JHAG’s take on the popular rose/oud combo is nicely done—I’d say it’s probably one of, if not the most, approachable oud’s I’ve met, keeping good company with Montale’s Aoud Queen Roses, Montale’s White Aoud, and L’Artisan’s Al Oudh.
Despite the parallels to Montale’s Aouds, I smell a distinct familial resemblance with Lady Vengeance; I’m not sure if it’s the handling of the rose itself, or just a common supporting cast. Midnight Oud is softer than her oud sisters, and a little quieter than her vengeful cousin. Where the rose in AQR is dark and majestic, this rose still has pointe shoes hanging from her closet door. Al Oudh is a seasoned courtesan; Midnight Oud is her yet-to-be-initiated protégé.
This fragrance is an excellent example of what it is Romano Ricci does (and does well) with Juliette Has a Gun: straddling the line between mass market and niche fragrances. What all of his fragrances smell like, to me, is just a little too good for the Macy’s counter, but not quite like something from L’Artisan Parfumeur. I’ve read some complaints—might have even made some myself—that the line doesn’t quite make the cut as a new niche perfume house. I don’t totally disagree, but I think that there is a place for this stuff. It has mass appeal, unlike many niche houses; when was the last time you saw a hip ad from Annick Goutal? What I see in JHAG is an intermediary layer between perfumista and perfume-as-routine people. The brand is fun, pretty, savvy but not book-smart. I like it.
Midnight Oud Notes
Moroccan rose, geranium, saffron, oud note, patchouli, sandalwood, amber, animalic musks
Olympia by Édouard Manet, 1863
3 thoughts on “Juliette Has a Gun, Midnight Oud”
JHAG was not on the top of my to sniff list, because the brand is maybe a little too hip for me (what a confession, lol). A little too cutesy and gimmicky in its presentation (who exactly is Juliet and why does she carry a gun?), that I never felt compelled to smell the fragrances. But your review sounds inviting…
The line is well done—for what it is. Each fragrance is really easy and effortless to wear (like a pair of jeans ;)), and would be great for gift-giving to budding perfumista’s… if they were a little less expensive.
A seasoned niche fragrance lover will recognize that he/she can get some *truly* fabulous perfumes for that $135US. But then again, the conundrum exists for that seasoned sniffer who wants a casual, easy to wear fragrance—I reach for JHAG more often than I reach for Montale in my cabinet!
I think that the Juliette reference is Shakespeare’s; the marketing is ultra hip (waaay too hip for me!), but I like that it takes a position in the market that hasn’t been filled previously—yes, there’s Prada, which price-wise and usage-wise fills the same spot, but *not* with the same type of “niche-largess” appeal.
They are worth smelling, if you’re in the market for a new pair of jeans 😉