A fragrance brand named after a woman, with perfumes created by a man. It’s an intriguing idea. And with irreverent scent names like Lady Vengeance, Citizen Queen and Not A Perfume, we’re even more intrigued by Juliette Has A Gun. Founded by Romano Ricci – grandson of Nina Ricci no less – the French brand has been creating a quiet revolution in the world of fragrance since it launched in 2006. The self-taught perfumer’s line has gained a cult following, and today Juliette Has A Gun has no less than 14 scents, each with its own distinctive personality – expertly crafted, thoughtfully conceived. Yes, this is niche perfume, but the fragrances are all remarkably accessible – they’re scents women love to wear. We spoke to the man behind the brand to find out a little more about the enigmatic Juliette…
What’s Juliette Has A Gun all about?
I wanted to offer women a new universe: lost somewhere between a desire for romance and independence at the same time. Juliette Has A Gun is the modern interpretation of the Shakespearean heroine. But I use her only as a symbol of a woman who wants to love and to be loved in return, because I think we all have those hopes more or less buried inside. Her gun is her perfume: her passport to liberty, which allows her to pursue her craziest desires.
Why did you set up Juliette Has A Gun and what were you doing before?
I was always very sensitive to the art of creation and the perfume universe. Creating a fragrance brand was fundamental for me, since the beginning. For the Ricci’s, perfume is a family matter. But before creating, I had to learn. I did many internships in perfume houses but not only that, I was also interested in everything that comes with it. After six years of apprenticeship, I decided to take the plunge and create my own vision of perfume, and women!
RUNNING IN HEELS LOVES…
Another Oud is a fragrance for people who don’t really like the ubiquitous ingredient du jour. A Middle Eastern favourite, oud is a love-it-or-loathe it scent – and one which seems to have obsessed the perfume world of late. This is a much softer, warmer interpretation of oud – it’s sensual and almost velvety, but with a subtle sweetness thanks to notes of raspberry and bergamot. Musk, amber and hints of wood and spice ensure that this an undeniably sexy scent. Another Oud is understated enough for everyday wear, but really comes into its own as an afterdark choice.
Any hero products or ingredients?
Yes, I have a fondness for a few ingredients that I love to use and that you can find in most of my creations. I guess you could say that Ambroxan and patchouli might be my hero ingredients. But then I also go through phases – ten years ago, I was all about chypre fragrances – their deepness and intensity – while lately I’ve been more into more transparent, slightly floral notes. I guess that it is a reflection of a certain mood. I get deeply into a certain type, until I move on to something else.
The one piece of scent or beauty advice you tell everyone?
You should wear a perfume like if it was an invisible dress or an amazing pair of shoes. It should transform the way you see yourself, and boost your self-confidence the same way the visible accessories do.
Who is the Juliette Has A Gun woman – or muse?
Each of my perfumes represents a type of woman. Even if they’re often inspired by real life observations, they remain imaginary. To me, every woman is a Juliette, so my inspiration comes from what I see, what I hear and what I read.
Any favourite non-Juliette Has A Gun perfumes?
RUNNING IN HEELS LOVES…
Gentlewoman is a twist on a traditionally masculine scent staple: cologne. It’s crisp, clean and very wearable – perhaps more for day than evening – with fresh citrus notes and hints of bergamot and neroli underscored with sensual musk and soft almond. Juliette Has A Gun’s Gentlewoman is unmistakably androgynous – images of glamorous tuxedos come to min… It’s one to wear everyday, and make your own – signature fragrance territory ahoy!
What’s next from Juliette Has A Gun?
Mmmm, let me think! I am already saying too much…