Perfumes that are Aged in Casks like Wine
The latest trend to hit perfumery is an ageing process that uses wooden casks—just like the ones that are used by vintners and distilleries. Now not only do gourmand perfumes smell like food, but now they are prepared using an age-old food preparation process. Well, it's not so much a food process, as it is a drink process!
Thierry Mugler was hot on the gourmand trail before any other perfume company jumped on board. In fact Thierry Mugler was effectively the one who spawned the gourmand perfume craze. Most recently, this brand is in the forefront of taking gourmand perfumes to the next level!
It all started with Thierry Mugler A*Men Pure Malt! Thierry Mugler A*Men Pure Malt was born of a natural step-by step process. The original Thierry Mugler Angel Men is a smoky patchouli cologne that's touched with hints of caramel and coffee. This fragrance then spawned A*Men Pure Coffee, which smells of burnt coffee grinds and a fresh cup of the deepest espresso.
But apparently simply emphasizing the drinkable note in colognes wasn't enough for Thierry Mugler. The next drinkable fragrance, A*Men Pure Malt, not only smells like a deep smoky whisky, but its also prepared like a whisky! This limited edition cologne is the first fragrance to be aged in a wooden cask.
Thierry Mugler claims that this cologne is specifically aged in an oak cask so that the cologne takes on the peaty scent of the strong Scottish whisky. Strangely enough, for most people, the peaty, smoky burn of pure Scottish whiskies is not blatantly apparent in A*Men Pure Malt. Some perfume critics however do believe that an oak wood notes does manifest in the cologne, lending to a full-bodied quality that emphasizes the malted, alcoholic burn. Though A*Men Pure Malt does smell different from the original A*Men, we can't be sure how much of that difference can be attributed to the new-fangled wood cask ageing process.
After the success of A*Men Pure Malt, Thierry Mugler is at it again. The wood cask aging process is integrated into two of their recently launched flanker perfumes: Thierry Mugler Alien Liqueur de Parfum and Thierry Mugler Angel Liqueur de Parfum. The Alien Liqueur de Parfum is said to be aged like rum in oak wood cask, while the Angel Liqueur de Parfum is said to be aged like a fine cognac aged in cherrywood cask.
We can only wonder if the wood cask ageing process will actually be apparent in these perfumes. Just by sniffing we may never know if we can attribute certain perfume characteristics to the actual perfume notes or the wood casks. For a perfume mystery like this, perfumistas like ourselves will have to defer to the big guns. Luca Turin—a chemist, the author of Secret of Scent, and an all-around perfume fiend—is possibly our only hope in revealing the truth behind ageing perfumes in wood casks.
But before Luca Turin jumps in to have his say, what say you? Does the ageing make a detectable difference for you? Is this just another marketing ploy, or is Thierry Mugler actually descending deeper into the world of gourmands and crafting a whole new bred of perfumes while he's at it?
Thierry Mugler fragrances can be found at online discount perfume retailers