This opens with a big, red rose, almost immediately engulfed by an equally big dose of patchouli, of the old-school hippie variety - no bad thing, in my book. Over the next couple of hours, the patchouli fades & the scent slowly sweetens, revealing a wine-dark rose in the heart, underpinned by woods & a faint vanilla. Eleven hours in, the base of woody, vanilla-musk is still going softly.
This is not a very unique or complex fragrance, but it appeals to the hippie chick in me, & I find it a pleasant wear for an autumnal day.
The opening of Lady Vengeance is similar to other Juliet Has a Gun scents; a "white" gourmand rich in vanilla, talc and floral notes, with bergamot and citrus head notes and a general feel of silky, satin and glossy (and desperately dull) trendiness which is the trademark of this brand. Huge amounts of Iso E and synthetic amber give a modern and restrained shape to this overall whiteish sweetness. It's not unpleasant at first, but it soon loses its richness and its texture quickly becoming quite plain and close to skin, leaning towards a persistent yet really delicate drydown which comprises again a floral-ambery accord with a white sugary talc all over. All in the less creative sense possible – expressive and inspired, yet white and cheaply "contemporary" like a white Ikea chair. Unworthy its price (like any other scent by this brand in my opinion).
The several scents I know that focus closely on a rose – patchouli accord seem to fall roughly into two stylistic families. Some, including L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Voleur de Roses and Bond No. 9’s West Side, pair a sweet, fruity rose with an earthy patchouli for a relatively high-pitched, wine-like effect. Others, most notably Montale’s Black Aoud and Czech & Speake’s Dark Rose, use a drier rose and an astringent or camphoraceous patchouli to paint a darker, more austere olfactory picture. I place Lady Vengeance squarely in this second camp.
In fact, on first acquaintance Lady Vengeance impressed me as a kind of Black Aoud without the oudh. The quality of Lady Vengeance’s rose note closely parallels the Montale’s, and the patchouli has a similarly brisk, piercing flavor about it. Without the bitter, medicinal accent of oudh, Lady Vengeance is a mite less confrontational than Black Aoud, but it is still a gaunt, dark, and dramatic scent.
Lady Vengeance also shares with Black Aoud – and Voleur de Roses, for that matter – a peculiar and paradoxical sense of simultaneous depth and clarity. I attribute this quality to a simplicity of structure shared by all three scents: there is little extraneous matter in any of them to obscure their rose/patchouli foundations. Lady Vengeance may just be the simplest of the lot, and its drydown leaves the rose and patchouli exposed in bold relief. I personally enjoy the the medicinal oudh counterpoint on offer in Black Aoud, but if you find oudh off-putting, Lady Vengeance might be your dark rose-and-patchouli of choice.
review by thanks sixx
I love almost everything about this scent, from the femininity of the subtle rose to the warm comfort of the ambergris/ambroxan note. And just when I am ready to curl up and let this perfume take me away.....WHAM.....the patchouli kicks in. What begins as an elegant lady turns into a hippy chick.
If they would tone down the patchouli, then for me this would be in my top five favs!
The way I salvage it is to layer real ambergris 3% solution on my skin, on top of the perfume. This knocks down the patchouli and renders the formulation much more sensual and ladylike.
I like Lady Vengeance – not as much as some other patchouli-rose marriages, but I would wear it and enjoy it. It’s much simpler than the dark and gothic, woody-resinous Clinique Aromatics Elixir or Montale Black Aoud, two of my favorites. It’s not the spicy, dried fruit and rose potpourri like Eau d’Italie Paestum Rose. It’s less of an imitation of nature than L’Artisan Voleur de Rose, which smelled like rose and patchouli in a wine cellar. Lady Vengeance smells modern and spare. It reminds me of Narciso Rodriguez for Her (in the pink bottle) without the candied peach note bonded to the rose (which is why I prefer the NR for Her). Lady Vengeance is a bit simpler; it shares that airy, peppery, woody top note and the sharp-edged, synthetic buzz that drills itself into your memory. LV is a kick. It’s a fun fragrance.