Angel of Jealousy

Silence is screaming
I’ll bat an eye and cast my spell
The Devils are dreaming
Dreaming of a blue angel

Squirrel Nut Zippers – Blue Angel#

Many years ago a friend of mine introduced him to me. You know how we usually try to find familiar features for something new or unfamiliar? “It tastes like chicken” or “She reminds me of my class-mate’s younger sister.” He was unusual. He was different. I was intrigued but I couldn’t place him into any familiar context. And it bothered me. Or maybe I was just too much of a good girl back then and wasn’t adventurous enough for him. Anyway, it didn’t work out between us.

Ben Affleck as angel in DogmaI met him again five years later. I wasn’t surprised to see him here, a half-world away from where I got to know him. A lot has changed since we met first and this time something just clicked. I fell in love. I made him a part of my life. I wanted him to accompany me everywhere – nights out, birthdays, parties. I wanted all my friends to meet him. I was so happy… until one of my girlfriends confessed that she felt she was falling for him. I know I didn’t have any real reasons for it, I know it was irrational but I panicked: what if she gets him? We belonged to the same crowd; we would be coming to the same events.

Have you ever been in the situation when you find yourself wearing the same piece of clothing (a blouse, a dress or a tie – though I’m not sure if it has the same meaning for men as it does for women) as somebody else in the group? I have. In my high school years at a dance party I met a girl wearing almost an identical top (just the color of a pattern was different). It was a big party and probably nobody else had noticed that fact but my evening was ruined: most of my efforts went to monitoring her relocations and trying to keep my distance from her. And that was just a top. Can you imagine how I would have felt if I had to be in the same room with my friend wearing the same perfume?!!  My Angel?!!

Yes, I’m talking about Angel* by Thierry Mugler. It was a perfume but other than that fact the story was real. My jealousy was real. I felt so bad while I thought my friend might go ahead and buy that perfume. I tried to talk her out of it but she insisted. So that you could imagine my state of mind: for a while I even considered talking to her husband! I’m glad I hadn’t. I can imagine that conversation… She actually has never followed through with the purchase.

Thierry Mugler AngelI’m not going to even attempt the review of Angel: I’m not sure it’s the most reviewed perfume out there but there is more than enough information about this revolutionary at the time scent. If you just came out of a 20 years long coma or jumped back from a very distant future in which Angel is long gone and my blog is the first place online you landed on in an attempt to learn about this perfume just search for “Thierry Mugler Angel review blog” and there will be millions of hits. My story isn’t about facts of this scent. It is of my feelings towards Angel.

I still love this perfume. Angel EdP is so strong and so inappropriate for most places that I haven’t even used up my first bottle (and I think I’ll have to replace it because the remaining juice isn’t even blue any more). I do not wear Angel outside of my house any longer because I think it’s too ubiquitous and recognizable. But every time I apply it to my skin – with all the wonderful perfumes I’ve come across in the recent years –  the first second I smell it I realize that I still think Angel is beautiful. One of my friends wears Angel to milongas and parties. I always recognize it (who doesn’t?!), like it on her and do not feel jealous to even the slightest extent.

Are out there any perfumes about which you feel so possessive you wouldn’t want anybody else around you (or at all) to wear? (If yes, you do not have to share the name)

* In my native language grammatical gender of the noun “angel” is masculine so I always thought of Angel as of a man. Until I read the review on The Candy Perfume Boy. Well… maybe. But my Angel is definitely a man.

#The song Blue Angel has nothing to do with the story but I kept singing it to myself while writing about Angel (maybe because I think of it as of a blue perfume) so I decided to share it with you.

As always, feel free to give a link to your blog’s post(s) related to the topic.

Images: Ben Affleck in Dogma – blu-ray.com; Angel perfume – my own.

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29 thoughts on “Angel of Jealousy

  1. Fun story, and I can relate to it on a number of levels – I owned Angel and it too changed colour and I did eventually chuck it out. It was an impulse purchase at the end of a work trip (when I am fatally receptive to the blandishments of SAs). In this case an SA at Berlin airport who really sold the chocolate note to me. I wore Angel a few times, but became increasingly self-conscious and decided I couldn’t wear chocolate outside the home either.

    Regarding sharing perfumes, I have done so a few times with friends and remember feeling that my own relationship with the scent in question was slightly diminished as a result, a bit like a Mormon wife situation, say. The more obscure the scent (and I have shared one or two super obscure ones), the worse I felt. I am trying to get a grip on myself because I am not sure this jealousy is healthy or worthy of me, but the fact remains that I don’t want my “special ‘no-one-else-will-smell-of-this-within-a-50-mile-radius”” scent to be something we might well now both show up to the same event wearing… And there is also the element of research/work that may have led you to that perfume in the first place that you are giving away as well. As a researcher, I have always investigated the best utility or mortgage deals with forensic care, and friends would say: “Oh, so what would you recommend?” and I would tell them the fruits of my labours and that too would smart a bit.

    Oh dear, I may have some issues to look at – you appear to have tapped into something quite deep! And I haven’t even got to the ugly matter of not sharing a sample with a fellow blogger, in case your google whack of a review suddenly slips to Page 3 in Google!

    Yes indeed, jealousy is an ugly emotion and an excellent topic for a post! (Sorry to go on at such length…)

    • Vanessa, you know I like your stories so no need to apologize.

      Speaking of stories and gealousy: on a couple of occasions, while commenting on someone’s blog, I cought myself “saving the story” for my own future post.

      I do not feel compelled to withhold a sample from a fellow-blogger out of fear of a search engines’ affinity (but just because I do not care right now for SE traffic at all). But I might do something like that if, again, I’m thinking about a story (not a review): I do not want it to be a “yesterday’s topic” by the time I finally come up with what I wanted to write.

      There are just a couple of perfumes I wouldn’t want to share with somebody I might end up in the same company, but everything else – I’m completely open now.

      • You may not have thought this anyway, but when I said “not share a sample” for SEO reasons I was meaning “quietly not volunteer its existence” rather than refuse a specific request for a sample of something I own – I would never do that, except if I only had a ml or so left of the scent in question, and not always then, depending on how precious it was to me and how much owning that extra half a ml mattered!

        I think I have gone and shared my favourite perfumes already with the people I might bump into. I am okay with it now for the most part, though I do slightly regret doing so with the mysterious OJ Ta’if… : – )

  2. What a fun, honest, and revealing post, Undina! I was dying to know who this man of great interest was, and refused to read ahead. I figured it would be a perfume, but maybe not. I didn’t notice the angel wings on Ben Affleck until I’d reached the end of your post!

    I can definitely understand the desire to be the most beautifully-fragranced woman in the room, the one everyone wants to stand next to, if only to be intoxicated by her perfume. Of course!

    ~Michelle for Primal Mist Perfumes

    • I didn’t want to be over-melodramatic, I figured out most of my readers will guess quickly I was talking about the perfume. But other than trying not to give it away immediately, I haven’t embellished much.

  3. Ah yes, the sharing dilemma. A very long time ago, I had a co-worker compliment me on my fragrance and ask its name, only to turn up at work the following week wearing it. I stopped wearing that one (at work) and moved on to something else. Later, a new co-worker transferred in from the big city and she smelled divine. I asked her what she was wearing (yes, with the intention of buying, but I would never have worn it to work), but she wouldn’t tell me. Finally, when I was leaving town for a new job a year later, I asked again. She relented and told me — and that’s how I became a wearer of my much beloved Diorella throughout the 80’s and 90’s.

    My poor sister has lost two signature scents — each to a new daughter-in-law who asked the name and then commenced to wear it as her own signature scent. I do believe my sister had rather hoped they were asking with future gift giving in mind.

    • I would have never done it to… actually, both – my co-worker and myself: why whould I want to wear the same scent to the same place as somebody else?! I understand the desire to have the same perfume if you like it but to wear it to the same office/company/family events?

      As to your sister’s situation, there is another way of looking at it: I read so many times stories from perfumistas who refused to touch one perfume or the other because it was associated with MIL.

      • It’s true that my sister could have looked at it as a compliment. She has a certain elegance and I do think her daughters-in-law were pleased to find these scents and emulate some of that elegance. It was many years ago and since then my sister’s husband has been very good about about helping her search out new scents from time to time and then keeping her supplied in her most recent signature choice — currently Jo Malone Grapefruit which smells fabulous on her.

        • I like JM Grapefruit (enough to wear a couple of samples I got) but I absolutely love (and plan to buy – even if I have to pay a full price!) Grapefruit Shower Gel. If you sister doesn’t have it yet it might be a good present.

  4. Such a nice story! Regarding loosing a scent…. I am pretty much a perfume masculine whore: everyday a different bottle so I wouldn’t mind introducing someone to one of my finds. In fact I love doing so. But I understand completely what you mean. Back in the days, ages ago, when I was looking for my perfume for the entire season, I was always looking for the one perfume that not only would appeal to me but also be obscure enough to be quasi-unique.

    • Of course now, with my … (not saying how many) bottles and even larger number of decants and samples, I do not mind phisically sharing and even less so sharing the name of a perfume. I thought for a while why Angel produced such a strong response from me and realized that it was because it was so unique, unexpected and easily recognizable. There are hundreds of perfumes that even many experienced perfumistas won’t easily identify on others. But Angel (at least for my nose) is so distinct that I was sure everybody would recognize if we were both to wear it.

  5. What a really good read, Undina! Loved it. I think it’s much more difficult sharing your perfume when you have a signature scent. When I starting wearing Aromatics Elixir about 15 years ago, my co-worker, Mother and Sister all starting wearing it. I was a little put-out! These days I’m practically pushing my perfumes onto friends and family. However, when it comes to walking into a room where someone else is wearing the same outfit, that’s a whole different horror story. :)

    • Tara, can you believe – I tried Aromatics Elixir for the first time two weeks ago? I don’t know why I was avoiding it. Sure, I do not like Clinique’s cosmetics: for whatever reason the whole estetics does’t appeal to me and I didn’t like how several creams and lotions smelled. But I tried several other of their perfumes and even wore Happy for a while.
      Thank you for reading and for the kind words.

      • Undina, I can’t imagine it being your kind of thing but I’m glad you’ve tried it. It’s definitely worth a try, especially as it’s so accessible. It was the first of my many chypre loves.

        • Aromatics Elixir is the one perfume I would recognize instantly on any person. Angel has been copied (badly) many times but to me AE is the most unique mainstream female perfume ever. What did you think about it Undina?

    • Tara, I’m astonished re your Aromatics Elixir wearing family and co-worker. Not that they did it (which would have put me out a bit too) but that you actually have so many people in your circle who wear it. I have worn Aromatics Elixir frequently since shortly after it came out in 1971 and have never personally known anyone else who wears it. It was the signature scent of a women who worked at the business next door to where I once worked and I’ve smelled it on the street, but never within my circle. It’s actually one I’d love for someone close to me to wear because I think it smells most fabulous from a short distance — I love the herbal woodiness, but distance allows the flowers to bloom.

      • Lindaloo, I haven’t been so influential since! My mother still wears it from time to time but my sister and co-worker moved on to to other perfumes after a while. I totally agree about it smelling great from a short distance, that’s how I like it best too. I think it can be a little overwhelming but I still like and admire it and think it’s totally unique.

  6. Undina, you really hooked me with the beginning to your story. I loved reading this — you described so perfectly that emotion we all feel when we think we have something that sets us apart and that is really so special in our hearts we just can’t bear to share it.

    In the 90s I had a signature scent (one I’m embarrassed to name as everyone hates it, but I’ll do it for you: Elizabeth Arden Red Door. Please don’t faint or disown me!) My sister loved the way it smelled and made it her scent, too, which was ok until she started getting compliments on it from **everyone** (and I do mean everyone). Long story short, I began avidly casting about for a new signature fragrance–one that I very selfishly thought she couldn’t afford if she ended up liking it–and then in 2005 I discovered the blogs and began collecting perfumes left and right. As indulgent as it sounds (and I won’t deny that it is) that buying spree was the thing that cured me of my possessiveness and made me more generous. Suddenly having an array of gorgeous fragrances rather than focusing on making one exclusively mine (which seemed to require more vigilance and offer less reward) made me feel genuinely richer — to the point of wanting, and being excited, to share. :)

    • Thank you, Suzanne.

      I can’t judge you on your affection towards Red Door: for about a year (~ 10 years ago) I wore Green Tea a lot and was fascinated with this perfume.

      Are you saying there isn’t a single perfume you wouldn’t want to share today with your sister?

      • Good question. I have to admit that I hardly wear Chergui anymore, which is the fragrance my sister gravitates towards now. Is the fact that it has become hers, in a sense, the reason it’s no longer special to me? Maybe, but I think the real reason is because I see her often and smell it all the time and have actually begun to tire of it. I suppose the one fragrance I do feel somewhat possessive over is Chanel No. 22, which is one she has never really liked. So it’s hard for me to say, but I do think I’d share it with her if she came around to loving it (probably a bit grudingly, though).

  7. I think it would be very hard for me to “share” a perfume I love. I’m glad that in the end you didn’t have to. I am lucky that most of my friends are not into perfume. In fact, most of them actually believe they are allergic, which is fine, I say. More for me! (knock on wood)

    • It’s interesting but most of my friends aren’t that much in perfumes either. Though some of them do use perfumes, it just doesn’t seem to play the same role in their life as it does in mine.

      I wouldn’t mind to have one or two friends to share the same hobby (but never wear the same perfume to the same company!) Well, maybe one day…

  8. Yes, it’s a little bit of a double edged sword. I don’t feel I can talk to my friends about my interest, and sometimes I wish I could. But then I guess it is easier in some ways (like there isn’t “competition” for a really special perfume).

  9. Pingback: Last Week In Perfume Land – Weekend Link Love | Olfactoria's Travels

  10. I never thought about my favorite scent that way. This may be my ignorance coming out, but I thought that the same perfume may smell differently on different people due to skin and body types, etc. But now that I think of it, I never recommended Haiku or Rare Pearls to anyone because I really liked them.

    • There are perfumes that smell differently on different people (I experienced it myself). But Angel is definitely not one of them. Whatever subtlety there might be depending on a wearer it will be completely smitten by Angel’s signature caramel-patchouli accord.
      Haiku and Rare Pearls you say?.. ;)

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