Indeed the fragrance opens on a singeing the nose blast of alcohol. Is it any good on the whole? If you're questioning whether it smells good, yes, it does, if monochromatically so (imagine an outfit on ton-sur-ton pearl grey). Ambrox does, you know (again, refer to my Raw Material article on it). And Romano Ricci had predisposed us of this notion by heavily relying on it for his previous effort, Calamity J. and including it in all his perfumes. But is it enough? Not it's not. Even if it hides a small helping of violet leaf or iris as I suspect, it's still not enough.
The problem lies with the utter lack of originality; what was arresting first time around becomes a little tired the second time: The idea of anti-perfume was brought out on the market with a bang by the sultan of orientalia (and thus it was particularly impressive and controversial), Serge Lutens with his L'Eau. The formula relying on a single material was first exploited by Helmut Lang (the rare musk in his defunct Velviona) and perfumer Geza Schoen with his Escentric Molecules. The advertising showing a woman drinking from the bottle as it's supposed to be a non-perfume ~therefore good enough to drink!~ was first explored by Moschino in the 1980s as we showed on a previous post.
What's left? The claim that using Ambrox and Amrbox ONLY is a surefire way to avoid allergies (To test the hypothesis I refer you to Umberto Eco's excellent article in Corriere della Sera from the 1970s about advertising ethos by the Bic pens company and his breakdown of their lacking, misleading syllogism). This's got to be a first, addressing the millions who are increasingly sterilising the public space with their abhorence of anything perceived as floating for the sheer pleasure of smelling like perfume. Brownie points, you've got that down pat, mr.Romano!
For our readers ~and since it serves as an educational tool as to how the raw material Ambrox smells~
Not a Perfume by Juliette has a Gun is available at Colette, Paris for 65€ for 50ml and for 88€ for 100ml. Pricey for what it is!
A harsher criticism of the concept can be viewed on Octavian's post.
Pic via thebeautybutton.co.uk