Friday, December 17, 2010

Review: Opus IV from Amouage (2010)

The house of Amouage - one of a tiny number of international brands with bona fide Middle Eastern credentials - has often produced dazzling perfumes by taking classical, old-world structures and giving them a Gulf-inspired twist. Jacques Flori's Opus IV continues this admirable tradition. Essentially, it's a sweet, woody citrus with a blistering grapefruit opening (on paper it's actually too astringent, so make sure you try it on skin) and a faintly boozy, timber-edged, cloves-and-raisins conclusion. Some may consider it too reminiscent of a Christmas punch, but I'm convinced that its pièce de résistance - a judicious dose of dusty, sweaty cumin - pushes it firmly in the direction of greatness. Warm, tenacious and slightly raunchy, it's the perfume equivalent of Omar Sharif dressed as Santa Claus, which easily makes it the best of the Library Collection so far. Watch out though: at around £200 per bottle, this isn't exactly the cheapest of stocking fillers.

[Review based on a sample of eau de parfum obtained in 2010; fragrance tested on skin.]


Amouage have kindly provided a sample of Opus IV to be used as a prize for a give-away here on Please come back in early January to find out how you can get your hands on it.



  1. This sounds like a perfume I would be in love with for fifteen minutes, and then have to be rid of it. There are more and more scents like that for me lately. I wonder, if I crinkle my nose too much, will it stay that way?

    I still mean to try more Amouage fragrances, because tastes change.

  2. Persolaise I am always at the ready to try another Amouage fragrance. The only thing that worries me slightly is that picture you've posted of all the cloves. Is Opus iv very clove-y? I don't really enjoy the smell of cloves too much.

  3. It's the kind of scent I would love to try someday.

  4. I find Opus IV definitely Middle Eastern in feel.

    I think the amount of cumin is enough to prevent Opus IV from being too sweet and it also adds a sexy twist to the scent.

    I liked it at first spray, got more enthusiastic at the second time and fell in love the third time I wore it.

    Sillage and longevity are remarkable.

  5. Omar Sharif dressed as Santa Claus?? I'm swooning....

  6. Carrie, I know exactly what you mean about scents whose smells are enjoyable only for a certain amount of time.

    As for Amouage, I'm generally a huge fan of their output. Have you tried Gold (both Man and Woman) and Epic Man? And as for Tribute... well, that just blew my mind away when I first tried it.

  7. Vintage Lady, you should enter the draw in January ;-)

  8. Michael, no, the clove note isn't at all overpowering; in fact, it's very subtle. I chose the picture mainly because it was one of very few suitable images I could find. As you know, getting hold of 'accessible' photos on the Net isn't always easy.

  9. Marla, I had a feeling some of my readers would enjoy that image...

  10. Gelben Domino, I'm glad you liked it. I agree about the sillage and longevity and yes, there it does project a very warm sensuousness.

  11. Vintage Lady (and Marla too): what's your favourite Sharif movie? Madame Persolaise thinks his is one of the most drop-dead gorgeous faces ever to hit the silver screen and she can never get enough of Dr Zhivago and Lawrence Of Arabia.

  12. Dr Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia and also the sufi story Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran. So there will a draw in January.Good prospect!


  13. Vintage Lady, I don't know that last one. Perhaps I should get it for Madame P for Christmas...

  14. I've not tried Gold Woman or Man, nor Epic Man. Just the name of "Gold" does interest me, I have to admit. I'm also drawn to the Gold Woman bottle very much, it's beautiful in its simple sleekness. The notes list also looks appealing, so that may be a very good suggestion for me. Thank you.

  15. I very much feel she would love it. It´s a very inspiring movie.


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