I don't really like Angel. There, I've said it. I acknowledge that it is a supremely well-made fragrance with an important place in perfume history, but in terms of my personal taste, I've always found it shrill, cloying and unsophisticated. Until I discovered the extrait. That's when I began to appreciate the fuss on a visceral level. Funnily enough, many die-hard Angel edp fans I've spoken to don't like the parfum, so perhaps this means that the most concentrated iteration of Mugler's bestseller is Angel for people who don't like Angel. It isn't vastly different from the eau de parfum - the two are recognisable as very closely related members of the same family - but its coffee-patchouli-candy combo is much darker, weightier and considerably more grown up. Most importantly, it's the extrait which fully justifies the use of the term 'gourmand': the foodie aspects are so profound here, each time you smell the stuff, there's nothing you can do to stop your salivary glands from putting on a performance of Pavlovian proportions. Yes, the parfum is perhaps less playful and frivolous that the edp - which may in turn mean that it entirely misses the point of Angel - but I'm quite happy to sacrifice a brief tryst for a more lasting commitment.
[Review based on a sample of parfum obtained in 2013.]