Saturday, September 14, 2013
Calamity J by Juliette Has A Gun
When it comes to perfumes, I'm something of a tart: I fall in love easily with a beautiful fragrance, and I voraciously desire to have not one but many of the little darlings at my beck and call. One which has captivated me since the Spring is Calamity J by Italian niche perfume house Juliette Has A Gun.
Starting in February as I was recovering from surgery, I began spending a little time researching perfumes and I started reading perfume blogs and discussion boards, and I confess the name of this perfumer caught my attention. Their styling is in every way edgy and distinctive, and their fragrances are fine quality juice for reasonable rates, so I tracked down some samples.* I tried Citizen Queen(gorgeous, but not my style) and Midnight Oud which I ADORE but I would not wear frequently enough to justify more than keeping sample size on hand.
Calamity J has captivated me. The prominent notes for me on this are patchouli/amber/musk, as I don't like my 'fumes too florid or sweet, but spice does make me happy in my pants. The array of my frequent fliers all contain patchouli and/or amber and would be classified pong-monsters, so I just spray once and only very briefly-- I wear my perfume for myself, and not for the folks in the next county. Calamity J has a synthetic civet thrown in the mix for my preferred present-but-not-screeching degree of skank. The amber and patchouli dance divinely and to beautiful effect - at the end of the day yesterday, I pulled the fabric of my bohemian blouse to my nose and drank deeply of the lingering fragrance therein-- absolutely beautiful. Other accords here include cinnamon, Tonka bean, Labdanum and iris.
I TOTALLY want a Bullet Spray from Juliette Has A Gun, too. This little deadly is a portable atomizer you can fill with any fragrance at all. Nice.
Check out this and other JHAG fragrances-- you won't smell like everyone else, unless you end up smelling like me.
For more (and much finer) analysis of perfumes, I encourage you to check out the marvelous Katie Puckrik's blog and video reviews. If you want to explore perfume, your taste will evolve on your own trajectory and at your own pace, but Katie's love of perfume is evident and delightful, and her knowledge is encyclopedic and may help you find your way. It's great to have resources that help you deconstruct the elements of what makes a particular perfume work for you, and that really helps you to choose your path forward, if you want to broaden your fragrance horizons. Plus she is beautiful and stylish, and we really like that. :)
*On the subject of pricing for perfume-- everything is relative, right? A 100mL bottle of Calamity J is $135 from LuckyScent**. You could have the 50mL bottle for $105, but the pricing is far more cost-effective to buy double that amount for only $30 more. Simple math, there, folks. As for spending one or multiple hundreds on a bottle of perfume, the lovely perfume site Now Smell This has a fantastic post on how much use you can get from a bottle of perfume. Scroll down far enough, and you can see that if you have 100 mL and spray 3 times per wearing, this bottle will last 491 days. (mind, this is on an average sprayer-- some spray more and some spray less.) I rotate my fragrances, and though I often reach for Calamity J, I expect this $135 investment to last me for years, as I rarely spray more than 2 sprays at a time, and it probably costs me less than .25 per wearing to smell like I just tripped through a high-toned bordello with a side excusion to the Garden of Eden - a mere pittance. Also, your fragrance says something distinctive about you that is utterly of the moment, and that extra sensory fingerprint merits the expense.***
** I recommend you buy your niche fragrances from Lucky Scent when possible. The perfumes they offer are not cheap, but they are of excellent quality, if you care what you smell like to other people(see *). Also, for less than $10 in almost all cases, you can order a sample of most of the fragrances listed so you can explore without breaking the bank.
***ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS keep your fragrances in a cool, dark dry place to protect your investment. I reach for my Coromandel more than any, and because of this, I invested in a 250mL bottle(thank you, BONUS!!!), but I keep it in the original box on a shelf in the coolest, most central part of the house. Oxygen, heat and light all degrade the essences in your perfumes.****
****The greater the concentration of essential oils in your fragrance, the more stable the fragrance will be. Essential oil will be most long-lasting, kept in appropriate conditions. Parfum is perfume with about a third of the juice being essential oils. Eau de parfum will be somewhere around 10%, while Eau de Toilette will be around 5% concentration. Of course, the greater the concentration, the less is needed to convey the scent, thus the less will you use. Eau de Toilette will be the cheapest of these, but will the first to go bad sitting on your vanity tray.