Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Amouage Opus IV Library Collection

The first time I tested Opus IV from Amouage Library Collection I applied it just before bed and right away though: "oops, cumin!". I was worried the husband might protest and object to sharing his bed and cats with a hefty dose of this spice. But all went well, spouse and felines were not offended and I could keep on wearing Amouage Opus 4 around my nearest and dearest. Which means I've had plenty of opportunities to test it and develop an opinion.

So, do I like it?

I'm not sure.

What I mean is that while I certainly don't dislike this Amouage offering from their Library Collection I cannot say I'm smitten. It's... OK, I guess, which is definitely not what the creators (and the price tag) would demand. I like spicy incense perfumes and Opus IV is definitely a good one. It also feels at least semi-original, thanks to the combination of notes. There's a fruity aspect (not the perfume's shiniest moment, I admit) and a very feminine floral moment that's almost powdery and girly, but not quite. Mostly there's spice and incense that keep things serious and very grownup, except for a somewhat disturbing foody and chewy accord: Dane at Pere de Pierre calls it a bubblegum note, and I sort of agree. It's like the sexy school teacher/librarian who all of a sudden starts chewing in the classroom.

I do like the incense part and think that it's far better done than Etat Libre d'Orange Encense et Bubblegum. That one is cute and trashy, While Amouage Opus IV has some sort of an identity crisis. I'd like it more had it kept the horn-rimmed glasses and pencil skirt. It's a better look for all of us.

Notes (via Luckyscent): Coriander oil, lemon, mandarin, grapefruit, elemi oil, cardamom, cumin, rose berries, rose, violet leaves, peru balsam, labdanum, frankincense, musk.

Amouage Opus IV Library Collection ($325, 100ml EDP) is available from Luckyscent, MiN New York and other authorized Amouage retailers, such as Jacqueline Parfumerie in San Francisco that provided my sample. Amouage is donating fifty percent of the worldwide profits from Opus IV to the National HIV/AIDS prevention and Control Program in Oman.

Photo of Olivia Williams from the movie An Education from hotflick.net.


  1. I tested Opus IV only once and I'm not sure I'll dare to do it again: all I can smell is a stale urine odor coming from my wrist. I didn't expect it at all since all other amouages ( and I tested or wore more than 10 different perfumes, men's and women's ones) worked great on me. I don't love all of them but I wouldn't mind wearing any one if a bottle lands on my laps. All but this one.

  2. Cumin and coriander overload! It was like taking a whiff from the chefs spice pots in an indian kitchen. I expected it to change within a little while but the two spices persisted to the point of recoil. With a bit more rose, musk etc. it could have been divine.


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