New life, Amouage Library Collection Opus VIII

Last week I received a surprise package that I would never think of. Such surprises are a real fun because you never know what to expect. After opening the safety bag it turned out, to my amazement that it was a small box with an Amouage logo and inside of it was a preview mini bottle of the eighth tome in the famous Library Collection – Opus VIII in a burgundy pouch. It was a real thrill to spray it on my skin for the first time. I feel honored that the brand owners along with creative director Christopher Chong wanted me to have this scent for an early preview.

The opening of Amouage Opus VIII initially gave me an impression like I was smelling some lilies. It took me more than 10 minutes to actually realize that what I smelled was jasmine, not lily. 20 minutes into fragrance development the jasmine accord becomes more obvious. It’s slightly heady, a little bit dirty and there’s a minimal dose of indol there. Next comes the ylang-yland chord which makes the new Library Collection fragrance really creamy, velvety and sensual with some hidden sex appeal to it. The feeling that I get is quite custardy, a tad sweet and milky. Maybe it was ylang-ylang that tricked me with the lily mimicking at first…

Until the 45th minute jasmine and ylang-ylang are two main actors of Opus VIII. When the clock ticks away the end of minute 44 this perfume gains a new face, much more pale, ethereal and sheer. Orange blossom note gives its specific freshness to the scent but in this composition it also has a honeyed finish in my opinion. There’s also something slightly animalic to that honey note. I think it’s either honey (which is not in the official notes) or ylang that warmed up the aroma of orange blossoms. Otherwise the fragrance could become too cold and in the form that it was blended it would be an overuse. Sheer describes this part of the top of this scent better. And cuddly too!

After almost two hours of having the perfume on my skin Library Collection Opus VIII the top notes slowly begin to weaken and dissipate, preparing the stage for the upcoming heart notes of this composition. In this stage of development I smell ginger as the earliest odour. It’s fizzy and sparkling like bubbles in a lemonade. Almost literally because the note has a citric, lemony finish with a hint of spiciness that I really liked.

Things got even more spicy after 30 minutes when saffron joined the composition. It isn’t as bright and delicious as in Safran Troublant or Safran Nobile but it certainly amplifies the spicy tones of Opus VIII making the composition more lively, more vivid. The initial delicacy of the composition was misleading, because now the Amouage develops much more density. The substance is created with a use of vetiver, woody and kind of dry, combined with gaiac wood. No worries folks, it doesn’t smell like oud, it doesn’t even remind the faintest shadow of that accord. Gaiac just smells woody, maybe a little bit oily and kind of moist, like some sappy juices were flowing from its core.

At 3 hours mark a pale smokiness appears from the deeper parts of Amouage Opus VIII blend. It was introduced to the composition with a gentle hand as this note never gets too heavy. It’s airy and fleeting like the silver smoke of incense floating above the shrine in a temple. Frankincense brings a comfortable contemplation to the scent which lasts for around 1 hour. After an hour you might start to notice that spicy, woody and incensy notes become more lightweight and interact with each other so much that at some point they’re all so twisted it’s hard to extinguish one accord from the other.

The calm down phase of the heart notes lasts almost for one additional hour so that the base notes start to appear when Opus VIII is with you for 5 hours already. I would describe it as mild and sophisticated. There are some balms as well as the benzoin molecules that make it balsamic, more substantial and slightly creamy. I think there was also a little bit of vanilla there. Everything is finished with bay from Jamaica. It adds a final touch to the composition.

As you can tell after reading my impressions of the new fragrance, Amouage Opus VIII is a complete opposite of Opus VII from 2013. The latter was really dark, dense, quite hard to understand and enjoy while this year edition is light, airy, pretty and admirably good. It’s like these two fragrances are a contradiction of one another. On the other hand Opus VIII isn’t light and delicate all the way. There are like two parallel universes in this perfume.

When I asked Christopher Chong on Facebook if he could tell in just one sentence what was his inspiration, what guided him to create Amouage Opus VIII that way, he said:

Opus VIII is a woody and floral fragrance inspired by the trompe l’oeil effect of creating a dialogue between reality and illusion.

And a sentence of explanation here. Trompe l’oeil is an art technique using a realistic imagery to create optical illusions, giving you the impression of seeing objects in three dimensions. That pretty sums up the thing. Just like in this technique our eyes can deceive us, in case of Opus VIII by Amouage our noses can fool us, the perfume has its own transitions.

  • Top notes: jasmine, ylang-ylang, orange flower
  • Heart notes: ginger, saffron, frankincense, gaiac wood, vetiver
  • Base notes: balsam, benzoin, Jamaican bay

To me this new tome in the library of Amouage is like a fresh breath of spring, like a new life given to someone who thought they didn’t deserve it. It’s inspiring, tranquil and it lifts the mood. It kind of makes me think of snowdrops that mark the first appearance of the new cycle of the seasons. And I absolutely appreciate the fact that it’s so, so different comparing to the earlier seven Opus scents.

Amouage Library Collection Opus VIII was composed by perfumers: Pierre Negrin and Richard Herpin under a creative guidance of Christopher Chong. The fragrance is probably an eau de parfum just like other tomes in this line and a flacons are 50 ml (other Opus scents also available in new size) and 100 ml. The fragrance is characterized by a nice, medium level of sillage while longevity is not an issue, the perfume lasts 10-12 hours, gets closer to skin starting at 6 hour.

GIVEAWAY

I would like to pay the Amouage generosity forward by offering a 2 ml decanted sample to one lucky reader. All you need to do is leave a comment telling me what part of Opus VIII appeals to you and if you have a favourite Amouage scent or the one you’d like to try next. It’s a worldwide draw, open until Thursday, March 20th. I’ll announce the winner the next day.

[note] Many thanks to Amouage for providing the scent.

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66 thoughts on “New life, Amouage Library Collection Opus VIII

  1. Ines says:

    I must say all the heart notes appeal to me. 🙂 I love spices and vetiver is one of my all time favorite notes.
    My favorite Amouage is still Lyric and this one is definitely the one I would like to try next. 🙂

  2. Irina says:

    I would love to be able to try this, I think the base notes are perfect for me
    I would also love to try Ous VII, as I understand it’s very different from this new one
    thanks so much for your willingness to share

  3. poodle says:

    The heart notes are right up my alley. I love frankincense and wood notes as well as ginger. I just saw the weather report and there’s more snow in the forecast his week. We’re actually having a flurry right now too, so any breath of spring would be nice.

  4. mdrigotas says:

    Well I would be interested in smelling how Mr.Chong’s inspiration of composing real life artistic images to create a three dimensional effect translates into perfumery…interesting…Martin

  5. Connie says:

    The jasmine really appeals to me, I love the smell of jasmine flowers but have yet to find a perfume that quite lives up to the true scent.

  6. Jovan says:

    After two hours, the citric, lemony finish would be what appealed most to me. Realizing of course, that my favorite lemon verbena is not part of this mix.

  7. Holly says:

    Ooh, this sounds fantastic! Initially I was disheartened when you mentioned lily, as I don’t usually like that note. However, if it’s ylang-ylang, I would probably love it as that’s one of my favorite notes. Jasmine and orange blossom are up there, too. It sounds like there’s a really nice progression from start to finish and the entire composition is appealing to me.

    Would you believe I haven’t sniffed a single Amouage? So, I can’t comment about them. 🙂

    Thanks so much for another lovely review, dear Lucas, and for your generous offer.

  8. Mary K says:

    Good description of everything that is happening with this one! I like how you mention that it is light and airy – just right for spring and early summer, and I think the jasmine, orange blossom and bit of incense sound great! My favorite Amouage is Ceil Woman.

  9. Claudia D. says:

    The heart notes appeal to me the most, especially frankincense. I’m afraid I’ve never smelled an Amouage fragrance, but I think I would love to try Fate for Woman. It sounds like it would be right up my alley! Thanks for the giveaway!

  10. rickyrebarco says:

    This sounds like a really lovely fragrance. I have not had good luck with the other Library Opuses from Amouage. I may have to get a sample of this one. My favorite Amouage is Honor woman. Love that one!

    • lucasai says:

      Honour seems to be loved by a lot of ladies. Sorry that none of earlier 7 Opus scents didn’t work. I liked Opus II and V. And now VIII of course

  11. stina says:

    That slightly animalic honey/ylang note that you found in the second phase of the opening has me really intrigued! I’m usually all about elaborate oriental fragrances (Jubilation XXV is my favorite Amouage), but I’ve been exploring floral elements recently and appreciating their complexities more and more.

    Haven’t tried anything from the Opus series thus far. Thanks for the interesting review, and for your generous offer!

    • lucasai says:

      I cannot guarantee that someone else will also find the honeyed quality in Opus VIII, each nose is different. Same here, florals are usually not my thing but I’m beginning to appreciate them more.

  12. Mags Anderson says:

    I must say that your comment on the scent being inspiring, tranquil and lifting the mood is something that appeals to me and the thought of the comforting honey notes as well. The artistic comparison intriques me too 🙂

  13. hajusuuri says:

    Fabulous review, my dear Lucas. If I just read the Top Notes, I would have run the other way as they spell HEADY to me; however, you made it sound like it’s something I should try when I get chance. I will throw my hat in the ring and I hope I win :-). Thanks for the draw!

    • lucasai says:

      Thanks my dear. I agree, the top notes on their own sound heady (a lot of potent flowers there!) but then everything calms down.
      I suppose you might like Opus VIII.
      Lets see if you’re lucky!

  14. jilliecat says:

    Just wanted to say that this was a great, comprehensive review. I would say forensic! It always amazes me how you can pick out all the notes and describe the progression of the fragrance so well. Excellent!

    • lucasai says:

      Thanks Jillie!
      Glad you liked the text.
      Do you have a favourite Amouage? So that I can put you into the draw

      • jilliecat says:

        My favourite Amouage, I think (I keep changing my mind) is Gold – it reminds me of how Madame Rochas used to smell, and is full of aldehydes, flowers and a chypre base, Also not unlike Guerlain’s Chant d’Aromes, but on steroids!

        • lucasai says:

          Good!
          Just for your information, favourite perfume of Miss Stanisława Missala is also Amouage Gold.

          You’re in the draw sweetheart

          • jilliecat says:

            Thank you! Wow! I’m really “chuffed” that this is a favourite of SM = this makes me feel I might have good taste ……

            • lucasai says:

              You have a good taste sweetie.
              And you never let anyone persuade you that it’s any different.

              I believe that everyone has a good taste for themselves. It’s just that our tastes might not suit someone else

  15. Sara says:

    I’d love to experience the velvety, custardy top notes moving into the spicy heart notes! I haven’t tried any of Amouage’s fragrances yet, but the Amber/Sichuan Pepper of VI is intriguing me…
    Thanks for the review and the draw 🙂

  16. alexander says:

    I wouldn’t miss any part of this new opus but I think the heart sounds most interesting.I haven’t tryed this one and I’m impationate to have the chance.I recently bought a bottle of Jubilation 25 extrait and I’m wearing it almost every day.

    • lucasai says:

      Wow, an extrain of Jubilation 25 must’ve been an expense!
      You’re in a draw.

      • alexander says:

        Thank you for the draw!
        I realy wanted to try it and I was looking for a way to sample or a good deal.An excellent deal found me. I guess i realy want it very much and I couldn’t resist.
        It’s quite dense it almost feel like an Amouage attar and like thier attars you need just a tiny amount.

  17. Eva S says:

    Actually, all the notes appeal to me- perhaps especially the francicense. I own bottles of Epic, Memoir and Fate Woman so those are my favorites so far. Opus III was very pretty as well, if the Library collection will be availible in 50 ml bottles I might be tempted…

  18. Bastet says:

    Thanks for the review! The lemon/ginger/spice heart notes sound particularly delicious. I have not had a chance to try any of the library collection, but I have loved or at least found quite interesting all of the Amouages I have sampled so far (Gold, Jubilation, Ubar, Lyric, and Epic (all woman)). I even broke down and bought a full bottle of Jubilation 25 and it is fabulous! I would particularly like to try Jubilation XXV.

    • lucasai says:

      You’re welcome!
      Too bad you didn’t try any of Opus scents but hey, it’s never too late! And you sampled quite a part of female scents from the regular line!

  19. Undina says:

    None of the notes especially talk to me (and the honey actually scares a little) but since you liked it I want to try it.

    Amouage is one of “my” brands so there are many perfumes I really like – Ubar, Gold, Lyric, Memoir, Dia, Opus I & Opus III.

  20. Lyubov says:

    Hallo, Lucas,
    Jasmine, saffron and incense in a creamy combo – sounds great and unsniffed for me! Thank you for the detailed review and for the chance to try a new edition on the block! Well, I don’t know many of Amouage fragrances, I like the lady’s versions of Lyric, Epic, Honour and Dia, but the moment I got a whiff of Opus VI I was struck by a lightning! I couldn’t afford this heavenly nutty incense but I got a decant that I cherish and spritz gently on special occasions! Mr. Chong must have stirred a pinch of magic in there!

    • lucasai says:

      Hi! And than you, glad you liked the text.
      You know 5, so it’s not that bad I think 🙂
      Good that you’ve found a way to have some Opus VI for yourself.

  21. HW says:

    Jasmine with frankincense is something I don’t see often. I am really curious to how Amouage plays with this combo.

    My favorite easily from the whole Amouage line is Tribute, but out of the Opus line, my favorite is VI.

  22. Jasmine, ylang & honey? Sign me up! I especially adore a jasmine that’s not afraid to get a little dirty and indolic.
    So far my favorite Amouage is Epic for women.

    • lucasai says:

      Jasmine and ylang for sure. Honey, maybe, maybe not? I can see it was very personal perception with this note. No one else mentioned it in their reviews.

  23. Kevin Boisjolie says:

    This sounds really interesting. I’m a big fan of jasmine, it’s very relaxing to me. I haven’t been able to smell many Amouage fragrances but I can say Reflection Man is an amazing fragrance and the first fragrance my nose didn’t get tired of at some point, I could smell it all day, every day and still love it. Thank you for your review and opportunity to win a decant of this fragrance.

  24. Carla Meiners says:

    So many wonderful notes, the saffron, honey and ylang-ylang all sound amazing. Thus far I have tried, and loved, only Fate Woman. I am looking very much forward to exploring this line more in the future! Thanks!

  25. Julia Baudeu says:

    I think i will love all of the notes! The opening lets me think of APOM pour femme. I wonder if there might be a similarity. Otherwise I love the frankincense in Amouage fragrances in general. My favourite is Beloved woman followed by Jubilation 25.

  26. Julia Baudeu says:

    It is actually a theoretical question Lucas. i was hoping you might know!

  27. indy says:

    my favorite amouage is Epic for men.

  28. RenChick says:

    I’d love to sample Opus VIII, thank you so much for the giveaway! I find I am drawn to spicy and smoky notes, so your description of those in the heart of the fragrance really appeal to me. My all time favorite Amouage is their Tribute Attar, loads of smoke there! Thanks to lovely DubaiScents, I have tons of other Amouage attars to try, so many scent adventures in my future with them. 🙂

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