Perfume Directory

Oil Fiction (2013)
by Juliette Has a Gun

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Oil Fiction information

Year of Launch2013
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 14 votes)

People and companies

HouseJuliette Has a Gun

About Oil Fiction

Oil Fiction was originally launched in 2013 as a limited edition of 999 bottles. The fragrance was relaunched in the latter part of 2014, alongside new fragrance, Moon Dance as part of Juliette Has a Gun's Luxury Collection

Reviews of Oil Fiction

An impressive, well-blended start. Bold, rich, dark. I am immediately envisioning Film Noir actresses from the 1940's...

I get a hint of tuberose. It isn't strong. This frag releases tons of labdanum, patchouli, vanilla, and sandalwood, not waiting for the other notes to speak up. There is a frosty, iris cloud above. There is also something papery.

Oil Fiction is not like the other JHAG scents I've tried. This one, is exceptional. It's as though they used a different perfumer to create this. The amber-accord, from the darker notes, begins to sink to the bottom as iris increases its presence. The iris is not so much powdery as it is airy, if that makes any sense.

An almost faint reminder of tobacco teases me later on... Iris, begins to fall away, leaving the darker notes to carry on.
22nd March, 2019
There is something very 80’s about this scent, which I really like – maybe it takes me back to my mis-spent youth ;) Iris, saffron, vanilla and ylang-ylang are the most prominent notes on me. It’s very pretty, but the longevity on me is terrible – barely four hours, which is a shame. I like it, but for the cost, I want a bit more bang for my buck. Still going to order the discovery set though, as I really want to explore more from this house!
01st April, 2018
Kotori Show all reviews
United States
Wow! This one is weird! Tuberose and Iris, right? But I really don't smell either. It's a good thing, I think, since tuberose and I are kind of frenemies. (I think she's great, but she's not as fond of me.) I do catch the powdery makeup Iris, but mostly Iris is tamping down the noise of Tuberose, I think. Tuberose is usually such a drama queen. But the effect is more of a body product than an actual perfume. It really does smell oily! Like sunscreen oil that's trying to be unscented, maybe. Or baby ointment? Goodness, where have I smelled this before?? It's so strange, but it's growing on me.
26th August, 2017
Stardate 20170724:

JHAGOF makes me very happy. It has the elements of old school full-on floral. Like First or Joy but modernized.
It also has that development. Again not as good as vintages or 4160 but given what is being done this is amazing.
I do not wear florals much and Mrs. E is not into this style. Our bottle of Joy EDP, K, First, Eau de Gucci sits there collecting dust.
I try to sniff them whenever I can but it is not the same as her wearing it.
I would recommend this. One thing I do not like here is a sour lactonic note. Stays throughout. I wish it was not present at all.

Recommended

24th July, 2017 (last edited: 17th August, 2017)
The opening few seconds seemed like a promising, simple perfume, but it started going through a rough patch within a couple minutes, becoming more complex, or fractured, and smelling to me like cleaning product, with modern woody notes added. I found this period borderline offensive. Into the base, the woods and the floral notes came together more harmoniously, and almost worked for me, with maybe just one ingredient putting me off.
21st July, 2017 (last edited: 22nd July, 2017)
Most of my favorite "modern" (I wish I could find a better word than that, because modern is such a loaded word, what with High Modernism, postmodernism, post-postmodernism, etc--I've tried using "contemporary" and sometimes it strikes me as a little affected, so I'm back to the m-word for now) perfumes fall into a class of uncategorizable weirdness that renders them almost impossible to write about. Oil Fiction is a great example. It offers plenty of obvious hooks on which to be hung--huge white floral, big ol' tuberose, tropical bouquet, floral oriental--but it doesn't fit into any of those. Sure, the notes indicate that's where Oil Fiction belongs, but smell the perfume, and discover exactly how unfamiliar all these well-known elements can be rendered.

It's not that Oil Fiction doesn't smell like its primary components, because it does. Dominating the perfume is a capacious tuberose on a scale that could conceivably stand toe-to-toe with Fracas, coupled with ylang-ylang to stretch it even further across the canvas, as it were. This part represents familiar enough territory; the floral materials seem excellent, and they call to mind appropriately sultry images until the rest of the perfume begins to uncurl beneath the florals--at which point, Oil Fiction whisks the wearer to a surrealist landscape worthy of Max Ernst, populated with freaky mechanical things nestled amid the heady jungle flowers.

I would say that something about Oil Fiction smells metallic, but that's not really accurate; after all, "metallic" usually denotes something simple, one-dimensional, and almost never pleasant--a perjorative, in short, at least in perfumespeak. Something in Oil Fiction evokes metal, but it's more than that: it's like an entire high-tech machine, with all its different layers of industrial materials, including lubricants, has come to life and has integrated itself, somehow, into the perfume's supremely fleshy florals, so that the entirety has metamorphosed into a hybrid life form made of machine and plant in a symbiotic state. I know how weird this sounds; it's science fiction stuff. But this is science fiction perfume.

Another way to look at it, I suppose, is that a clever perfumer (who remains anonymous in this case, although I have some suspicions that I'll come to in a moment) hitched a top accord of superb-quality naturals to a base of modern aromachemicals, but did it so seamlessly that it's hard to tell where one stops and other starts--not an unusual endeavor in modern perfumery, but one that's very hard to pull off with any real success. The way it's done in Oil Fiction offers the advantage of concealing the clunky aspects of what is basically a big ol' woody amber. In fact, it makes a virtue of necessity by integrating the florals and the "amber" into an accord that's unique as well as beautiful; and it adds the technical achievement of bringing together two notoriously temperamental and overpowering elements (the Big White Floral and the Big Woody Amber) and making them only not play nicely, but also seem like they were made for each other. It's like lions and lambs, or sheep and wolves, or whatever predator/prey relationship you prefer, although I'm not sure which element is which, considering how carnivorous tuberose can be. I'm gobsmacked as to the technical aspects, although I'm sure it has something to do with a massive dose of orris butter, smooth and cool and just a little green, but never rooty or powdery in this perfume.

And, I suspect in large part because of its iris content, the perfume wears like a dream. Oil Fiction is one of the few modern/contemporary/whatever you call it perfumes that I could actually sense taking flight off my skin the first time I tested it. I've read the word "flight" used in older, classical treatises on perfume composition (usually in French); and I've experienced it with rich vintage perfumes, mostly the big mamas, in parfum formulation, from the house of Patou--which leads me to conclude that a true perfume flight depends on quality florals as well as meticulous composition. The sensation I get when I first apply Oil Fiction is sort of like watching a jet switch on in a fountain; it's like a stream of liquid springing up into the sky, scattering light as it goes. The bottle's sprayer doesn't really do it justice--you get a more diffused surface area, but it happens at the expense of that joyful leap. I prefer to use a sort of pour/dab method instead (judiciously, of course--this stuff is strong), which adds the benefit of a kind of swirling sillage that also evokes the great Patou classics.

The folks at Juliet Has a Gun (a house for which I have not much love, for the most part) present this perfume as a work of art, and I concur. It's a hell of an performance, worthy of titans like Joy and Le Dix. So it's strange, especially in this day and age, that Oil Fiction has no attribution. JHaG founder Riccardo Ricci may be Nina Ricci's grandson, but he's also a self-taught perfumer, and most of his house's perfumes show the kind of naive surface charm that I associate with non-classical perfume creation. However, Ricci has an angel sitting on his shoulder, and probably hanging out in his lab as well. Lady Vengeance, one of JHaG's first offerings, was composed by Ricci's friend Francis Kurkdjian, classical perfumer extraordinaire (and an artist of mind-blowing proficiency), whose hand I sense at work in Oil Fiction. The smooth transitions, the glorious florals, the flawless execution, the way the perfume seems to almost swell from within using cleverly embedded aldehydes--these are Kurkdjian hallmarks. But the real giveaway to me is the chassis of the thing; in his own work, for his own house, Kurkdjian returns with some regularity to the much-maligned metallic woody amber base, trying to tease something beautiful out of those difficult materials--coupling the bases with warm, sexed-up amber like he does in Grand Soir, or pointing up the base materials with little touches of sweetness like he does in Baccarat Rouge 540--a work of minimalist alchemy that I often return to out of frustration, because I can just see its beauty out of the corner of my eye--and then I blink and it's gone.

I find this notion of discovering beauty in (what I consider) ugliness extremely compelling, in art and in life. Even if Kurkdjian didn't compose Oil Fiction, it's so clearly influenced by his work that I think he still deserves credit for the ideas that drive it. I also think that Oil Fiction his (or a protege's) most successful attempt at rendering klunky woody amber presentable, an endeavor that seems kind of quixotic when I think about it. Even Grand Soir, attractive as it is, feels a little like lipstick on a pig to me (perhaps because it's an amber; I don't know); and Baccarat Rouge is, to my nose, literally great on paper but not so much on living skin. Oil Fiction manages that rarest of things: it's bizarre, unique, and cerebral; but it's also as familiar as even your strangest dreams, as comfortable as a sculptural but plush sofa, and as sexy as a pair of beautiful legs wrapped in fetish boots. Oil Fiction is not for everyone, but if you have the attitude to pull it off, it's a stunner, a head-turner, and a guaranteed fisher of men.

Testers are going for a hundred bucks at the discounters' sites. If you love bold, unique perfumes and you're looking for something new, go for it, and wear with abandon all summer long (or whenever you need a hit of sunshine and a little futuristic pizzazz in your life).
25th June, 2017 (last edited: 12th December, 2017)

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Juliette Has A Gun Oil Fiction 75ml EDP

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Oil Fiction by Juliette Has A Gun Eau de Parfum Spray 2.5 oz

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JULIETTE HAS A GUN OIL FICTION EDP 75 ML / 2.5 OZ SPRAY WOMEN SEAL BOX ORIGINAL

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OIL FICTION By Juliette Has A Gun 2.5 oz / 75ml EDP Eau De Parfum Spray Women

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Oil Fiction by Juliette Has a Gun Eau De Parfum Spray 2.5 oz / 75 ml (Women)

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Oil Fiction by Juliette Has a Gun Eau De Parfum Spray 2.5 oz / 75 ml (Women)

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Juliette Has A Gun Oil Fiction Unisex Perfume 2.5 oz eau de Parfums 75 ml Spray

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JULIETTE HAS A GUN Oil Fiction EDP, Luxury Collection 75 ml/2.5 oz

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