I got to spend a lovely hour in the new Peoria Library yesterday. I’d forgotten how comforting and calming it can be, just spending time in a library. For book lovers, though, spending time in a library can be both calming and invigorating, like walking through Be3rdorf’s jewelry department on the way to the spa. Yesterday’s shimmering afternoon was like that, and it felt very much like Amouage’s newest Library scent, Opus VIII.
My first spritz of this was intriguing – and completely counterintuitive to the actual notes (stick with me – you’ll see what I mean). I got a whiff of calone and a touch of aquatic …okay…that made sense to me…but then I got a big ol’ whallop of carnation (CARNATION?) I would’ve gone to the mat thinking there was carnation allllll up in this one.
Instead, what I was smelling was a lot of jasmine sambac, front-loaded to the hilt. The combination of jasmine and orange flower combined to create a shiny little cousin to Dia…but that is quickly dispensed with by the introduction of the …not heavier, per se…let’s call them …deeper, more resinous..elements. Yes, resinous. Because halfway through the spritz the frankincense, benjoin and saffron start gently pulsing through the floral opening. But they are not allowed to take over – the jasmine sambac and ylang ylang (which I was holding as a surprise!) hold their own and sweetly cajole the resins into playing nicely, like young men who, upon seeing a lovely young woman walk into a room, stop acting like boys and begin to act like young men worthy of her attention. It’s at this point that the scent becomes truly intriguing, where the chiaroscuro starts to shimmer, the smoke dappling in and out of wan sunlight. This is one of the more ethereal of the Library offerings but don’t let its lightness fool you – with the quality ingredients that Amouage is known for, it’s a longevity Beast. I put it on at 8a and it was there, still doing its dance, at 7p. And I like the aquatic/calone note, even though those aren’t usually amongst notes I consider favorites. But here they serve to lighten what could’ve been a classic floral/woody combo.
Notes: Jasmine Sambac, Ylang Ylang, Orange Flower
Frankincense, Saffron, Ginger, Vetiver, Gaiac Wood
Balsam, Genzoin, Jamaican Bay
Doesn’t it sound interesting? Wouldn’t you like to try it? Well…just drop me a note here, telling me your favorite Amouage (or, if you haven’t tried any, which one sounds most intriguing). I’ll have Bruno spin the random.org wheel and we’ll pick two (TWO!) winners. I’ll send you a small scrab so you can see for yourself!
And once you fall in love with it, you can get it at MiN New York, Luckyscent, Bergdorf Goodman and Parfumerie Nasreen in Seattle – $365/ 100ml