I don’t understand Juliette Has a Gun. They started out as a rebellious niche brand boasting a number of intriguing fragrances evoking the spirit of fierce women with daring characters (scents such as Calamity J and Lady Vengeance) – all at designer prices. But with the brand’s most recent launches it seems that Juliette has lost her nerve and decided to throw away the pistol that made her so spunky and dangerous.
This decline in boldness can be seen in the increasing lack of ingenuity in scents such as Mad Madame (a collage of just about every scent in the line) and Not a Perfume (at least they got the name right with this one), both of which felt very safe and not in keeping with the punky spirit of the brand. An over reliance on ambroxan has also ensured that these new offerings are all very similar in both odour and style.
The brand’s latest fragrance ‘Anyway‘ runs very much along the same lines as its recent stable mates and presents an airy, relaxed style of perfume that tries its absolute best not to offend or make an impression. The brand proclaim it to be a “simple and original formula” boasting “only fifteen ingredients” – a fragrance that has been designed to be a signature scent and anything but “anonymous”.
“Anyway” is above all the nonchalant intention of a bold brand who, in the very “coded” world of perfumes, dares propose a hint of originality, a nod to the serosity that renders this industry sometimes a little boring. It’s a promise that evokes the sassiness of a formula, an imprint, leaving behind it a heady sillage that gets stuck in the memory like an eternal landmark, defined by its lightness. What if that was the key to happiness? And what if the best was yet to come? It’s not about running away from reality, just adopting a different state of mind, that of the crazy optimists… Anyway.”
Neroli Essence, Green Lime Essence, Jasmine Absolute, Ambretolide (Musk), Ambroxan and Hedione (HC)
How Does it Smell?
Anyway starts out fresh, astringent and wispy. A plastic sort-of lime and a touch of something that feels like it wants to be grapefruit dominate for an awfully long while, but they are in no way loud and proud, in fact the modus operandi here appears to be a subtlety that verges on imperceptibility.
Jasmine is the main ingredient but if one is looking for the carnal, night-blooming version then it will not be found in Anyway. The jasmine here is vacuum packed and shrink wrapped to present a factory made interpretation of this vibrant flower, and it’s an impression that is more baffling than it is interesting.
As Anyway dries down it gets even quieter, relying on a cocktail of musks and greenery that could be interesting if the volume dials were switched up to something higher than ‘barely there’. A touch of pepper attempts to zhuzz things up but Anyway cannot escape the fact that its simplicity is its downfall and ultimately it falls into category of ‘boring spaciousness’ rather than ‘refreshing clarity’.
Reading back on this review I feel that perhaps I’ve been a tad too harsh on Anyway, after all it’s not dreadful but it does leave one wondering exactly what the point of it is. If this is supposed to be signature scent that leaves an impression then it is clearly for those who want to leave the least notable impression possible with their scent. Perhaps it’s for those people who don’t really like perfume?
Anyway, whatever the point of this scent is, it only succeeds at being ‘meh’, and as we know in the perfume world, that is an incredibly serious crime.
Juliette Has a Gun’s Anyway is available in 50ml (£65) and 100ml (£85) Eau de Parfum.
Samples, notes, quotes and images via Juliette Has a Gun Press Release.