Alien by Thierry Mugler is one of those fragrances that will elicit any number of different responses depending on the wearer. Released in 2005, Mugler was  challenged with creating another scent that would captivate and enchant our senses the way he did with Angel thirteen years earlier. With the whole world now watching it was considerable pressure on perfumers Dominique Ropion and Laurent Bruyere.  The Alien that emerged is a loud and proud bombshell of a scent.

So what’s my take on Alien? First of all, the name is genius. Before ever smelling it I was expecting something out-of-the-box,  a little shocking and possibly otherworldly. It’s predecessor Angel is a sweet oriental gourmand with enough caramel, vanilla and chocolate in it to cause a toothache. I knew that Alien would be going in a different direction.

Alien begins with a hugely powerful jasmine note that is so strong it probably can be smelled from space. I mean the jasmine is amped up so high that you could describe it as jarring or even …alien. If you don’t really love jasmine you will be seriously freaked out and overwhelmed. In addition to being loud, the jasmine is sharp and expansive with just a touch of sweetness that  keeps it from being too green.

Next to make its appearance are the woody cashmeran notes. The cashmeran brings in a woody, slightly musky element that seems to tame the hyperactive jasmine, bringing it back to earth.

Alien dries down to a warm, dry and slightly sweet amber solar accord that might contain some heliotrope. Heliotrope isn’t a listed as an ingredient but I swear it’s in there in the teeniest amount. After wearing Alien for a while, you become increasing aware of a velvety, powdery aspect that lends warmth and comfort.

In some ways Alien seems like a throwback to the 1980s perfumes. Remember the loud and showy perfumes like Giorgio and Poison? The ones where two sprays were one too many? Well Alien is of the same ilk. The sillage is huge so be prepared to leave a little Alien behind in every room you walk through.