At this point, it feels like every 2023 release that has high anticipation has completely whiffed. Doesn't matter if it's PR product and influencer hype (see: Lovers
) or premium niche flankers (see: Hacivat Oud
and Masque Milano Ruby collection). I am going to place Jubilation 40
into that same basket.
[in-doors test, went through scent evolution 2 times]
Make no mistake about it, J40 isn't just a concentration flanker to Jubilation XXV Man
. The opening instantly goes in the direction that Sebastian (The Perfume Guy) said it would - the scent smells camphorous. On my first impressions, I felt like J40 opened like a hybrid between J25 and Amouage's woody-aromatic-herbal fragrances like Beach Hut Man
or Bracken Man
. On my second wear, I started to find reminiscence to an evergreen or a Christmas tree. This vibe specifically made me think of a comparison like Fille en aiguilles
. The top/opening is very much a woody-aromatic fragrance and doesn't really even smell like J25.
Another note that causes significant difference is the bay rum heart note. The feeling that it brings to this fragrance is akin to the blackberry in J25 done in alcoholic fashion. I don't really know of many fragrances that do boozy this well, to the point that it smells realistic boozy. The only one that comes to mind is the opening on Ytzma
In terms of the scent pyramid & accords, this could be viewed as a boozy oriental with a woody-aromatic top. I don't think we can think of this as a fruity amber like we did with J25. I can only smell the J25 tones from very up-close. But the issue is this doesn't address the biggest criticism people have with current J25 - the performance. Much like Aventus
, prevailing J25 batches are a shadow of its true former self. To me, J40's performance is just as awful as that of the current J25. The concentration might be high because of the sheen on the back of my hand, but there is no sillage to go with it and the 4 sprays on my first evolution are barely there 3 hours in.
While I was extremely underwhelmed on my first wear, I am mildly less underwhelmed on my second one. I think the underlying product is good-to-great, and I would say that it does a great job at differentiating itself from J25 with the camphorous top-middle and the boozy middle-base. Yet at the end of the day, if you're not an influencer getting this for free, you'll be paying €455 for 100ml on this poorly-performing camphorous-boozy alternative of J25. I cannot, in good faith, recommend that you purchase this. I think I would struggle to justify purchasing this even if it was €345 for 100ml. People wanted vintage J25 and they got current J25 version 2.0.