Ostrich feathers flying… Midnight Oud by Juliette Has A Gun The Perfumed Dandy’s Rose Scented Letter

Back in what she fancifully, but belligerently calls her boudoir, she unhooks her suspenders.

Throws the pair of blood splattered silks over the back of a San Francisco French chair, unwinds her stays, releases her bodice, allows her legs to escape from clouds of petticoats and then, only then, undoes her holster.

The colt is oily, smoky, sweaty.

Animal.

All despite the mother of pearl handle she has had put on it.

Under the unlocked door she hears the bar room brawl she has left behind downstairs begin to die.

She killed it with a shot straight through the ceiling and into the sky.

Then she fled the scene: left her spot empty on the stage.

She will sing while they swig whisky, play cards, ogle the girls and spit tobacco. But she will not exercise her lungs while they are throwing punches.

They protested. Howled for their princesses’ return. One pretender grabbed at her. She kicked him.

He spat out a tooth and some ‘Kensington Gore’.

That was her mother’s name for blood. Well, all unwanted bodily effusions.

‘Kensington Gore’. A street name back in London, so she thought, somewhere fancy, by where the Great Exhibition was.

She died on the boat. Her mother. No joke, you know, in steerage.

Next to the gun on her ‘chateau dresser’, another piece of City on the Bay faux Frenchery, is her most precious Gallic frippery, though this one is the real deal.

Perfume straight from Paris.

Squeezing the puffer between her hard working hands she elicits a whole atmosphere’s worth of aroma to surround herself with.

The roses she can remember, just, from a childhood evading coppers in Covent Garden. Her mother amongst the flower girls a woman with something else entirely to sell.

Above it is another odour that she does not know but recognises as expensive.

The salesman says its saffron, he might be lying. She doesn’t honestly care.

When she wears her fine French fragrance she feels as though she’s singing arias in an Opera House.

Truly, she knows its two dime melodies she murders for the drunken cowhands out for a handful of flesh, a skinful of liquor and fight that are her crowd.

If the wind changes she can even smell them above her expensive scent.

They are her tragedy and her making.

Oh, one knows, we are just so over oud.

And oud with rose? Yawn. Patchouli too? The eyes do droop.

Even a generous handful of saffron does little to awaken.

Beaver, musk and amber?

Okay, so there’s a flicker.

But, I’ve news…

Midnight Oud by Juliette Has A Gun is the Ethel Merman of Rose Oud Aromas.

This is an undisputed Broadway belter of a perfume that owes its roots to rougher days when scents had to practically scream to make themselves heard.

Now, to be fair that this is no high-pitched affair.

Quite the contrary, like the Wild-West-saloon-turned-Vaudeville star of latter years of which this is the undoubted olfactory equivalent the tone is low, smoky, if not rich then razor-blade-gargling husky.

At the opening we get the smallest burst of citrus, a good spoonful of saffron and immediately the first rose.

Then within seconds the oud arrives.

To my mind this is a smoked, slightly metallic and very animalic oud. It is improved no end by and adopts many characteristics of the notes around it. Both the aforementioned and a second sweeter Moroccan rose, a dark oily patchouli, definite glandular animalics and salt and pepper supplied by geranium and amber.

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At heart this is a rich, voluptuous, décolletage-on-display rose perfume wrapped up in a scaffolding oud and saffron bodice, the bloom bosom always desperate to escape that which holds it in.

I’ve heard it called a rock and roll scent. I’d say it was more music hall.

More ‘a little of what you fancy does you good’, or, to be frank, rather too much of what you thought you didn’t fancy is very good.

Chaotic, aggressive, camp and rather uncontrolled this is a rose off the rails!

Juliette May Well Have A Gun and she would seem to be as equally pleased to see girls and boys with friend in tow.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

11 Comments

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11 responses to “Ostrich feathers flying… Midnight Oud by Juliette Has A Gun The Perfumed Dandy’s Rose Scented Letter

  1. Lilybelle

    I’ve never tried anything by Juliette Has a Gun, and I’m probably the last person on earth who doesn’t know what oud smells like, but that was a fun review, Mr. Dandy, and I think I get the picture loud and clear. :)

    • Dearest Lily
      Oh yes ‘loud and clear’, those are very much words that apply to this perfume!
      As to oud, it almost represents a whole tradition in the immense fragrant universe o Middle East, so it’s always seemed a little muddled to me to dismiss the note so out of hand as some people do.
      Anyone with a bent toward the amberous, the leathery or animalic will undoubtedly enjoy oud in some of its incarnations.
      I could well see you taking a fancy to a few of these scents… especially the more floral!
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  2. Nena

    This sounds amazing! I’ve tried only one Juliette Has a Gun fragrance. It was Lady Vengeance, and there was something in the top notes that made me dislike it. From the way you describe it, this sounds like something I would like.

    • Dearest Nena
      It is quite an amazing scent.
      The start is very rough and ready: much more bar room brawl than ball room dancing. But that tension between dirty patchouli and oud and the fine rose is the energy that adds excitement and allure to this perfume.
      If you ever get the chance to try it… and let us know how you get on!
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  3. This….THIS hit me right between the eyes and sent be reeling backwards out the saloon doors and splat in the mud on Pacific Street. Lying here in the middle of the Barbary Coast I am agog and stunned. This is my favorite review by the Dandy hands down and bar none. And I will shoot dead any varmint who says otherwise! This was and in many ways still is San Francisco and then Angela Lansbury and Ethel Merman! Are we having an earthquake or is it just my heart? Bravo…Dandy… You won my heart and admiration forever. Now I have to smell this fancy Frenchy stuff pronto!

    • Dearest Monsieur Lanier
      *The Dandy Blushes Deeply*
      Aside from your most complimentary remarks, it is so good to know that at least something of this spirit still survives in San Francisco.
      And well spotted on Dame Angela Lansbury… now gracing our West End after an absence of decades, proving that every star returns to where it was born.
      Knowing you like oud, and, if I recall Dior’s Oud Ispahan, I have a feeling you might be taken with this one!
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  4. Another in a series of riveting tales, ripping yarns, you know what I mean! If I get over there in time, not only will we go on an aromatic tour, but we may just have to catch the Dame in Blithe Spirit — Madame Arcati — what could be better?

    • Dearest V
      Oh do, do, do come before the blessed Angela departs from the West End for what one assumes must be, forever.
      By coincidence, or maybe not, “A Taste of Honey” which Ms Lansbury starred in on its Broadway premiere is being revived by the National Theatre at the same.
      Oh and the perfume shopping.
      I even promise to make the rain stop *winks*.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  5. I’m not sure I can join Lanier in saying it was your best review (ducks and hides) but it’s definitely one of. And I don’t even like this perfume! Well… Maybe I loved the review bacause I do not like this perfume?

    • Dearest U
      No need to duck and hide.
      I’m not sure The Dandy has favourites among his scented letters… so feel free to like them more or less. Though this is a rather game bird.
      Yes, I think there is something to be said for the idea that it’s easier to like a review for a perfume that one is less personally attracted to. Especially if the reviewer has an awful habit of making persons out of perfumes. *Winks*.
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

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