Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thierry Mugler- A*Men

I don't have the slightest idea why and how a woody gourmand men's cologne centered around chocolate and coffee has become one of the most controversial scents of modern times (just search the database of if you're unfamiliar with the issue). Then again, the decision to label this sweet and warm concoction a masculine is a bit questionable, though not more than Guerlain's Habit Rouge.

Mugler launched A*Men in 1996 as the male version of Angel, which might explain a thing or two. Personally, I can't deal with Angel. The rotting fruit note turns my stomach and makes me want to tell whoever is wearing it that she doesn't smell nearly as good as she thinks. I've heard Angel can actually be quite nice if applied very (very!) sparingly. Unfortunately, I have yet to meet an Angel fan that can restrict herself from bathing in its alleged yumminess.

A*Men is free of fruit, so it's all chocolate, caramel and coffee. To my nose it's closer to Innocent (which I love) than to the monstrosity of the original Angel. There's smokiness here, as a concession to masculine notes, and a cheerful herbal thread of bergamot-lavender-mint, though it took me ages of exploring to recognize the latter. It wears beautifully by itself and can be layered with orange scents. It's thicker than Hermes Elixir de Marveilles and lacks its luxurious feel, so this is more of a guilty pleasure. Then again, chocolate is always like that.  A*Men is easy and fun to wear as long as one likes velvety gourmands and has a sense of humor about some of the more colorful expressions on Basenotes.

In our home, I'm the one who wears this Thierry Mugler creation. The husband is not a fan of sweet or foody scents on his skin but enjoys them on me. Now that I think of it, I'm not sure I ever told him specifically that this is supposed to be a masculine fragrance. I doubt he'd believe me, anyway.

A*Men by Thierry Mugler ($57, 1.7 oz) is available from Sephora and most department stores.



  1. I actually like this very much - especially on my husband - but he feels it's too sweet for his taste. I wear in on occasion myself and sometimes love it. At other times, it bothers me and I'm not sure why. Too sweet, too sour-ish, just too much. Still, I admire any composition that creates this much controversy.

  2. Gaia, I have to admit that I am not a fully paid up member of the A*Men fan club! I can appreciate it for what it is, but it isn't me. I prefer my patchouli and cocoa more in the vein of Serge Lutens' Borneo. I also find this too sweet, so maybe its a guy thing, I don't know!


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