Scentbird, Inc., New York, NY 10001
In keeping with their tongue-in-cheek, and daringly sarcastic style, Juliette Has a Gun presents us with a traditionally male eau de cologne that a woman can call her own.
Gentlewoman starts out as one would expect a classic eau de cologne to begin, namely with a crisply acidic blend of neroli, bitter orange, petitgrain and bergamot. The neroli and petitgrain hit the high notes, while the bitter orange and bergamot do their pithy best to harmonize. So far, so good, but so what?
The kicker lies in the heart, when an absurdly soapy, super-squeaky clean lavender note muscles its way up to go nose-to-nose with the citrus notes. This is clearly perfumery teasing its own traditions, as the clean, soapy edge of lavender is jacked up to OCD-levels in this scent, without disrespectfully tipping it over to one-note satire.
Lavender has long been the biggest staple in men’s colognes, for its fresh, clean and sophisticated profile, and Gentlewoman wants to make sure that you’re aware of this fact. And yet, tucked deep inside the soap suds is also a delightful almond note, that cuts the astringency enough so you can appreciate why lavender is a mainstay for men’s cologne in the first place.
The drydown is a combination of musk and wood accords that echoes both the soapy edge of the lavender and the rind zest from the bergamot in the top notes, but it’s really the heart of this fragrance that speaks the loudest.
If you’ve never worn a traditional eau de cologne, starting with Gentlewoman is a perfectly appropriate choice, despite all the in-jokes embedded in its composition. It’s clean, bright, fun and polished and very versatile with your clothing wardrobe. And perhaps the biggest joke of all is that a man can wear this every bit as easily as a woman can, so perhaps Gentlewoman is actually a woman’s eau de cologne made for a man? It makes no difference in the end. A perfume this light and crisp should be worn by as many people as possible.