For your virtual sniffing pleasure, I present Amouage: The Library Collection Mini-Reviews. Some of these fragrances will get full reviews at a later date, so stay tuned batman!
Opus I Bigarade, plum, cardamom, Ylang-ylang, rose, jasmine, tuberose, lily of the valley, Papyrus, cedar wood, guaiac wood, incense, tonka bean, sandalwood, vetiver
Tuberose as a note puts me on high alert— I’m prejudice against it. In Opus I (which I sampled last), is the least appealing to me on skin, however, sniffing it on paper reveals what my nose would call a classic; it’s as if the brief read, “Create Chanel No. 5, using none of the notes Beaux used.” I will concede that there are notes in common, for the purists out there, but the impression I get from Opus I is that of a thoroughly modern, yet utterly respectful, interpretation of what it means to smell like money, power, and privilege. A real stunner, though not at all to my taste.
Opus II Lavender, Absinthe, pepper, pink bay, Jasmine, rose, cinnamon, cardamom, Cedarwood, patchouli, amber, musk, incense
Is there anything prettier than well-done lavender? II offers up a perfectly smooth lavender on an abstractly dark base. I can picture Aladdin’s Jafar wearing this scent: a nefarious dandy with calculating good taste (or perhaps the darker side of Tim Gunn?). Excellent.
Opus III Mimosa, broom, clove, nutmeg, thyme, Violet, jasmine, ylang-ylang, orange blossom, Ambrette, musk, papyrus, cedar, sandalwood, guaiac wood, benzoin resin, vanilla
Hold on to your make-up bag, this is a girly party! Cosmetic powder on a bed of chewy-almond paste, III reminds me simultaneously of Guerlain’s L’Heure Bleue, and last year’s Kiss Me Tender by Parfums de Nicolaï. Very, very pretty— but I wish that it lasted longer (I get 3-4 hours on skin).
Opus IV Coriander oil, lemon, mandarin, grapefruit, elemi oil, cardamom, cumin, rose berries, rose, violet leaves, peru balsam, labdanum, frankincense, musk
Mr. Howe was the first to wear number four and stated: “I’m not going to try and describe it.”
HE won’t describe it, but I will! At first, it smelled very much like sage brush to me, with a dry, sticky texture to it. It almost goes into hippie territory, but is saved within a few moments, when it developes a delectable (almost edible) creamy sweetness. It reminds me of orange-creamsicle treats with a side of sage. A sage-sicle? It has a desert mystic vibe that I like very much, and is (by far) my favorite of the collection.
Opus V Orris Absolute, Rum, Orris Concrete, Rose, Jasmine, Agarwood, Civet, Dry Wood Accord
Being hypersensitive to iris, Opus V smells like… iris. A big blast of delicious iris, that sweetens up as it developes; I found it sweetest just as the civet began to make it’s appearance. Nice.
They don’t call these “The Gift of Kings” for nothing.
Not all of the fragrances work for me (Opus I comes to mind!), yet the beauty and the quality of each is undeniable. The whole range is worth sampling; however, the only one from the Library collection that might actually make it to the wish list? Number IV.
The Library Collection is available from Luckyscent (and others), $325 for 100mL
Samples were generously provided for review by Amouage.