Angel is a monster.
There can be no denying it. I knew it then, and I know it – particularly upon opening an old vintage box set yesterday and getting whole swathes of it running down my hands when one of the bottles broke – now.
It was so BRAZEN. So ugly beautiful. So loud, and sheaven of all imaginable subtlety. A patchouli, purified, yes, but in its original incarnation much earthier than you thought, emerging stealthily with its nuclear, syntho-vanilla concussions.
Sharp, caramellized, fruit- sapping metallia, and secretly macho ambitions : spilling this faux-innocent, blue coloured juice all over my pajama bottoms last night as I recanted some juice into bottles I am now very much persuaded by Luca Turin’s assertions that this was, as originally intended, an air munching, hairy fougere.
It is toxic, this chimaera of praline; this mango of the switchblade. So it is no wonder that my sister wants to KILL people in London who wear it, and suffocate her, on the underground. She has something verging on a phobia. She totally loses her rag.
Angel was never released in Japan. So in buying a discounted box set of pleasingly shaped star shaped little Angels from an antique shop in Ofuna recently ( an unwanted gift from overseas? ), I have been able to fob them off quite happily as novel, last minute presents for Japanese friends.
And it is as if, being so inside-out-familiar with this perfume myself ( I do wear it, on occasion, then usually regret it ), but simultaneously it being new here to people, that I am smelling its gourmand, lactic iconoclasms all over again – anew.
Yesterday evening, a beautiful clear starry night, it was my friend and neighbor ( and colleague) Kunihiko’s thirty fifth birthday. At our local bar, with all of his friends and the cigarette smoke and the booze flowing ( and a wonderfully jovial atmosphere as Nat King Cole sang Christmas songs on the stereo ) my hastily put together present of Angel in a white mini feather boa encased in bubble wrap went down a treat. He really liked it ( last year I have him Bal A Versailles), and he was getting everyone, sat in various places around the joint,to then try it.
‘Sharing the Angel’……the smoky air light with the skin smell of chocolate….