Beauty Without Fuss

Thursday 29 July 2010

Review - Thierry Mugler Womanity

Caviar.  It's always the first thing that occurs to you when you think of how a woman smells, isn't it? No?  Well, in spite of it's much touted "figs'n'caviar" reputation, it won't be the first thing you think about when you sniff Womanity, either, don't worry.  Neither will figs, actually, but more about that later.

The first thing I think about when I smell Womanity is, oddly, pink grapefuits and sawdust.  Womanity definitely opens with fruit, pink fruits, berries, and hints of citrus, then dries down a little to a sweeter, creamier scent, then eventually settles into a woody skin-scent that stays a lot closer to you than you'd expect from it's rather loud opening.

The caviar note is only really around in the perfumes mid-stages, there's no real hint of fish (genuinely), but there is an odd, salty note that kind of sits above the fruity scent.  It's not unpleasant - in fact, in itself, it's rather intriguing, and impossible to place - but ... I'm not sure it works.  On a scent strip, the fragrance never really dries down to get to the woodsy finish, and the odd, salty note stays pretty strident throughout.  On the skin it does eventually settle, but for me, it's just a note that the perfume doesn't quite need. 

I think the effort to include a salty, and truly savoury note into a feminine perfume is an interesting one, but I'm not sure it works over what is, to be frank, a fairly generic fruity base. The bathing products (shower gel and body lotion) work don't include the caviar accord, and - interestingly - work all the better for it.  The body lotion in particular is a refreshing grapefruit and berry scent, and is quite refreshing as a result, an excellent, albeit inoffensive summer-time scent.

I've not mentioned the fig, as in all the various guises of this perfume, I couldn't pick up the scent at all.  I'm a huge fan of Philosykos from Diptyque (one of my two go-to summer fragrances) and I was disappointed that Womanity didn't live up to its figgy promise. I think if the scent had been greener, less pink with fruit, and more laden with mystery, rather than trying to be a mishmash of opposites (Figs! Caviar! Salt! Fruit!), for me, it might have worked better.  I'll be keeping the bathing products in my routine though, as without the caviar, they're really lovely. And I like the bottle, I think it's a thing of beauty, refillable too.

I suspect, actually, that this will be a big hit with those who love their fruity perfumes.  As fruity/woodsy scents go, this isn't a bad one, and I think if you like that sort of thing, you'll love this.  It's just not me.  I like my perfume to become part of my smell, rather than people being able to say "you smell of  ... <insert random name of food item here>".  It'll probably sell by the bucketload, as it's definitely a great perfume if you like that sort of thing.

I'm not even going to mention the name, mmmkay?  Or the migraine of a website. So there.

The Fine Print: Samples were provided for review. Sorry Thierry! If you've made it this far, and would like to try the perfume for yourself, then the first two people to email me with their shipping address will be sent sample sizes of all three products mentioned in this review.


  1. The migraine and tantrum inducing website is (probably unintentionally) hilarious. Along with totally context-free quotations from Famous Women (eg Simone de Beauvoir's quote: "One is not born a woman; one becomes one" - implying that Womanity is an embodiment of thousands of years of patriarchal oppression in a figgy-scented dab - and then says she's from the UK); there's an outraged feminist demanding that the URL be changed to "", and a simpering letter to Carrie Bradshaw, asking her to rediscover the romance in her life. It's quite nuts.

  2. Ludicrous name. Couldn't but it on that basis alone.

  3. After all the joking about the name etc., I have a confession to make. I think I might really like it! The scent strip I had in my pocket left the scent lingering all evening. It kind of wormed it's way in and for some reason I couldn't stop sniffing. The husband said he really likes it too. He's an exceptionally fussy scent man so I was surprised.

    I think I may need a spray on the skin as you say it the smell works differently on the skin.

    What a turn-around eh? I'm almost ashamed of myself. ;)
    Jane x

  4. I'm on the mailing list for Thierry Mugler and as such had a sample of this pop through the door a few days ago.

    I don't pick up any of the notes you mention, but then I have a far from sophisticated nose, but I do think it's absolutely revolting.

    It's not offensive in the sense that I smell fish, I just think it's a deeply unpleasant fragrance. It smells... chemically.

    Chloe likes to try all my perfumes and even she asked to have this one washed off immediately... however, given ModestyBrown's comment, I'll give it one more shot and see if it's a grower!

  5. @Charlie: That is too funny! I've lots of moments like that with perfume, when you wish you'd never sprayed it the first place.

  6. Hmm, not a fan of his other perfumes and the website alone is enough to put me off. Won't be using my advantage points on this, me thinks.

  7. Worst. Perfume. Name. Ever.

    Amusingly, the word verification for this comment is mingi, which is quite close to minging.


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