Defying Chong – Review: Amouage Library Collection Opus III

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.

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34 Responses to Defying Chong – Review: Amouage Library Collection Opus III

  1. Undina says:

    I liked Opus III the most in the Library collection for a while until suddenly, while I was re-testing all five for my post, I had a change of heart and Opus I became my favorite. But still, on a big scale, I prefer the classic collection and would buy a several bottles from it before I even consider this new collection (well, if a decant comes my way I might not be able to resist…)

    • Olfactoria says:

      I feel the same way. the classic collection is more “me”, but I still like the idea behind the Library collection. And if they would think about a set of 15ml bottles…

  2. Timka says:

    I`ve got the same feeling as you when I wear Amouge. ….”makes me feel like a million bucks”.:)

  3. Lucy says:

    anything that makes you feel that good (and is not a dangerous vice) is worth it.

  4. Caro says:

    I have been incredibly tempted to get Opus III for a long time. It will probably be my next purchase. Christopher Chong suggested that I might like it, based on my tastes.
    I think that -by now- I know beforehand what fragrances work for me and which ones don’t (without even trying them on), same as it happens with makeup colors or clothes.

    Thank you for another beautiful review.

  5. jedennard says:

    Like you, I am definitely more of a “classics” type of fragrance fan. But any discreet and well-done fragrance is worth a test, in my opinion. Wonderful review, Birgit!

  6. Suzanne says:

    Like Undina, Opus III was my initial favorite but now Opus I is. Still, I really love this fragrance. You’ve got great taste, Birgit, you scent rebel! 😉

  7. Sandra says:

    Opus III is my favorite of the Library Collection. My husband reluctantly 🙂 agreed to a full bottle and he also loves the perfume on me. I find it very wearable year round. Thank you for a wonderful review.

  8. deeHowe says:

    I like III… But it’s IV that has made it to the top of my wish list (even above Lyric!). If I were more… Upwardly mobile, I think that I would probably collect the whole range, just because they are so beautiful and sophisticated.

    I wore Memoir as my sleep scent last night, and there are darkly seductive tendrils curling about me this morning still; it was worth every penny!


    • Olfactoria says:

      I did not regret an Amouage purchase yet either. You really get an experience for your money. 🙂 Your infatuation makes me want to explore IV again, it can’t be all mulled wine, if you love it so… 😉

  9. Tarleisio says:

    Rebellion works in strange and wondrous ways, doesn’t it? 😉 As a dedicated Amouageoholic – cue in Ubar, Epic and Memoir in both versions – the Library Collection had me very, very curious! I was hugely surprised by I, liked II, very much liked III, but Volumes IV and V stole me away, especially V. FBW at the drop of a Philip Treacy hat…(well, with Amouage, it would be!). WHat I liked best about the entire line was the way they all explored different themes that were all radically different from their usual maximalism, but the perfumes themselves were no less complex than any other Amouage – just…different.

    This was a great review, B!!! I’m thrilled YOU found an Opus to love! 😉 Even if the husband – or our respective bank balances!!! – isn’t…:D

    • Olfactoria says:

      Out of curiosity – why is it that you say you are thrilled “I” found an Opus to love? (just want to check how people see me!) In any case, I take off my metaphoricla Phillip Treacy hat and bow to the Library Collection. 😉

  10. Tara says:

    Sounds interesting, I’m exploring violets in perfume at the moment. I very much liked the violet in Putain des Palaces so want to explore that one further. It does often have that “face powder” connotation which can work or not. I must seek out Opus III and others in the Library Collection as it obviously seems worth the experience, despite the off-putting price. At least with Amouage the money is reflected in the juice.

    Now, I don’t know anyone else who can appreciate the most ethereal iris AND the deepest amber so don’t let anyone put you in a fragrance box, B! 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      You should go to the Amouage shop in Lowndes Street, Tara, when you are in London. It is such a beautiful store and you can try everything in peace there, the SA is very nice!

      Thank you for your nice words, my fragrance box is indeed quite big! 😉

  11. Marla says:

    Oh no, I feel another batch of Luckyscent samples coming on…I haven’t even tried Honour yet! (hangs head in shame) I’ll get going with the Amouage soon, promise. I’m still enjoying the Epic decand I got last year!

    • Olfactoria says:

      That is the beauty of Amouage, you don’t get tired of them. I am not always in the mood, but whenever I crave an Amouage it doesn’t disappoint and is as beautiful as I remember. I would love to hear what you think once you immerse yourself in the line.

  12. Opus III is *insert expletive* DELICIOUS. It was the first of the Opus scents I fell for, but ultimately I fell harder for V, as everyone knows. You’ve inspired me to wear Opus III today! Thank you. 🙂

  13. angie Cox says:

    I so wish I liked this one as I am crazy about Violet fragrances at the moment. I have to say that the broom hits me first and hard and never goes away . It seems a bit of a hotch-potch to me sadly as I have my £30.00s off voucher and am trying hard to decide which Amouage to indulge in. I have several so I might get Silver for Jeff.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Broom can be hard to take…
      You are a generous person, Angie. I’m sure your husband will smell great in Silver.
      Mine is currently enjoying Honour Man very much, he hijacked my samples. 😉

  14. andrea says:

    I did not want to like any of the amouage perfumes, I have already bought reflection which I enjoy, I liked lyric but resisted the urge to buy. Then I had the pleasure of smelling all to my hearts content, what I did not expect nor want was to fall for opus III, I did not expect to be haunted by this fragrance till I drove myself mad trying to get the last sniff off my arm. With this infactuation in mind I went to purchase opus III the next day (at this point I hasten to add I am slightly nervous as I have never spent this amount on a bottle of perfume) sadly the store was out of stock, you would think I would sit back & think Phew, it was not meant to be but alas no, I now want, indeed need this perfume even more.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I know the feeling, Andrea. When infatuation hits, it is hard to stay away from a perfume. The Amouage line is expensive, but I never regretted buying a bottle, they are worth every penny. If you are sure you love it, go for it.

  15. Pingback: The Star-Trek Amber – Review: Amouage Opus VI | Olfactoria's Travels

  16. Pingback: Library Collection OPUS III by Karine Vinchon Spehner for Amouage 2010 « AustralianPerfumeJunkies

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