Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Citizen Queen by Juliette Has a Gun : Perfume Review

Founded by Romano Ricci, Nina Ricci’s grandson, it is natural that Juliette Has a Gun has large expectations to live up to. For my part I felt a little underwhelmed by the line’s first offerings, especially in the case of Miss Charming, which seemed too fruity a rose, too close in feel to department store scents targeting the late-teen market. Lady Vengeance in turn, was a beautiful interpretation of the rose and all its thorniness, one I would in fact wear myself. However, it seemed a rather derivative effort, reminding me of many a thorny-rose chypre scent already on the market. Citizen Queen on the other hand, the line’s third perfume to date, more than lives up to expectations, offering beauty marked by striking dissonance and delight born of surprise.

Despite being touted as an aldehydic chypre, Citizen Queen comes across to me as a bold, leathery floriental, succulent, sweet and poisonous, lacking the patrician beauty and restraint of conventional chypres or the whip-cracking attitude of animalic chypres. The opening is decidedly musky, deceptively soft despite its faint, fecal undertones. Within the space of just a few minutes however, the scent intensifies, loudly broadcasting its dominant nature. An aldehydic kick renders the floral edges blurry as they emerge in an almost psychedelic sequence of color. The intense, sweet scent of violets splashes deep purple against a backdrop of black, while wispy green vines grow uncontrollably to surround them. Soft iris paints thin, fluorescent lines across the canvas, lending fluffy, powdery, feathery softness and acting as a contrast to the heavy feel of the composition. Marvelously, the musky, amber-infused base is incredibly effusive and its intense sweetness can be felt throughout the development. In fact, it is this incredible musky sweetness coupled with the divine scent of violets that truly forms the identity of this scent. However, what makes Citizen Queen really stand out, is its animalic character. The gentle bitterness of the leather in the composition can be felt even through the intense sweetness, but even more striking is the undercurrent of something dirty and intensely human, which adds a perverse streak to this beauty. Smelling at once familiar and disturbing, this animalic accord adds an element of human essence to the perfume, like nuzzling the crown of someone’s hair.

Citizen Queen proudly stomps all over any preconceived notions that our overly obsessed with cleanliness and political correctness culture might hold about what perfume should be, and what’s more, she does so with an unapologetic grin and killer heels to boot. This is not only a perversely dirty, poisonously sweet animalic scent, it is also one that is improbably potent; Those of you that remember experiencing Cacharel’s Loulou for the first time and feeling the resolute punch it delivered, will recognize the subtle nod to its unique tenacity. Having only a sample at hand and experiencing its improbable, rule-defying sillage with just a few drops, I can’t help but feel that it would be more than sufficient to dab this perfume rather than spray it. A few drops on one arm are enough for others around me to detect it and comment on it and the tiny sample phial on my nightstand exudes the most wonderful perfume every day even while securely capped. In fact, it has now happened so often over the past few weeks that I find myself wondering where the fabulous smell is coming from before realizing it is the sample next to me while in bed, that I am seriously considering buying a full bottle!


18 comments:

Abigail said...

I, too, found Citizen Queen to be the best of the JHaG line thus far. I bought a bottle ;-) and I'm finding myself in love with the packaging! I have it displayed on my bureau, black velvet and shiny aluminum bottle to die for. The juice itself reminds me of many other "dirty roses" but it still has a personality of it's own and I quite like it.

Flora said...

Hmmm, this is a dangerous review , I am pretty sure they made this stuff just for me! You have captured an irresistible description of this scent and I am entranced!

Ines said...

Wow! This really sounds like something I'd like to wear. :)
I have to get my hands on a sample to try it and I alreayd know just how. ;)

maisqueperfume said...

TKS DIv, I was curious about it. When I first interviewed the guys of Le Labo, I thought about this brand too.
Maybe I should go back to this project.
You are always an inspiration.
Kisses

Jenavira13 said...

Oh Divina you really do know how to start a craving, since this review of yours I have had a serious craving for dirty rich rose scents which really aren't work friendly so today I will abide my time in Mille et Une Roses. But come this next saturday for a friends birthday I bringing out the L'arte di Gucci.

maisqueperfume said...

Dear Div, look in your imbox mail for aromatherapy blends for the holidays. It is my x-mas gift to you dearest!

kisses, Simone

Motorcycle Jackets said...

I am pretty sure they made this stuff just for me!
The intense, sweet scent of violets splashes deep purple against a backdrop of black, while wispy green vines grow uncontrollably to surround them.

Divina said...

Hey Abigail! Yeah, the bottle is a darling, ain't it?! But I have to say, I don't really smell rose in this one, which is surprising...

Divina said...

Hi Flora! How are you? This one is indeed definitely one to try! I do think that it's a difficult perfume being so strong and demanding, but for the ones that can make it their own, it is trully wonderful!

Divina said...

Hi Ines dear! You keep surprising me! Before I sent you the little sample pack I had the idea that you only go for soft, powdery perfumes.. then when yours came I understood just how adventurous you are! Now you surprise me once again by lusting after something so powerful! I love how diverse your taste in perfume is! (mine is too btw :) )

Kiss!

Divina said...

Oh, Simone, such a touching thing to say! Thank you sweetie! *hugs*

Divina said...

Morning Jen Dearest! Mille et Une Roses is wonderful and not too innocent a rose I might add! I think it has this beautifully sexy musky undercurrent that makes me want to keep sniffing my arm whenever I wear it.

Divina said...

Motorcycle Jackets, what a cool name! You should definitely try it, it's beautiful!

Divina said...

Simone thank you! I'm off to check right now! And I'll be sending you a mail in regards to your question tonight.

Ines said...

Hm, Divina it sounds so much more interesting when you say it. Truth is, I can't even say that I prefer some notes to others. I think I'm still discovering too much to be able to go for sth specific. It's just all so interesting and new. :)

Myrtle Beach Real Estate said...

I wasn't impressed by the first two JHaG fragrances. But Citizen Queen sounds much more interesting. I'll give it a go!
I like both the Juliettes, and I'm not big on rose scents. I don't quite understand the ad copy ('slacker'?) but the idea sounds intriguing.

Divina said...

MMmmm that will come for sure, Ines :) I just love your expansive tastes and how adventurous you are :) Believe me, you are!

Divina said...

Myrtle Beach the rose is not very dominant in this one for me. It's much more about the musks and violets.