Perfume Directory

Opus IV (2010)
by Amouage


Opus IV information

Year of Launch2010
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 61 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerJacques Flori

About Opus IV

Part of the 'Library' collection.

Opus IV fragrance notes

Reviews of Opus IV

Oh my goodness this is so stinky, but in a good way, or at least to me! Amouage never seems to get too challenging in their core line because they still sell mostly to Westerners, even if some things such as Gold Man (1981), Epic Man (2009), and Fate Man (2013) really like to test that. With the Library Collection, Amouage takes the safety off and goes into full-tilt Omanese perfume mode and doesn't take global tastes into account one bit. Opus IV (2010) is an excellent example of Amouage at the roots of their style versus your buddy's bottle of Jubilation XXV (2007), and is a very potent, very animalic monster centered around civet, incense, and spice. The best way to adequately describe Opus IV is resinous to the max, and this perfume feels downright sticky at times for how thick it all is on skin. You get full-tilt blasts of labdanum, unrinous musk, and maybe a touch of barnyard oud even though it isn't listed, making for a smell straight out of a trip to the bazaar. It goes without saying that Opus IV will be challenging to most noses used to everyday Chanels, Diors, or the like, but Opus IV is not trying to make a statement other than to showcase the culture behind the Amouage brand in the same many many French perfumes are "irrevocably French" in design.

The opening of Opus IV is sweet citrus, coriander, and elemi. The top notes don't remain separate for long from the rest as a funky cumin and rounded cardamom note join the fray alongside rose and a sharp violet leaf note that pierces all the spice. Rose helps keep Opus IV from placing its head up its own ass, but otherwise, the civet and tonkin-style musk quickly dominate with frankincese and peru balsam acting as a smokescreen. Labdabum brings in a pasty feel that binds to the animalics for that stickiness I mentioned, and if you smell deep in the dry down, a bit of that barnyard agar funk surfaces too. Sillage and projection are unholy and longevity is until you wash your clothes (twice), plus this stuff very much stains a shirt too so be careful. Something with the virility and richness of Opus IV can and only will be satisfying if worn for oneself, so no context is provided, although avoid high heat unless you want a hazmat crew to come decontanimate the street corner you are standing on. I find Opus IV incredibly sexy, but I also have a taste for ouds, civet or castoreum perfumes, and exercises in indolic or sexually-charged nastiness anyway, so I may be a tad less than objective in my findings here.

In spite of all the superlatives, I find Opus IV very wearable, as the blending doesn't make it feel as much like an exercise in shock value as an honest perfume made for a different set of cultural values than the majority of people reading this review. Perfumes such as these do not have gender, and are made to be tenacious as possible due to the high amount of sweating done in such extreme heat. Something like Opus IV is typically also found in attar form for this reason, so to see it here in a Western-style alcohol/water suspension is fairly unique, but since the Library Collection is all about Aouage heritage presented in a collection of Western perfumes, makes perfect sense. If I had to nitpick, I'd say the tenacity and single-minded nature of the animalic focus in Opus IV can be tiring even for a lover of stinky perfumes, but I feel this is made to be a rare treat rather than a daily driver anyway, so I can overlook a bit of boorish design on their part. The Library Collection comes in small 2ml boxed sampler sprays for easy testing, so there's no reason to dive in blind on this one, which I'd highly recommend avoiding anyway due to how polarizing something this raunchy can be. If you wanna get down with some funky incense, Opus IV has you more than covered! Thumbs up.
11th April, 2020
A bit of floral that softens the cumin note just a bit, but that’s all I get with this. So far not a fan of the Opus line. Haven’t found any I like of the four I’ve sampled.
19th February, 2019
Very pleasant spicy blast (thanks to cumin, cardamom, coriander elements) with undertones of fruits and florals cutting through, warm rock rose + incense mixing with the balsam, definite creaturely presence via musk and “animalic notes”; can be worn by men and women, and I can see myself summoning up some courage and sporting this scent!
14th August, 2018
Yes, yes, yes.

This scent is like reading a beautiful, ancient novel that slowly unfolds & unfurls, page by page, on your skin - strange, compelling, addictive, exotic, timeless. If you like resinous-incense scents, you will love Opus IV. It is deep yet translucent, rich yet never sickly, incense-smokey without the fire.

The fleeting opening is citrus & quite bright: green & luminous with a fresh astringency. It is as glowing & gilded as the rising sun. There is a rosey, fruity aspect, too: but here the fruits are dried, candied, chewy and exotic, dusted with rose petals.

In time the resins & cardamom begin to warm in the intense dry heat. There is incense - the good kind: a little churchy, a little hippy, a little exotic. The paired-back sweetness & resins on hot coals lend a touch-of-the-sauna to Opus IV.

Underneath, I am aware of a sharp metallic note - never unpleasant, just intriguing. I burn frankincense & love this tangy aspect it imparts. I do not detect any sweaty notes AT ALL (& I often have trouble with cumin in perfume). The dryness is delightful - I love a parched scent! Sunbaked papyrus pages in a desert where gnarled trees ooze resinous sap & the ground smells of baked clay.

It is neither masculine nor feminine; not quite eastern, never western...this is one of those rare scents that will transport you away from the hububb of your life. I would enjoy this on any skin as it has an otherworldly quality & a story-telling ability that I admire in perfumery.

Opus IV is, like others in the Library Collection, big, bold & vocal but never vulgar or brash - it has breeding & lines. If you like your perfumery "pretty" or "clean & simple" stay well clear because this beauty has bags of personality & sophistication & will last & last without slapping you in the face as way of an introduction. I think if you enjoy Tauers L'Air DDM then you should sample this scent.

Simply put: WANT. To try it is to buy it - now pride of place in my collection.
05th July, 2018
A silken spice pavilion staged in the great outdoors. Opens with a bright vegetal note like sweetgrass, framed by citrus and cardamom--i would specify the green cardamom used to flavor desserts, rather than the larger and more camphorous black variety. I also smell a resinous, herbal element like sage. After the first few minutes cedar, cumin and incense notes come to the fore, balancing these bright top notes. The scent is opulent and multifaceted--bewilderingly so at times. A minty minor chord that reminded me of yerba buena surfaced at odd moments, which was surprising, but not necessarily in a bad way. The incense note is smoky and resinous, but also sweet as barbecue sauce. The sweet spices are balanced by the cumin and the grass to such a degree that overall the scent avoids any hint of the saccharine. This can't have been easy. This is one to smell over again. For adepts rather than punters.
30th August, 2016
This reminds me of a holiday season spiced tea, and nearly works as a perfume I would wear.
26th March, 2016

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