Scents shoot for the sky

It took a long time getting here - 12 years, in fact - but finally Thierry Mugler's world-famous fragrance Angel has arrived in Hong Kong.

The perfume, first launched in 1992, made its Hong Kong debut at selected outlets last month alongside Mugler's men's range, AMen.

According to Thierry Mugler Parfums managing director Vera Strubi, the long wait was a deliberate strategy by the company, which has seen its perfume grow in popularity to become one of the world's top brands.

Ms Strubi, recently in Hong Kong for the launch, said this approach was in line with the 'timeless' image of the brand, which meant it had not fallen victim to changing tastes and fashions.

'Unlike other brands, Angel and AMen are not linked to a lifestyle or fashion, but instead to an imaginary world of celestial beings and superheroes,' Ms Strubi said. 'We think perfumes should be about emotions not fashion.

'As fragrances they are quite unique. Some people like them, some like them less, but those that do like them are very loyal to the brand.'

For Angel, fashion designer Mugler created a fragrance he said 'a child could give to his mother' with 'celestial, delicious and voluptuous' notes of honey and patchouli enhanced with chocolate, caramel and vanilla.

With AMen, he built a fragrance that conjures up an imaginary world of comic book superheroes with an explosive and distinct combination of patchouli, cedar wood, coffee and styrax. Mugler's design talents are also behind the stylish glass star-shaped bottles for Angel and the hip flask-inspired containers for AMen. A selection of these is refillable - a move that makes both economical and ecological sense, Ms Strubi said.

The brand launch in Hong Kong comes two years after it hit the Singapore market.

'Asian markets are traditionally not as strong as western markets, and we wanted to see what the reaction was before we launched elsewhere,' Ms Strubi said of the Lion City launch.

'The reaction we had was very positive, which is why we decided to launch in Hong Kong. We found Asian men very open to the idea of wearing perfume.'

Ms Strubi believes Mugler's fragrances will be well received in Hong Kong - a city which, she says, fits the fantasy image of the brand well. So much so, when Mugler was looking for a backdrop for the promotional visuals for the Hong Kong launch, he found it on the doorstep.

The final image, now on display in stores stocking the range, shows a beautiful woman lying across the top of a building - like an angel fallen from the sky. In the background, skyscrapers tower and lights twinkle like stars in the night sky. The skyline, of course, is Hong Kong.

Angel and AMen are available at selected stores, including Lane Crawford in Times Square and Facess in Ocean Terminal and Sogo.

Prices start at $380 for Angel and $330 for AMen.