Monday, May 18, 2015

Juliette has a gun - Gentlewoman (perfume review + GIVEAWAY!)

Helllllloooo everyone! It has been forever and a day (again) - and I apologize.  I have really missed this blog, but home renovation work has consumed my life for the past month or so. We're still not done (are we ever??), but things are coming along and I'm excited to post about the changes over on rustyfarmhouse. But today - today I focus on perfume!  (and I hope to start posting slightly more regularly again too.)  :)

Up until about a month ago, somehow in my perfume journey I had managed to try nothing from the house Juliette has a gun. Not for lack of interest, however, just circumstances. Then suddenly I won a decant of Moondance from the lovely lovely folks at AustralianPerfumeJunkies, and then I somehow also won a sample of Gentlewoman from APJ. A couple days after that I was surprised with a promotional sample of Gentlewoman as well. It seems my JHAG luck has turned!



Gentlewoman is the latest release from Juliette has a gun, a feminine take on the classic eau de cologne. Perfumer Romano Ricci characterizes Gentlewoman as modern, daring and free.

When I wear Gentlewoman, it opens with crisp citrus that manages to be neither too sweet nor too bitter. It feels like your fingers doused in the juices and oils of freshly peeled oranges and limes. Within moments the bright citrus notes fade into the flowy white caresses of the orange blossom. The orange blossom is soft, gentle, wispy and soapy. I can't help but think of bright, slightly overgrown sun-soaked country fields adorned with wavy white bedsheets hanging on expansive clothing lines. (If I'm perfectly honest, I also picture Julie Andrews twirling about and singing that the hills are alive with the sound of music...). It's really so very pretty.

The soapy orange blossom gives way to the lavender, which begins as subtle, clean and slightly masculine. I should admit that on the whole I'm not a big fan of lavender. Lavender almost always feels heavy and distinctively masculine to me. This isn't necessarily a bad thing though, and one might expect an eau de cologne to have masculine touches - even a feminine one. 

The lavender grows in intensity, becoming stronger and sadly a bit too sharp for me. Gentlewoman also becomes a bit powdery and artificial at this point, making the soft cotton sheets feel more like a dryer sheet right under my nose. Fortunately, this stronger lavender phase passes and the lavender eventually retreats into the cozy world of musk. On me, the musk in Gentlewoman feels pristinely clean - keeping Gentlewoman squarely in the work and black-tie appropriate arena. The clean laundry musk also feels a bit artificial. It is here that I wish Gentlewoman was a bit more "daring." I think a slightly more animalic musk to offset the stoic and artificial-feeling cleanliness of the lavender would be amazing.

Overall, I think JHAG did well with the concept of a feminine eau de cologne. It's a simple but pleasant fragrance. I was surprised by how much I loved the opening of Gentlewoman. The sparkling citrus of the opening is perfectly blended for my tastes and I actually really enjoy the gentle soapy character of the orange blossom heart. Unfortunately the drydown wasn't a great fit for me, perhaps because I simply don't care much for lavender and I prefer a slightly skankier musk. But I'd dance around with Julie Andrews in the opening for hours if I could!

If you like soapy orange blossom, Gentlewoman could be a winner for you - but it may not be the best fit if you dislike soapy florals and clean musks.

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My rating of Gentlewoman: 3.5

1  -  - -  -  2  -  -  -  -  3  -  - X -  -  4  -  -  -  -  5
   Nausea/Gagging         Meh        Decent          Great        Olfactory Elation    

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Gentlewoman as described by Juliette has a gun:

Family:  Citrus Woody Musky

Top Notes: Neroli Essence, Bitter Orange Petitgrain Essence, Calabrian Bergamot Essence (Capua)
Heart Notes: Almond Essence, Coumarin, Orange Blossom Absolute, Lavender Essence 
Base Notes: Ambroxan, Musks (Muscenone and Ambretolide)

Perfumer: Romano Ricci

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A Scent Life's FIRST GIVEAWAY!
Since I was lucky enough to both win a sample and receive a promotional sample of Gentlewoman, I'd be delighted to share the wealth and give away my promotional sample. 

Who is eligible?
Readers worldwide are eligible, though I cannot guarantee it's safe arrival for my non-US friends or replace it if something goes awry.

How do I win?  (updated)
Just leave a comment telling me about why you'd like to try Gentlewoman and if you have any favorite JHAG scents that I should try.  The draw will remain open until June 1st. The winner will have several days to claim their prize, so don't forget to check if you've won!

*Although I received a promotional sample of Gentlewoman, all opinions are my own and honest. 

16 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Lillian! It's nice to be back. :)

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  2. Hello Sun!
    Looking forward to seeing what is up at Rusty Farm. Hoping you and your family are doing well this spring - how's the baby doing?
    No need to add me to the draw, but this sounds lovely - I do love an orange blossom, esp in spring or summer.

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    1. Hi Carol! Thanks for the well wishes. Actually the baby is laid up with a fever :( its been around 102/103 since Monday night. Hopefully it goes away soon, I feel bad for the poor guy! Are you still on your sample freeze? I'm so bummed, nobody wants the sample! Hehe, this post has so many page views but no one is entering. So do let me know if you change your mind. :)

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    2. I feel bad for the little guy, and for his parents, too!
      I still am on my sample freeze - this is taking a lot longer than I initially planned. Need to post a Scented Sunday post soon - have been sampling Dior Dune - wow! and a Montale. I should have samples about 20 by now (since my last post).
      I am sure you'll get more comments. xox

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  3. No need to add me to the draw - I am afraid we have similar views on lavender - and clean musk indeed. I am sure it will be someone's cup of tea though - the orange blossom aspect sounds pretty. Shades of Seville a l'aube went through my mind, even?

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    1. Hi Vanessa! It appears we are truly scent twins - I'm excited to see if the trend continues :) As for the orange blossom - it is really really quite pretty, but for me it registered quite a bit differently than Seville (at least if I'm remembering Seville right). Seville struck me as quite sweet - almost syrupy - and the orange blossom in Gentlewoman isn't really sweet. But it's been a bit since I've tried Seville so I may not be remembering right. However - if you like a sweet orange blossom and a dirty musk, you may really like Olympic Orchids Mardi Gras. Have you tried it? I'm in the process of reviewing it, I'll be curious to see what you think when that post comes out!

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  4. Heya Sun Mi,
    I really like Gentlewoman and lavender is a note I seem to really like. My Dad was a Tabac Original wearer and the note always conjures the best of him.
    How did you like the other two JHaGs? Isn't Moon dance interesting?
    Portia xx

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    1. Hi Portia! Thanks for stopping by! It is so lovely that you are able to have a wonderful scent association with your father - something you can carry with you always. I bet if I were a bigger fan of lavender then Gentlewoman would have sang on all the levels for me, as I really loved the opening. So far the only lavender scent that I've tried and really like is the Caldey Island Lavender, so I guess I am still learning to love it. :)

      As for Moon Dance - I *REALLY* like Moon Dance. Like, a lot a lot. I was surprised at how much I liked it, because not that many things really get me excited. I feel so lucky to have won the decant from APJ! So far Gentlewoman and Moon Dance are the only JHAGs that I've tried, but I hope to try several more as these 2 have been so promising!

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    2. Yes, Moon Dance is special. Not SO special nowadays but when it came out and still in my personal list of faves is Midnight Oud. Back in 2009, though there had already been quite a lot of oud around, it stood out as a really wearable mainstream version of the synthetic oud note and I still enjoy wearing it. Anyway is another that I love, it wears very different on my skin to everyone elses; a bright, descant pineapple note above heavy dark woods, even Romano Ricci was surprised how it smells on me.
      Portia xx

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    3. These all sound amazing - I can't wait to try more! I actually just received a sample of Miss Charming today in my package with the decant of Vetiver Tonka, so I'm really excited to try both!

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  5. Hi Sun Mi,
    DNEM as I received a sample of Gentlewoman in a recent care package :) My initial impression was all about soap but I gave it a few more tries and have come to enjoy it. I don't think there will be a full bottle, though. BTW I still have that little pink truffle box and will return it to you soon with a few surprises inside.
    Azar xx

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    1. It is quite soapy, isn't it? Although I don't always consider myself a fan of soap - I loved the soapy orange blossom in this one - the opening is just marvelous. Do you have a favorite JHAG frag? Please feel no obligation to send anything my way, but if you do, I hope to gratefully return the favor! :)

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  6. Please don't enter me as JHAG are one of the few brands that I can actually get around here, but just wnated to say nice to see you back, and what a gorgeous bath.

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  7. I would love to try something new

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Thanks for participating!