Perfume Review: Sunny Side Up by Juliette Has a Gun

Sunny Side Up
Sunny Side Up

How do you like your eggs in the morning?

Personally I’m a ‘poached atop a slice of avocado toast’ kind-of-a-guy, but then again I am a millennial so what else would you expect? It seems that Juliette Has a Gun likes their eggs served with a generous helping of sandalwood and a side of sass, because that’s exactly what the brand’s exciting new fragrance ‘Sunny Side Up‘ offers up. Juliette Has a Gun has always been a cheeky house, but they’ve really outdone themselves with this latest launch, creating a fragrance bottle that gives a birds eye view of a fried egg, sunny side up. Genius.

Positioning Sunny Side Up as a “happy therapy”, Juliette Has a Gun’s nose and founder Romano Ricci has set out to create something that “inspires happy and positive feelings”. The scent and its visuals take on a pop art feel, with the sunny theme of bright yellow running throughout. It plays on the idea of hot days on the beach where the sun is blazing so much it’s possible to fry eggs on the skin and the playfulness of the visuals (where the sun and model’s breasts are replaced with fried eggs) alludes to the care free spirit of this happy little perfume. To create the fragrance, Ricci started with the star material of sandalwood, which he paired with musks, jasmine and a coconut milk to accentuate the sandalwood’s “unctuous tonalities”. Intrigued yet?

A Summery Sandalwood (No Eggs Here)
A Summery Sandalwood (No Eggs Here)

The Notes

Top: Amyris Sandalwood, Jasmine Lactone and Vanilla Absolute
Heart: Sandalwood Accord, Iris Butter Absolute and Jasmine Sambac Absolute
Base: Ambrette, Iso E Super and Salicylate

How Does it Smell?

Well you will be pleased to know that Sunny Side Up does not smell like eggs. We’ll leave that type of shenanigans up to Etat Libre d’Orange, thank you very much. What it does smell like though, is sandalwood and what a lovely sandalwood it is. The initial impression is warm and nutty with a hint of floral freshness. The use of sandalwood here feels much more in tune with the Givaudan molecule Javanol (as opposed to real sandalwood) which adds an almost metallic freshness, allowing the surface of the wood to gleam with the endless reflection of light rather than absorb light as a dull matt texture.

The supporting notes come into play quickly, with the creaminess of coconut milk adding a lactonic texture that runs throughout, like a drop of sunscreen dripping down one’s arm. The iris emphasises the nutty quality of the sandalwood, turning the wood to something grainy, whilst the jasmine brings lift as well as a sharpness that gives Sunny Side Up a little bit of spikiness. At times I get hints of MUGLER’S Alien, in which a syrupy green jasmine accord meets the sequinned textured of cashmere wood. Sunny Side Up’s treatment of jasmine against woods is much more subdued, but it hints at a hidden depth and allows for the fragrance to appear as more than just sandalwood.

Juliette for Breakfast
Juliette for Breakfast

Perfume Trend Alert: Summer Sandalwoods

Before we round-up, can we take a quick moment to talk about sandalwood? This is by no means a new note (I say note because we can attribute sandalwood to a number of different materials in our perfumers, both natural and synthetic), but recently it has faced a big resurgence in perfumery as a top-billing note as opposed to a supporting act. The style of the sandalwood has changed too. We’re used to seeing it as a thick and creamy woody foundation in scents like Samsara by Guerlain, but more and more the lighter, nuttier and more solar aspects of the wood are being highlighted. There is now a big trend for sandalwoods for summer.

We can trace this back to Tom Ford’s Santal Blush, which launched in 2011 and stripped the heft from sandalwood, leaving the feel of bronzed skin dipped in coconut oil. But it’s in the last 12 months that the trend has really taken hold. Firstly we had the Javanol-centric Molecule 04 and Escentric 04 by Escentic Molecules, both of which aimed to showcase the “psychedelic freshness” (Perfumer Geza Schoen’s words, not mine) of that particular sandalwood material. Then there was Concrete by Comme des Garçons, which deconstructed the usually unctuous nature of the note, smoothing it out amongst a backdrop of spices and rose oxide. Now we have Sunny Side Up, perhaps the lightest and most sun-kissed sandalwood yet.

Wherever this trend goes next I’m totally here for it. It’s great to see such bold subversions of a classic style and with new materials, sandalwood is taking on a new life, one that is far from the plushness one is so used to and towards something more arid and hot. Keep it coming.

The development here is fairly linear. There are a few subtle shifts as time goes on but no real dramatic changes as the fragrance dries down. As Sunny Side Up develops, the prominence of Iso E Super becomes clear. The savoury and almost skin-like material smooths and bolsters the sandalwood, making it salty and flesh-like. It’s at this point that the visuals really match the fragrance and one’s mind turns to the image of warm bodies baking on the beach.

Sunny Side Up is quite a straightforward fragrance. It does not beat around the bush. To my nose it’s all about the interlinking nature of sandalwood and Iso E Super, both of which come together to create a light skin scent for summer. It’s fun and I like the fact that this scent tries to evoke the idea of warm, sun-kissed skin without the use of citrus or even prominent white flowers. The woodiness feels revitalising and comfortable, but at the same time it has this immensely warm, solar tone to it. Altogether, Sunny Side Up feels like a simple sandalwood scent for summer with a happy disposition – in fact, it’s hard not to wear it and feel good. It’s easily the best thing from Juliette in quite some time (although I enjoyed Gentlewoman, Mmmm…. and the Luxury Collection, I was never wowed – I am with Sunny Side Up) and if you want something for summer that’s not a tropical floral or a refreshing cologne, Sunny Side Up may just be what you’re after.

So, how do you like your eggs? I’ll take mine like Juliette – sass, sandalwood and all.


Sunny Side Up is available in 50ml (£85) and 100ml (£110) Eau de Parfum


Sample, notes and quotes via Juliette Has a Gun. Images are my own.