Jubilation XXV by Bertrand Duchaufour for Amouage 2007

Heya Perfume Posse! Portia from Australian Perfume Junkies with you again today. Jubilation XXV arrived in a small group of splits ordered from a buddy at Facebook Fragrance Friends, there are a few excellent splitters there and some good prices on bottles receiving too little attention in people’s Fragrant Wardrobes. Anyway, I got this in the mail and was madly trying to work out whether it was the guys or girls version, not that it matters for anything except getting the note lists and other reading etc. but sometimes you like to know where it’s pitched to get a feeling for what the house is trying to achieve. Jubilation XXV will be a perfect fragrance for those cooler nights that occur in both Spring and Autumn, depending on where you are.

Jubilation XXV by Bertrand Duchaufour for Amouage 2007

Jubilation XXV Amouage FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Orange, coriander, labdanum, tarragon, olibanum, blackberry
Heart: Guaiac wood, cinnamon, bay leaf, honey, orchid, rose, clove, celery seeds
Base: Opoponax, patchouli, myrrh, cedar, musk, oakmoss, ambergris, agarwood (oud), immortelle

Right, So this is the men’s version of Jubilation. Bertrand Duchaufour was in charge and the open is big herbal, resinous, woods. The smell is somewhat like the fragrance of a 100% amped version of sitting in a Catholic confessional awaiting the slide of the grille window so the priest could hear your confession. At this point I must tell you a secret, my best friend and I would tell the priests our true sins (in their eyes), in graphic detail. So from about age 13 we would tell of our naughty forays into the world of youthful gay sex and then afterwards over lunch laugh at each others stories and the priests responses to our lascivious learnings. I am chuckling right now. Those poor sexually frustrated priests must have been thrilled by our exploits, HA HA HA!

Jubilation XXV Amouage JubilationOverFallOfBabylon WikiCommonsJubilation Over Fall Of Babylon Photo Stolen WikiCommons

Back to the fragrance, the herbs make Jubilation XXV’s woods seem green, as in not yet fully dried, and recently sawed. There is plenty of incense smoke and a honeyed sweetness that makes me lean in closer to my wrist for an extra sniff. A raspy sweet orange zest that has gone a bit far into the pith creating that weird creamy/bitter sensation. I love that so much of Duchaufour’s work is about the mixture of scents, not about single notes. What I get more than anything is a feeling of being elsewhere. Maybe some of the dusty, lonely cathedrals and churches in Europe. Their beauty now fading under centuries of grime and humanity, those once bright paintings now dimmed with age and neglect. The intricately carved wooden pews still having the hint of wood and a lovely patina created by countless bottoms rubbing them in their Sunday best. I smell dust, decay, incense and gilt. And guilt. I get a waxiness that reminds me of the candles you can burn to the various icons, idols and paintings of saints and as Katie Puckrik says, it could have been a gift from the three wise men to baby Jesus.

Jubilation XXV Amouage Sweden church Michael Cavin FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Jubilation XXV is beautiful, mesmerising and fabulously evocative while still being absolutely wearable. A wonderful creation awaiting anyone who would love to smell like antiquity brought bang up to date. Men only? No way! Anyone could wear this dense wooden beauty. I imagine on a woman it would be seductive and enticing, unexpected and intriguing. On a man it will smell like an expensive version of stuff he already has that cost about one quarter of the price.

Further reading: Now Smell This and Katie Puckrik Smells
LuckyScent has $300/100ml
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $4/.5 ml

What did you think of Jubilation XXV? Have you tried it? Are you frightened by the idea that it is for men?
Portia x

  • Laurels says:

    I have been scared off by the idea that it’s for men, so I appreciate this review. Like Mals, Jubilation 25 didn’t work for me at all (and to my inexperienced nose smelled very much like Rochas Femme); it’s good to know I’m not alone, and that there is some sort of similarity. I’ll have to try XXV if I get the chance. There are a few masculine fragrances I’ve tried and liked recently, and not much rhyme or reason to the notes (or combination thereof) that add up to “too masculine” for me. Mostly I think I just can’t abide smelling like my father or any old boyfriends.

  • malsnano86 says:

    I didn’t get on with Jub 25 at ALLLL. I mean, it was stealth nausea, the kind that sort of creeps up on you and the longer you wear something the worse you feel. (Happens to me a lot with fruity chypres. Don’t know why. Femme, So Pretty, AdP Profumo, most versions of Mitsy… all complete disasters for me. I TRIED. I really did.)

    So I was very relieved when I had a sniff of XXV, because I thought it was quite lovely. I don’t wear a lot of incense fragrances (and as a Southern Baptist I don’t have any churchy memories associated with incense*), but I tend to find them very meditative and calming. My sample of this one is gone, and I probably wouldn’t wear it often if I did have a bottle, but I liked it very much. And I have notoriously girly taste, but I like woody-creamy incense (Black Cashmere, anyone?) on just about anyone.

    * My one churchy-incense memory is of the cathedral in Mdina on Malta, which had a very strong almost-burnt-wood component to it. DSH Perfumes Twelfth Night smells like that cathedral to me.

    • WOW! That must be a serious bummer Malsnano86,
      Especially with the wealth of fruity chypres and neo chypres currently on the market. Then again, at least it gives you something that can be by passed pretty easily.
      I didn’t know that there are churches that don’t use incense. How interesting. Yes, it does have a very burnt wood, dark component sometimes that I just adore. One of the best things about the churches I’ve been in is that lovely smell.
      Do you burn incense in your home?
      Portia xx

      • malsnano86 says:

        Church incense, at least in the US, seems to be solely used by of the Catholic, Orthodox, and maybe possibly the Anglican churches (though the Anglican churches I’ve been to didn’t use it either). I’ve never burned it at home, either — not that I’m opposed in principle, it’s that I’d have to purchase the accoutrements, and that would probably annoy my husband. I’ll just make do with scented candles.

  • Edward G says:

    Unfortunately, XXV was almost invisible on me! I couldn’t smell it at all. Another perfume reviewer told me it must be the ISO E Super. Elixir Des Merveilles has a similar opening & that one smells incredible on my skin. I’ve read on Basenotes that quite a few people have had trouble smelling Jubilation XXV on them, so I’d recommend sampling it first.

    • Interesting Edward G,
      I hadn’t read or heard that. Also interesting that lixir Des Merveilles is big on you, on me it is a skin scent after the first 20 minutes. Beautiful but I miss the nuances that people rave about.
      Anyone who tells you chemistry doesn’t make a difference to your experience is so wrong.
      Portia xx

  • Lynne Marie says:

    I LOVE Jubilation XXV. Like you, at first I didn’t know which was the “mens” and which the “womens” and I’m glad I didn’t because I sniffed XXV without any preconceived notions. I love its complexity, the interplay between heavy dark and creamy sweet and how different aspects waft off of it one after the other. Great review, Portia!!

    • Hey there Lynne Marie,
      I love that we get similar lovely journeys from XXV. Also that they’ve made it almost gender free to the novice like me so you do have few expectations.
      Thank you,
      Portia xx

  • Bastet says:

    I thought this scent was complex and beautiful, as described in your review, and would definitely wear it although I am a woman. However, I did like the women’s version even better.

  • bevfred says:

    Sorry…it’s escapades at confession.

  • bevfred says:

    I haven’t tried it but your review makes it sound very interesting.
    I also love your escapes at confession. Sounds like the kind of thing I would do!!

    • Heya BevFred,
      Jubilation XXV is VERY interesting, beautiful, seamless fragrance creation.
      Even reading my confession about my confession makes me smile. We were naughty, I’m glad you were too. Life’s too short to miss some harmless fun.
      Portia xx