The Amouage bookshelf has just gotten bigger! Opus VII, the 7th tome in Library Collection is a new chapter composed by the niche perfume house from Oman. With this perfume Christopher Chong wanted to capture the long journey of mankind – in the quest of knowledge. It is then followed by gratification once the quest is complete and our minds are wiser. Two perfumers: Pierre Negrin and Alberto Morillas worked on filling the pages of this perfumed book.
With the first day of sampling Amouage Opus VII I noticed that it is a perfume of two different natures. The “outer” stratum of the scent is a hard shell. The smell is dense and oily with cypriol oil. When I smell it I get a feeling like I could drown in this scent. It’s mysterious and dark suspension, a black ink that covers everything permanently, making it impossible to return to the previous state. In this kettle particles of warm and spicy cardamom float, blended with a resinous smell of galbanum.
In no time the dark tincture smell gets enriched by the aroma of sandalwood. It’s raw, dirty, not smooth but full of splinters that can hurt your hands when you want to touch it and feel the structure of the wood. Neither musk is soft here. In Opus VII musky tones are animalic, wild and untamed which is additionally pronounced by the earthy, almost rotten patchouli. Maybe it’s just my nose (not used to smelling scents like this one) but so far this Amouage is a beasty creature on me.
Once you survive through the “outer” stratum of Amouage Opus VII the different story begins. After the hard shell is broken, the softer core of the scent is revealed. To me it is still dark, but now it’s more gentle and chic like a black silk scarf. Amber creates warm and sensual aura around the wearer and olibanum adds the restrained mineral quality with a slightly salty touch. Of course oud had to find its place in the composition. Luckily it’s not very powerful. Accompannied by the leathery chords it creates this a little bit mischievous smell of tanner workshop. The smell of raw leather, pigments… it’s all in here.
At some point of evolution Opus VII blend smells like an iris. Black-tinged iris of warm, suedy and kind of sad, unhappy nature. If that was a true iris – it would be the most unusual one I know. Beautiful but also giving me shivers and awakening the feeling of insecurity inside me. The drydown of the perfume is dry and spicy thanks to nutmeg and pink pepper which adds some more life to the scent. Other notes include ambergris, fenugreek and costus. I have never experienced the smell of the last two notes mentioned so I don’t want to pretend like I notice them.
As expected from Amouage, Library Collection Opus VII has an outstanding longevity and considerably big sillage. To me this perfume really is a two-faced thing made of tough shell on the outside and softer core inside it. Bear in mind – this is not an easy to wear perfume. In my opinion one has to be really self-confident and needs to have a strong personality to rock it. Shy or insecure people might get overwhelmed by this composition, drown in it.
I’m a representative of the second group. Dark, dense and powerhouse scents are not for me but you should give it a try to see how it goes for you. Opus VII was introduced in 2013. It’s available in 100 ml bottles of the same design as others from Library Collection but the bottle is matte black with golden details instead of matte white glass. It looks very nice!