Leather Rose – Review: Juliette Has A Gun Citizen Queen

Like Guerlain Insolence, Citizen Queen got its moment in the limelight when I was on the hunt for a rose violet perfume after unintentional exposure (resulting in a small obsession) to Lipstick Rose by Frederic Malle.

On the first sniff, it is clear that we are approaching the scene from an entirely different angle here.

But first things first: Juliette Has A Gun is a bit too whimsical for me, although the packaging is lovely, I do not care for the brand image very much. I had success with my very own Marlboro Man though – Calamity J. On the other hand a sniff of the new Vengeance Extreme sent me into the shower faster than you can say patchouli.

So how does Citizen Queen fare?

Citizen Queen was created by Francis Kurkdjian or Romano Ricci (sources vary on that information) in 2008 and includes notes of bergamot, aldehydes, leather, Bulgarian rose, iris, amber, immortelle and labdanum.

The first blast is very animalic, brutish and coarse. An aldehydic, leathery, skanky whiff that is not my favorite thing in the world to tell the truth.

What has this got to do with rose and violet? is the inevitable question here. But patience is of the essence, after a short time violet and iris come to the rescue and soften the leathery rose enough to make the whole thing almost pretty, and decidedly retro in feel. The entire perfume has a vintage vibe to it that I quite enjoy, even if more in theory than in practice.

Citizen Queen dries down to a powdery leather with floral remnants.

Longevity is good, about six hours and sillage is above average as well.

Citizen Queen has not filled its intended purpose of being a Lipstick Rose stand-in, it is leather purse rather than lipstick, but it is a very good perfume that smells naughty and nice.

Did you know that you can order a set of seven samples from the Juliette Has A Gun website? The cost of 6,90€ is refundable if you buy a perfume later. There is free shipping throughout Europe too. I like that kind of service.

Image source: duftarchiv.de

About Olfactoria

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49 Responses to Leather Rose – Review: Juliette Has A Gun Citizen Queen

  1. The opening of this one is really screechy so I haven’t had the patience to wait it out for the dry down. I shall have to now!

    Like you, I really liked Calamity J, it’s quite old-school for a modern perfume and if I were to splash the cash on any of the Juliette Has a Gun scents, Calamity J would be the one.

    That sample set is very tempting…

  2. Alexandra says:

    I have to admit to a soft spot for the JHAG line, and the bottles are just so pleasing (and feel good too- is that odd??). Midnight Oud is my ‘training wheels’ oudh, and is gentle enough to be wafted around the office. I have tried Citizen Queen but it tends to get pushed aside by the rosy loveliness of Lady Vengeance whenever I have a chance to try them out, must revisit…

    • Olfactoria says:

      The bottles are nice, and the boxes nicer still.
      Citizen Queen needs time to show her loveliness, I wouldn’t have paid attention to it either in a store.

      • Alexandra says:

        P.s. I found a half used tester of Guerlain’s Ode a la Vanille at a car boot sale at the weekend. It took all my acting skills (which are non existent) not to squeal with disbelief and excitement!!! Anyway it was a bargain and I am so glad I found it – what a scent… Warm and cuddle-y while still being proud and elegant. This is perfume love and it is all down to your wonderful review – THANK YOU!

  3. Tara says:

    I like the idea of a leathery rose but I’m very bad with animalic/skanky so I might not be able to make it through that opening. I still look forward to trying it though and will have to see how I get on. I was eagerly anticipating your thoughts on this one, so thanks.

  4. raab says:

    I love Lady Vengeance, it’s a scent to go, very easy to wear, a dark rose-patchouli blend….I had smelt citizen queen and, is it the packaging, my love for Lady Vengeance or a move without control, I bought too a FB of Citizen Queen.
    It was a big mistake because I’ve never got the drydown, I always remain on the animalistic side, and a very powerful leather. Terrible. leather I love is the one of Cuir Beluga or Bottega Veneta……
    And more than the leather are the aldéhydes, I don’t like them or they have to be very subtle, here they are not subtle, it’s a violent perfume.
    I’ve still my bottle but I won’t open it anymore or I’ll run away under the shower and open all the windows……

    • Olfactoria says:

      Oh that is too bad. But such impulse buys happen to all of us now and then. 😦
      I prefer the leather note in Cuir Beluga or BV as well, we are soft suede types, Florence!

  5. lady jane grey says:

    I don’t like the name (I don’t exactly know why I associate it with Juliette Lewis – might be due to the “Natural Borne Killers”), I don’t like the bottles – I’ve never tried any JHG juice. And after this review I won’t try this one either. Now everybody on www knows, how superficial I am !
    (I’m so ill, dear B, I might have some of your bugs from last week… 😦 )

    • Olfactoria says:

      I don’t think you miss out terribly, although Calamity J is nice, I’ll make you a sample, so you are no longer a JHAG virgin. 😀

      So sorry to hear you are so sick! There is definitely a bad virus going around Vienna. The good news is, it is relatively short lived. I hope you’ll be much better soon. xoxo

  6. GeM says:

    (just tying how fast I can say it)


    I don’t know why I’m picturing this very similar to Voleur de Roses by L’Artisan. Am I on the right way…?

    • Olfactoria says:

      It is the same ballpark, but on the other hand Lady Vengeance is closer to Voleur de Roses than Citizen Queen. Here the leather is more prominent and there is not so much patchouli.

      • GeM says:

        Right. I always linked Voleur de Roses and Lady Vengeance.
        But for some reason I’m finding every Juliette Has a Gun slightly similar…. Now I’m wondering about the one named ‘Romantina’, which I think is their newest release and, as far as I know (from reading listed ingredients) it seems to share things with Lady Vengeance & Co. again… have you already tried that??

        • Olfactoria says:

          No, I haven’t. If I come across it I will sniff it, but it doesn’t interest me very much, so I won’t actively seek ot out. I agree, all JHAG’s smell alike somehow, apart from Calamity J that is.

          • GeM says:

            You’ll do well!… It sounds unoriginal and very forgettable, there are so many interesting perfumes out there… I think since the ‘Narciso Rodriguez For Her’ great success many things smell alike somehow….
            I have to give Calamity J a try, is the one I can’t remember if I’ve ever smelled it properly.

  7. andrea says:

    Hmmmm, me and screechy are not a good combination but I am tempted to order the samples from their website, (free delivery and money off your full bottle purchase is a brilliant idea, realising that people want to try the perfume before they buy but not charging the earth for it is surely a step in the right direction.)
    I too fell hook line and sinker for Lipstick Rose (did not see that coming and only got the sample as I liked the name, yes that’s me, Miss Fickle) I went on Les Senteurs to check the price and found they are doing small voyage sets of it (which works out at the same price as a mainstream perfume) so I will be purchasing that soon, (yay, 2 on my FB wish list.)

  8. deeHowe says:

    I have Citizen Queen in the oil formulation (purse bullet!), and it’s quite a different beast! It’s much smoother, no animal notes to be found, and the aldehydes are toned waaaaaay down. It’s just right 🙂

    I don’t know if they offer samples of the oil versions, but for me CQ wasn’t a hit as an EDP, but a major hit as oil!

    Like you B., Calamity J is my favorite from the line! So pretty, so cozy…

  9. civava says:

    Nice service about samples though…don’t know the perfume. Again ;-). I have a sample of Not a Perfume which I don’t like and I tested one at Esxence more but I can’t remember which. There were too many perfumes and my nose was killed by all the scents.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Not A Perfume is exactly that – not a perfume! I’m wearing Calamity J tonight ( all those comments got me in the mood for it) and it is truly lovely. I really recommend trying this one.

  10. malsnano86 says:

    Now, I LIKE that aldehydic honk at the beginning… but yes, I like CQ better as it dries down. It is fairly animalic, but in a way that I find sexy rather than full-out raunchy. If I put it on, I can pretty much guarantee that my husband will grab me and send the kids to bed early, if ya know what I mean…

    I am fairly sensitive to patchouli but it doesn’t bother me here. I thought Lady Vengeance was a lot more patch-heavy. Hm.

    Dee’s right, the oil is softer and lacks the aldehydes; I still like the edp better.

    • Olfactoria says:

      You would like the beginning of course, Ms Aldeho. 🙂

      I don’t think there is a lot of Patchouli in here either, I was referring to Vengeance Extreme earlier, maybe you misread that.

  11. Caro says:

    If I’m not mistaken, the JHAG people only acknowledge Miss Charming and Lady Vengeance to have been composed by Kurkdjian. However the drydown of Citizen Queen -after a few hours- is extraordinarily similar to that of Narciso Rodriguez For Her.

  12. Undina says:

    I tried Citizen Queen two times and was indecisive about it. I do not care much for the opening but I liked how it developed on my skin… Most likely, the sample of it will be the biggest size of that perfume in my collection.
    You always find such fitting images! I like this leather rose.

  13. Vanessa says:

    I tried this in the summer and remember the powder and patch and retro rose / violet accord, but I can’t recall getting too much skank or leather. Maybe I am so accustomed to L’Agent now (where it took me a while to spot the leather as well!), that Citizen Queen seems tame by comparison. It felt like a powdery, somewhat darker version of Lipstick Rose to be honest, but time has dimmed the memory. And unless it is blindingly obvious as in Cuir de Lancome, I think I sometimes interpret leather as something else – that is the problem – but in this case, I don’t even remember what that other thing might be!

  14. Warum says:

    Will need to retest my sample. At first I thought it was AWFUL! But I do love all these things — aldehydes, leather, rose… well, maybe not violet, but I love Lipstick Rose 🙂

  15. catcardamom says:

    I was rather surprised at how much I liked this range. I was coming out of our local Harvey Nicks and got collared by a rather skinny-looking waif – bless her – who pressed me to take a sample of Citizen Queen. I GROANED inwardly a little and thought, Lord, what an awful gangster-sounding name, and expected, frankly the perfume to be just a little tacky, but it was marvellous! Beautiful. Simple, elegant and lasted all day. It recalls the White Musk – the Body Shop on e- for me. Very nice.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I agree, Catcardamom! The JHAG range is surprising, I don’t care much for the name and the whole presentation of the range, but some perfumes are great! I particularly love Lady Vengeance and Calamity J.

  16. Bella says:

    I know this is an old post, but I found it while googling “Vengeance Extreme”, which I suprisingly fell in love with at a “need a new fragrance and need it NOW” moment. This fragrance gets a terrible rap, and I feel obliged to defend the lady ;). Maybe I am just lucky, but on me it is a perfect rose-with-an-edge. I have Lady Vengeance, and while others compliment me when I wear it, I don’t go around sniffing myself and exploding with joy (sorry, I’m honest LOL) all day, which I do with Vengeance extreme.

    After reading all the Vengeance Extreme disses I was reluctant to wear it out in public, but I shall do so tomorrow, with confidence and aplomb. Something on my skin clearly makes all but the subtlest whiff of patchouli go away. Lucky me :).

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hi Bella,

      I’m glad Vengeance Extreme works so well for you. Don’t be discouraged by unfavorable reviews or mentions at all, perfume is so highly individual and everybody likes what they like.
      Wear it with abandon! A perfume that makes you jump with joy is certainly the right one for you! 🙂

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