Friday, September 13, 2013


Ever wondered what your favourite perfume would taste like as a cocktail? Well, now you can have the answer by sipping some inventive new drinks at the famed Plaza Athénée hotel in Paris, France. 

Coctail meets perfume.
The director of the hotel’s trendy bar has joined forces with the Thierry Mugler brand to create “Les Liqueurs de Parfums” – a meeting of high-end perfumes and luxury spirits that not only makes your breath smell nice, but also tastes quite good.

This week, a select group of writers were invited to discover the cocktails, all of which packed a powerful punch, even the fruity and feminine “Womanity”, named after the perfume created in 2010 and sold in a striking pink bottle.

The cocktail was, of course, a creamy rose colour. “I put the subtlety and softness of pink into the drink by using pulpy, sweet fruit such as raspberry, litchi, and strawberry,” said Thierry Hernandez, the director of the Plaza Athénée Bar. What produced the memorable taste though was a zest of ginger combined with Bombay Sapphire gin, chosen for its “pronounced aromatic effect”, Hernandez added.

For rum lovers or fans of Mugler’s “Alien” - the “woody and flowery” amber perfume launched in 2005 - the “Alien” cocktail has golden rum as a basis, with Grand Marnier, apricot juice and passion fruit to top things off.

“In order to capture the essence of the Alien perfume, my cocktail is built on a woody flavour; the drops of jasmine essence and orange blossom water recreate this floral, sunny dimension,” Hernandez waxed about the drink.

The Alien cocktail
While “Alien” both surprised and soothed the senses, the star of the evening was probably meant to be “Angel”, based on Mugler’s first perfume, born in 1992 with its streak of patchouli. 

According to fashion lore, the French designer drew on his memories of childhood and the smells of gourmand feasts to create Alien, but for the cocktail, the Cognac tradition has also provided inspiration.

“For the Angel Liqueur de Parfum, we were inspired by the traditional techniques of prestige Cognacs,” said Pierre Aulas, the Artistic Olfactory Director for the Mugler brand. The velvety green drink contains Cognac, in addition to Amaretto, fresh cream, white chocolate and vanilla.

This may all sound like more of a feminine choice, but male drinkers can have their own brew in the form of the honey-hued A*Men, drawn from Mugler’s 1996 masculine scent. The ingredients: Johnny Walker whisky, coffee liqueur, apple juice and maple syrup.

“The contrast between the masculinity and the softness of this perfume inspired me right away,” said bar director Hernandez. “For me the drink perfectly expresses the tones of the fragrance and has an ideal colour.” It’s now up to cocktail fans to decide if he’s right. - L. McKenzie

(The Plaza Athénée hotel is currently undergoing expansion and will reopen in June 2014.)