29 Jan 2024
All grand narratives are marked by milestones: moments for stepping back to appreciate what has come before while casting a glance at the ambitions that lie ahead. The House of Amouage has enjoyed many such occasions, but few have been as auspicious as the one it is about to celebrate: the 40th anniversary of its birth.
To lend this event the importance it deserves, it was inevitable that a truly remarkable addition would have to be made to the brand’s repertoire of scents. But it would have to be an addition that would also pay homage to Amouage’s extraordinary heritage. After all, an anniversary is an invitation to gaze upon and enjoy the achievements of the past. With these thoughts in mind, Renaud Salmon, Chief Creative Officer of Amouage, realised this was an ideal opportunity to extend the acclaimed collection of Exceptional Extraits: highly concentrated, deeply ennobled re-workings of some of Amouage’s most beloved creations.
“By their very nature,” says Salmon, “the Exceptional Extraits possess a sense of the celebratory, as they are a tribute to the highlights of the past. That’s why they had to become part of our 40th anniversary celebrations.”
Although every single perfume from Amouage’s history is a jewel in its own right, it soon became apparent that two were especially suited to this particular project.
Composed in 2002 by Jean-Claude Ellena, Dia Woman has always been seen as one of the house’s most tenderly feminine floral bouquets. However, it has also been praised for its uplifting translucency and its lightness of touch: a feast that is as opulent as it is accessible. As its name suggests, it is the scent of a day. And not just of one day, but of all days. A scent that marks every single day as being worthy of note — a day for celebrating.
Jubilation XXV Man was released as a marker of another important chapter in the story of Amouage: its 25th anniversary in 2008. With a blend of Eastern and Western styles, this much-loved Bertrand Duchaufour composition instantly became a modern classic and soon won admiration as one of perfumery’s most compelling statements on masculinity. Here was a scent that was already celebratory and could now be updated for an even more momentous festivity — an opportunity too fortuitous to ignore.
With the selections made, the next layer of the endeavour soon made itself obvious. “In the Exceptional Extraits collection,” says Salmon, “our creations are dosed at an extremely high percentage to make them as rich and complex as possible. It was clear that as this is Amouage’s 40th anniversary, both Dia and Jubilation would have to be dosed at 40%: a challenge that could be met only by the most talented perfumers in the industry.”
The task of creating this more intoxicating version of Dia Woman fell to Alexandra Carlin. A perfumer renowned for her technical skills and her instinctive understanding of the ways materials interact with each other, she maintained the distinctive, effortless elegance of the 2002 composition whilst making its base even more profound – imbuing it with darker, more sumptuous hues. The result is a floral bouquet projecting an astonishing array of images and emotions: a breathtaking journey from sunrise to zenith and finally to sunset.
At the scent’s opening, the familiar Aldehydes lend softness and delicacy to a veil of daylight-blush Musks. This is followed by the grand floral quartet of Rose, Orange Blossom, Carnation, and Ylang-Ylang: vivid, uncompromising ingredients that combine all their many shades and textures to create a vision of femininity that is now even more regal, even more graceful. In the closing stages, Orris, Sandalwood, and Amyris glow with a luminous aura: a regal shimmer beneath the vibrant intensity of the flowers. Effervescent and light-hearted, yet always exuding refinement, Dia 40 Woman sings softly of eternal beauty.
For this even more celebratory incarnation of Jubilation XXV Man, Amouage called on the talents of its original creator, Bertrand Duchaufour. While keeping the essential structure of his composition intact, the perfumer emphasised and highlighted key aspects to construct an even more striking blend of styles. Jubilation 40 Man reaches new heights of expressiveness, offering an extraordinarily compelling presentation of masculinity.
Retaining the instantly recognisable blackberry opening, the scent now also reveals dry, tart hints of Blackcurrant This makes way for the perfume’s majestic heart: Genet unfurls within a burst of honeyed Tobacco notes while regal Frankincense cuts through the narcotic warmth of Balsams and Resins. Eventually, the scent settles on an enveloping, heart-stopping dry-down of Patchouli, Cistus, and Opoponax. Flaming with magnificence and a lust for adventure, Jubilation 40 Man captures the absolute essence of masculine sophistication.
A testament to Amouage’s commitment to furthering the art and craft of perfumery, the Exceptional Extraits constitute some of the boldest, most precious creations that the house has offered to its many admirers around the globe. Each of the extraits in this exclusive collection is the result of careful, painstaking experiments to gauge the effects of various concentration levels and different ageing times. The aim is not just to re-frame the original formula in as complex a manner as can be conceived but to push the ingredients themselves to the very limits of what they can offer to the composition, allowing them time to reveal all their most hidden facets.
This process proved especially exacting in the case of Jubilation 40 Man, which required ten weeks of ageing before it finally displayed its true character. In effect, a period of nearly three months had to be allowed to pass before each trial formula could be evaluated completely. This helps explain why the Exceptional Extraits represent the most genuinely rarefied heights of perfumery.
To reflect the singular magnificence of their contents, the bottles of the Exceptional Extraits are a breathtakingly elevated rendition of the iconic Amouage flacons, featuring rich, lustrous inner lacquering with unique, enticing colours. Dia 40 Woman radiates the ethereal beauty of dusk copper, while Jubilation 40 Man projects the spirited elegance of honey gold. Both bottles are finished with the Gift of Kings seal on the neck. Finally, a layer of golden dust is applied to the outer packaging – a glittering emblem of timelessness and generosity.