By  on September 9, 1994

NEW YORK -- Thierry Mugler's Angel is very gradually spreading its wings.

The women's fragrance line, which was launched in the U.S. a year ago, has been slowly expanding -- in both its product range and its distribution -- and meticulously carving a niche in the designer market.

In mid-November, two products will be added -- a limited edition version of Angel's eau de parfum and a Celestial Body Cream. They will be the line's eighth and ninth items.

The body cream, priced at $75 for a 6.9-oz. jar, contains botanical ingredients -- aloe, kiwi and perhydrosqualene -- to help moisturize, soothe and smooth the skin.

"The end result is the skin is smelling good and feeling good," said Benjamin Gillikin, general manager of the New York-based Thierry Mugler Parfums, a joint venture between the designer and Clarins.

"It's a traditional fragrance body cream with treatment claims," Gillikin said, noting that it is not meant to be portrayed as a skin care product.

As for the other item that will be launched in mid-November, the special edition eau de parfum, only 750 pieces will be sold in the U.S., according to the company. Each refillable 2.6-oz. bottle will be numbered and will sell for $250.

The selling point is the stopper, which is made of a glass similar to crystal, except there is no lead content, which according to Gillikin has acquired an image of being ecologically unfriendly. He added that the stopper is a heavy piece of handmade and polished glass.

The star-shaped bottle is similar to the 2.6-oz. spray eau de parfum that was originally launched with the line and retails for $150. The difference between the two versions is that the $150 version has a metallized plastic cap.

Gillikin envisions doing a special edition series every year. "The idea behind it," he said, "is to have a new stopper every year."

While Gillikin declined to discuss sales projections or advertising budgets, sources say that Mugler expects the two new items to provide a 25 percent increase in total sales. Angel is expected to do $6 million in retail sales this year, up from last year's $3 million.

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