A few months ago, Romano Ricci popped over to London to talk about his fragrance line, Juliette Has A Gun, and his latest release, Romantina, which was reviewed on Persolaise.com last week. Here are his responses to some of the topics that were raised during my chat with him.
On the concept behind his brand's name:
On the reasons for making Not A Perfume (the second 'fragrance' to contain only ambroxan and nothing else):
It is a very practical ingredient. Since it’s 100% synthetic, it has no allergens. I like the idea of this innocent and harmless smell. It’s called Not A Perfume because it’s not a composition. I like the extreme simplicity of it. Everybody thought I was crazy to launch it.
On his latest release, Romantina:
It’s quite light. Quite easy to wear. It’s the first flowery fragrance for Juliette. It’s a mix of jasmine, tuberose. A little bit of lily of the valley. But if you look, there’s also this big, musky heart. It’s just tinted by this flowery accord. It’s quite a simple formula. It has 37 ingredients. There is a hint of patchouli and vetivert, which makes the dissonance. It gives it a dark side.
On the creative process:
It’s complicated to explain. I do 80% of the formula and then I get some advice. Sometimes from Francis [Kurkdjian]. Sometimes from other perfumers. Basically, I rent a laboratory. I build my fragrance. And then, when I get problems, I get advice. People help me. Building a fragrance is quite complicated. It requires a lot of experience. First you have to memorise at least 200 or 300 ingredients. You also have to know what effect they’ll have when you put them in a fragrance. This is what is difficult to determine without experience. So, no, I do not pretend I’m a perfumer, because I’m not able to make the fragrance 100% myself. But still, I know exactly where I want to go when I start a fragrance. I choose the ingredients. I know how the perfume is going to smell. Citizen Queen was the first fragrance I developed alone. It took 18 months and 140 ingredients. I really struggled a lot.