If I hadn't known that Amouage Jubilation 25 was new, you could have convinced me that this was the perfume that the snake dabbed on Eve when he handed over the apple. You could have told me that the scent of Jubilation 25 so mesmerized Adam that when he bit into the apple he thought it was something wholesome, like a vegan burrito, instead of a naughty apple, and I would have believed it. After all, Jubilation 25 smells like a blend of flesh and paradise.
Amouage released Jubilation 25 in 2007 to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Lucas Sieuzac, who won Fashion Group International's Rising Star award in 2004, hit it out of the park when he created Jubilation 25. The Amouage website lists Jubilation 25's top notes as tarragon, rose, lemon, and ylang ylang; its heart as davana, labdanum, rose, and frankincense; and its base as amber, musk, vetiver, myrrh, and patchouli.
Surprisingly, given the list of notes, Jubilation 25 smells to me like a carnal, sheer rose-fruit chypre with a dusting of cumin and a twist of lemon. It is a woman's smell, not a girl's, and a confident, sensual woman's smell, at that.
One of my first thoughts on smelling Jubilation 25 was that it is similar to the new version of Rochas Femme. Wearing them side by side shows that Jubilation 25 is more delicate and complex than Femme. It is harder to pin down than Femme, compelling me to smell it again and again. It's also more herbal than Femme. (I brought a sprig of tarragon in from the garden just to make sure I could smell it in Jubilation 25.) Femme smells like a drag queen next to Jubilation 25.
I don't think Jubilation 25 is for everyone. It's not the sort of fragrance that's easy to love if you're in the first stages of being a perfumista. If you don't get Dior Diorella, Guerlain Mitsouko, or Rochas Femme, you might want to spend your perfume dollars elsewhere (and thank your lucky stars, because Amouage fragrances are famously expensive). But if those names make your heart beat faster — and mine is pattering wildly — you should at least get a sample of Jubilation 25. I'm lucky to have a small decant, but it won't be long before I crave a bottle. Damn that snake.
Amouage Jubilation 25 Eau de Parfum comes in 50 and 100 ml bottles. A spritz lasts a good eight hours. For buying information, see the listing for Amouage under Perfume Houses.