Amouage: The Library Collection

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.

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34 thoughts on “Amouage: The Library Collection

  1. Mini-reviews! Ha! Love those! 🙂

    I think it is astouning how extremely, and I mean EXTREMELY different we perceive the Library Collection, and it isn’t just us, I have often wondered about the fact that there are such very disparate reviews out there. Those five perfumes are seen differently by everyone, we all get a different angle, set another priority within the perfumes and that, for me, is the real genius of the Library Collection.

    By the way, I am wearing the new Amouage – Honour – today, aaaaaahhhhhhh! 😉

    1. I am hooked on mini-reviews! I love them (thank you for the inspiration!!)

      When I began testing these, and referencing some of the things I had read—Carrie’s blog comes to mind—I immediately knew that I was coming from a very different place. Wouldn’t it be fun for each of us to do a set of mini’s on the Library collection for a compare/contrast reference?

      That means T needs to get a set, and Undina needs to get the rest of them, I wonder if Bloody Frida has them too? This could be a lot of fun… 🙂

      Honour! I am SO jealous that you are already sniffing it!! WANT.

  2. I think my interpretations of every single Opus fragrance differs from yours in a big way, but that’s a testament to the complexity of these scents. Amouage perfumes mean business, and exploring them currently is really teaching me a few things about perfumery, how to translate my thoughts and feelings into words, and how to be brave enough to tackle these beautiful monsters. In short, The Library Collection blew my mind.

    1. It’s a really great collection, isn’t it? I had written them off, mostly because the buzz around them wasn’t particularly, shall we say, enticing? But after Birgit reviewed V, and then you started talking about them… I had to get in on the action! I’m impressed, overall, even if, out of five, only one really strikes me as full-bottle-worthy.

      As I mentioned to B. above, it would be so much fun to have side-by-side quick-takes on this series— to calibrate our noses! 🙂

  3. So far the only Opus I have tried (I own a bottle) is Opus IV.
    I agree with you about the mystic vibe. I don’t enjoy much of the opening but the middle notes and drydown are magic.
    I wear it when I feel I need peace of mind, but in an elevated way; not like I would wear a comfort scent.
    Its lasting power is amazing.

    I would really like to try Opus III as I am pretty sure I will love it.

    1. Ha! I knew I couldn’t be the only one to love IV! What excellent taste you have Caro 😉

      I think that it is interesting that you concur with my desert mystic vibe, and use it to foster a sense of peace… that’s exactly what this fragrance does/says to me too! And I too am very impressed with the lasting power—twelve hours easily on my skin!

      Twelve hours of bliss…

      😉

  4. Enjoyed your mini-reviews.

    The Library collection are my least favorite perfumes from Amouage. I will buy several others (a FB or a decant) before I go for any of the Opuses. But they are all very interesting, I agree.

    My absolute favorite from the collection is Opus III. But now, looking at you and Carrie, I should probably spend some time with each one again and attempt my own not-a-review post.

    1. Poor Undina! We keep pushing you around with our definitive tastes! LOL. I can’t wait to read your not-a-review post 🙂

      1. Dee, in this case you can take credit only for my decision to make an attempt on writing about them ;). I’ve been testing them on my own but randomly. Now I want to go through all of them methodically, review all my previous notes and put together a couple of sentences for each.
        Amaranthine will have to wait a little longer 😉

  5. “The darker side of Tim Gunn” LOL!

    Talking of lavender have you tried Dior’s Eau Noire, dee? It is the most amazing lavender and immortelle scent. Really original and stunning.

    As for Amouage, I haven’t fallen for any of them yet though I like Lyric the best. At that price point I can’t say I’m too disappointed. As Robin says “$100 is the new free” when it comes to perfume. Loved your mini reviews and Opus IV certainly sounds the most intriguing. Hope you don’t have to wait too long for a full bottle. Can you tell us if you have given Mr. H a birthday wish-list?

    1. I just love Tim Gunn, but then—who doesn’t!! 🙂

      I haven’t tried Eau Noire, but if it’s a well-done lavender, than it’s headed straight to the top of my To Sniff list. Lavender can be so good it hurts (Yatagan! Reverie au Jardin!).

      Lyric is stunning, but I think that if I were choosing between it and OJ Ta’if, I’d go for the Ta’if (which you did, didn’t you??). I was planning to purchase a bottle of Lyric this year, because it is sooooo perfect, but it’s the kind of easy perfection that I have a hard time pulling out my debit card for. It’s easier for me to actually buy something that has some level of odd-ness to it—which is how I came to own a bottle of Memoir 🙂

      Opus IV is so great… but me and Caro might be in the minority on this one! LOL.

      Aahhh… Mr. Howe has been given a wish-list with one item on it: an iPad with an Orange cover. ***crosses fingers***

      1. Politely butting in, those are my thoughts exactly wih Lyric and Ta’if. I own both but wear Ta’if more often because its peppery dryness is more interesting. I tend to wear it on nights out with friends and parties.
        On the other hand I wear Lyric when i want to feel as beautiful as the scent itself. it is so intoxicating! Well, there’s enough place in my heart (and cabinet) for both of them.

        BTW, I once read a review that said Opus IV smelled like bubblegum and body odor (tempting, huh?) and i have to admit the first few seconds on my skin smell like that.
        the rest is peace, bliss and elevation.

        1. Hi Caro, you’re not butting in at all!

          That is an interesting distinction that you make: Ta’if out for adventure, and Lyric for feeling beautiful—I’m going to be looking at Ta’if in a new light…

          Haha, that doesn’t surprise me at all! I live in Oregon, and here there is an event, called the Oregon Country Fair that takes place every summer (since the 60’s or 70’s), and it’s basically a giant playground for hippies, and hippie watching. The first minute or two of IV takes me dangerously close to my childhood memories of tagging along with my (hippie) dad when I stayed with him over the summers, but thankfully veers in another direction just in the nick of time! 🙂

          I could easily see how someone would run to the bathroom sink to scrub before the best part kicked in!

        2. Caro, I love Ta’if’s peppery dryness too and I’m getting the impression already that you have a pretty cool and extensive collection!

          dee, totally know what you mean about wanting a “level of oddness” in a FB. I’ll send you a decant of Ta’if when I get more bottle supplies.

  6. I’m down with us all doing mini reviews of the Library Collection, it’s a great idea! I’m personally fascinated with it as a whole, so I could really talk about it endlessly. Wait, maybe I already do. 🙂

    I feel like Opus V is my furry baby, like another pet. No wonder Troutie’s been acting jealously lately!

    1. Yay! I love it! Love, love, love it. 🙂 🙂

      I completely agree with you—I have become very fascinated with the collection, and am not ready to move on yet. I still plan to do full reviews of a few of them (I kinda hate “I” but am a little bit addicted to smelling it), and I feel like they haven’t gotten much acclaim, so why not???!

      1. I feel like if there were ever a fragrance collection that is “not for everybody”, The Library Collection is it. I like three out of five of them, which is a pretty damn good ratio if you ask me. I don’t think it’s possible for any given Amouage lover (or perfume lover for that matter) to like/love all five perfumes. Don’t you think that would be some kind of miracle? I misunderstood a tweet of Tarleisio’s this morning or last night, I forget, and I thought she was saying that she loved all five of them. She (as I now know) hasn’t tried a single one. But at the time, I thought a legit miracle had occurred and was shocked. LOL!

        1. True, true.

          When I saw T’s comment, then your response, I too was really surprised (Of course it was a misunderstanding, after all). While I can appreciate I, and could even wear III, II, and V, I have no overwhelming desire to do so. I wonder if there really is something in there for everyone… although Undina did point out that she hasn’t been won over by any of them—(Undina, I hope you’ll weigh in if you change your mind!), but it sounds like you’ve found at least one love in the batch…

          1. As I said, I do like Opus III (and Opus II is just purfect on my vSO) and I wouldn’t refuse a bottle from the sky 😉 but as for getting out a credit card, two or three other Amouages will beat the Library collection to it. But let’s see where one more test gets me.

  7. Once upon a time, I was a complete neophyte in the esoteric (which they are) wonders of Amouage. Of course, it follows that was in my own age of innocence in the halcyon days Before I Met You All…and as you likely came to find out, I was/am/will probably always be…easily corrupted! 😉

    To date, I’ve tried four – Ubar, Epic, Lyric and Gold. Jubilation 25 is also on that list, but I’m trying to wrap my mind around it and have yet to succeed. Give it time, give it time…

    I hope to be able to try all of the Opus line, because I get the impression Amouage has a different message here, and by golly, my curiosity is KILLING me after Carrie’s, B’s and now your reviews. Are there stories in those juices? Will they talk to me? What will they say? Not to mention – what will I write? Amouage has certain delirious effects on my own purple prose…

    Who knows? But my curiosity IS killing me, damn it, and now Honour is almost out, and I still haven’t tried Memoir, and why do I have to live the Niche Empty Quarter and why did I blow my budget on Tabac Blond extrait and why, oh, why, oh why do I just know there’s a furry lemming or two or three in there?

    Because I can smell it! That’s your fault, too! 😉

    1. T, as your number one fan, I’d like to suggest that you edit “easily corrupted” to say instead, “Joyously corrupted.” 😉

      It will be interesting to see how you “read” the Opus Library—I think that they are more sonnets than stories… but I will defer to your judgement.

      And how is it that you have not tried Memoir? Do I need to send you some? How have you been so neglected???

      🙂

      1. Dee, I stand corrected. Joyously – if ruinously – corrupted it is! 😀 Somebody, shoot me already! 😉

        I wish I could say I knew what to expect – that is, if I ever do get to try the entire Library, and libraries are not my least favorite places – but if experience has taught me anything, it is to expect the unexpected;)

        No, I have yet to try the many-splendored wonder that is ‘Memoir’. I suspect I’ve been so neglected (not really) because I’m still a bit diffident about asking outright to try it, and second – true confession – I’m kind of overwhelmed by some of the responses I’ve been getting lately. That, and the amount of samples that sulk reproachfully in their new cake box in my closet, as yet unreviewed, not counting the favorites in rotation in (another) cakebox in my perfume cabinet, some of them also…unreviewed.

        Then, there’s the nifty little – matching turquoise paisley – box by my computer, containing the stuff I have to review (Right now, it’s ELdO’s Rossy de Palma and Illuminum White Gardenia Petals), and lastly, that flowered silver tin that arrived yesterday (along with a whopping import tax bill – 40$ for samples!!!), that I’m really DYING…to review.

        MIni reviews sound like one good idea to implement, just to get rid of the guilt!

        Dev is twitching on the sidelines (never a good idea), and…

        WTF. Send me Memoir. I have an idea for a story…

  8. Need to chime in once more:
    I wore Opus III after all as my sleep scent last night, because of this post, and it is truly amazing. So I guess my clear favorite is III.
    As for IV, I wonder if my impression of it smelling totally like mulled wine is a cultural one, maybe European grog is different to what you know in America (or South america in Caro’s case), I wish Tarleisio who is no doubt grog-knowledgeable could weigh in on this… I’d send you some, T. if I still had my sample, sigh.

    1. B, are you saying I’m a lush? LOL! Not really, but I do like mulled wine, glühwein, Glögg, grog, toddies and eggnog with and without spikes, so I hope that’s what you’re saying? Not to fret…I suspect I’ll try it soon enough! Read ALL about it when I do…:)

  9. You’re so right, Dee, that everyone seems to have absolutely different takes on these Library fragrances. I remember reading one review on Opus I (can’t remember where I read it) that it was a “sheer plum” or something to that effect, and it is anything but sheer to my nose. I think your interpretation of it is closer to how I perceive it, but whereas it’s not to your taste, I really love it. To me, it’s a plummy rose at its most hyper-beautiful state. When I wear it, I feel like I’m a bride in India, having been beautifully decorated in henna tattoos and wearing gold bangles up and down my arms. I didn’t love this one at first sniff, but when I finally fell for it, I fell madly, deeply.

    Opus II I didn’t care for at all, but Opus III is also way gorgeous! Haven’t tried the other two, but am dying to try Opus V after reading Carrie’s review.

    1. Suzanne, I always have fun blogging and reading blogs, but reading people’s responses to the Opus collection has been especially enjoyable; I think it really highlights not only our preferences, but also our perceptions, which is really cool and I think very useful! I can appreciate the beauty of I, and I wish I smelled the scenario that you paint, it is stunning (definitely not sheer, LOL!).
      I hope that you get your hands on both IV and V, because I’d love to hear your take on my and Carrie’s respective favorites! 🙂

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