“Spineless Movement and a Wild Attack…” Alien by Thierry Mugler The Perfumed Dandy’s Scented Letter

Extra terrestrials are unnerving.

They bring out the Clark Kent in even the most super of men.

In this case all such fears are well founded, for this is no beautiful bug-eyed friend of Elliot.

This is an unedifying out of spacer with the social attitudes of a psychopath and the interpersonal skills of a rattlesnake.

He’s a Metal Mickey who wants to shoot you dead and eat your head.

And once inside this Man From Mars you can expect to eat up cars… Mercuries and Subarus, Cadillacs and Lincolns too.

For he has feral ferrous appetites and chromium cravings to feed.

So you’ll go out at night to eat to up bars where people meet.

Dancing slow, cheek to cheek, toe to toe. Man to man.

He blows each away with his jasmine ray.

Dancefloor made carnage, he’s through with bars and eatin’ cars now he’s time only for guitars.

Plastic plectrum at the end of aluminium arm he plays stratocaster, Travis Bean and then some Deans.

He eats the crowd up with his laser beams

Installed on rock star plinth it’s time to introduce yet more synth.

His perspex paws pick out peerless pitch, he plays Moog, Korg, Casio and Yamaha.

And all the floor screams for one note more.

Let them clamber!

He knocks them out for good and proper. 

Here comes his horrific blast of metal amber.

And so with all dead or in thrall the man from Mars is through with cars and beat up bars, he’ll take no prisoners or even guitars.

He’s on his way back to the stars.

Alien by Thierry Mugler is an exercise in peerless artificiality and olfactory aggression.

A plastic jasmine plant in the perspex hand of a seventeen foot high cybernetic son of a bitch.

An unending singular neo-industrial note of almost entirely synthetic strangeness.

You have no option but to offer it grovelling and unending worship, or die like a fly caught in its insecticide swoosh.

Yes, there is an amber of sorts, that some acclaim for its powerful almost electric quality, I find it as convincing as a robotic frog.

Alien isn’t the kind of fragrance you wear, it infects you…

Man or woman? Totally irrelevant.

These days we’re all electric.

But while The Dandy’s human and there’s blood not volts coursing through these veins I’m not ready for this robot’s secret Rapture.

A masterpiece?

If Frankenstein’s monster could be so acclaimed….

With very special thanks to the sublime Blondie.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy


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24 responses to ““Spineless Movement and a Wild Attack…” Alien by Thierry Mugler The Perfumed Dandy’s Scented Letter


    yes. absolutely. it’s all true. hail to the borg queen.

    I used to love alien and would wear little else; collected each special edition (summer+christmas, some were sublime, some were weak). I think I wore it because it was edgy but not like, say, eccentric molecules. to me its most striking note was an artificial, edgy, heavy, cutting orange blossom. I don’t remember if it’s even part of the “pyramid”.
    p.s. TM womanity is a very extra-terrestrial scent as well.

    • Dearest Calypse
      Happy New Year.
      Hail the Borg Queen indeed!
      This is s scent that makes not so much a virtue as a near religion out of its artificiality!
      No official orange blossom I think, but now you mention it, that vertical synthetic jasmine has a blended white floral feel that could well include orange blossom.
      As to Womanity…. that will have to wait for another day!
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy


        that must be it, then! TM make a great job with their fragrances, marketing- and concept-wise alike. they launch enough limited editions to be visible in the crazy perfume industry and sought-after by fans, but don’t make the mistake of creating completely new scents.

        alas, I don’t wear conventional perfume anymore.

      • Dearest Calypse
        They certainly are masters of both marketing and the flanker!
        I do wish though that they’d occasionally turn out a new ‘pillar’ fragrance… it’s been quite a while now!
        No more ‘conventional perfume’? What are you wearing these days, out of interest?
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy


        Womanity is not that old, though. Do you consider Amen any good? To me it’s the only one weak-ish “pillar” de la maison.

        Oh, I explore fragrances based on essential oils (full declaration stuff). There are weak ones, there are bleak ones, there are boring ones, and there are a few brilliant ones.

      • Dearest Calypse
        Thank you.
        You are quite right, Womanity is not that old and I am an old hypocrite… I’m forever criticising houses for releasing too many perfumes and then one takes its time between pillars I’m not happy either! Bad Dandy!!
        I own Amen. I bought it about oh 15 years ago and do you know I can;t imagine I’ve worn it on more than half a dozen occasions in that whole time. That, I think, probably says it all.
        I love essential oils for home fragrance, and would not be without my burner, I must think more about mixing and wearing them on my skin.
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy


        you are ever so lovely 🙂
        if it wasn’t for the fear to ruckle your morning coat I would totally cuddle you.

        by the way, essential oils for the burner are NOT good for putting them on your skin.

  2. Lilybelle

    I once liked Alien, too. I thought it was BRILLIANT, the huge fragrance, the bottle, the concept. I would linger by the Alien bottles at perfume counters, sniffing and looking at the latest one, but for some reason I never bought one. My subconscious must have had better sense. Now, I cannot imagine going anywhere near Alien. The mere thought of it makes me feel queasy. And you know how certain scents never go away, you can’t scrub them off. Fun and funny review, Mr. Dandy. 🙂

    • Dearest Lily
      I think Alien is conceptually brilliant and the product design is unsurpassed.
      There is also something hypnotizing about the the fragrance, its sheer uncompromising, mechanical sense of self. It is more itself than it has a right to be!
      It is also so powerful… perhaps this is what all perfumes were like before the ravages of reformulation, the vintages would seem to hint at such largesse.
      I agree though it does take a very determined streak to carry it off, almost like doing battle with an aroma, and once donned there’s no getting rid of this prima donna.
      I’m trying to think of others that fit that same ‘you can scrub but I ain’t going’ bill… old Joy perhaps, and original Poison…
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

      • Lilybelle

        Yes, and old Joy and Bal a Versailles and other vintage powerhouses were (are) organic. They blend into one’s skin chemistry (I don’t care that some say skin chemistry is a fallacy – it isn’t), and took on warmth, they have souls. Alien is just…alien…Borg, inorganic, forceful, inhuman, scary. Which of course is its brilliance, and its repulsion. I’m happier being human in another century. Perfume is my dream, and I choose a different sort of dream. 🙂


    and let me tell you, r a p t u r e was literally the first single i ever bought.
    i felt like the coolest nine year old in the universe.
    and it was confiscated.

    for i played it to death .
    my mother literally took it away from me, because how could she bear me repeating that rap about the man from mars, over, and over, and over again, let alone my rendition of the chorus…….

    beautiul x

    • Dearest Ginza
      If Rapture literally was the first single you ever bought then you literally were the coolest nine year old in the universe.
      Full stop.
      End of.
      “… and now he only eats guitars…..”
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

      • you have NO IDEA how much i love(d) it, and how gutted i now feel that i was too drunk at the party to play it. you know it occurred to me a couple of days ago that i hadn’t put it on the soundtrack….that beat, she, the funk and drive of that song…..jesus what a classic.

      • Dearest Ginza
        Ah yes… and that video.
        Has anyone ever (apart from yourself for aforementioned purchase) ever been as cool as Deborah Harry… and indeed the other members of Blondie!?!
        Next time, ‘just have your party on tv’…!
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

      • it was that video….something about the pillars, that got me begging to be allowed to buy the disc.

        the obsession that ensued…

        i should point out that my first single OWNED, as in given to me by my grandma, was save all your kisses for me by the brotherhood of man, which should give some perspective on my actual coolness, but it is undeniable that rapture was the first one i actively, juice fully craved

      • incidentally, just put some pics for the party if you fancy perusing.

        i was too wasted after a while so didn’t manage to capture the full monty when it got really full, but you will get the general idea.

  4. rosestrang

    ‘The interpersonal skills of a rattle snake’, heeheee! I can’t say I like Alien either, in fact I can’t stand it, that horrible so called ‘woodsy’ note!
    Off topic a bit, but my sample of Le Parfum deTherese arrived today, I hope you review it soon Dear Sir T.P.D. It actually inspired me to paint as it seems to be in my favourite paintery colours of magical greens and blues. For its lovely relaxed feeling I still prefer Diorella in a way.

    More Blondie – and another dance! I always liked the way she danced in that vid, sort of minimal but effective, just effortlessly cool

  5. Bee

    I could not wear Alien – it wore me! It seemed to amplify on my skin until I was overwhelmed by the indolic tidal wave and actually felt nauseated by it. I gave my bottle away. But recently at a swap meet I acquired a flanker: the Liquer de Parfum, and that strangely suits me much better.
    And I adore Blondie – The Goddess of pop perfection!

  6. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH. And, you know how ignorant I am of perfume, I’m talking your electric wit and wry prose. What a knockout!

  7. Cairo Rose

    This is a very difficult perfume to pull off. It usually just overwhelms the wearer and yells “Look at me!”. I do own this flamboyant creature but I took a tip long ago from someone on Fragrantica and apply just one spritz to my knees and that seems to keep the scent at a distance and controlled in some way. I do the same with Nebras from Al Rehab which can be too overpowering also.

  8. Dear Mr Dandy

    I agree with every word. Alien is metallic and synthetic amber. It’s brave and bold and almost obnoxious. Having said that, I do have a little sample that I keep, just to try on occasionally. Just so I can blow my own mind on a dull day. It’s a bit like Heavy Metal music. I know it’s there. I know people like it, but I would much prefer an episode of Father Brown.

    Your friend IScent

    PS That picture of the woman with the metal coils on her head. Where DO you get them from? I can’t get it out of my head now I’ve seen it. Bravo!

  9. “Alien by Thierry Mugler is an exercise in peerless artificiality and olfactory aggression.” – bravo! 🙂

    I kind of like Alien but would never wear ir. I like the idea of its existance, enjoy testing it from time to time for 5 minutes (on paper!) but that’s it.

  10. Katy McReynolds

    Dear Dandy,

    I have skin that inhales fragrance, so Alien is beautiful to me because I like it and it stays. I apply lightly and find there is something about it that reminds me of Johnson & Johnson baby oil. So yes, this much maligned monster reminds me of some of the gentlest and loveliest moments of my life with my infant daughters. If one uses a jasmine shower gel and lotion first, you can really play up the fine jasmine sambac that is purported to be an ingredient in this fragrance…..

    • Dear Katy
      Welcome to The Dandy’s… do make yourself at home.
      Now that is the most unique account of Alien I’ve ever heard… and proof positive of how personal an experience perfume is.
      I would never equate this hyper-real sexed-up jasmine with gentleness or the tender interplay between mother and child, yet your words ring so true.
      Scent truly has the power to transport each of us to somewhere inside our lived lives.
      Thank you for thoughts.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

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