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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Review: Juliette Has a Gun Discovery Kit (New to Sephora)

Juliette Has a Gun Discovery Kit
(retail: $15 at Sephora; 8 sample vials of eau de parfum, 1.7 ml. per vial)

When I saw this newly-listed discovery kit on the Sephora website recently, I pretty much stopped everything and ordered it (darn you, Sephora Flash!). I am absolutely obsessed with the niche perfume house Juliette Has a Gun, but their smallest bottles of fragrance are $100 each (sigh...). So to have all of these lovely vials in one little $15 sampler was just too good to pass up. And since this set is so new at Sephora (there are currently zero reviews on the website as of the time of this post), I thought you might like to know my thoughts about it.

NOTE:  This review is NOT going to cover each fragrance (it would take me forever to test/review each of these fragrances and give each one the respect it deserves). Instead, I'm going to focus on the presentation of the set, the value, and whether I think this would be a nice one for you to consider if you're new to Juliette Has a Gun, or niche perfumes in general.

First, a little background on Juliette Has a Gun.

Created by Romano Ricci (whose great grandmother was designer Nina Ricci and whose grandfather was the creator of the iconic fragrance L'Air du Temps), Juliette Has a Gun has been around since 2006. The name of this niche perfume house was inspired by "the innocent Juliet of Shakespeare...transposed to the 21st century with a gun... Metaphor for the perfume, weapon of seduction, or simple accessory of bluff..."

This set contains eight spray vials of eau de parfum (1.7 ml. per vial). That adds up to 13.6 ml. total, which converts to about 0.47 fl oz. A 1.7 oz. bottle of most JHaG fragrances retails for $100. It would take you a little under four of these discovery kits to equal the amount of a $100 bottle of JHaG fragrance, so let's just round things up and say you're basically getting about $25 worth of product in this $15 set, give or take a few dollars. Also keep in mind that you're getting to sample eight fragrances here, at your leisure, which is always nice. 

The entire package comes wrapped in clear plastic (sorry--I was so anxious to try these fragrances that I basically ripped that off the moment my shipment arrived). After you remove the plastic, there is a sleeve that you slide open to reveal the inner box. The sleeve is made of posterboard, and it has a matte, almost rubberized coating to it. It does not feel cheap or flimsy in the hand.

From there, you'll see the box, which is made of sturdy cardboard and also has a matte, rubberized feel to it, and a booklet containing information about each fragrance.

Not a Perfume, Anyway, Gentlewoman, Miss Charming

Romantina, Mad Madame, Lady Vengeance, Midnight Oud

The vials are presented in black foam. Each vial fits very snugly within the foam--you can turn the entire box upside-down and the vials will not move.

Each spray vial contains 1.7 ml. of fragrance. I put one of the vials next to a freebie Acqua di Gioa I received in a past Sephora order, just for perspective. I also marked the fill levels (in red above) so you can see that these vials are filled to the top (unlike most freebie vials you receive these days that are often only halfway filled--that vial of Acqua di Gioa is brand new, never used, and only half-filled). 

I also want to point out that when you remove a vial, you can see that there's a note printed under each vial revealing the name of the fragrance and the main notes in that particular fragrance. So handy, and a nice touch.

Overall, this sampler kit exceeded my expectations. I think the presentation is simple yet elegant, and each vial truly feels like a present. If you were considering giving this to a fragrance lover as a gift for the holidays, it doesn't feel like an after-thought stocking stuffer (that you only paid $15 for), if that makes sense. Granted, it doesn't feel like a significant gift, but it is something I would give as a hostess gift, or in additional to another small gift, for sure. If someone were to give this to me for Christmas, I would be thrilled.

As I stated at the top of this review, I'm not reviewing the actual fragrances in this set, because it would take a lot of time for me to test all eight fragrances and give them the type of reviews they deserve. But I will tell you that I have had a chance to wear each fragrance over the past few days (I actually have been spraying a few drops on the tops of each my hands and both wrists, so that I can wear four fragrances at a time!). Based on these tiny little tests of each fragrance, I can tell you that there is not one fragrance here that I do not, at the very least, like quite a bit. Each fragrance is unique, and there's a wide variety here to satisfy all perfume lovers. There are soft, delicate fragrances, as well as bold, mysterious fragrances, and some that straddle the line between the two.

Anyway and Gentlewoman are my early favorites (although that could easily change as I work my way through this set). There's something about those two fragrances in particular that evokes some distant yet familiar memory for me. They both have an "I know I've smelled this before" feel to them, but it's as if each of these fragrances is an even better interpretation of a memory from my past.

I don't want to gush too much about this set, because I don't want to create unrealistic expectations for you if you decide to purchase this for yourself. This set isn't life-changing but, for me, these fragrances are truly something special. Even the fragrances that didn't immediately pull me in upon first sniff have a way of developing over time on my skin into something so beautiful--words escape me when I try to describe the feeling these fragrances evoke when I'm wearing them.

FINAL VERDICT: If you've never tried any fragrances from Juliette Has a Gun, and you're interested in seeing what the hype is about, I cannot recommend this set enough. I obviously cannot promise you that you'll enjoy each and every fragrance in this set, but I DO think that you'll find at least a few that appeal to you here. For me, the thrill of this set is in the journey. Allowing each one of these fragrances time to change and evolve on my skin, and enjoying each transformation as the hours go by, has been well worth the $15. I'm now tempted to purchase a second set so I can do it all over again.

Again, this is a new kit that is now available on the Sephora website for $15. I don't know if you can get it in-store yet, but I'm guessing you will eventually (if you haven't see it in-store already).

The products featured in this post were purchased with personal funds. For more information, click here.


  1. Adding to my list for the upcoming sale!

    1. Yay! I am so excited for you to get it! :)

  2. I got Gentlewoman in last month's Scentbird. I love it. Great review. Thanks.

    1. Juliette Has a Gun is on Scentbird?! I will definitely be adding to my queue! :)

    2. @Angela It is lovely, isn't it? And thank you! :)

    3. @Cassie I don't have a subscription to Scent Bird, but I've heard this too! Great way to try some of their fragrances, for sure! :)

  3. Ooh I love this! Thanks for the heads up!

    1. You're so welcome! I would absolutely love to know what you think if you order! :)

  4. So glad you Instagrammed this because I probably would have never seen it on the Sephora site! I bought it a few days ago and I'm obsessed. This is my first experience with these fragrances and they're amazing. Now if only they were about half the price...

    1. Yay!!! Oh I'm so happy you're loving it too! And I hear you on the price. That's the only downside, because it's REALLY making me want to buy a full bottle of at least one of these fragrances (and narrowing it down to one is the true challenge!). This will be a verrrry big splurge for me, but I allow myself two big beauty splurges a year and I know this will be one of them. :)

    2. Ahh! I can't wait to see which one you choose! I'm a little obsessed with Lady Vengeance. And some of them have me seriously wishing they came in candle form -- I think they'd smell amazing throughout the house! Also, have you seen their refillable purse spray (it's universal, so it can be used with any fragrance). If I'm being honest with myself, I totally don't need it, but omg it's shaped like a bullet with "Juliette Has a Gun" stamped into it and it's so cute I MUST HAVE IT. Lol.

  5. Thank you so much for alerting me to this! I've always wanted to try these fragrances, but the price tags have steered me away. Just purchased and I had a 10 percent code to use! :)

    1. Yay!!! You're so welcome, and congrats on knocking a bit off the price as well! Please, please keep me posted when you get it? I would love to know which scents turn out to be your favorites! :)

  6. I've been looking at that, as well as the sample set for L'Artisan - great ways to try some HTF niche (expensive) fragrances, without a huge investment.

  7. I knew that you could buy this in Britain - I'm delighted to know that I can get it from Sephora. I have always wanted to try these. Thanks G.


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