What's that you're saying? You want to stick a slice of orange in my coffee? Feel free. If it works as well as it does in this new fragrance, it'll go down a treat.
As soon as Jacques Huclier's A*Men (aka Angel Men) appeared in 1996, it established itself as one of the more interesting masculines on the market. With its combination of herbs, woods, chocolate, coffee and licorice, it made a striking addition to most men's scent wardrobes: an otherworldly cross between a fur coat, a suit of armour and a suede jacket. Since then, Mugler have exploited its success by releasing a never-ending line of limited edition flankers, many of which have been worthy of praise. But this latest one, Ultra Zest, is the first I can remember for a long time which stands on its own as a bona fide extension of the original idea. With some help from Quentin Bisch, Huclier has retained pretty much everything that made the original interesting, but he's cut through it all with a laser beam of blood orange. Both the juice and the peel of the fruit pierce the entire composition with sparkling iridescence, bringing a wonderful sense of contrast not just to the top notes, but also to the middle section and even the fleecy-furry drydown. The angel has been resurrected, ready for these times in which mainstream buyers seem to be demanding greater freshness from their scents. He's still wearing the fur, the armour and the suede, but now he's also sporting one of those neon-coloured, super-light Uniqlo jackets... and despite all the odds, he still looks pretty good.
Now, where was I? Oh yes. Make mine an espresso con panna, please. With a piece of chocolate orange on the side.
[Review based on a sample of eau de toilette provided by Thierry Mugler in 2015.]