Museal muse, Amouage Opus X

I know that ever since it’s founding and the launch of a first fragrance in 1983 the Omani perfume house of Amouage has become an icon in niche perfumery and that nowadays it has many fans, including quite a few of you. The way it is for me is that I have never fallen in love with even one of their creations. There are few that I like but still I didn’t feel like I need a bottle for myself. Not so long ago the brand has introduced Opus X which is already the 10th addition to their Library Collection. Because my love for roses knows no bounds and I’m always curious about the note and new Opus happens to be a perfume about rose I decided to try it and see if it’ll be to my liking.

Amouage Opus X opens indeed with a bright and vivid bouquet of may rose. The lush aroma of juicy red petals starts to float up from the skin surface almost immediately upon applying the perfume on. To me this is somehow oriental and not oriental accord at the same time. Why? Because it’s not an airy floral note, it has some weight and some saturation but at the same time if feels refreshing and spring-like. After about 10, maybe 15 minutes a geranium note appears in the front row. It introduces the sweet aroma that initially is red-colored and matches the shade of rose de mai.

However if you give it like 20 more minutes some dissonance appears in the composition. After that time geranium becomes stronger on my skin and it also changes colors from red to green. The note began to smell of green – of stems and crispy geranium leaves which are fresh and aromatic, one might also find some sort of minty undertone there. The green freshness has some spicy elements to it and warmth of verdancy in the sunlight. Opus X at this point starts to become slightly more heavy and there is a breakthrough moment when leather note joins the composition.

It’s not a black, heavy-hitter leather and it’s not a soft & fuzzy suede-leather. It’s something in-between but it doesn’t really matter because not long after the cuir note appears in Amouage Opus X the composition becomes plastified and artificial when varnish accord appears. It smells chemical and a little bit harsh. Once I smelled this phase of development I don’t know why but I instantly got association that right now it smells like a visit to an old museum where the scent of lacquered wooden parquet mixes with the odour of dust, old furniture, books that have been bitten by a tooth of time and have yellowed pages. That’s how it smells to me and I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m the only one with this weird association. In its weirdness it smells… theatrical… and kind of regal.

Later on as the fragrance evolves I could smell this specific metallic accord. To me metallic accord is usually cold but this one is warmer, like someone was cutting the metal pipe with circular saw in a hardware store. You know, the sparks and heated metal. After few hours when all those unusual notes dissipate and subside, Amouage Opus X becomes more yellowish thanks to ylang-ylang. But to me it lacked the floral and creamy aspect of that tropical flower. And of course there is some oud from Laos to add heaviness and structure to the scent.

The structure of Library Collection Opus X also features ambrarome, a synthetic mixture derived from labdanum extract, developed by Synarome. It’s a carrier of ambergris scent mixed with peppery, leathery, tar and coffee elements. It does smell this sort of way in new Amouage offering but I think it’s been used in small amount as it’s not very powerful here. Opus X, as probably all creations of Omani brand, is a beast when it comes to longevity. Many hours after spraying it on skin you can still smell some rose, mixed with crisp geranium and other elements.

All in all Opus X from Amouage Library Collection is a really intriguing creation. It is very far from a typical rose-centered composition – especially if you consider the fact that on my skin it’s actually the geranium that smells stronger than rose de mai. I’m happy I decided to sample this new fragrance from the Oman-based brand as I managed to learn something new by  trying it. It lasts all day and has great sillage, especially in initial phase when rose and geranium project big. Composition was inspired by Red Mendelssohn Stradivarius which was an inspiration for The Red Violin film. This scent is eau de parfum concentrated and comes in 100 ml bottles.

20 thoughts on “Museal muse, Amouage Opus X

  1. Hey Lucasz,
    Lovely review. Are you madly in love? Will you purchase?
    Portia xx

  2. hajusuuri says:

    Nice review, Lucas! I never warmed up to the Opus series but I am always willing to sniff a new one! I love the much maligned Sunshine Woman and Jubilation XXV and Lyric Woman.

    • lucasai says:

      Thanks sweetie. Same applies for me, in that difference that even the core line from Amouage doesn’t attract me by far.
      Hope you get to enjoy Opus X

  3. Holly says:

    This one sounds interesting, and I have the sense that the geranium brightens it up some. I’ll have to pull out my Amouage sampler set – I put it away after just a few tries as everything smelled like headshop on me. I bought a decant of Opus VIII, hoping for a jasmine/orange blossom bomb, but nope! Headshop. I thought that Sunshine Woman would work, but it didn’t at all. So this is a possibility. Thanks for the great review! xo

    • lucasai says:

      Geranium definitely adds the spring like feeling.
      I think Amouage is one of those few brands when you either love each and every one of them or you just don’t like any at all.
      Would be good if you checked Opus X, maybe it won’t be a Headshop

  4. A. Minis says:

    Very detailed and interesting review. I love Amouage Gold but never purchased a bottle, and like Dia, idem dito. I guess amouage is not for me.
    Nevertheless, I love reading about it. Good for my education.

  5. ScentBound says:

    Interesting review, Lucas. How is the rose here different than the rose in Incense Rose?

    I’m curious about the varnish note. How is the overall composition working? Do you find it smooth or is it more rough and jagged?

    • lucasai says:

      It’s been too long since I have smelled Incense Rose (I didn’t really like it) so I will not dare to compare.

      The composition as a whole is rather smooth

  6. jillie says:

    As you say, dear Lucas, intriguing. I admire any perfume house that can not only bring something a bit different to the market but which also uses quality ingredients and makes perfumes that actually have some lasting power!

  7. Undina says:

    As you know, I’m a big Amouage fan. But my loves belong mostly to their initial line-up – Ubar, Gold, Dia, Lyric, Epic and Momoir. But the new Library line has never really worked for me. I think I kind of liked the amber one (Opus VI, I think) but not a 100-ml-bottle-amouage-prices liked. I didn’t even try to get to try VII and IX. But now after reading your review for the new “volume”, I’m curious to try it – so thank you.

    • lucasai says:

      Yes, I do know 🙂
      None of them really worked for me either, and I kind of don’t like this oversized bottle. But I’m happy I made you a little curious with this review.

  8. rickyrebarco says:

    I missed this review earlier. That leather puts it out of my comfort zone but it sounded very nice up until the leather notes emerged.

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