PARIS — In 1994, Georges Wichner, then U.S. president of Thierry Mugler, found himself in the aisles of a Publix supermarket near Palm Beach, Fla. It was about two years after Groupe Clarins launched Angel, the radical, blue-tinged fragrance with unmistakable food notes in a star-shaped bottle.

"I smelled it instantly on this woman and so I went up to her," Wichner recalled. "I said, ‘Congratulations for wearing Thierry Mugler perfume.’ She said, ‘No I’m not. I’m wearing Angel.’ "

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