By and  on December 17, 2004

NEW YORK — Angel is celebrating a  decade on the market with a fragrance makeover.

What has resulted is a trio of Angel scents, due to be launched worldwide in April, that are fresher and more feminine than the best-selling original.

Vera Strubi, the original architect of the brand and president of Thierry Mugler Parfums Worldwide, a division of Groupe Clarins, calls the offering “a garden of stars.”

In an interview from Paris, Strubi said, “the Angel business is extremely important worldwide. Our objective is to keep growing every year. So far we have achieved that.”

What was needed at this point, she added, is an addition to the brand that would “surprise our loyal customers and recruit new customers.”

A year and a half ago, Thierry Mugler came up with the idea of adding a floral element to his original fragrance to inject a note of femininity. Ironically, even though it remains one of the best-selling women’s fragrances to come out of the Nineties, the formula is a woodsy, oriental gourmand concoction without a single flower.

So briefs were sent to three perfumers, and each was told to pick a single flower and add it to the top note of the Angel classic.

Olivier Cresp, the creator of Angel, who now is working at Firmenich, picked peony. Christine Nagel at Quest International chose lily, and Francoise Caron, also of Quest, created a violet interpretation.

The results charmed Mugler and Strubi. “Frankly, we couldn’t choose, each was so fabulous,” she admitted. “Each scent expresses a moment in life. We decided to create a garden of stars.”

The original Angel model with its star shape was modified, and the glass of each bottle — Peony Angel, Lily Angel and Violet Angel — was tinted a different color. In an unusual move, Strubi designed the outer carton of each fragrance type with its own distinctive flower photo to make the merchandise easy to pick out. This is an important wrinkle, since the perfumery business in Europe and department store merchandising in the U.S. have shifted toward self-service in the last decade, Clarins executives pointed out. “We have to be more obvious,” Strubi said.

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