New Perfume Review Thierry Mugler A*Men Ultimate- Diminishing Returns


The process of releasing perfume flankers is an exercise in diminishing returns. Each successive release tends to remind you of how good the original was. By the time they get down the line it is difficult to even know what the purpose of naming it after the original is.

There are exceptions to this. The one that I have pointed to is the line of flankers of 1996’s Thierry Mugler A*Men. A*Men is one of the great perfumes of the last twenty-five years. That Thierry Mugler would want to make flankers is obvious. In 2008 when they released A*Men Pure Coffee they showed they were going to not phone it in. Pure Coffee would initiate a series of releases which made this the best flanker line ever. I own almost all of them. I admire almost all of them. The reason for that is because the original perfumer of A*Men, Jacques Huclier, kept finding new things to say within his original structure. Each new release would illuminate something about the original while also being different enough to warrant being produced. There was always a bit of the original A*Men to be found in these flankers. Which is why I have found the latest release Thierry Mugler A*Men Ultimate so confounding.

Jacques Huclier

A*Men Ultimate is the first of these releases to not have even a tiny bit of the A*Men formula present. When I saw the note list, I guessed the “mochaccino” accord was going to provide the chocolate-coffee DNA of A*Men in a new way. Except there is no coffee and chocolate; A*Men Ultimate is a straightforward woody fragrance.

Ultimate is really just a simple construct of citrus, cedar, and fir. That’s it. There is nothing different from any other perfume with those ingredients. It would have been nice if that promised “mochaccino” accord arrived it might have been similar to 2014’s Pure Wood. I have become so used to this set of flankers being so good I am perplexed at how generic this has turned out to be.

A*Men Ultimate has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

With the rebranding and extension of the Thierry Mugler Cologne series added on top of this very common flanker of A*Men I am left shaking my head. I wonder if Thierry Mugler has finally succumbed to the law of diminishing returns when it comes to perfume.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Thierry Mugler.

Mark Behnke

One thought on “New Perfume Review Thierry Mugler A*Men Ultimate- Diminishing Returns

  1. Remember now CLARINS (world-renowned, impeccable labs) no longer ditributing Mugler (in the US). Much like when Atelier was acquired at first it *seemed* like everything would be okay and then BAM! over a dozen scents are on the proverbial chopping block (confirmed by El-Aton at NYC boutique). Just FYI Mark: Sous le Toit de Paris is one of them! It seemed Kilian would *never* discontinue a scent (or so I was told blithely by an SA over the phone a few years back) and, should it come to that, you could always (or so they claimed) get refills from the supply remeaining even if it was not on display or online-now, I'm rather sorry but not shocked to say: there have been "some cuts"..As with MUGLER, despite its track record with CLARINS for a simply superlative flanker stable, it would seem that that "merger" has come back to take a nip at the proverbial derriere. I was expecting (and osmagining) this to be MUGLER's A*Men version of JPG's Le Male ULTRA-from the sounds of it I would have better luck layering the original EDT with Ice*Men (it has a refreshing iced coffee accord garnished with just the right amount of Mugler patchouli) than shelling out MSRP for (what seems to be pointing to) the swan song of this line.

    Thanks for your most deft ability to give a not-so-special perfume an honest review without trash-talking. Your candor is as refreshing as it is sincere. I tip, once agin, my scneted chapeau to you Colognoisseur!!

    smell swell & be well,

    JR xox 

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