I was reluctant to approach the Library collection for several reasons. First and foremost my love for Epic, Lyric and Memoir and now the major love affair with Honour are expensive enough. Secondly, the Library collection goes down a different path than the classic collection of Amouage and since I was so happy with that, I was not sure whether I would find something to suit me in this newer group of scents. And finally, if Christopher Chong himself tells you, you are more the classic type, you listen. (At first. )
Opus III was created by Karine Vinchon and includes notes of mimosa, broom, carnation, nutmeg, thyme, violet, jasmine, ylang-ylang, orange blossom, ambrette, musk, papyrus, cedarwood, sandalwood, guaiac wood, benzoin, and vanilla.
First of all, I need to say that wearing a perfume by Amouage always makes me feel like a million bucks. To put it more elegantly, it feels expensive and luxurious, it is like wearing a precious piece of jewellery, not a showy one though. I love the fact that I am aware of the perfume throughout the day, I never loose track of it, I fell and smell its presence although it is not wafting around me to annoy others. These perfumes find the perfect balance between presence and discretion. They are aware of their value, but do not broadcast it. That, to me, is true class.
On to Opus III: It is clearly my favorite from the five perfumes in the collection. It starts very interesting with top notes of broom and mimosa, which you do not find very often. But Opus III this is a perfume about violets, that is something you realize from the first minute. The powdery, perfume-y, cosmetic-like scent of violets dominates this perfume. This sounds simple, but simple is the last thing that comes to mind when smelling this complex, if linear, scent. (Simplicity is generally not the done thing at Amouage.)
After the more spicy and green accented violet of the beginning, the heart reveals a more floral facet, the sweetness of the violet being underscored by orange blossom and ylang-ylang, the green side is never totally lost though and retains a freshness to the scent, which otherwise could get very heavy at this point. The drydown is a wonderfully sweet, musky-woody violet that is more powdery, less floral.
Opus III is almost linear, no big evolution like in others from the line, but it subtly shifts along the violet theme in an appealing way.
I believe Opus III is my favorite, because it is the most wearable and classic of the five (most would argue, Opus I is the real classic here, but I see it differently) and I am no edgy, experimental person in the end. Christopher Chong is right in that respect (and a good many others, I suspect. ).
Opus III is a perfume I would be glad to add to my collection if money were no object.
Defying Chong did pay off after all.