Romano Ricci of ‘Juliette Has A Gun’ launches ‘Not A Perfume’.

by Katie on October 11, 2010

There’s a real old fashioned charm about Romano Ricci. 

The cool fedora tops off his hip French style, the laid back approach, the charm, the wit, the humour and the nonchalance.  This is a man who knows women and boy can he use it.  Layer on top of this, his passion and dedication to building an unconventional fragrance house, ‘Juliette Has A Gun’, that doesn’t so much as rip up the rule books but re-writes them for the 21st Century mademoiselle about town, and you can see that this is a man on a mission.  He’s paving his own path and it ain’t no yellow brick road.

I met Romano Ricci in the white, pinky, flesh toned Sanderson Hotel private apartment on a sun filled, Friday afternoon.  I was one the last sorties of journos to arrive and it allowed me and a fellow scriber to kick back, relax and ask him anything.  ‘It’s a bit too pink tinged but it’s still white enough…” he commented on the large, airy, curtains billowing apartment.  He was bang on the money.  The setting was right for the ‘Not a Pefume’ new fragrance launch and its spacious, unadorned feel.  ‘Not A Perfume’ is a vision of whiteness, modernity and softness but there’s no hint of pink femininity in there.  It’s pure with a punch.   The bride stripped bare.  Just like Juliette and her Gun.

As the great grandson of Nina Ricci and grandson of Robert Ricci who created ‘L’Air du Temps’, great fragrance is in his blood. It’s his passion. Along with car racing, night life and laughing…it appears. Good man.  A sense of humour is important in understanding women and their different facets.  But, Romano’s great joy is playing with fragrance and looking at the haloed halls of perfumery from a new angle.

For his new fragrance, ‘Not A Perfume’, why layer notes when you can take one pure back note, shine a light on it and make it the star, ‘X Factor’ style?  Once it’s in the spotlight, this little beauty just keeps giving and giving.  The volume is ramped up and it’s its time to shine.  This is an unconventional attention seeker. 

Composed from Cetalox or Ambrox, the attention seeker is the main ingredient used, Ambroxan.  It is a molecular creation that was developed by Firmenich in the 1950’s to attempt to replicate Ambergris and its ground white crystals (which incidently, looks suspiciously like a class A hawl).  This is normally the back note, the backdrop, say for a grander heart note but, being a maverick, Romano Ricci has decided to turn things on their head and use the back note player as the ‘leading lady’.  She’s a steely little diva this one.

‘Not a Perfume’ is instantaneous.  Subtle, at first, it feels like viewing fluffy, white gossamer clouds through a plane window.  Whiteness envelops you as the bright sun glimmers with warmth, which this fragrance has in heaps.  There’s also a sharp metal pin prick like a cold shaft of light opening up the scent as it drifts on and over you.   The most noticeable factor is that while some fragrances die down after a while, this fragrance mutates and becomes stronger and stronger as you become more accustomed to its uniqueness.   The musky backdrop is wrapped in white silk, trailing behind you.  A taste of modern heaven.  If Juliette has a Gun, this time she’s put it under her pillow and is softening it’s deadly outcome.  It’s a discreet fragrance which is both distinct and comfortable.  For a new age that is ditching fussiness.

I asked Romano about the parallels between car racing (he races in Le Mans and Le Grand Prix of Endurance) and perfumery.  ‘It’s about balance…,” he says, “To know exactly when to brake or to carry on, we are talking centimetres not feet.  Just as we do, when we use .05 % of a substance in fragrance.  To know when to bring up or down each ingredient to make it perfect.  It’s a fine balance and it really is instinctive.”

The great beauty about the ‘Juliette Has A Gun’ range of fragrances is that they deliver difference.  It’s a whole new approach to perfumery which, while respecting the traditions of the past, knows how to use them for devastating effect for the future.  You just have to know which facet of Juliette you are to choose your weapon.  It’s sure fun finding out.  Mr Ricci, keep them coming.

Juliette Has A Gun’s ‘Not A Perfume’ is available from Selfridges or directly from the Juliette Has a Gun website:  OR
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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Get Lippie October 11, 2010 at 12:10 pm
Katie Chutzpah October 12, 2010 at 6:39 am

Thanks Louise. I was well aware of the fact that a one note fragrance had been done before (Escentric Molecules etc), however, the fragrance is lovely and, as the majority of perfumes and beauty products are 90% marketing and huge budgets are normally spent on this by the big houses no matter how good or bad the product (ie As that’s what I do for a living), it’s rather good to see a low key approach to a launch. Good Luck to Romano. Charming man.


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