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Thierry Mugler Womanity Taste of Fragrance EDP — A Mouth-Watering Aroma?

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Olfaction and gustation are inextricably linked. What we colloquially dub “taste” is, in fact, “flavor,” a combination of smell, taste, texture, and physical factors like temperature . Flavor, then, is informed by smell, so that the odors released by the foods we consume allow us to identify the ingredients they contain and enhance our overall experience.

Playing with the relationship between these two senses, Thierry Mugler released a new limited-edition Taste of Fragrance collection, slightly altering the compositions of his four key fragrance offerings — Angel, Alien, Womanity and A*Men — by incorporating unique taste enhancers to each that accentuate some of the key notes in the original elixirs.

The limited-edition Thierry Mugler Womanity Taste of Fragrance EDP ($90 at MuglerStoreUSA.com and Bloomingdales.com), then, toys with the original fragrance’s “sweet and savory” balance, which was achieved via a genial mixture of pulpy, tangy, milky fig fruit and salty caviar notes. To create the Womanity Taste of Fragrance EDP, perfumers relied on the same cutting-edge molecular distillation technique that they employed when developing Womanity, a process that allows perfumers to liquefy any source material, extract the resulting gas emissions, and reconstitute the molecular structure of a substance in its gaseous state, thereby perfectly recreating its scent. In the case of the original Womanity, this technique was employed to develop the fig note, a breakthrough in perfumery as most fragrances that claimed to incorporate fig notes actually included fig leaves as opposed to the actual fruit. Now, for the Womanity Taste of Fragrance EDP, they took on a greater challenge, this time reconstituting a culinary confection: fig chutney.

So how does this fig chutney smell flavorant (or “taste enhancer,” if you will) affect or alter the fragrance overall? Well, it makes it substantially sweeter. Think of preparing a fig chutney in your kitchen — regardless of the recipe you follow, you’ll need a hefty dose of brown sugar, fresh figs, vinegar, and spices like cinnamon, cloves and ginger, all cooked down to a reduction until the sauce develops a thick, syrupy consistency.

This same syrupy sweet quality is evident in the Womanity Taste of Fragrance perfume, which shifts the “sweet and savory” balance of the original so that the sweetness overpowers any saltiness. And, while the fig chutney taste enhancer does incorporate a hint of spice, it’s not potent enough to cut through the sugary, caramel-like, syrupy quality of the scent.

Overall, I was more impressed by the concept behind the fragrance than I was compelled by its actual aroma. This is not to suggest that the fragrance doesn’t have its allure — after all, it’s quite similar to the original Womanity, which is phenomenal. But, if you have both fragrances side by side, you’ll likely gravitate toward the original. In fact, I conducted an experiment where I spritzed Womanity on one wrist and Womanity Taste of Fragrance on the other and had five different people sniff both and select which they preferred. The result: all five preferred the original.

The Womanity Taste of Fragrance EDP’s main shortcoming then is simply this: the original elixir had already struck such a perfect harmony of sweet, salty, and woody notes, that it was nearly impossible to surpass such a level of excellence.

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