I’m finally going to discuss Juliette Has a Gun Not a Perfume which brags about being a flacon of a very popular aromachemical, Ambrox.
Reasons this bothers me:
#1 – Why would a fragrance that is supposed to contain only one aromachemical cost the same as the other perfumes in the line that are more complex? Wouldn’t this one be much cheaper? I mean, it’s not like you had to pay a perfumer to make a great, novel composition?
#2 – Why would you say that your perfume is hypoallergenic or whatever? This suggests that the others in the line aren’t. And it also suggests that perfumes are unsafe. Why would a perfume company ever want to suggest that their products are not safe? And if you do think your perfumes are unsafe then why the hell are you selling them?
#3 – Other niche lines have already put ambroxan (and it’s various namesakes – ambrox, amber naphthofuran, Cetalox, etc.) in a bottle and charged us for it. Soooo, not edgy. Also, ambroxan is in every single thing , from Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue to niche things, it’s in everything (OK, an exaggeration but it is is a ton of stuff). In fact, I’ve had friends describe ambroxan in isolation as “department store smell”. There is nothing wrong with this but why should I pay more for this aromachemical to be in isolation?
#4 – See my review below. For a fragrance claiming to not be a perfume and to only be ambroxan, it has more than ambroxan. They’re even being sketch with their sketchy “not a perfume” perfume. I mean, when did bragging about consisting of one thing become cool?
#5 – It lasts on my skin for 1-2 hours. This is absurd. Other Juliette Has a Gun perfumes last for many hours. AND ambroxan is typically used as a base note because it lasts on the skin! This stuff is really, really diluted and wears more like an eau de cologne.
Now the only note listed is ambroxan (by Firmenich) because that’s the edgy thing to do. Kids these days… There’s more to Not a Perfume than ambroxan. It opens with a dazzling lemon. And yes, there’s ambroxan, a synthetic ambergris-like aromachemical. Being such a popular aromachemical, I’m sure that when you smell this you’ll be reminded of a ton of other popular perfumes. I promise that this will feel like an olfactory deja vu. Ambroxan has been in everything. Not a Perfume is a clean ambergris. It’s ambroxan. It’s the cleanest, most sterile, most abstract and futuristic amber.
There is nothing wrong with trying Not a Perfume and thinking it smells good because it does smell good. Ambroxan and all of the other ambergris alternatives smell absolutely amazing. They are truly marvels of modern perfumery, of modern aromachemistry. It’s a complex aroma. It’s creamy, woodsy, smooth, salty, warm…like I said, it’s totally awesome. But, as I mentioned above, there are so many reasons why this perfume gets on my nerves.
We’re grown-ups and you can do whatever you please with your money. If owning Not a Perfume, brings you happiness, go for it. I know I have bought so much stupid stuff in my life…like Karl Lagerfeld-ish collars and lipsticks just for the packaging. However, I would like to share this.
Ambroxan is not as cheap as other aromachemicals. In the world of synths, it’s “expensive”. But, let’s put this into perspective here. The going rate for ambroxan crystals through a site that doesn’t sell it wholesale to perfume companies is $31 an ounce. You then dilute this stuff in ethanol (perfumer’s alcohol). $31 of diluted ambroxan with alcohol could make about 2800 ml. This could make about twenty-eight 3.4 oz bottles or fifty-six 1.7 oz bottles. So yeah, it’s $31 + perfumer’s alcohol ($40 at most) + bottles. And this is the “top dollar” or the “hobbyist” price.
I’m not saying that all of you should go out and experiment with diluting ambroxan crystals. This isn’t something I’d recommend to just anybody. It’s not “DIY’ stuff. These are chemicals and should be treated as such. Plus, one would need a scale, bottles, etc. It would be expensive to create just one bottle of perfume. I’m not telling you to get into the business of diluting aromachemicals. What I’m saying is that even as an “expensive” aromachemical, you’re totally getting ripped off by these niche brands diluting ambroxan.
Notes listed include ambroxan. Launched in 2010.
Projection and longevity are below average. I get about 1-2 hours of wear from it.
Juliette Has a Gun Not a Perfume comes in two sizes (1.7oz and 3.4oz) with prices ranging from $90-$120 at Beautyhabit. They also sell samples. Sometimes it can be found at discounters like FragranceX.com.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – The smell of being ripped off. Oh, OK, “creamy clean amber” in a cool white bottle. I think I’ve made it pretty darn obvious that this perfume pisses me off. Seriously, if it sold for like $45, I would have been less judge-y. It’s that it costs the same as their other perfumes that contain ambroxan + other natural and synthetic aromas! OK, OK, I’ll stop now. I’ve said enough.
Want more reviews? Try…
Fragrantica – Member reviews