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Monday, December 10, 2007

Perfume Review: Amouage Jubilation 25...and a Prize Draw

The recent Amouage releases for women, from Eau and Esprit d’Amouage to Reflection, were underwhelming for me, not living up to the high standards of what I consider to be Amouage “classics”, Gold, Dia and Ciel. Actually, the quotation marks are not necessary here, because, as far as I am concerned, the latter three are indeed classic scents, since they possess the timeless quality of true classics which lifts them above trends and fashions. In contrast, the later offerings from the company were nothing but nods to trends, attempts at appealing to the young, fresh- and fruity- loving audience. To me, they robbed the line off its regal, luxurious, elegantly exotic splendor. When a company decides to become young, hip and/or approachable for wider audience (and I am not talking prices here, heaven knows, there is a lot of overpriced fruity-floral drivel on the market), it is all downhill from there, with scents going from bad to worse (I wanted to cite Dior here as an example, but I still haven’t smelled the three new scents, and so I will hold my peace.). Long story short, I did not have high expectation for the Jubilation collection, created to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the House of Amouage. I don’t think I have ever been proved more wrong …except for that one time when I was told that the White House did not in fact have an electromagnetic force field protecting it…but I digress.

With Jubilation 25, Amouage is back to its former magnificent self. As much as I admire Gold and love Dia, I am almost tempted to say that the new women’s perfume is even better. Jubilation 25, while retaining the sublimely elegant spirit of earlier creations, has a much more pronounced exotic feel, and in that, it seems to me better representative of the House. Gold and Dia seemed to me utterly European, or just French, if you will. In Jubilation 25, West finally meets East and the Omani origin of the line becomes much more obvious. It is as if Femme Rochas and Lutens’s Arabie had a passionate love affair, which resulted in a child who inherited Femme’s chic voluptuousness and the very French élan and Arabie’s dark good looks and tantalizing mysteriousness.

Jubilation 25 smells like a Perfume supposed to. “A woman should smell like a woman, and not like a rose”, said Coco Chanel (quoted in Michael Edwards Perfume Legends, page.45), in other words, a Perfume should not be obvious. A Perfume should smell complex, it should make you wonder what IS it that makes it what it is, and almost not wanting to find out. With notes of tarragon, rose, lemon, ylang-ylang, davana, labdanum, frankincense, amber, musk, vetiver, myrrh and patchouli, Jubilation is a complex blend, intricate and harmonious. In contrast to the relatively fresh top notes, the heart seems shockingly full-bodied. The creaminess of ylang and the booziness of davana, combined with an ambery accord and the sweet, sweet myrrh, create an effect of astonishing richness. Add to that patchouli and what I would swear is cumin, and it all is almost Too Much! But here is where the perfumer’s (Lucas Sieuzac, whose future in perfume, judging by this scent alone, is dazzlingly bright) magic comes into play. I don’t know what it is that keeps the extravagant opulence within the limits of endurable; I don’t know what – miraculously! - makes the scent as sublimely elegant as it is robustly luxurious, but something does. Perhaps the spirit of the great Edmond Roudnitska has been watching over the creation. Refined and lavish, exquisitely classic and alluringly exotic, luxe, calme et volupté, Jubilation 25 is THE best scent to come out this year …no, make it the last couple of years. If the praise seems excessive, it is because it is deserved. Please try it, when you can. In fact, let’s have a prize draw. If you would like to receive a sample of Jubilation 25, please say so in your comment. Three winners, randomly chosen, will receive a small vial of the scent each.

I haven’t done this in a while, but the perfume demands for it to be done…and so I am leaving you with Baudelaire’s Invitation to the Voyage, the poem that transports me to the same –golden, idyllic, seductive- place as Jubilation:

My child, my sister,
Think of the rapture
Of living together there!
Of loving at will,
Of loving till death,
In the land that is like you!
The misty sunlight
Of those cloudy skies
Has for my spirit the charms,
So mysterious,
Of your treacherous eyes,
Shining brightly through their tears.

There all is order and beauty,
Luxury, peace, and pleasure.

Gleaming furniture,
Polished by the years,
Will ornament our bedroom;
The rarest flowers
Mingling their fragrance
With the faint scent of amber,
The ornate ceilings,
The limpid mirrors,
The oriental splendor,
All would whisper there
Secretly to the soul
In its soft, native language.

There all is order and beauty,
Luxury, peace, and pleasure.

See on the canals
Those vessels sleeping.
Their mood is adventurous;
It's to satisfy
Your slightest desire
That they come from the ends of the earth.
— The setting suns
Adorn the fields,
The canals, the whole city,
With hyacinth and gold;
The world falls asleep
In a warm glow of light.

There all is order and beauty,
Luxury, peace, and pleasure.

(Translated by William Aggeler)

Jubilation 25 is available at, €190.00- €225.00. According to Christopher Chong, the creative director of Amouage, the Jubilation collection will launch in the US in 2008.

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Anonymous Amy K said...

Wow, I'd love to try any fragrance you praise so highly! Please enter me in the drawing.

9:49 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

It is totally worth trying!
You are in the draw.

9:50 PM EST  
Blogger ReneeM said...

Ah this sounds fabulous. Your rave and delicious description have me salivating! Ylang-ylang, frankincense, myrrh and patchouli....oh my! Sounds like heaven! Please enter me in the drawing too!

9:58 PM EST  
Blogger lilybp said...

Oh, my lord! I guess this may replace my CdG Patchouli lemming. And it looks like it might be even MORE expensive. . . . Me for the draw, please. . .

9:59 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

It is heaven :-D
You are in the draw!

10:01 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

It can't replace the Patch lemming, because it is so different; it will just be another, even more expensive lemming. You are welcome :-D

You are in the rdaw.

10:02 PM EST  
Blogger Pia said...

How funny....I was just doing a late Sunday evening search on Amouage to learn more about their scents, and I get directed to your latest post here--how timely! I would love to be in the draw--I suspected the onset of an Amouage Gold lemming, and now this is beckoning as well! And what a lovely post!

10:10 PM EST  
Blogger elle said...

Brilliant review! And am so glad to know who the perfumer is. Lucas Sieuzac is definitely someone I shall be paying attention to. I agree w/ you that this is the best perfume of the year and, although I need to sit down and think about it, very possibly the best of the past couple of years as well.

10:12 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

I am glad you were directed here, welcome! Gold is definitely lemming-worthy as well.
You are in the draw.

10:15 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


this reads so delish!

10:16 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

The other wonderful discovery of the year - and just unexpected- was EL PCTG. I am getting ready for the Best of 2007 post soon and was planning on declaring that one the best, until Jubilation appeared :-)

10:17 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

It is :-)

10:17 PM EST  
Blogger Erin said...

Well, what a cheering review. Except for the Chanels this year, I've found many of the anticipated releases fairly boring. Please include me in the draw (the magic words "Femme" and "Edmond Roudnitska".)

10:27 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

I'd sign up for anything too if Roudnitska Sr. was mentioned :-)
You are in the draw.

10:29 PM EST  
Anonymous Natalie said...

And me! and me! (jumps) I'd like to be in the draw, too :) And thank you for your wonderful reviews, I've spend a good chunk of time reading these lately:)

10:45 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Thank you, I am so pleased to hear that.
You are in the draw!

10:48 PM EST  
Blogger shi_mcgregor said...

I read Invitation to Voyage in French this year, and if Jubilation is anything like that poem or your description of it, then I'm sure it's absolutely heavenly. Please enter me in the draw!

11:12 PM EST  
Anonymous Joan said...

Exquisite review...I can smell and taste the scent just your words. Please enter me in the draw!

11:15 PM EST  
Anonymous Janet said...

This sounds lovely. I haven't tried anything in this line. It sounds like I ned to get busy!
Please enter me in the drawing.

12:00 AM EST  
Anonymous cheryl said...

This sounds like an amazing experience: a perfume that delivers on the power and mystery of perfume. A perfume for hedonistas! I'd love to be in the draw.

12:20 AM EST  
Anonymous Lavanya said...

This sounds wonderful-please enter me in the draw..

1:03 AM EST  
Anonymous denise l. said...

Oh, please enter me in the draw!

Oh...when will the dollar recover?! Sigh.

1:03 AM EST  
Blogger nattygold said...

Do you know if Lucas Sieuzac is any relation to Jean Louis Sieuzac, the creator of Opium, Bel Ami and Morabito's Or Black Homme? Please review Jubilation Homme. I would so love samples of Jubilation

1:10 AM EST  
Anonymous Flora said...

Oh no, another fabulous Amouage?! Sign me up for the draw. This sounds just unreal. If it even approaches Gold I will fall for it. Your review literally made my mouth water!

1:39 AM EST  
Blogger Gail S said...

Well, okay, throw me in there too if you will, please? It does sound very interesting and I really must sniff something you praise so highly! I haven't been a huge fan of their other fragrances, they seem to go "off" a bit on my skin, but I want to try anyway :)

3:20 AM EST  
Blogger Sakura said...

Mmm! Please put me in the drawing, I would love to try this perfume!

3:54 AM EST  
Anonymous Nina said...

Ooh, please enter me in the draw! If Columbina thinks it's must be good. All those resins, yummmm. Lovely review.

4:53 AM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

shi_mcgregor ,
Oh I wish I could read it French to!
You are in the draw.

6:33 AM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

You are too kind, thank you!
You are in the draw.

6:34 AM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

I highly recommend Gold, Dia, Ciel, Jubilation 25 and practically all their men's scents.
You are in the draw.

6:35 AM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

That is *exactly* what it is, how well put.
You are in the draw.

6:36 AM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

You are in the draw!

6:36 AM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Denise L,
You are in the draw!

6:37 AM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

I don't know and I too have been wondering.
You are in the draw.

6:38 AM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

It approaches, for sure. Perhaps, even surpasses (imho).
You are in the draw!

6:39 AM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Well, hopefully this will be the one that doesn't.
You are in the draw.

6:39 AM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

You are in the draw.

6:40 AM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

I wish my husband thought that way, about things in general, that if I say so, it must be right/good :-)
You are in the draw.

6:41 AM EST  
Blogger Patty said...

I was pretty sure you'd love this one. It pegs out on my skank-o-meter, and I totally get cumin in there too.

Love both of the new Amouages, and I too hadn't liked antyhing they'd done since Gold.

6:50 AM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Not Dia and/or Ciel?

6:56 AM EST  
Anonymous Divalano said...

You, wrong? Never, and perish the thought, I won't believe it!

Yes, draw me please.

8:17 AM EST  
Blogger Beth Gehring said...

Oh Marina,

What a review! I am left completely famished for this one. It sounds absolutely ravishing, sensual, sexy and completely classy at the same time. I have long desired a new fragrance to wear on my black tie evenings out, I think it might be this one. All that I could hear when reading your words were the swirling melodies of Rachmaninov and the intoxicating sounds of love. Please ,please, please enter me in your drawing.

8:29 AM EST  
Blogger cynthia3403 said...

I love the poems you find to go with the scent. It paints such a picture. Where do you find them?! And please be inspired to include them more often!
I would like to be entered in your draw. Jubilation sounds wonderful

8:45 AM EST  
Anonymous court said...

Amouage is an unexplored line for me, and this sounds like a promising place to start! Please enter me in the drawing, and thanks for the review.

9:03 AM EST  
Anonymous vida said...

Love your writings! I'm a newcomer to the perfumista world, but am diving in, wrists first. Am looking for the Holy Grail, but first I need to try them all, right? Please, please, please enter me in the drawing.

9:44 AM EST  
Blogger Kelley said...

M, I am going to wait until 2008 to order anything else! Luckily, that won't be a long wait.

Ouch, this is expensive.

9:52 AM EST  
Blogger Kelley said...

Sorry, I forgot to mention that I would love to enter your drawing!

9:53 AM EST  
Anonymous jane said...

How could one not want to try this after such enticement? Thanks for the review, the draw, and the always great perfume writing.

9:59 AM EST  
Blogger donanicola said...

This is high praise indeed from you Marina! And as someone has already pointed out - two magic words - "Roudnitska" "Femme". I'm wearing Diorama today, courtesy of the lovely Silvia, and its womanliness reminds me of Femme. Please put my name in the hat.

10:06 AM EST  
Anonymous elve said...

I've read this aloud and it even sounds great and full-bodied. Please enter me in the drawing!

10:13 AM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

I have some of this on the way, and you are making me look forward to it that much more!

BTW we are long overdue for some Baudelaire, and that poem is one of my absolute favorites. My mother loved it. Thanks.

10:33 AM EST  
Anonymous Suzanne said...

I just recently bought Amouage Gold and am falling ever more deeply in love with it by the day. And now this! If it has earned your highest praise, it must be like manna from heaven. Oh, please, pretty please with cherries on top, put me in the draw!

10:49 AM EST  
Anonymous sybil said...

If you like it, it must be worth it! Please enter me in the drawing. I'm wrestling a giant lemming to the ground....

11:11 AM EST  
Blogger Ducks said...

I have heard so many beautiful things said about this one that I am determined to try it. And I TRUST you... :)

And oh, cumin! This is the first I've heard about a cumin note in it... My new bizarre love.

Would you please enter me in the drawing as well?

11:29 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow - sounds just divine. Please add me to the draw. Looks like I may have to give up my idea of trying to temporarily abstain from reading perfume blogs, etc., to get my obsession and spending under control!!

- Carol

11:39 AM EST  
Anonymous sweetlife said...

I want a family crest with "luxe, calme et volupté" as the motto...

I think Femme and Arabie have been having a passionate, albeit illicit, affair for years and years now. I was just wearing the original Femme yesterday--bought a partial bottle of it for $1 from an antiques dealer who had been using his perfumes as air freshener to sprinkle on his cat box (!!!). Aside from the heartbreaking waste, can you imagine what that Femme smelled like?

Oh my yes, please put me in the draw!

11:58 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful review!! Sounds right up my alley. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks.

11:58 AM EST  
Blogger IrisLA said...

High praise indeed! Please enter me in the drawing.

11:58 AM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

M, I really liked this one very much, and entirely agree it is a better fit w/ the Amouage image. Sort of amazing that Lucas Sieuzac also did Reflection Man.

12:16 PM EST  
Anonymous KarenG said...

Beautiful review, and Baudelaire too! This really made my morning, thank-you. Please, please enter me in the draw. I can almost taste this stuff.

12:20 PM EST  
Anonymous Leopoldo said...

Though I'd like Gold for Men, I'd never sniffed any of the women's and there was one men's one I hated (Cirrus? Not sure). But I got a sample of the men's Jubilation and NEED a bottle. When I steal myself for the purchase (alas, poor wallet...) I'll ask for some women's samples too, and this one foremost amongst 'em. You've got me feelin the love.

2:40 PM EST  
Anonymous Therese said...

Oh yes, please enter me into the draw. A fragrance with the womanly ooziness of Femme--I must try. Perfume and poetry, ballet and good wine--all sumptuously simpatico!

3:26 PM EST  
Anonymous JenniferR said...

Sigh. I've been dreaming/reading Baudelaire lately, too. Oh, very great sigh.
Please enter me in the draw! And thank you so very much, as always, for your own intoxicating words.

3:33 PM EST  
Blogger carmencanada said...

Oh dear, I thought the lemming nursery had been shut down (trying so hard to keep the list under 20), but Roudnistka + Baudelaire? You got me, girl!

4:50 PM EST  
Blogger Janet said...

I would love, LOVE to try Jubilation 25!

7:32 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

That's what I like to hear :-)
You are in the draw.

9:00 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

it would be absolutely perfect for black tie evenings out!
You are in.

9:01 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Please don't encourage me, or I'll include them in every post :-)

9:02 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

You are in !

9:02 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Thank you so much!
You are in!

9:03 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

It's only a couple of weeks left, not much of a sacrifice, eh? :-)
You are in!

9:03 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Thank you!
You are in!

9:03 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

This should you remind you of Diorama too.
You are in!

9:04 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Thank you! You are in.

9:04 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

That reminds me that we are also overdue for some Neruda :-)
Thank you!

9:05 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

You are in, with cherries on top! :-)

9:05 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

The lemming shall not be defeated.
You are in.

9:06 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

No, no, don't say that. It is such huge responsibility, to be trusted :-)
You are in!

9:06 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

That idea must be abandoned this moment! :-)
You are in!

9:07 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

to sprinkle on his cat box?! Aieeee!!

You are in!

9:08 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Thank you, you are in.

9:08 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

You are in!

9:08 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

I thought Reflection for Men was way better than same for Women. Which ....mind boggles, really, all things considered.

9:09 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Thank you, you are in!

9:09 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Yes, the men's one is swoonworthy for sure!

9:10 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Ooziness is a perfect word for Femme (and this one).
You are in.

9:10 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Thank you for your very kind ones!
You are in!

9:11 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

I thought mine was shut down too. :-)

9:11 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

You are in.

9:11 PM EST  
Blogger Noy said...

Love hearing you rave about something -- and would love to try it! Please enter me in the drawing!

9:12 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Thank you! You are in.

9:22 PM EST  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

The prize draw is closed

The winners are:


Please send me your address and I will put the samples in the mail.

Thank you, everyone, for playing.

9:33 PM EST  

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