8/20/14

Jupiter to Juno (Garner James)


Candis Cayne

Just the name of this perfume had me fascinated, and it was expanded upon in a note from Jim:
"Originally made for my brother's wedding gift. Entire wedding party wore this, and the entire wedding was gifted 5 ml roll ons."
So I guess it's literally based on the passing of a man to a woman in matrimony, in this case the perfumer's brother. What a lucky wedding party that was, to have this perfume in the air, because true to form, it is incredible. The complete ingredient list includes sweet orange oil, grapefruit EO, lemon EO, clementine SCO2, rose maroc absolute, orange blossom absolute, geranium bourbon EO, atlas cedar EO, oakmoss absolute, fir balsam absolute, patchouli SCO2, tonka bean absolute, vetiver Haiti SCO2, Allyl Amyl Glycolate, Methyl Pamplemousse, Linalool, Stemone, Lilial, Hedione, Citronellol, and Iso E. Of the scents I received from Jim, Jupiter to Juno is the breeziest, a distinctly casual affair that lasts an average of five hours on skin (six on fabric) with moderate application. My sense is that this fragrance was sent to me not so much as a showpiece (Jim has Black Antlers and Nature Boy for that), but as an indicator of how to use Iso E correctly and effectively. Of course, it is also a lovely composition.

JtJ begins with a super-sweet citrus accord, accented peripherally with orange blossom, setting a decidedly fresh, feminine, fruity, and "fun" tone. Its quality is breathtaking. The fragrance's heart accord is quite floral, but also woody, with the delicate sweetness of rose and orange blossom wafting lightly across drier notes of cedar, balsam, patchouli, and vetiver, with a bit of ambery tonka for warmth, and Iso E for lift and clarity of texture. Unlike most woody perfumes, JtJ's woods are blended softy enough to allow their grains to peek through the leaves, imparting a dusty quality to the scent. The base adopts this same smooth, softly grained tonality, and reminds me most of the simple woody base of Cotton Club by Jeanne Arthes. In fact, I have JtJ on one wrist and Cotton Club on the other as I type this, and though the two are different, their similarities are notable. The fruity Juno top notes segue effortlessly into the suave, aftershavey woodsiness of Jupiter.

To me, fragrances like this are olfactory gender prisms, beautiful but challenging for some to understand, and perhaps wear. Another example of such a scent is Joop! Jump, which is derived from Cool Water and Allure Homme, yet sits several notches higher on the floral scale, to the point of seeming downright frilly-femme at various stages of its drydown. At a wedding, surrounded by flowers and liquors and sweets, Jupiter to Juno is an easy one, as it blends right in. I'm comfortable wearing anything anywhere anyway, so it's not a big deal for me to wear this to work or to a restaurant with friends, but I could see how some men and women might be thrown for a loop by it. Maybe it's perfect for a hot date, maybe not. Maybe only to the movies, or on a Sunday drive. I think it's a brilliant exercise in citrus, floral, and wood textures, executed in a style consistent with a legion of laid-back twenty-first century blue jean juices. This one just happens to smell like a million bucks.






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