Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – Amouage Opus VI Perfume Review

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

“Would you erase me?”

Today The Candy Perfume Boy and Olfactoria’s Travels have teamed up in a display of perfume synchronicity to review the latest release from Omani luxury house Amouage, an amber named ‘Opus VI’. Birgit of Olfactoria’s Travels is well known for her status as ‘The Queen of Amber’, a title which she has most definitely earned so please do head on over to her blog to read her take on Opus VI.

Amouage is a line that I have decided to take my time over. I have sampled almost everything briefly and others in quite a bit of depth. I have even fallen head over heels for two, namely Gold Woman and Honour Woman. The reason I am taking my sweet time with Amouage, a line which I love by the way, is simply because each of their perfumes are so rich and complex they demand a great deal of attention. This is great for me because i get to unravel the mysteries of Amouage over a long period of time, and soak up all of the wonder and magic they have to offer. However, one of the major downsides of this slow-paced Amouage sampling is that I am quite unfamiliar with The Library Collection.

The Library Collection currently consists of six opuses, each of which “represents the insatiable quest for knowledge” and “celebrates integrity, uniqueness, and a love of the arts” [1]. Opus VI is the latest addition to the collection and is inspired by Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, his greatest movie along with The Science of Sleep (I have to say that – I’m in love with Gael García Bernal). Opus VI was created by Dora Arnaud & Pierre Negrin under the creative direction of Christopher Chong and is described as “an amber, leather and woody fragrance inspired by the destruction and reinvention of knowledge and memories. Symbolising the end of a love affair.” [2] Very deep stuff indeed.

Opus VI

The Notes

Top: Sichuan Pepper, Frankincense and St Thomas Bay
Heart: Periploca, Cypriol and Patchouli
Base: Ambranum, Z11, Sandalwood and Cistus [3]

How Does it Smell?

I’ve said before that Amber isn’t my favourite fragrance genre, mainly because I haven’t really found an amber that fits me. I think I have come close with L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Ambre Extrême and even closer with Huitiéme Art’s Ambre Céruléen, but still that mind-blowing amber evades me. Amouage’s foray into amber territory however, has really struck a chord with me because it is so much more than just another amber.

Opus VI starts spicy and peppery with a strong blast of smoky woods. The intense smokiness in the opening gives it an old-fashioned feel and is evocative of the aged shelves of a library and the dust covered books. Despite this old-fashioned quality Opus VI is a strictly modern perfume and sits comfortably amongst the others within the line.

Amouage is well known for the prolific use of silver frankincense in their fragrances and Opus VI is no exception. The frankincense puts this amber firmly into the oriental category, and whilst it may not be an entirely arabian-smelling perfume, after all Amouage perfumes have always been a hybrid of european and eastern perfumery, it is decidedly more redolent of the east than any other fragrance within the Amouage collection.

The amber, incense, woods and smoke all rest upon a firm base of gorgeous vanilla. The vanilla is most definitely gourmand and in Opus VI’s latter stages it becomes wonderfully creamy and absolutely edible. This edible quality is what sets Opus VI apart from other ambers, which are usually one step away, but not quite ready to eat. I also can’t help but find the vanilla in the base reminiscent of the sweet smell of old books, I don’t know whether it’s the association with ‘The Library Collection’ that gives me this impression but it’s there and it’s rather lovely indeed.

Despite the destructive relationship that is its inspiration, Opus VI doesn’t feel sad or melancholy, instead it has a clarity to it, the sort of clear thinking that only comes when one has accepted the truth of the situation, that in life and love everything that happens, happens for a reason.


Opus VI is part of Amouage’s Library Collection and is available in 100ml Eau de Parfum for £200.


This review is based on a sample of Opus VI provide by Amouage.

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[2] & [3]