Juliette Has a Gun Citizen Queen

...like the month of March: comes in like a lion, goes out like a rosy little lamb.

Citizen Queen by Juliette Has a Gun doesn’t have the accessible, open-for-business feel of her easygoing sisters Lady Vengeance and Miss Charming. In contrast to Lady V’s caramel patchouli rose and Miss C’s fresh fruity rose, Citizen Q is a moody leather rose. In order to snuggle into the powdery warmth of this Queen’s rosebud, you have to fight your way past her chastity belt of aldehydes.

Familiar from classic perfumes like Chanel No. 5 and Estée Lauder White Linen (as well as newer ones like Clinique Happy Heart and Gwen Stefani Harajuku Lovers Baby), aldehydes are molecules possessing a sharp, almost metallic attack, providing soapy sparkle with a pain-before-pleasure severity. Despite my dainty nose-wrinkling at the ferocity of Citizen Queen’s opening aldehydic salvo, I keep feeling fascination for what lies beneath: an elegant rose with a kink for leather.


  1. I really cannot deal with aldehydes *shiver*

  2. I didn't feel the chemical warfare at all - but I do seem to be Ms Aldehyde in disguise - they agree with me.

    I'm wearing Citizen Queen today from my sample kit and the internal fume discussion throughout the morning has rather been whether I find it bland and a bit "so what?"

    I think I do like it, though. It's refined, a "grown up" scent - a classy broad, so to speak. Work appropriate. Serious enough but without the librarian-y feeling of some of the dry chypres I love.

    I'm wondering whether I could do with a little less amber. I like patchouli,....amber is another thing and the jury is still out. The amber almost ruined CQ for me.

    It's only now - 4-5 hours after application that I understand the comparison to Chanel no. 5 - there are similarities, but I didn't smell them at all in the beginning of its life span.

    CQ will probably not be my first Juliette Has a Gun purchase - but I have a feeling that it will linger in my mind and someday return to claim its position in my life. I think we would make a good pair. There is an aloofness in combination with a distinct womanly and pleasantly ungirly feel about CQ that I like.

  3. Junelady - aldehyde tolerance may be your superpower. Citizen Queen's leather rose puts me in mind of Etat Libre d'Orange Putain de Palaces' uh, panty rose. Thinking you may like that one, too....

  4. How wonderful to become aware of one's super power on an ordinary Thursday in May.

    Putain de Palaces....does Putain mean what I think it means....? Realizing that I'm expecting you to read my mind....well, do you?

    Will google that putain at once.

    The last breaths of CQ last night were really pleasurable - slightly decadent and very soft. Yum yum.

    Today I'm testing Lady Vengeance. Needless to say, but I will anyway, that it's gorgeous! However, one complaint: What is it with that initial nail polish note? What's the origin of that - and why, oh why?

    It does vanish (the varnish vanishes) fairly quickly, but I could do without it altogether. That said, when it's gone, there's beauty.

    The nail polish is my biggest objection to YSL Elle - in her case it doesn't seem to go away completely.

    It's a note I don't comprehend, but in time, perhaps. Meanwhile, it sticks to the roof of my mouth like (or "as"? - I can't seem to learn) a bitter film.

  5. Bois de Jasmin writes this about Putain de Palace:

    "Nevertheless, contrary to what its name might imply, Putain des Palaces does not showcase its sensuality in a vulgar and ready manner. It tempts one without losing its elegant restraint"

    See, Katie, this is EXACTLY what I like about Citizen Queen: Vulgarity kept in check.

    You are a genius!

  6. Well, "genius" is over-stating it, but perhaps my superpower is connecting the dots between perfumes. You might take a peek at my Putain de Palaces review on this blog while you're at it - even though it has less "elegant restraint" than Bois de Jasmin's.

    I just spritzed a bit of Lady V to see if I caught the nail polish, but fortunately for my enjoyment of that lovely perfume, I don't. Maybe Danish nail polish smells better than American ;-)

  7. No nail polish? Hmmmm. I wonder what it is that I'm smelling that I identify as nail polish...

    What is your perception of the top notes of Lady V and Elle? Are there any similarities at all at that stage to you?

    I have Miracle Forever - and it has that same sticky, bitter film thing going on.

    Lady V is pure pleasure at this stage, 9 hours after the last application - I wish it would smell like that from start to finish.

    I find both CQ and LV a bit unstable - they seem to come and go throughout the day compared to other perfumes that make their presence felt more evenly. Must be their flirty come-hither, now you see me, now you don't personalities.

    Gilbert and Turin are on my summer reading list. Another case of pleasure and personal betterment in one.

  8. Junelady, I'm in the middle of checking out a bunch of Histoires de Parfums, so my skin and nose is all booked up. Don't recall nailpolish in Elle - I'd have to revisit. When I think "nailpolish" in perfume, YSL Parisienne comes to mind. Lady V just comes on caramel-buttery to me.

  9. Sounds like enjoyable work - have fun :-)

    I remember disliking Paris, so there's something there. I've always blamed the violets but now I'm not so sure. Paris will be revisited.

    My nose job tomorrow will be Miss Charming.
    Working my way through the 4 Juliette Has a Gun samples is so much fun - not knowing what I'm gonna smell that day. Calamity J. will be my Saturday suprise.

    Parfums de Rosine also sells sample kits - hurrah for variation, surprises and new experiences!

  10. Be sure it's Parisienne, not Paris you're sniffing for the nail polish. Don't want to give Paris a bad rap.

  11. I sniffed Parisienne some weeks ago - bleh.
    Young lady doesn't seem to know whether or not she wants to be a rose fragrance. Given the choice between the two, I'd rather have Sheer Stella 2010 for a light take on something summery and rosy-ish. Even if it means schlepping a huge, artsy summer scent bottle everywhere I go.

    As for Paris, all bets are off these days with my new rose fancy.

  12. I tried Paris Edt (no EdP tester available) on skin yesterday - and apart from an initial sour note that quicly vanished I loved it. I wouldn't mind a deeper Paris, but that's maybe were the EdP comes in?

    But something strange happened as well: the scent on my arm was pure subterranean homesick blues. Subterranean because I cannot for the life of me remember who used to wear this in my past - but it brings to surface feelings of melancholy that took me by surprise.

    So, I will be debating with myself whether I should blues it out and reclaim Paris as a here-and-now fragrance or throw in the towel and find another soft rose scent to love.

    Yesterday I wore Paris Edt on one arm and Stella on the other and the difference is interesting: Paris has none (or very little) of the salty muskiness of Stella which I'm learning to like. In somparison, Paris is, to me, the more innccent rose and Stella the more grown-up been-around-the-block flower. Perhaps there's room for a different rose for different occasions....

  13. Junelady, I went rose koo-koo about a year and a half ago, and not only is there a rose for different occasions, there's a rose for every hour.

    Have you tried JHG Miss Charming yet?

  14. I'm agreeing more and more with you on that every day. I sniffed the edp version of Paris yesterday and liked that, too, deeper and fuller (in a slightly boudoir-like manner) than the edt - I could see myself owning both at some point. Yeah.

    I've only tested Miss Charming once, and I may have been too stingy on application (tiny sample) because it seemed to evaporate very quickly, but what I did get before lift off was very pretty (in a good way), a very wearable rose that would please me as well as be office friendly at the same time. I liked the fruity aspect of it. I hate to admit to liking fruity notes, but I guess I should be mature enough to own up to my various preferences (still about flushed about liking Miss Dior Cherie so much). So, here I go.

    I think the fruity notes present the rose in Miss Charming very well. They seem to carry her forward and present her to the audience without taking over the stage on her.

    I will sacrifice the remainder of Miss Charming one of these days to get a better impressiion of this little miss. I think the name is so right for this fragrance!

    I also had the chance to smell Stella Absolute today and it was just gorgeous! I might prefer it over Stella once tested on skin. Especially, if SA proves a little less salty. I'm still fighting with that one, eventhough I did get a compliment when wearing Stella the other day from someone who wears very light fragrances herself, so it can't be too overpowering for others, I suppose. As usual, it's all in our own heads.

  15. Junelady, figuring out where you stand on all these wonderful perfumes is a game of constantly changing perspectives. It is truly chasing a cloud to pin it down.

  16. I blame it on my education in the humanities way back in the previous century - it messes with one's brain.

    Also, If I believed in astrology - which I don't - I would say that a photo of me would make an excellent illustration in the chapter dedicated to Gemini: Mercury and air.

    Seat belts and anti-motion sickness medication are advised.

    However, one thing will remain stable: Aldehydes. As in Chanel no. 5 aldehydes.

  17. P.S.

    I'm quite convinced that my first Juliette purchase will be Citizen Queen, if any of them

    I have (odd) acetone reservations about Lady V in the top and middle notes and I will probably concentrate on the stellas for the rosy rose scents for now.

    There are so many beautiful scents out there and each category appeals to different parts of me. And, apparently, there are a lot of parts to appeal to ;-)

  18. I love this perfme very much, I like how the rose is wrapped by the leather. can you tell me what perfumes smell leathery rose. i also like the Hermès Kelly Calèche, but i am confused between the edt and the edp. which one you prefer.

  19. Anna, offhand I don't know the difference between Calèche edt and edp - there's a thread on Basenotes where someone finds more leather in the opening of the edp than the edt. Go with the one that smells the best on your skin.

    Some leather roses I love are:
    Amouage Homage Attar
    Juliette Has a Gun Midnight Rose
    By Kilian Rose Oud
    Keiko Mecheri Attar de Roses

  20. Thank you very much. I will smell them soon as possible.