For Every Occasion: Jul et Mad Amour de Palazzo

 

Ross: All right, Monica categorizes her towels. How many categories are there?
Joey: Everyday use.
Chandler: Fancy.
Joey: Guest.
Chandler: Fancy guest.
Ross: Two seconds…
Joey: Uh, eleven!
Ross: Eleven. Unbelievable. Eleven is correct.
.
TV show Friends, Episode 4.12

 

I’m not sure from whom I got it – maybe it was my grandmother since mom has never been like that – but as long I remember myself I always put things into categories. For many years I had Work Clothes, Weekend Wear, Evening Attire and some smaller categories in between (e.g. Tropical Vacation Wardrobe).

Tropical Vacation Wardrobe

Usually those categories didn’t intersect: to the office I would wear mostly suits (not because it was required but because I liked to); my party clothes were very dressy and my weekend-running-errands clothes were something comfortable and not demanding. As you can imagine there wasn’t much ground for a crossover between categories.

Over years I noticed that the most willingly I would be buying clothes for going out. It was much easier to justify spending money on a beautiful cocktail dress or a dressy “dry clean only” blouse than on a sweater or a top I would wear while shopping or going for a walk in the city. The irony was that I don’t have that many occasions to wear my nice clothes. But when you have something hanging in your closet for years, even though you’ve worn it on counted occasions, you still feel it is old and want to buy something new.

My perfume collection follows the same trail: I have a group of perfumes that I never wear to work; I consider them my “special occasions wear” and I feel more inclined to buy those. The problem is that my life doesn’t consist of those special occasions in the proportion to the number of perfumes designated for that purpose.

To give you an idea, my dress-up perfumes are Amouage Ubar, Gold and Memoir; Ormonde Jayne Ta’if, Guerlain Cruel Gardenia, Puredistance Antonia or Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady. And daily perfumes are Jo Malone (almost anything), Annick Goutal Petite Cherie, Prada Infusion d’Iris or Byredo La Tulipe.

Jean Paul Gautier Mermaid Dress

Once I realized I had that attitude problem with my wardrobe I started shifting the shopping emphasis from the for-when-the-Queen-comes-to-dinner to I-wouldn’t-mind-meeting-my-most-judgmental-girlfriend-now apparel. I’m just in the beginning of my transformation but I hope I’m heading there.

But while with evening gowns and my day-to-day life I have just one choice: not to buy … more than two of them for each occasion I actually get to wear them, with perfumes it’s slightly different. I can either persuade myself to wear my “dressy” perfumes more often or I can start buying those perfumes I think are appropriate to wear without a Royal Presence.

Or I can wear Amour de Palazzo by Jul et Mad.

Amour de Palazzo by Jul et Mad – created in 2012 by Dorothée Piot and Maison Robertet, notes include pepper, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, absolute of violette, Atlas cedarwood, leather, Indonesian patchouli, labdanum, musk, oud, amber, papyrus and animal castoreum.

I discovered this perfume during my visit to MinNY last year (see my “New York, New York, it’s a wonderful town!”). I mentioned in the post that I liked Amour de Palazzo but didn’t get a sample of it. Soon after that I got a very kind offer from Madalina Stoica, the brand’s co-owner, to send me a travel spray of this perfume. Not for the review, just because.

Jul et Mad Amour De Palazzo

Amour de Palazzo is an amazing perfume. It is both very pronounced and discreet at the same time. It is rich but not loud. It is luxurious but not bling-y. I’m not a huge agarwood fan but in this perfume it’s just in the right dose for me. When I wear it I feel as if I’m wearing the most delicate silk lingerie and it doesn’t really matter if it’s under a sheath dress or jeans and a chunky sweater (but the latter of a very good quality, of course – my imaginary friend might be very judgmental).

My only complaint about Amour de Palazzo and the brand in general is that it’s only available in one size (50 ml beautiful bottle + 7 ml refillable travel atomizer that is also very nice). Most perfumistas (read – those who will know about the brand and are potential customers) do not need 50 ml of almost any perfume. We will be fine: we’ll do splits. But I think the brand might benefit from selling smaller sizes – even if those will be more expensive per ml than a bigger bottle.

 

Images: my own.

Update: Jul et Mad introduced two new sizes for their perfumes – 5 ml and 20 ml bottles. Both are extremely cute. Bravo!

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54 thoughts on “For Every Occasion: Jul et Mad Amour de Palazzo

  1. I hear you Undina. I would love a room full of 15ml bottles. The niche perfumers who do smaller sizes get loads of my business: DSH, Olympic Orchids, SOIVOHLE and more. I have been noticing a load of 30ml on the Department Store shelves lately too.
    Portia xx

  2. You are so splendidly, beautifully analytical … but what’s even smarter about you is that you’re able to see the ways this sometimes pigeonholes you in terms of your enjoyment (and your willingness to change that a bit).

    I love perfumes like Ubar, Gold and Antonia so much that I have to wear them with casual clothes or they would almost never get worn at all … and I have to say, they don’t feel inappropriate to me when I wear them with jeans and sweaters, but that’s me. :)

    You make Amour de Palazzo sound exceedingly gorgeous. I’m glad you’re thinking of it as the olfactory lingerie you can wear under a (very good quality) chunky sweater and jeans! :)

    • Thank you, Suzanne. Love getting compliments from you :)

      I do not think that one can’t/shouldn’t wear those perfumes or that they don’t fit regular clothes (in moderation if we’re talking about office). It’s just that when I get those I mentally place them into that “special wear” category – and they stay in there the same way my clothes used not to cross-over to other categories. I’m working on it now.

  3. What a lovely review! It was funny as hell at times (“for when the Queen comes to dinner” and “my imaginary friend might be very judgemental”), but always charming and extremely persuasive about the fragrance in question. It sounds mesmerizing. The addition of the papyrus must be a wonderful touch to cut through the rich notes of the labdanum, castoreum, patchouli and the rest. I have a complete yearning to try this now. The notes sound completely up my alley.

    Also, how very nice of Ms. Stoica. It’s lovely when perfumers are so open and friendly.

    As for the occasions to wear perfumes, I’m very different in that I really go with what my mood strikes me at the time. I never go by season because I live in a place whose weather consists of hot, hotter and HELL ON EARTH, and my life is a pretty casual one these days, so there aren’t an enormous amount of dress-up occasions. I guess, in my mind, I’m always having dinner with the Queen? ;) God, you’re so funny. Thank you for an absolutely delightful review. I’m definitely putting this one on my list of things to get next time I order some samples.

    • Thank you, Kafka!

      I thought for a while before posting this story: there are almost no reviews for this perfume out there and since I liked it so much I couldn’t be objective. But it means that with my enthusiasm I might create wrong expectations and others would like the perfume less than they would have otherwise – just because reality almost never completely meets expectations. But I liked it so much that I wanted to say something.

      • Wait, bloggers are supposed to be objective about perfume??? Ooops. ;) I prefer reviews that are based on passion — whether positive or negative. All reviews are inherently subjective and perfumes can differ so much due to skin chemistry – people know that from ahead of time. So, seemingly “objective” and impersonal reviews do absolutely nothing for me. (They’re also incredibly dull and bland, imo.) I’d rather read something like what you wrote any day!

        • Yes, I must say I agree with K here. For just the notes I go to the manufacturers homepages or read up on Fragrantica. I love hearing peoples actual experiences of wearing and living in a perfume. So as far as I’m concerned, there is no problem with bloggers posting as subjective pieces as they like :D

          • I also agree. Passion is a major component of a great review, love or hate. I like conveying my actual experience with the perfume not merely the notes. Some of them are so fleeting or so well blended you cannot distinguish between them.

  4. A beautiful review!
    I’m in the process if trying to break up my own clothing categories too. Life is short, wearing what I love shouldn’t be postponed to events that may or may not come in the future. Like Suzanne, I wear every perfume whenever I like though, and strangely I’ve never felt incongruent in jeans and Amouage or Guerlain. (Who knows what my judgemental friends think though!) :)

    • Thank you, Birgit!
      I’ll try to follow your and Suzanne’s lead and do something … really out of character – like wearing Amouage with jeans to the office next Monday… wait, first I’ll have to wear jeans to the office on Monday… ;) But I’ll do it!

  5. This is a coincidence, or there’s something in the air, but I have been thinking the same thing, time to focus on and expand the my next acquisitions for everyday wear because my closets are full for occasions that are more rare. Tho I will wear a an ultra perfume for the weekend too. Jul et Mad in their series of three make a nice set for variation to glamorize the “ordinary” days.

    • I’ll need to test the other two perfumes in the line but who knows -maybe it will be my solution? Meanwhile I’ll try to introduce some of my “special” perfumes into the everyday life.

  6. I’ve never heard of this line (and perfume) until now but if it makes you feel like you’re wearing silk lingerie, I definitely want to try it. :)

    I love the fact that you categorized your clothes and had the tropical vacation category! :)

    • I should say that the Tropical Vacation category is one of my favorite: over the years I’ve built it up nicely but since those vacations aren’t too frequent I have a perfect collection for when they happen :)

  7. That catholic school mentality has followed me through the years. I had to wear a uniform to school and never wore it anywhere else obviously. Now my work clothes are for work and I don’t wear them anywhere else. I will wear whatever perfume I feel like. I don’t have any that I think are too special to wear casually. I used to but I couldn’t see the point of saving them for special days that never happened.

    • It’s an interesting observation! For 10 year of my school I wore a uniform (everybody in the country did, that was required) and that uniform was designed specifically for school use and nobody wore them anywhere but to school. So it might explain why I tend to do it this way with my work clothes. Thank you! :)

      With perfumes it’s slightly different: I’m not saving them for special occasions, I designate them for such – the same as cocktail dresses or high heels shoes. But now I’ll try to think of them as of more versatile wear.

  8. Wonderful review, Undina! And terrific food for thought!

    The whole Jul et Mad line is great, isn’t it?

    And I hear you about trying to weigh a love for drama and a recognition that drama isn’t always welcome in some situations. When I have meetings, it’s tough for me to dial back what I want to wear and go with something that won’t offend or overwhelm. I used to not care so much, but maybe that is what happened when I got older? I felt the urge to be more considerate?

    In any case, Hermès tends to be the default in one-on-one meetings with colleagues. And then I feel free to stink up my own classroom as much as I please :-)

    • Thank you, Daisy!

      When I know I have a meeting in a closed space I try to dial down my perfume use (though I cannot completely stay away from it). But some of perfumes project a lot just from one or two sprays! So I try to go either for very light (Jo Malone) or use extraits that are in dab bottles (No 19, Chamade).

  9. Nice review, Undina. For some reason I think I may have seen them at Henri Bendel but then again, it could have been the Juliette has a Gun line.

    Like Poodle, I was a product of the Catholic school system and YES, the uniforms (shuddering at the memory); however, instead of being regimented with work vs play vs special occasion clothes, I tend to buy and wear pieces that are more colorful, have quirky-patterns and textures that can be mixed and matched with basic pieces for work and play. Yes, I have traditional cut / conservative suits that I only wear to work but I then make it “ME” with a bright shirt and/or a scarf. As for perfumes, I have never categorized them and pretty much wear whatever I feel like using any given day.

    Now where is that handsome Rusty hiding? (does he still get a treat even though you don’t have a picture of him in this post?)

    • I wouldn’t be surprised: HB’s perfume department is unique and impressive; it looks like they make a special effort to carry less ubiquitous brands.

      Rusty will re-appear soon, I promise. I have a photo-session with one of my new bottles scheduled for this weekend so I’m positive he’ll be there. Meanwhile I’ll give him a treat from you.

  10. You’ve made me realize that on some subconscious level, I had organized my closet and my perfumes in the same way. I got “fancy wear”, “work wear”, and “home wear” and the fancy wear far exceeds both work wear and home wear. The same could be said of my perfumes. Where I have maybe three bottles I wear on a day-to-day basis: Flora by Gucci, Eau de Fleurs de Cedrat by Guerlain and No. 5 Eau Premiere by Chanel. Then there’s the mound of perfumes I deem, “too much for every day”. Makes me think I need to do some adjusting when it comes to my fragrance (and clothing) buying habits. :-)

    • Acknowledging a problem is the first step! :)

      I’ll still have some “special occasions” perfumes: I just feel better when I can complete my outfit with a perfume that I don’t wear day-to-day. But I’ll try to limit that set and either use the rest more often or shift to getting more perfumes that I can use daily.

  11. I have always categorized my clothes (the few that I have…I am such a minimalist!) based on seasons. I do demand order in my closets and drawers (underwear has to be folded oh so neatly-that’s the OCD in me :) !!). I guess I have taken the same stance with perfume…I have my seasonal favorites and won’t wear certain scents certain times of the year. Years ago I had my “date night” perfumes yet after so many years of marriage and children we hardly ever get out so evening/special occasion perfumes just don’t exist for me anymore!!

    • Not a single evening/special occasion perfume?! What are you goingto do when the Queen comes??! ;)

      Living in Northern California where seasons aren’t that pronounced I have a very vague line between different seasons clothes: in many cases it’s a question of just an extra layer on top, no need for the complete change. But I still follow mentally some seasons for my perfumes: e.g. I almost never wear ambers in summer or fig perfumes in winter (even though actual weather might permit that).

      • I am in the Northeast so the change of weather is drastic!
        Actually I do have certain scents that I save exclusively for certain days that I love (Winter Solstice, first day of spring,etc). Does that count as “special occasion” perfume :) ??

        Not sure what I would wear if the “Queen came to town” !!! I am thinking that SSS Nostalgie might be nice!

  12. Great post, Undina; funny and insightful. This reminds me of a post of one of my favorite fashion bloggers: the topic was having a lot of clothes that didn’t fit your lifestyle. It was eye-opening to read the confessions – lawyer with closets full of hoodies and yoga pants, Floridians buying sweaters and knee-high boots, fellow Canadians having large numbers of summer dresses. My personal confession was that even though I live in casual clothes six days of the week (a necessity when you’re a SAHM) at least half of my closet is full of the fancier stuff I love wearing to church. I LOVE dressing up. So I guess it’s a common phenomenon.

    I have categories for my perfumes as well, but they tend to be quirkier categories, so I’ve never bothered to examine whether or not my categories reflect my life. That could be an interesting task: do I really NEED that many intellectual perfumes? ;)

    • Thank you, Dionne!

      It’s interesting about your categories. Can you share more of them or is it too personal?

      What is presented in my wardrobe disproportionally? I think, clothes for tropical vacations: being of a very good quality, they stay almost as new for many years since I use them just a couple of times per year. But then, while planning the next vacation, I feel tempted to buy at least one new piece… Or if I do not go to such vacation for a long time I might buy a piece for the future vacation – just to feel a little closer to it :)

      • No, I don’t mind sharing. As mentioned before, I’ve got an intellectual category, AKA “I’m presenting my thesis now,” a “how YOU doin’?” category (that one’s for my husband ;)) a trashy category, an “I feel pretty, oh so pretty” category, a contemplative category, a comfort category, a happy category, a va-va-va-voom category, an elegant category, a sneaky I’m-wearing-something-subtle-because-technically-I’m-not-supposed-to-wear-perfume-at-all category…… stuff like that. Not to mention that the seasons also heavily influence my choices.

  13. I loved your initial analysis of your wardrobe – I don’t believe I have a single item in the tropical vacation category, haha, but then I do live further away from a suitable resort where I could have one! I have four wardrobes on the go currently: work and formal wear (mostly untouched at the moment due to chronic lack of the former!), regular summer casual, regular winter casual, and “any season a bit more funky casual” (includes gig-going outfits, or any event requiring a slightly more edgy – veering to grungy(!) – look). My perfume wearing is all over the map, though I do try and wear business-appropriate scents for work, when I have some.

    Fascinated by the sound of this new intermediate wear scent you discovered in New York. I think of Puredistance 1 as “pronounced and discreet” at the same time, and that sort of duality definitely appeals, even if I mostly lean to the discreet side of things.

    • You know, Puredistance I is definitely in that category! Too bad it doesn’t work for me: there’s something in the scent that makes me not want to wear it; I do not dislike it I just do not want to wear it. But I’m so glad that I was able to describe the category good enough for you to get it.

      I should probably stop talking about tropical vacation since I have no idea when will be the next one. So Ishould stop torturing myself… or I’ll end up buying more clothes for that category :)

  14. I also found it very interesting to hear about your clothings categories! For me, I have 3 categories, dress-up, work and “home with my family”-wear. The dress-up clothes are the nicest and least used, the work clothes are more formal and in-between and “at home”-clothes are the least formal, typically worn while crawling around on the floor or cooking messy dishes. Interestingly enough I do wear my most formal and festive perfumes (the meeting the queen-ones) while wearing my sloppiest clothes. As I dress up so seldom I get very concious about picking the “right” perfume – which I never do, so I usually pick something safe-ish. When I’m home relaxing I just pick what I crave, and if that’s Amouage Gold in a situation where no other clothing than sweatpants and an old t-shirt make sense, then Amouage Gold it is – and I’ve no problems with it :)

    • I do not spend too much time at home so when I’m there I usually test something instead of wearing. And to the office I’m trying to choose something not too strong or unusual: we have some scent-sensitive people and I do not want to abuse myposition and impose my perfume on them too much. But I’ll try to wear more of my special perfumes to grossery shopping, dinners with friends and just weekend nights.

  15. I’m glad you got something that fills the space between Amouage Gold and Jo Malone, lol. Good review. Do you think Gold could be worn casually in small doses? It’s one of my favorites.

    • Thank you, Joan.

      If we’re talking mood-wise – sure, it might be even an interesting contrast. But for a phisically discreet scent it would be hard to do – unless you dab. But I like Amouage Gold very much so I just might make a dab sample for that purpose.

  16. An everyday perfume is something that is so much harder to find than it seems it should be, especially if one wants something with some elegance and at least a bit of luxury to it.

    • That’s why we keep looking! :) And that’s why wekeep writing about great perfumes in a hope that more people develop better taste to appreciate better perfumes – and then some of those we like but are hesitant to wear to work will be considered more office-appropriate.

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  18. I just came accross Undina’s link and I felt that it is absolutely a must to say a big Thank You fot this smart, witty, fun and informative piece on lifestyle, fashion, perfume…
    Thank you for the review on Amour de Palazzo, I well-noted all your comments! ;)
    Also, although we are not yet very known in the US, we are proud to have achieved beautiful things here, considering our young “age”: our “Terrase à St-Germain” was the first runner up at the Fragrance Foundation FiFi Awards for the “Indie” category in January. We are also sold at Min and Aedes de Venustas in NYC, for those who would like to learn more about JUL ET MAD. And I highly recomend that you would visit our website, juletmad.com, for a complete list of all our points of sale throughout the world.
    Thank you all again for your continuous and fantastic passion for perfume and, also, for sharing it!

    • Madalina, thank you for your kind words and for great perfumes. I saw the Fifi nomination and was happy for the brand (though I wished that “my” perfume was nominated :) ).
      I hope to visit one of the shop that carries your line in Paris later this year. And I wish your company a steady growth and success.

  19. Thank you so much fo your kind wishes!
    And, regarding the FiFis, only Terrasse à St-Germain entered the competition, as we can only present one perfume at the time… unfortunately ;)
    I hope we’ll get the chance to meet while in Paris!!! It would be lovely!
    In the meantime, all my best to you!

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  22. haha- nice piece..I think I have categories too but less explicit and more like Dionne’s than yours :) [pretty ‘I don’t want to think about perfume’ perfumes, ‘thunderstorm’ come wrestle with me perfumes, ‘I’m having a bad day and I need comfort’ perfume). I just realized that most of the time, my categories are not really about what I want to project but more how I want to feel/modify how I’m feeling. Except ofcourse if I’m going to be running and experiment and don’t want to freak out the participant. But even then I still choose from within a set, I think.

    And I do have a (bad) habit of wearing anything new as soon as I get it- I’ll wear it multiple times irrespective of the occasion. I do this with clothes, perfume, even music. In the early days of our courtship, my husband introduced me to a song and I liked it so much that I played it 7 times continuously. He was wary after that about introducing me to stuff I might like ..lol.

    Amour de Palazzo sounds like something I might like (out of the three) and nice to know about the small sizes.

    • I am the opposite with new things! I need to get used to it, figure out the appropriate use for it, put it into the general picture – and then, maybe… :)

      The same perfume a couple of days in a row? Only from the sample/decant while making the final decision as to whether I want to buy a FB.

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