A year and a half of casually testing Womanity and I still can't make up my mind about it. And you know what? Maybe that's the story here. It's not very often that I find a mainstream perfume that makes me stop everything and actually feel and think, consider and reconsider. Even on days that Womanity ends up annoying me it is still interesting.
I don't have an all-encompassing opinion when it comes to Thierry Mugler perfumes. They occupy a full range from "I'd rather be dead" (Angel), "I know who killed me" (Alien) to ones I truly like (Innocent and the masculines, though I much prefer them on myself than on my husband). Then comes Womanity and it's unlike anything else.
I adore the opening of Womanity. It's colorful and kaleidoscopic: bursts of friendly citrus, sweet figs, sea salt and candy. It's a Utopian Coney Island or Jersey boardwalk on a beautiful June day. I don't know what's with the pink color of the bottle and the ads, because what I see are summery colors of sky blue, lemon and lime green. Then things become more complicated with dueling notes of salt and milk, wood and sugar. The milkiness has more than a little of fig's BFF, coconut in varying amounts. This is when sometimes I get nothing but sugar water, but other times the fig wins and I keep enjoying Womanity.
A lot has been said about the (in)famous caviar note in Womanity. I'm not a caviar expert, and as a vegetarian it's been years since I last had any. What I smell is salt and clean ocean. It's not as disgustingly aquatic as I feared before I got to smell it. In fact, this note is actually quite pleasant since it has an actual salty taste. In other words, there's no resemblance to Cool Water and its ilk.
The dry-down smells better up close on skin level than in my general sillage bubble. The scent that's captured between my clothes and skin is delicious, sweet but not completely fruity. Is it a decidedly feminine fragrance? I doubt it. A man who wears fig perfumes from the woody to the milky and green ones has a fair chance of enjoying Womanity despite the bottle, the name and the ads. I really wish brands would stop being so gender-specific. Last I checked there was nothing hanging (or not) under a perfume bottle's proverbial tail.
Notes: Fig, Caviar, Fig wood, Fig leaf, Woody notes
Womanity by Thierry Mugler ($58, 1 oz EDP) is available from Sephora and most department stores.
2010 Womanity ad from couleurparfum.com.
Art: Coney Island, uploaded to Photobucket by Gayle Marie.