing. I totally sympathise with Lee re Angel on the tube – yuck. Don’t know TDC Jasmin but now somebody’s mentioned my beloved Musc Rav and jasmine I just have to try it! Sounds like heaven – hm something else to go on my wishlist.

  • Devon says:

    Well I’m new here and I gotta tell ya, you guys are hysterical. I love that you say skank and vomit.

    I take notes of what to try next. I don’t like Angel either.

    I do have a problem today. I put on my new Bal a Versailles EDP and cannot smell it! What does this mean and what do I do? Just be glad other folks can smell it? This happens to me with my Boubon French Huile 85 which is my usual daily scent.

    • Patty says:

      Welcome Devon! We say much worse, just stick around. 🙂

      I have the same problem with Cartier’s Dragon. Everyone says it is just fierce, and I can only smell it for about two minutes as strong, and then it just tames right down, so I spritz on more. Now I don’t wear it because I’m afraid I’m one of those people!

      • evilpeony says:

        oh patty and lee, skin twins 😀 i thought it was just me getting anosmic to the dragon after the clock strikes 5 secs…. so i apply more and more until friends and boyfriend start accusing me of aging prematurely from 5 miles.

    • Lee says:

      In this post, someone gave us our charm medication. You should hear what we have to say about some other stuff…

      The Dragon SHOULD be sprayed with a heavy hand, I think.:d

  • Dusan says:

    Heathens! Angel-trashers! All except Maria B., she’s up for beatification 🙂
    Ok, Angel was ubiquitous for too long and I feel sorry for y’all who got trampled by her diabolic stilettos, but now that everyone is following the latest fragrant fad, the air in my town is Angel-free (hello Code, Mariage, Into the Blue etc.) and its scent, when I happen to catch a whiff, smells surprisingly new and comforting. Rose Angel is stunning too, you *have to* admit that!
    Apologia over.
    March (and those interested), there’s another candidate for your “skanky jaznilla” category – Gaultier’s newest Fleur du Mâle. How does milky orange-blossom-tuberose-whipped-cream-mix-turned-fougère-skanky-jasmine-and-fern grab you? =))

    • Patty says:

      *phoning the Pope to schedule testimoney on beatification investigaton*

      I really don’t have the pervasive Angel problem. I haven’t really worked in an office with a bunch of other people for years, and the two-year stint when I went in 3x a week or so, we just didn’t have a fragrancy office, and I went in my office, close the door and glared at people. 🙂

      Angle is just tooooooo strong,that’s my major complaint.

    • Maria B. says:

      Thank you, Dusan! I’ve wondered who would be the first to catch on to my sainthood potential. I just hope you remember that I must be dead before beatification procedures can begin. 😉

      If I did smell Angel in the air during work commutes, I didn’t recognize it. On me it’s simply not strong, even in the EdP concentration. It turns soft immediately. I hope PP readers will take note of this. One sign of sainthood is a lack of stench to the corpse (which, as I’ve implied, I hope no one gets to evaluate any time soon). o:-)

      • Dusan says:

        Maria, The Codex will have to make an exception in your case. I therefore pronounce you a living saint and hereby confer a scented halo onto your holiness, you Angel you o:-)

        • Maria B. says:

          I blush with saintly modesty. :”>

          To be thorough, I spritzed some Angel on. When I commented earlier, I had forgotten about the camphor that is a prominent part of the middle notes on my skin. I happen to like camphor, but no one around me need worry (at the moment that’s my pup). The scent is soft.

    • Lee says:

      Well, I’m quite happy to venerate our living saint. But I need to hear more about the Gaultier horror you describe, Dusan.

      • Dusan says:

        Lee, be sure to check out The Scented Salamander these days for a review of FdM. But it’s not a horror. It’s a true French skanky floral creme brulee!:x

        • Lee says:

          Now I’m not sure whether that sounds terrible or beautiful. It’s WB Yeats’s ‘The Second Coming’, is what it is.

          *pats self on back for pompous literary allusion*:-b

      • Dusan says:

        Always the name-dropper, eh?;)
        FdM is just like that, I think it’s going to get very polarized ratings. I find its floral skank beautiful, but that’s just me. Doubt it’ll have a wide appeal with men, though, creamy florals hardly ever [email protected]};-
        Hasn’t it launched in the UK yet?

  • Marina says:

    OMG, no one likes poor, dear, misunderstood little Angel. Makes me feel sorry for it. I don’t own the original one, but I am going to go spritz on some Angel Rose right this minute.:d

    • Louise says:

      You go, girl-the rose is very nice. We gotta stick together in the face of this bash-fest!

    • Patty says:

      No, no, you misunderstand! I *love* Angel, just on someone else… preferably a couple of continents away.

    • Lee says:

      I think I did once like it, but it’s forever trapped as a smell memory. And some women forgot that the 80s were about spray overload, and carried on that little drama into the last decade of the millennium… And Angel needs a light hand. Or no hand.

  • Flor says:

    OMG, March! Chocolate vomit it is! Like Lee, I have never actually put Angel on my skin as when I smelled it on my friend I had a mini-vomit. Oh God, the memories :-& And what is more, according to everyone who has worn it, it stays on the skin for ever and ever. Oh, March, how can you say that Apres L’Ondee is smells like gerbil pee? I thought you liked it x(

    • March says:

      Flor — I do, I do love Apres! That was my pretend trash-talking we’re going to receive from angry commenters with pitchforks.

    • Lee says:

      See, I don’t get the vomit. But when kids go green or smelly, I always pass them back to their parents prontisimo…

  • Elle says:

    OK, steps into confessional, hangs head…I actually did used to really like Angel. I’ve switched my loyalty to Jailia now (which I’m afraid I recently retried and I think it’s about to go into quarantine), but Angel really wasn’t noxious on me. I also would spray it on a q-tip (which I do w/ all sprays – hate sillage on myself, like it on other people…depending on what they’re wearing) and apply w/ one light touch. That was *definitely* enough.

    • Patty says:

      You should have seen me testing this. I put the nozzle carefully over by my elbow and slowly depressed the spritzer until I got just a teensy drop on there. Wow, that stuff is soooo potent.

      I do see how it could smell heavenly on some people in small doses, and I bet you smell divine when you wear it!

    • Lee says:

      When all the world is dead and gone, that smell will fill the air, along with the scuttling sound of a billion cockroaches. Indestructible.

  • Judith says:

    You guys always brighten up my morning.:d I am another Angel hater (although I think Angel Rose is sorta nice), and I love Jasmin de Nuit: it smells, perhaps oddly, a lot like Musc Ravageur on me.

  • Maria B. says:

    Hello, gang! You may be shocked to learn that until a few days ago I had never tried on Angel. I have an even bigger shocker. I liked it. I had read all the opprobrium (I’m claiming the word!) heaped upon it in the blogs, but then Louise, my skin twin, said it worked on her. I don’t get chocolate. Borneo 1834 has way more chocolate (a good thing). Basically on me Angel quickly becomes a soft berryish vaguely patchouliish comforting scent. It reminds me of Mure et Musc in a way. I’d go try on more Angel right now so that I can opine more coherently, but I’m wearing Bois d’Armenie and that’s too precious to wash off voluntarily.

    As to Jasmin de Nuit, I haven’t tried it, but now I know I must. I’m a slave to white flower scents. A very kind person sent me a sample of Mona di Orio Nuit Noire recently. She didn’t know about my little problem. I don’t blame her. But, oh gosh, did that fragrance make an impact. (Lee, I know you share my desire.) Serge Lutens A la Nuit–golly that’s beautiful too, a pure dose of jasmine. L’Artisan La Haie Fleurie du Hameau–what a melange of white flowers. Totally helpless when it comes to white flowers. Yep. When I was a kid I used to go around smelling jasmine and gardenia in people’s gardens. Actually, I still do that.

    Oh, and Patty, I do understand the snerfuffling response. I had it when I tried on a sample of Comptoir Sud Pacifique Lait Sucre a few years ago. I couldn’t run to the sink fast enough.

    • Louise says:

      Ah, Maria, you give me strength. To admit to the truth, again. Yup, I do like Angel. (Though not as much as my new-found Borneo-love). I love patch of all kinds, and Angel is just a bit-too-sweet version on me. The body cream is the very nice on me (yes, I have asked other!). What I don’t like is what our cherished reviewers note-the overspraying on too many in too many close spaces, some of whom just have noooo idea how wretched the scent is on them.

      I also like some of the Angel gardens-violet is very nice on me, as is the Rose. The best-the Men’s Angel (now why dind’tchall review that one?). Dreamy on some dudes, and on me at the right (!) moment.

      I look forward to trying Jasmin de Nuit on my next jaunt to NY (Yup, March, fragrance choice kinda sucks around DC, no?). I have only flirted with white flowers-Sung way back then, and love Datura Noir. Time to broaden horizons!

      • Patty says:

        Louise, between Borneo and Angel, it really should be no contest — Borneo is definitely all that. If Angel had less caramel gooeyness, I think I’d be okay with it..

        We have the A-men on our list to get to. Next time we are doing men’s scents.

      • March says:

        Louise, P wouldn’t let us blog on Borneo because she refuses to put up with me dissing her beloved. If you’d like my review of Borneo, just take everything I wrote and multiply it, and add some sweat.

      • Lee says:

        I’ll just say I gave me decant of Borneo away…:-“

      • Maria B. says:

        Louise, I have put the Angel Violet and Rose on my to-try list. A few years ago I was sent a sample of Angel Men and I tried it on my DH. Horrors! He took a shower immediately. I didn’t think to try it on myself after *that*, but now I realize the outcome might have been different.

    • Patty says:

      I *know* Angel can smell good, but how can it go so wrong on so many people? It’s baffling!

      JdN isn’t a typical white flower, it’s more spices with just some white flower running around in the backyard flipping up its dress from time to time.

      I’ve had the same reaction to, um, ALL of the CSPs. What a vanilla mess they are.

  • Amy K. says:

    It’s funny, but I’m not sure that I’ve ever smelled Angel on someone else. That’s not possible, right? Maybe I’m not hanging out in the right areas of Seattle. I’ve smelled it on myself, though, and let’s just say that once was enough. Eau de Chocolate-Covered Cumin.

    Jasmin de Nuit, on the other hand…SWOON. I rarely rush to buy anything, but my credit card was in hand about a second after the lid was off my sample. It’s somehow gorgeous and snuggly at the same time. This and Angelique Encens are as close as I’ve gotten to HG material…not that I’ll ever stop looking:)

    And one last thing – thank you both again for the MDCI samples I won a few weeks ago! I’ve really enjoyed them all, especially SB1/Invasion Barbare.

    • Patty says:

      JdN is really amazing. I’m blown away by it every time I put it on, just trying to figure out how they did that. The jasmine puts in an appearance, but it does not dominate it, and the spices just cradle the little jasmine petals. 🙂 Okay, that’s my flowery bit.

      You know, I read on some other board someone tried the MDCI and thought they were perfumey and not worth it, and I’m thinking… huh? Yeah, most people won’t love them all, but to not find one in the batch of five to love was shocking, but i know it can happen! Invasion Barbare is gorgeous.

    • Lee says:

      You’re welcome to swoon here any time!

  • Gaia says:

    I’m going to bed happy now, after having a good laugh. There should be an inter-blog competition to see which one of us can come up with the best insults for Angel.

    Lee would be delighted o know that on a good day, our subway here in NYC still has a good amount of Angel in it. It goes especially well with J-Lo Glow and the aroma of The Great Unwashed.