Three years ago, I reviewed Amouage Jubilation XXV for Men, the scent released by the perfume house founded and owned by the Sultan of Oman in the Middle East. It’s a very heavy fragrance that, to this Westerner, seems far more appropriate for winter as it wraps around you like a blanket. It has top notes of labdanum ciste, coriander, orange, davana, frankincense, and blackberry; center notes of honey, bay, cinnamon, orchid, rose, clove, celery seeds, and gaiac wood; base notes of patchouli, opoponax, myrrh, atlas cedarwood, musk, moss, ambergris, oud wood, and immortelle. We went through it so quickly that there hasn’t been any around for awhile as it can be impossible to find in the United States. (Despite my urging for too long to remember, my favorite source of Creed and Bond No. 9, Hall’s in Kansas City, still doesn’t carry it even though they have the clientele.)
[mainbodyad]Last week, I decided I needed to cross some things off my tertiary task list and ordering a new 100 ml bottle of the Jubilation XXV was one of them. There are very few authorized dealers in the country, but they do exist. The exciting part was the price hasn’t changed much ($300 per bottle), so there hasn’t been a lot of inflation as there had been with a few of the other top-tier fragrance brands.
Since the new bottle arrived, we’ve gone around spraying ourselves with it non-stop for the past 72 hours, constantly enraptured by the magic applied to our wrists. This stuff is intoxicating. I know it’s thick, to people who grew up in the French school of scent, almost to the point of being offensive, but just like foreign food or music, you have to appreciate it for what it is.
One of the handful of authorized dealers in the United States is an online store called Lucky Scent. They sell the real stuff, not old stock or liquidations. They will provide a 0.7 ml sample for $4 if you are curious about it. Or better yet, buy a bottle of something you love and you can request quite a few free samples. To the sub-community of fragrance collectors out there, it’s worth the risk. This is not a scent for all people – you’re either going to love it or loathe it. It will make you either want to put on a cashmere sweater, throw yourself in a big leather chair, and look over your portfolio to count your dividends as you breathe deeply some of the most exotic ingredients on the planet, or spray yourself down with cold water so you can inhale without choking, crying, “Get it off! Get it off!”. I haven’t found much in between. It’s either bliss or agony depending upon your orientation to things such as Frankincense.
My second favorite in the Amouage line for men is Reflection, which, like Jubilation XXV, reminds me of “Christmas and Cash” according to my notes. It seems like a younger, more carefree brother of Jubilation XXV. I’m going to have to pick up a bottle of it, too, now that I remember how fantastic this house is on the men’s side.
I still need to check out Penhaligon’s, which many of you have told me I must research. I figure now that I’ve acquired most of the Acqua di Parma I desire – with only one or two left to fill in the collection (there was an Oud I wanted I found when we were in Southern California last month but I didn’t want to deal with bringing it back or shipping it) – I’m hoping to get around to this one next.
Any more suggestions, send them my way and I’ll keep sharing my exploits as long as you all keep sending me your stories; some of you have amazing fragrance cabinets!