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Mugler's Alien fragrance is a bonafide classic. Whether or not you wore the scent through the mid-aughts, you likely remember it as a defining perfume of the time. And because beauty is, after all, accutane council asset protection legal a business, such classics often get remixed, reimagined, and revived with a little bit of scent sorcery.
Such is the case for the brand's newest iteration of its famous fragrance, Alien Goddess. "The first idea [for the scent] came from the expression of a new femininity," explains senior perfumer Marie Salamange, who worked on the formulation with master perfumer Nathalie Lorson. "I really wanted to express something new through florals, but I didn't want it to be too expected." Salamange says she worked with coconut water and then added notes of jasmine grandiflorum, as well as Madagascar bourbon vanilla, to keep things light.
You certainly get the vanilla and coconut in the fragrance, which warms up the floral scents and makes them soft and cozy, as opposed to harsh on the nose. It's a manifestation of the "new femininity" the brand is trying to convey, one made even more vivid by the scent's new ambassador, Willow Smith.
Smith was just a little kid when the first Alien fragrance hit shelves, but like many of us, she has her own memories of the Mugler fashion house and its wares. And, as she tells Allure, that is what initially attracted her to the partnership. "I had seen some old photos and videos of fashion shows from Mugler in the past — it was just fire," she says over a Zoom call. "Even then, they were innovating and doing such unique and different things."
The label's newest innovation attempts to capture the smell of what the brand sees as a modern femininity. It's soft but present. Intense but not overwhelming. It's celestial but also grounded. "The name feels cosmic and spacey, but the scent is so floral, warm, and earthy, it has both of these extremes," says Smith. Plus, "the name is Alien Goddess. I so relate to that."
Indeed, The Anxiety frontwoman's personal style is a little spacey, a little out there. But that is what makes her especially fitting for this ambassadorship. We spoke to Smith about being the face of this new scent, what femininity means to her, and, of course, a little bit of rock and roll.
ALLURE: Alien has been around since you were a kid! Do you have any fragrance-specific memories from those days?
WS: My mom was a huge perfume fan. A perfume genius, no pun intended. (Shout-out, Perfume Genius, you're awesome, I love your music.) Anyway, [my mom] would mix essential oils and make her own perfumes. I remember being young and smelling her and thinking, What's the mixture today? Peppermint and clove? Nag champa and chamomile? That was a source of joy for me as a kid.
ALLURE: So what drew you to this partnership?
I've always been into everything and anything extraterrestrial. I've also been into goddesses throughout history, mythology, and religion — representations of the divine feminine. Bringing those two things together, it just felt so perfect for me.
ALLURE: Oooh, which divine feminine figures do you love?
WS: Saraswati. She's a Hindu goddess of knowledge and creativity, She's pictured sitting inside of a lotus playing a sitar. I really connected with that, because I have always been so interested in the pursuit of knowledge and also virtuosic skill in music. Also, Radha, who's basically Krishna's other half. She's a beautiful representation of the divine feminine energy. There's so many, but those are two that I really love.
ALLURE: I'm a Yemaya girl myself.
WS: Yes! The Orishas — those African female, divine feminine goddesses, we just don't hear about them enough.
ALLURE: Everyone applies perfume in a different way. Is there a particular way you enjoy?
WS: Yes. If it's a spray, I usually just spray it in the air in front of me and walk through it a couple of times. If it's an oil, I place it right on the wrist and then my neck.
ALLURE: What does femininity mean to you?
WS: To me, it means flexibility. It means a warm scent, it means nurturing, it means intense cosmic creativity. I think that women struggle with feeling their flavor of femininity isn't the "right" one and that's just not the case. There are so many different [ways to be feminine]. Even speaking your mind and taking no shit and fighting for what's yours is feminine to me.
ALLURE: I want to talk a little bit about beauty inspirations that you may have. Who do you look to or who over the years has inspired your beauty aesthetic?
WS: I'm inspired by this person's beauty aesthetic, but couldn't necessarily pull it off, because this person is just so unique and awesome. Do you know Ugly Worldwide on Instagram? She's just so creative in the way that she does her makeup and in the way that she just dresses herself in everything. It's some futuristic different shit that is so inspiring. I just want to see her in her full splendor, because I couldn't even imagine having this much creativity and doing it all myself. She does her own makeup. It's intense, it's fire. Super fire.
ALLURE: It's otherworldly, almost. A little… alien, if you will.
WS: She's an alien goddess, come on!
ALLURE: What about skin care, are you a big skin-care person, or are you just a water and black soap kinda girl?
WS: I have a pretty simple skin-care routine, but I love different products. I get super excited when I get a new face cleanser. Recently, I've been exploring way more with face and lip masks. The lip masks are really new for me, because I'd never used them before this year. That's a new addition to my skin-care routine.
ALLURE: Any specific products?
WS: [I Love Dr. Jart+]. The moisturizing face masks are my everything. I've been implementing that into my skin-care routine at least twice a week.
Dr. Jart+ Dermask Water Jet Soothing Hydra Solution
ALLURE: I also want to talk a little bit about your band, The Anxiety. Y'all have been getting a ton of buzz. When I was a teenager (a long time ago!), I was super into emo. Seeing you give that alternative rocker aesthetic… I wish I had this representation in 2004!
WS: My mom and the main singer of Straight Line Stitch were the only two Black women that I ever knew who were singing rock music. Oh! and Fefe Dobson. Those three were the only ones and we need more than three!
I just hope that, after me putting out this album, that more Black girls are like, you know what, eff it — I want to do this, too. I want to play guitar, I want to play bass, I want to sing, I want to scream, I want to play drums, I want to do this shit. We need more of us.
ALLURE: Especially in a genre that really comes from us.
WS: We have been so brainwashed by stereotypes. Sister Rosetta Tharpe, [was] one of the first black female electric guitarists so long ago, when that wasn't accepted, when women weren't even allowed to play electric guitar like that. The women played acoustic and the men did the electric. Sister Rosetta Tharpe was like, eff that, I'm going to pick up this electric guitar and thrash and sing the blues, honey! Even though it was inspired by blues, it was rock. When I say that to a lot of Black people, they don't know. We need to remember. We need to remember that we did this shit. We need to remember that we were the beginning.
ALLURE: It's interesting how we sometimes relinquish some of the stuff that we create. Who says Black girls don't do rock and roll? Look at Tina Turner. Tina Turner specifically, was like, I want to do rock music, because that is what I do.
Seeing someone who looks like you making this music — I really think that a lot of girls are feeling seen and feeling more open and inclined to embracing that part of themselves. The rock-and-roll aesthetic is fun. That shit is so cool.
WS: It's so much fun and everyone should be able to live their best rock-and-roll life. No one should be barred off from that, because of the color of their skin or the texture of their hair or whatever it may be.
You can pick up a bottle of Alien Goddess at $85 for 30 ml, $120 for 60 ml, $170 for 90 ml, $32 for a 10 ml travel size, and $150 for the 100 ml eco-refill, starting July 23 on muglerusa.com, online at Sephora and Ulta Beauty on August 1, and in stores on August 15 .
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