The spiced up galbanum opening is indeed arresting but what follows is unfortunately a little too familiar. A densely tarry-smoky-leathery patchouli phase reminiscent of Le Labo Patchouli 24 is quickly followed up by an ubiquitous musky-ambery dry cedary base found in many of current designer masculine releases. Frankly I'm not surprised at finding yet another uninspired entry in what has been a lackluster collection.
Amouage – Opus VII
Well, this one sorts out the same effect as Angel did back in the days. Either you like this or you don't- there is no middle-of-the-road here. It explodes with a mix of pulpy-cardamon, wormwood, red chili-pepper and something like green paprika. Almost at the same time there is hint of lavender and the big fleshy animalic note which smells like a combination of wet goats-fur and beaver-piss with a touch of fatty fish. I imagine myself someone who sits at the table in his sweaty socks with the heater full-on, eating a tuna-salad with capers after a long walk in the rain with his wet-furry dog sitting close by. Its that same damp, wet and warm animalic smell that VII manifests. Later this changes in more of a old cheese/bad yoghurt with the backup of smoky, hot-peppery incense that connects with a ashy-ink, and a waxy, dry cedarwood-note. Together with its 'fleshy' body this makes a real nice and tight accord which dries up in a very nice, 'dried by the sun', hot-spicy, resinous-woody/graphite, slight salty-animalic kind of way. This dryout is a lot more quiet than the loudness of it first words, I must say, and it fades rather quickly, at least on my skin.
VII has a very tightly woven structure, which leaves no room for airiness or a breath of fresh air. Its character is that of a highly placed CEO in a tight suit- it behaves stoical, reserved and humorless with a hint of autism. Nevertheless I like VII for the statement that it makes, that sort of arrogant, recalcitrant, middle-finger in the air feeling that it gives me- it doesn’t care what you think about it. VII is surely not for everyone and I doubt myself even to call this a perfume... But I think its a brilliant example of modern perfumery, of art- and it holds up its own place in the Amouage-line.
Very nice spicy green opening, giving way to a beautiful oud wood (not oil) and leather heart that reminded me of Leather Oud but less animalic, and ending with a bit more ambroxan than I like. It was very nice, but in a way too pretty, like a too-attractive person (if you subscribe to such a concept).
Interesting opening, boring drydown.
Opus VII opens with a strident and sort of aggressive green galbanum accord paired with pepper and nutmeg while a rough-ish cardamom note provides delightful facets. Unfortunately the fragrance quickly turns into a *been there, done that* sugary sandalwood base pervaded by a thick woody / woodyamber-y presence.
I was so hopeful about Opus VII and the opening made me almost scream of joy but I'm getting really bored by these exhausting and uninspired bases. I'm starting to really believe this is the new direction of Amouage (especially when it comes to their masculine offerings).
A quiet hall in which the organ suddenly hammers out a complex chord da-daaa that makes the hair on the back of one’s neck stand on end. Opus VII’s start is a bit like that – rich, dense, crowded with overlapping notes, but yet the overall effect while difficult to pin down is startlingly beautiful.
A dry, spicy, green and smoky scent with tones of skin and sweat lurking underneath, the whole hangs assuredly together. I suspect one’s experience of Opus VII will depend on one’s mood – it is not a perfume to be worn lightly. If busy and rushed, it is likely the spices, of which there is a hefty dose, will predominate and raise anxiety levels. If relaxed, this will seem like a summer’s walk through parched greenery that is crying out for rain, the scents of bark and roots and drying leaves mixing with the more herbal and vegetal aspects. Strangely, the mood Opus VII seems to suit best is introspection bordering on melancholy, when all its layers and layers of notes rise and fall in one’s perception offering their own counterpoint to the thought process.
There are echoes of spicy designer ‘masculines’, but here those elements are pushed towards an expressiveness that is all their own. The deep base is much more spice centred, the raw shock of the galbanum all but receded – at this stage, when Opus VII seems to be all about brute force, I lose interest.