Addiction. That’s the inspiration between Juliette Has a Gun’s latest fragrance ‘White Spirit‘. The fragrance is dangerous, Romano Ricci (the man behind Juliette) says, further stating that a failure to respect the prescribed dosage may lead to the wearer never being able to do without it. That dose, by the way is “one or two drops delicately placed in the hollow of your neck”. Well, I threw caution to the wind and took five sprays to the chest on my first wearing, and I have survived to tell the tale. Although, that said, I have worn it a number of times since, so maybe I haven’t quite escaped the White Spirit’s dark passenger entirely.
What about the scent though? What’s it all about? Well, White Spirit is a melange of flowers and in true Juliette Has a Gun style, an array of aroma chemicals. Romano Ricci describes it as “a contrast between minimalism and poison […] the virginal white flower versus the explosive woody dry accord” defining it as “an unlikely cocktail, yet resolutely addictive”. The presentation is one of the brand’s finest examples, showcasing a white capped bottle filled with a milky juice that appears as a substance to be applied with caution. As always, it’s all served with a sense of irony and tongue pressed firmly in cheek, after all, that’s the ‘Juliette’ way.
Top: Sambac Jasmine Absolute and Tuberose Absolute
Heart: Sandalwood Essence and Ambrocenide
Base: Ambroxan and Ambrettolide
How Does it Smell?
White Spirit opens distinctly floral with a sterile jasmine note that is pure, snowy white in colour. There is tuberose, but its more of a supporting act here, adding just a mere hint of buttery bubble gum underneath. The floral effect quickly submits to the plethora of woody materials that dominate the composition. Specifically the woody accords are comprised of; Ambrocenide, a Symrise aroma chemical that has a strong woody-amber signature; Ambroxan, a substitute for ambergris that is musky and once again, woody to a certain extent; and Ambrettolide, which is a musky material similar to ambrette seed. All together, the effect created is fuzzy and pale woods layered with a cling film wrap of thin, clear flowers.
White Spirit is a stark contrast to Moon Dance and Oil Fiction, the two other fragrances within the Luxury Collection, both of which are relatively full-bodied and old school fragrant affairs. In comparison, White Spirit is entirely more modern, much paler and distinctly more synthetic in its nature. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, of course and White Spirit’s jagged take on woody materials certainly has merit, it just lacks the oomph of its sister scents within the Luxury Collection. Perhaps that’s the point though – maybe White Spirit isn’t about character as such and is instead, a fragrance that intends to evoke a feeling or mood. If so, I’d say that it has a clinical air to it that is quite unusual and aloof, almost as if one isn’t sure whether to wear it or simply stare at it.
White Spirit is available in 75ml Eau de Pafum for £200.
Sample, notes and quotes via Juliette Has a Gun. Images are my own.