My tumultuous love affair with chypres has always been like flipping through the pages of an old family album; grudgingly recognising familiar features reflected on my own visage and looking quizzically yet with admiration on fashions past. Jubilation 25 by Amouage comes as the crowning glory of an introspection in sepia, ascertaining its place as one of my core favourites ever since its launch. In my ever expanding collection it is competing for stage space with the beautiful bell jars of the Parisian exclusives of Serge Lutens, to which it feels like kin.
The comparison with the olfactory seraglio of Lutens comes naturally, Arabia the Felix being at the DNA-helix of both. But whereas Lutens’s elixirs speak beneath dark-kholed lids assuming nevertheless a Japonesque apocryphal coyness, Jubilation 25 flaunts its proud breast in the fabled manner of perpulchra Eleanor of Aquitane astride her horse on the Second Crusade while facing the gates of Damascus.
The Omani uber-luxe brand Amouage released Jubilation 25 in 2007 to celebrate its 25th anniversary with their customary brief: spare no expense! To that effect let’s remind ourselves of the free reign legendary perfumer Guy Robert (Hermès Equipage, the buttery soft Doblis and Calèche, Christian Dior Dioressence, Madame Rochas) received upon the commission of creating the introductory fragrance of the house of Amouage when it was established in 1983 by the Sultan of Oman. Now named Amouage Gold, along with Amouage Dia, for men and women, the scents help prove that opulence acts as a constant in the direction of the venerable and genuinely exotic house.
Composed by Lucas Sieuzac, (Fashion Group International's Rising Star award receiver in 2004), Jubilation 25’s resolutely noble lineage can be traced to the succulent and confidently sexy fruity chypres of yore, like Rochas Femme, hold the exuberance, and Guerlain Mitsouko, hold the wistfulness. Pointedly the antecedent accord in the heart of Jubilation 25 is that of Edmond Roudnitska’s enigmatic Diorella, minus the melon freshness and flanked by a generous side helping of amber and resins. Yet in many ways the Amouage fragrance is a seasoned grand dame whereas Diorella is a budding ingénue of aristocratic pedigree. The intense hedonic character of the fruity nectar is not far removed from the legendary Colony by Jean Patou.
Smelling Jubilation 25, soft billowing layers of rose reveal themselves one after the other as if testing a rich millefeuille, while the sumptuous sensation of liqueur-like essences such as davana compliment the fruitier facets of the floral accord. The beguiling austerity of liturgical essences (frankincense, myrrh) is contrapuntist to the nectarous tonalities and the unmistakably mossy-woody base foiling them ~which makes the chypre accord so complex and intensely memorable. In comparison to Rochas Femme (and especially the 80s reformulated version), Jubilation 25 comes off as more lemony and delicately ambery, less spicy but with a discreet leathery aftertaste. Surprisingly, it exhibits a more cultivated Gallic air than the French-born themselves! Its amazing lasting power is testament to its firm grip on your heartstrings, if you are even remotely attracted by the genre of fruity chypres, of which it is a stellar example.
Amouage Jubilation 25 notes:
Top: tarragon, rose, lemon, and ylang ylang
Heart: davana, labdanum, rose, and frankincense
Base: amber, musk, vetiver, myrrh, and patchouli.
Amouage Jubilation 25 Eau de Parfum comes in 50ml/1.7oz and 100ml/3.4oz bottles and sometimes it’s available in 25ml starter bottles which are excellent value for money considering the high quality of the juice.
Related reading on Perfume Shrine: Chypre scents, Chypre series.
Pic via wickedhalo.blogspot.com
Clip of The Lion in Winter originally uploaded by Moviemonologues on Youtube.