When it comes to Thierry Mugler fragrances it seems that I look most forward to the flankers. It isn’t that they aren’t producing new non-flanker perfumes it is just that they have always seemed to be so straightforward without any of the verve the best of the brand has in other fragrances in the collection. A good example of what I am talking about is the Les Exceptions Collection.
Les Exceptions were released in 2014 as a set of five co-produced by perfumers Olivier Polge and Jean-Christophe Herault. They had cute names like Chyprissime, Fougere Furieuse, and Oriental Express. What was somewhat disappointing considering the talented artists was all five of the initial releases were just what they said; a chypre, a fougere, and an Oriental with no Mugler twist. Maybe it is unfair to ask a brand to always live up to that but the best Thierry Mugler fragrances have not only had a twist but one which sometimes would be influential. The subsequent two Les Exceptions also suffered with this, as well. When I received my sample of the new Hot Cologne I expected a nice cologne, which I got, but the Mugler twist was also here.
Hot Cologne was handed out at last October’s Spring 2017 Thierry Mugler Fashion runway show. Just by the name I worried it was going to suffer in comparison with the modern masterpiece Thierry Mugler Cologne. M. Herault, working on his own, wisely decides to go off in a very different direction. The only similarity is the cologne architecture. For Hot Cologne like all the other Les Exceptions it is pretty uninspiring early on but after a half an hour or so it transforms courtesy of one ingredient, green coffee.
Hot Cologne opens with a set of citrus notes led by petitgrain supported by some other citrus like lime, bergamot, and grapefruit. The lime is the most prominent of the supporting cast and it makes the tartness of the petitgrain more focused. Then a really high quality neroli comes out this is one of those full-spectrum nerolis which carries a bit of the orange, a bit of the indolic floralcy, and a bit of the green leaves. I am a big fan of this kind of neroli and it goes very well with the citrus notes that preceded it but it surely isn’t unique. What comes next does make this unique, green coffee. If you’ve ever smelled a bag of coffee beans prior to roasting this is the note being used here. There is an astringent oiliness along with the rich coffee scent. When it comes out in Hot Cologne it is as if the citrus is next to a steaming cup of coffee with a sprig of neroli in a vase nearby in some warm weather vacation destination. Hot Cologne stays perched like this for the entirety of its duration.
Hot Cologne has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.
It is really amazing what a difference one well-chosen ingredient can have on a perfume. The green coffee in Hot Cologne takes this from “Meh” to “Wow” all for the simple addition of a cup of coffee.
Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Thierry Mugler.