7 posts tagged "Romano Ricci"
“My great-grandmother was a fashion woman more than a fragrance one. My grandfather was the opposite—he was a fragrance guy…We had this strange relationship—he wasn’t particularly kind to the young people…He was taking the time to try to explain to me what he was intending to do. And me, I was listening—I was a very turbulent guy. I ignored [these lessons] for a long time, but I have to admit, they are the roots of what I am today.”
Following in his grandfather’s (shown here) footsteps, Ricci created his own fragrance label, Juliette Has a Gun, with an eau dubbed Anyway being the latest addition to the line. When asked about his memories of scent, surprisingly, L’Air du Temps, one of the greatest olfactory hits of all time, isn’t high on his list. His grandfather wore Signoricci cologne. “It was a flop, but it was him,” explained Ricci. “The whole house was full of it. [Signoricci] was a citrusy fragrance: petitgrain, neroli, bergamot—quite masculine.” Ricci also revealed that there are many unknown blends that never made it to market, but he has no plans to make them his own. He said, “My intention is about finding out who I am—that’s a bigger challenge.”
The latest eau from Juliette Has a Gun, Anyway, has one of the greatest—and most random—ad visuals I’ve ever seen. “I was pissed off about the way that [fragrance] campaigns are built, always this perfection and beauty, all retouched, with the Tour Eiffel in the background—it’s so boring,” said the brand’s founder and perfumer, Romano Ricci (who also happens to be the great-grandson of the late Nina Ricci). So he turned the industry on its head by making an ostrich and a bulldog the faces of his latest creation in lieu of a half-naked model or celebrity. As to why he chose these particular animals: “Why not?” was his response.
The name is equally ambiguous, and no longer reflects a portrait of a specific woman, like the scents that came before it. “To me, it means don’t take yourself, or perfumery, too seriously,” Ricci explained. The blend itself—composed of fifteen ingredients, including jasmine absolute, musk, and essence of neroli and green lime—is just as refreshing. “It’s comfortable, like a cashmere sweater, not particularly seductive or sophisticated,” he added. And what woman wouldn’t want to cozy up all winter in that?
For the bulk of Romano Ricci’s olfactory career, the Juliette Has a Gun creator has focused on a single protagonist—an adaptation of Shakespeare’s great heroine infused with a whole lot of attitude. And so it went with scents like Miss Charming, Lady Vengeance, Citizen Queen, and his most recent release, Romantina, all of which honed in on different adaptations of the same rebellious-feminine theme with fragrance compositions that centered around antique rose notes. With his latest perfume, however, Ricci sought to create something that embodied the reaction of other people to his girl, rather than the girl herself. “Mad Madame enjoys being looked at and igniting conversations,” Ricci explains of the green chypre scent of the same name that boasts notes of black currant bud absolute; a strong dose of the synthetic ambroxan, which makes itself known in the dry-down; hints of soft, balancing peony; and earthy, sensual additions of patchouli and tuberose absolute. Its star ingredient is a rose heart, as you may have guessed, although this rose is anything but predictable. The green rose oxide, which has a metallic quality to it, imparts a cutting freshness to prevent this uncharacteristically red bottle from ever becoming too sweet—which makes sense for Ricci’s enduring character profile as well. “For this new episode I wanted to pay tribute to a woman slightly more mature than the previous episodes, but by no means better behaved.”
Two years ago, Romano Ricci took a slight detour from his original Juliette Has a Gun narrative with Not a Perfume, a singular ode to the synthetic, woodsy/musky ingredient Ambroxan. But up until that point, the niche fragrance line created by Nina Ricci’s grandson in 2006 had predominantly relied on the familiarity of antique rose essences spiked and spliced with a number of uniquely complementary notes: His debut offerings created by legendary perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, Lady Vengeance and Miss Charming, were rounded out with patchouli and vanilla, and wild berries respectively; Citizen Queen featured additional hints of leather, iris, and immortal flowers; and Midnight Oud showcased touches of oud, geranium, and saffron layered with its heart of Moroccan rose. With his latest release, Ricci is returning to his floral roots in a major way. “There’s a hint of frivolity,” he says of Romantina, a rose eau that’s inspired by a modern love story set in Rome and is blended heavily with a bouquet of white flowers—jasmine, orange blossom, and iris, specifically. A base of patchouli and warm vanilla ensure that the scent doesn’t err too far on the ultra feminine side and that it retains a certain depth, which is uncommon of most unabashedly floral flacons—not to mention Ricci’s perfume protagonist; his Juliette has never been much of the waiting-on-the-balcony type.
The house that Nina Ricci built has a knack for churning out desirable creations. Take Peter Copping’s Spring collection for the brand that just wrapped in Paris a few hours ago: There were more girly and gorgeous, gotta-have-it pieces in the show than we can recall here (more on that in a bit). It seems the apple hasn’t fallen too far from the tree. Much like his grandmother, fragrance connoisseur Romano Ricci has become similarly adept at releasing lust objects—and his new perfume venture is no exception. The latest scent in his Juliette Has a Gun range culls inspiration from his original, best-selling, rose patchouli and vanilla offering, Lady Vengeance. But as its name suggests, Vengeance Extreme is darker, deeper, and more robust than its predecessor. A massive overdose of the same ingredients in higher concentrations yields a truly sensual floral chypre that wears with a luscious, intoxicating feel on the skin. Ricci himself has always considered perfume the ultimate weapon of seduction, and in that regard, this eau should be considered armed and dangerous.
About $135 for 100 ml, www.colette.fr.