Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Amouage - The Library Collection Opus I, II and III

I'd like to return these books, please

A new trio of fragrances from Amouage, The Library Collection, is built around the concepts of a library, including a "tome of memories," "hidden treasures," discovery and learning. Amouage is a niche, luxury perfume house, based in Grasse in the South of France but inspired by the Sultanate of Oman. Amouage has released perfumes before that I've liked, but The Library Collection volumes are not going to be added to the full bottle list.

Opus I
lily of the valley,
sour milk,
baby powder,
burning plastic,
vanilla pudding,

Why do they call this a chypre? I can't bear to wear this again, so my review will have to be the notes I wrote down above. There was a sour, burnt note in the top, but the drydown is a cloying vanilla pudding with sandalwood that lasts forever.

Nose: Daniel Maurel
Top: Birgarade, Plum, Cardamom.
Heart: Ylang-ylang, Rose, Jasmine, Tuberose, Lily of the Valley.
Base: Papyrus, Cedarwood, Guaiacwood, Frankincense, Tonka Beans, Sandalwood, Vetiver

Opus II

Amouage is calling  Opus II a fougère. There is a little lavender at the top, but it's very light, thank goodness; lavender is not my favourite note. There is also a little pepper. But the top notes disappear quickly and the perfume dries down to a rosy cedar with a hint of cinnamon. I'm a big fan of cedar so I'm quite happy about this development. Unfortunately it doesn't last for very long.

Nose: Michele Saramito
Top: Lavender, Absinth, Pepper, Pink Bay.
Heart: Jasmine, Rose, Cinnamon, Cardamom.
Base: Cedarwood, Patchouli, Amber, Musk, Frankincense.

Opus III

The third volume in this collection is a floral. Opus III is a sweet and powdery violet with mimosa. The violet is slightly tart, reminding me of  little candies. The base of benzoin and vanilla adds to the candy vibe. It's the most linear of the three perfumes and also the least surprising. It does last a decent amount of time though, and the next morning, I have a nice musk still on my wrist.

Nose: Karine Vinchon-Spehn
Top: Mimosa, Broom, Carnation, Nutmeg, Thyme.
Heart: Violet, Jasmine, Ylang-ylang, Orange Blossom.
Base: Musk, Papyrus, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Guaiacwood, Benzoin, Vanilla, Frankincense.

In Conclusion

Frankincense is traditionally from Oman, and all Amouage fragrances contain frankincense, as part of a common base accord that links the whole line. If I actually smelled frankincense in The Library Collection trio of perfumes, I might have liked them better. As it is, although I know this is an accomplished house and the prices must indicate fine materials, I don't like any of The Library Collection perfumes enough to purchase.

For other (better) reviews of The Library Collection, try Perfume Shrine, who calls Opus I "truly surprising" and peredepierre who says it's "top-notch." See also Il Modo di Odore who says it's "very good" and also likes Opus II. So, it could just be me.

House: Amouage

Photo: The private library of William Randolph Hearst, by stuck in customs
Photo: vanilla pudding by bochalla
Photo: violet candies by davescunningplan


  1. I haven't tried anything from Amouage yet. It seems they release a new fragrance every week! I just can't keep up!

    I have read reviews of other Amouage scents and they sound divine, but I'm just not convinced yet. I don't know what it's going to take!

  2. OK, your review mad me laugh out loud (Opus I).
    I find that Amouage is hit or miss. I also find that people defend them no matter what or people hate them. My friend despises them (that's how I ended up with so many Amouage samples).I'm one of the few "neutral" Amouage people. I haven't shunned the brand forever...but I haven't tried the library collection!

  3. Good to know - thanks for the heads up!

  4. EauMG: I didn't know there were other people out there who didn't like Amouage. All I ever read are raves. I do like Lyric quite a bit though.

  5. I think I tried all of these and didn't care particularly for any of them. But right after I put on Amouage Homage Attar which was a big mistake. So the negative memory of the Opus testing experience may be unfairly amplified by that.

    From your description the second one sounds quite nice. Maybe I should have another go!

  6. Hi flittersniffer: Opus II was my favourite of the three. (Homage is great isn't it. I thnk I still have a smidge, I should pull it out.)


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