Juliette Has a Gun Midnight Oud

Juliette Has a Gun Midnight Oud brings out my full “monkey, Neanderthal, man” perfume hoarding...uh...binging...uh...collecting tendencies. As long as the Perfume Wizards keep delighting the populace with incremental variations on my favorite perfume themes (rose + stuff and incense + stuff), I'm going to justify acquiring these variations as “supporting advancements in evolutionary science”.

Since you asked, yes, I do already own People of the Labyrinths A*Maze (jammy saffron rose oud), which I've been wearing a lot this blessedly cool LA summer, as well as Montale White Aoud (powdery saffron rose oud). And even minus any saffron, my Amouage Homage Attar surpasses “man” and ascends to...what? E.T.? George Clooney?

E.T.T.: Extra-Terrestrially Tasty

So -- back on planet Earth, it would seem that when it comes to rose ouds, I'm fully evolved. Yes, yes I am. Yes I...NO I'M NOT! Who slipped Juliette Has a Gun Midnight Oud into the “rose + stuff” pile when I wasn't looking?

Truthfully, I had noticed Midnight Oud around at the perfume sock hops for the last year. But I'd been too busy dancing with Frédéric Malle Une Rose and By Kilian Pure Oud to pay much attention to Midnight Oud's special slant on the rose-oud shuffle.

Quick oud sidebar: this resin is a fragrantly fungal byproduct of the agarwood tree, and adds a complex savoriness to any composition. When asked, “animal, vegetable, or mineral?” oud will eagerly shout out, “All three!”, because depending on its origin and how it's produced, the odor ranges from leathery to earthy to oceanic. Not to mention cheesy, oily, and Band-Aid-y.

In Midnight Oud, the oud smells leathery. Like brand-new leather, along with saffron and crisp, bright rose. Even with the rose, Midnight Oud isn't particularly “floral”. It's the kind of rose that's more fruit and wine than actual flower. A fruit and wine rose in a box, because there's an appealing sweet cardboard dryness to this perfume.

Midnight Oud's main players are supported by geranium, a “crisp rose” shape-shifter if ever there was, and a woody-amber accord that pipes up in the drydown. It's the drydown that's the letdown. The warm woody amber seems so...expected, so...so.

It's the same problem I have with the otherwise mind-meltingly beautiful By Kilian Rose Oud. The rose-oud tango in both perfumes starts out simultaneously deluxe and kinky, and then trails out in a hum of okayness. Don't launch me into outer space and then tell me you've run out of rocket fuel, mister!

But this is really just a woody amber quibble, because I'm a sucker for Midnight Oud's sophisticated boho stroll. This saffron-tanged leather rose is a triumph of evolutionary science!

Incidentally, Midnight Oud is a limited edition because originally, Juliette Has a Gun director Romano Ricci had only intended to create five fragrances for the line. The distributor tells me that Ricci didn't want Midnight Oud to be his final fragrance (after Citizen Queen, Lady Vengeance, Miss Charming and Calamity J), so he dubbed it a "limited edition". There will be another limited edition fragrance coming out this holiday season called Not a Perfume.

Those self-imposed rules seem a tad arbitrary, but Ro knows best, I suppose.

Midnight Oud is available from Amazon.com, at $135 for 100ml

Top photo: Joni Mitchell and Cher at a party on the Queen Mary held by Paul and Linda McCartney, 1975


  1. Cool photo.
    This is a limited edition. uh oh. I hope they don't mean that.
    I have an abusive relationship with this one. I look at it and think, "You're not so special, are you?" Then I spray some on. Hours later I wonder what the beautiful thing is I keep getting wafts of. It's not short-term memory..I have the problem of wearing a couple of other dabs of things here and there...and then I recall....it's Midnight Oud. It's the Oud-y-ness that's great here. Though the saffron/leather/rose sing a great back up...

  2. You really have to try Theo Fennell! I know I keep going on and on about it but it has rose + saffron + incense + lots of other stuff! Tis yumsters!

  3. cheryl - I know! Isn't that photo fab? What I wouldn't give to have been at that party!

    You need to change your abusive ways with Midnight Oud. It only wants to love you. Give it a proper home and let it make you smell beautiful.

    Colin, that's so weird, I was just reading up on Theo Fennell again last night. I REALLY need to try it out. And when I do, you can bet there'll be another monkey-Neanderthal-man post about it.

  4. I am a proto-amoeba in terms of my own oud evolution, and don't see it getting off the starting blocks any time soon. Montale Golden Oud was the nearest I came to almost getting on with the note. Like you, I do love rose + stuff and incense + stuff - just different stuff, I guess...Lady Vengeance is as tricky and dark as it goes for me!

    But I LOVED this post anyway! : - )

  5. My captcha there was "psiogisp". Why, that would make a fine word for an unevolved oud appreciator!

  6. I was given a sample of by Killian's Rose Oud last month but I'm still undecided. The rose is so rose-y on me, and the oud is somewhere at the other end desperately trying to make a connection. This might take some time.

  7. Spoken like a true psiogisp, flittersniffer!

    amber j, I'm a slave to By Kilian Rose Oud until the rose-y rose and oud-y oud phase out into an unrelenting woody amber. I have to pretend that bit's not happening when I wear it.

  8. I'm glad you posted a link to this review, I didn't see it before!

    Budgetary restraints have kept me from dipping my toes into the world of oud yet. What is the weirdest oud out there? No baby steps for me.


    1. Nora - to me, the weirdest oud is the Francis Kurkdjian one, because it smells...weird. But it doesn't delight me. My favorite oud perfume is By Kilian Pure Oud. And Le Labo Oud 27 is a good, full-on animal huff.

  9. Katie, since you have an incense + stuff/rose + stuff obsession, I was wondering if you had smelled Marni yet? I read an article on it in Vogue and they described it as dark, incense-y rose, but when I smelled it (granted, this was in one of those paper magazine perfume ads, so probably not the most reliable representation), I kept getting a weird cold camphor/hot cinnamon note with a little rose wrapped up inside.

    1. I'm curious to try Marni - haven't yet encountered it. Didn't know it was supposed to be an incensey rose - I'm in! But am already wilted at the camphor cinnamon report. Yuck!

  10. It feels like smelling a fever, if that makes sense. But it's not entirely unpleasant...