Olivier Cresp, Georgia May Jagger and Thierry Mugler’s Angel

Monday, October 6th 2014 0

An exclusive insight into an iconic fragrance

A few weeks ago, I had quite the invitation for tea. The perfumer and the face of my favourite fragrance, Angel, had requested the pleasure of my company for tea at the Sanderson. It was truly one of the loveliest invitations I've ever received.

Angel is a scent very nostalgic to me because it was the first fragrance that I chose for myself. I read that Britney Spears wore it and so naturally I asked my mom to buy me a bottle as a matter of urgency. I wore it for years and it reminded me of everything; of freshening up after dance class, of all of my friends’ birthday parties, and then of a boyfriend who ended things awfully. After that I couldn’t bear to wear it. Nonetheless, it remained a firm favourite and I was overjoyed to hear about it at tea. Afternoon Tea at the Sanderson Taking to the table, my seat was assigned by my personalised bottle of Angel. Among gourmand cocktails and cake tiers piled to the ceiling with whimsical desserts, Olivier hosted us (he’d come especially from Paris) and began to tell the tale of how he created one of the world’s most iconic fragrances. Olivier Cresp Olivier Cresp on Angel  22 years ago, Olivier was working on a fragrance called Patchoulle. A simple blend of patchouli and vanilla, he loved to experiment and was building it purely for himself. He created variations of this same scent but always came back to the same one, No.55. Soon he came to work with Thierry Mugler, and among other perfumers was working to create the perfect blend for his very first scent. “The brief was something exceptional, something beautiful; he didn’t say too much”, he explains of Thierry. But Vera Strubi, the lady responsible for launching the fragrance, had other ideas. “She wanted No.55”, he explains, noting that at this point she had dismissed the other perfumers and wanted Olivier to carry the vision forward. He brought new variations of No.55 to Vera every two days. “She wanted flowers; roses, peonies”, he recalls. They tried to move forward but they got stuck, and so there was only one thing for it – he was to spend a day alone with Theirry. Thierry, he told us, wanted fairytales. “He wanted stars, the colour blue; he spoke about his grandmother and of dipping pastries into chocolate milk.” It was then that they realised that the fragrance had to be gourmand. He submitted variations with honey and praline. After 630 experiments, No.600 was the winner! They didn’t do any market tests. Instead, Olivier’s wife sealed the decision. “My wife used to wear it and get stopped and asked where they could buy her perfume”, he tells us fondly. Within a mere 3 years, Angel had become the number one fragrance on the market. MASTER SP GB INT ANGEL EDP_14.indd Georgia May Jagger on Angel Georgia’s story was quite lovely because her mother was the face of the fragrance when she was a young girl. “I saw it as an element of fantasy in her dressing room”, she recalls of Angel and her mother, Jerry Hall. “I always thought she looked like a mermaid in the photo and she had bottles on her dresser in all different shapes and sizes.” She says she used to play in Thierry’s clothes as a child, and saw it a huge honour to now be the face of the brand herself. Jerry Hall for Thierry Mugler To me it was quite funny that Georgia was just the same as any one of us; stealing the best and brightest from her mother’s dressing table and hoping she wouldn’t notice! Resuming our desserts, we talked among ourselves about the fragrance. What struck me was that no-one had a so-so relationship with Angel. It is such a classic fragrance and everyone has a strong feeling toward it. But what I do know is that the scent that once reminded me of a bad break up is now the scent that reminds me of one of my proudest moments in beauty, and a tea that I was utterly delighted to go to. I haven’t stopped wearing it since. Thierry Mugler Angel Bottle Personalised Look out for Georgia as the new face of Angel from this winter. It is the perfect scent for lasting all day on a snug scarf and feeling every inch the snow queen. Thierry Mugler’s Angel is available from all leading department stores and at www.mugler.co.uk.

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