Amouage Opus III
Head: Mimosa, Broom, Camation, Nutmeg, Thyme
Heart: Violet, Jasmine, Ylang-ylang, Orange Blossom
Base: Ambrette, Musk, Papyrus, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Guaiacwood, Benzoin, Vanilla, Frankincense
Perfumer: Karine Vinchon-Spehner
(posting this as its own thread as well as on the sample thread as I'd like to get other people's feedback here! )
Well, after testing Opus III on my skin I don't hate it anymore. The first sniff on a card was off-putting and the ylang-ylang and banana notes really came out on the card, but on my skin it played out a bit differently.
Opus III has an interesting opening that can be described in a single word: chaotic. It calls to mind the openings of some of the more daring scents by MPG. There is a whirlwind of clashing notes which creates a bit of a cacophony. Flowers, hay, something a bit dirty, a hint of indoles, powder, nutmeg or some other similar spice. I wasn't sure what to make of it except that I didn't really like it in a purely olfactory sense, but that it's interesting intellectually just trying to figure out what the heck is really going on. That's when I thought back to the premise behind these scents: inspired by libraries, dusty old books, dried parchment, writing utensils, the creative process. Things relating to the search for, and expansion of knowledge. And so, from here on out I tried to view Opus III's development with that concept in mind.
That's when it hit me. Conceptually, Opus III is genius. The opening could just smell like a cacophony of notes, but keeping in mind the inspiration behind the scent, it becomes a bit clearer what one is smelling. The opening calls to mind the image of finding an ancient text up in a forgotten attic that is covered with years, possibly decades of dust. The leather binding is dry and the pages are stiff and yellowing, and the chest you found it in is a bit musty. None of this is unpleasant, although it isn't what one would call pleasant, either. It just is.
Within a few minutes the chaos of the opening has settled down and a very dry and powdery note begins to emerge, along with a hint of banana. Thankfully, the banana note was much more quiet on skin than on paper, and it called to mind nothing more than some ripe bananas hanging on a hook over in the corner of the room. The dry and powdery note has a couple facets and calls to mind two things: the smell of chalk dust, and the smell of a certain type of paper that for some reason made me think of the smell of a Bible I had as a child. There is a hint of sweetness, but the notes remain very dry, but thick and lush. The texture of the scent is so very very full, very dense, slightly stuffy even, but never suffocating.
A slightly rubbery note begins to emerge. Erasers. Yes, the smell of those all too familiar pink erasers. Dusty books and dry paper, chalk, erasers. This could very well be the smell of a small room where Einstein or Feynman pored over tomes of knowledge, jotted thoughts in a notebook and scrawled out equations on a chalkboard. The room is small and dusty and a bit stuffy but it is warm and comforting. It smells very old and yet familiar, comfortable.
Over time the woods of the base press through the chalk/eraser/paper accord, modifying it so that everything smells older, drier. The whole room is now but an image on a piece of film tucked into a photo album in a chest that you will someday find in the future. An old memory, almost forgotten, now recalled in sepia tones.
I don't know what to make of the scent. Conceptually, as I said, it is really genius. After settling down within the first 15 minutes or so, it becomes very comfortable to wear, although it is a very dry powdery scent with a hint of dry woods (papyrus, a gentle sandalwood). Not feminine, per se, and not masculine in any kind of modern sense. It is just old fashioned. It is more the smell of a time and a place and thus is not directly associated with gender, as the time and place recollected are unrelated to either gender as well.
It's very strong and longevity is fantastic. Sillage seems moderate. I wouldn't wear this often, but it would be the perfect scent to wear while doing some intensive studying, especially when all cooped up inside during winter, whether it be in a dorm room, library, or fireside in the den.
4.7/5 conceptually, 4/5 subjectively.
I may pick up a small decant or a few more samples for the few days this winter when it would really hit the spot. This is a one spray scent, in my opinion, so I could probably get away with a mere 2mL to last me all winter.
Worth a sniff if you are into conceptual scents, or are looking for a dry powder comfort scent (think Or des Indes, although this is a bit less ornate/luxurious, although this smells higher quality and far more 'comfy').