By Candice Sabatini

If you look up “calamity” in the dictionary, it’ll tell you that it means misfortune, disaster, and catastrophe. The new Calamity J perfume by Juliette Has a Gun, is anything but a disaster in my book; and wearing this edgy yet elegant perfume should surround you with the good fortune of turning some heads!

I caught up with the head turning, fedora wearing Romano Ricci, creator of Juliette Has a Gun, over champagne and cake on his recent visit to New York, and asked him about this newest creation in the collection. The French man with an Italian name is the great grandson of the famed Nina Ricci – so it’s no surprise that he knows a thing or two about style, savvy and uncompromising women!

BN: What’s different about this 4th perfume in the collection?
RR: Calamity J is different in many ways. First, it’s a masculine fragrance dedicated to and meant to be worn by women. It’s for the bad girl, not the girly girl It’s yin and yang, it’s woody and musky. Also, it’s created without a top note. It starts with its heart of patchouli, iris and amber, and then settles into base notes of musk and a vanilla infusion. The scent uses no flowers or fruit and has over 50 ingredients in all.

BN: But iris is a flower.
RR: I use the dry root of the iris, not the flower.

BN: Is it meant to be worn by men as well?
RR: No, it’s meant to be worn by women, and enjoyed by men.

BN: Who’s the model in the photo? It’s very unusual for an indie perfume to have a face, or a muse. Who is this Miss Calamity J?
RR: It’s Lou Doillon. (daughter of Jane Birkin).

Lou, Romano, Sonia

BN: How did she end up as the face of Calamity J?
RR: I met her at a party one night, and I thought, “You’re the perfect face”, and we got together and collaborated with photographer Sonia Sieff (daughter of photographer Jean Loup Sieff) and created the Calamity Juliette photos.

BN: How would you describe your approach to perfume making?
RR: It’s more about the quality of the ingredients, the combination, and not the rareness of them. It’s about the effect it has on people.

BN: One more question. How many fedoras do you own?
RR: About 150.

Eau de Partum available: Henry Bendel, and

Originally published December 2009
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