Beguile Me With Your Wondrous Fumes – Amouage Opus III Perfume Review

Dandelion

The Rapture of Dandelions in Spring

There are so many niche perfume houses out there it’s a struggle for your friendly neighbourhood perfume blogger to keep up. There are niche lines within designer houses, niche lines within niche houses, private collections and exclusives – the mind boggles.

To cope I have to tell myself that I simply cannot sniff everything and there are niche lines that I will ignore completely, purely because my brain cannot handle adding them to the pile of things I need to try stacked somewhere at the back of my mind, behind all the stuff I don’t use anymore; like algebra, the steps to the Macarena and the ability to resist cake.

One niche house that will always receive my attention however is Amouage. I still haven’t managed to try everything in the Amouage stable (I’m taking my time and enjoying it thank you very much) but what I have tried, whether to my tastes or not has been interesting, high quality and worthy of the praise it receives.

The Library Collection is Amouage’s capsule collection of unique fragrance “works”. The collection is described as being “a poetic homage to the art of living” [1] and it offers a break from the house’s tradition of grandiose, opulent fragrances. After falling truly, madly and deeply for the mind-blowing amber of Opus VI I couldn’t wait to poke my nose through the rest of the collection, and on a recent shopping trip that is exactly what I did. It was on that shopping trip that I discovered Opus III…

The Library Collection

The Library Collection

The Notes

Top: Mimosa, Broom, Carnation, Nutmeg and Thyme
Heart: Violet, Jasmine, Ylang Ylang and Orange Blossom
Base: Ambrette, Musk, Papyrus, Cedar, Guaicwood, Benzoin, Vanilla and Frankincense

How Does it Smell? 

Opus III is inspired by “the art and science of the creative process, from the darkest moments of frustration, to the brightness of enlightenment and discovery” [2] and was created by Karine Vinchon under the direction Amouage’s Creative Director Christopher Chong. To me, Opus III is a modern take on Guerlain classics such as Après L’Ondée and L’Heure Bleue but with the Amouage touch.

The opening of Opus III is entirely reminiscent of flower filled meadows in the spring. It opens with sweet mimosa and broom flowers and gives the impression of sun-kissed fields of flowers, grass and hay. It’s impossible not to take a big sigh as you inhale its fumes, your thoughts buzzing about your head like the bees who flicker amongst the spring flowers, each one saying the same thing; “this thing is just so darn pretty!”

As it develops Opus III becomes less sweet and a beautiful, pale iris makes its way into the foreground. Where most iris notes are pure grey, this one is ever so slightly purple as if it can’t quite make up its mind about what colour to be. The real interest with the iris lies with its supporting acts; violet and and ylang ylang, the former of which adds an atmospheric quality whilst the ylang ylang gives Opus III a marvellous tropical warmth and some lovely banana-like nuances.

Opus III is reminiscent of both Après L’Ondée and L’Heure Bleue as mentioned above but it is also a much better interpretation of this style than other modern orchestrations such as Oscar de la Renta’s Esprit d’Oscar et al because it isn’t afraid to be soft and understated, a trait that is practically unheard of in an Amouage. Whilst it may be take cues from the classics it does manage to carve out its own unique identity, especially as it moves into the base notes.

The base is where Opus III heads into familiar Amouage territory, it is still soft but is much warmer and contains plush, creamy notes of sandalwood, vanilla and frankincense. There’s a touch of spice, but the main focus is on the warmth of the remaining florals and the richer notes, almost as if Opus III transitions from bright spring morning to glorious, twilight-filled evening.

Availability

Opus III is available in 100ml Eau de Parfum for £200.

Disclaimer

Image 1 quimalcantara.com. Image 2 edle-essenzen.de. Notes via basenotes.net. [1] amouage.com. [2] nstperfume.com.

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25 thoughts on “Beguile Me With Your Wondrous Fumes – Amouage Opus III Perfume Review

  1. My favourite of the Library collection and the only full bottle of Amouage that I own (I coundn’t start with the cheap Amouage’s could I, LOL) Your description sums it up perfectly, I must dig it out and wear it again.

  2. Lovely review. I like that image of the perfume transitioning from a spring morning to twilight.

    I’ve only tried V and VI so far but I really must try the rest. I’m not sure how I’ll get on with this one because Apres L’Ondee and L’Heure Bleue are the two Guerlains I can’t wear. However knowing that you and B are so keen on it is very encouraging and I like the idea of the violet, iris and yland ylang.

    • Is it the almond that you struggle with in the Guerlain’s? It can be tricky and I know you’re not a fan of the note! 😀

      Opus III lacks the anisic quality of the Guerlains and is more dewy and less foody. I have a spare sample that I’ll save for you next time I see you.

      • That would be great if you don’t mind sharing your spare. Thanks very much.

        It is the almond I have trouble with in Apres L’Ondee, though I can appreciate it is a beautiful perfume. Vanessa has kindly given me some to “practice” with. L’Heure Bleue just gives me a headache. Good to know there is nothing anisic about Opus III. “Dewy” makes it sound lovely.

  3. VI intriguied me, but I haven’t tried it properly yet.
    To be honest I still haven’t worn an Amouage on my skin. They don’t appeal to me at all, despite review after positive review of these things. I’m sure I’d enjoy them, and I love this kind of “floral meadow” feel – my favourite being Humiecki and Graef’s Bosque, maybe one day I’ll bite the bullet :’)

  4. An Amouage that is “not afraid to be soft and understated” sounds good to me! I don’t think I have tried this one – or if I have, I don’t recall it, which I probably would have done if it was offputting in some way. The profusion of scents in the marketplace and the resulting information overload to which you refer at the top of your post may be responsible for my memory lapse! Now *Memoir* I do remember… ; – )

  5. Amouage is truly glorious despite the monstrous price tag! I have found that “reflection” for men is an amazing very unique scent that is a much more sophisticated cousin of Hypnotic Poison by Dior. This house is one to try (and buy if you can afford it) x x

  6. You intrigue me here, Captain. I fell head over heels in love with Opus 1, didn’t care for 2, and apparently stopped getting samples before 3 – yet somehow have 5 and of course 6 (SIIIIIIIX!) Now I’ll have to dig up a sample of this. It’s a rare Amouage that I don’t like, but then of course I can’t afford to be falling in love with ALL the Opus collection.
    Also, snort, I said Opus. (Comic character from Bloom County in the 80s. V. important.)

  7. I read your review yesterday and realized I haven’t worn Opus III for a while. So today I spent a day with it and it was really great. Thank you for writing a nice review and reminding me of it.

  8. Pingback: The Flamboyance of the Camellia – Amouage Opus IX Perfume Review | The Candy Perfume Boy

  9. Pingback: Pressed in Vinyl – Amouage Opus X Perfume Review | The Candy Perfume Boy

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