Opus X by Amouage

Passion and pain


Notes: Rose Centifolia, Bloody Rose Accord, Rosebud, Rose Oxide, Geranium, Varnish Accord, Leather, Ambrarome, Ylang-Ylang, Laotian Oud, Metallic Accord


I recently went with my pal Kirk to the elegant Amouage stand-alone store in Knightsbridge, London. He purchased the excellent amber, Opus VI which I  think is particularly great on the fellas. It’s fun to see “a civilian” sucked into our fragrant little world.

While there I tried the brand new Opus X from The Library Collection. The mainstream line is full of well constructed, full-bodied perfumes with a capital P. The Library Collection is more exclusive with scents which are often more challenging.

Opus X is a rose-centred fragrance so I was initially disappointed when I inhaled it on a paper strip and it came across as rather jarring. The Sales Assistant suggested trying it on skin because the high percentage of natural oils means there can be quite a difference.

Sure enough, a spray on the back of my hand and it was a different story.  The sour aspect was dialled right down and even the friendly SA was surprised at the dramatic change it took on me.


I’m always complaining about perfumes being too sweet but the beginning of Opus X has sharp, slightly metallic greens surrounding the central, multi-layered rose. I picture a dark fairy-tale scene of long, malevolent creepers twisting around and almost strangling a partly-opened rose of the deepest crimson.


Creative Director, Christopher Chong found his inspiration for Opus X in the 1998 film, The Red Violin. In it, a violin is crafted in 1681 by a grief-stricken Master Violin Maker who infuses the varnish with a little of the blood from his recently deceased wife.  The movie then follows it over the next four centuries to Austria, the UK, China and Canada; telling the stories of the people who own it.

I really want to see this film



Fittingly the mood of the fragrance is a mix of harsh bitterness, mysterious darkness and deep passion. The varnish on the violin is present, providing a sheer overlay to the many-petalled rose. The lacquer creates a disturbance, but knowing why helps me appreciate Opus X, even if I can’t love it. The widow’s loss means everything can’t be rosy.

This artistic response to another’s creative work has been composed by perfumers Pierre Negrin and Annick Menardo.

The base is distinctly Amouage, as all traces of greenery, metal and varnish disappear. The texture becomes reassuringly velvety thanks to a low whisper of the smoothest oud snaking through a gorgeous amber accord.  Here at last, the sensual side of love and life is exposed and quietly celebrated.

As we’ve come to expect from this luxury house, the longevity is outstanding. Opus X isn’t as voluminous on me as their other perfumes, but that seems to fit: it’s not a showy, outward-looking scent, but a very personal tale.


Still from The Red Violin

What do you think of The Library Collection? Have you seen The Red Violin?



Filed under Perfume Reviews

27 responses to “Opus X by Amouage

  1. Lady Jane Grey

    Could I please pass on the opening and just get the part where amber and oud come in ? (and the film sounds really interesting 😀)


  2. I don’t think this one is for me, but I’ll happily settle with your friends’ choice of Opus VI. I took a sample of that with me on my Thailand holiday and it’s magnificent in hot weather. I’m now lusting after a bottle.


    • Opus V! is a beautiful amber, Sabine and really easy to wear. How interesting to hear it works well in hot weather. It’s not heavy though so I can imagine it.


  3. Sandra

    Lovely review Tara. I am green with envy that you got to try it as the Opus line is no longer available at Le Parfum. 😔 I really enjoy wearing Opus III and VI and would love to try Opus X. Now you have piqued my curiosity. Sandra xoxo


    • Ah, that’s too bad, Sandra. I think Opus III is a love of Val’s.
      I’m wearing my sample of Opus X today and the drydown is a like totally different fragrance to the first half.


  4. I have found the few Library scents I have tried challenging, as you say – couldn’t tell you which ones, now, but that was my general impression! – however, I am mightily intrigued by this – I’d like to experience the ‘malevolent creeper’ stage for starters, and the drydown sounds more accessible if the oud is very quiet. Even if this wasn’t for me, you have conjured it up beautifully!


    • V, they are usually challenging but that makes them so much more interesting to try. The oud in Opus X is very quiet and it’s very accessible at this stage.


  5. TEMPTRESS! I thought I’d found my OPUS true love in IX. This bottle, the fragrance and the story have me about to order a sample off Surrender To Chance.
    Thanks Tara, a lemming is born.
    Portia xx


    • Really, Portia? That’s good, considering I struggled with the first half. I do think it’s a clever composition and so different to the roses in the main line. I have a feeling it would work really well on you and no doubt bloom terrifically in the heat of Sydney.


  6. cookie queen

    I look forward to trying this. What a small world we live in. Great review Tara. ❤️


  7. Di

    I loved the movie ; saw it many years ago. It had a profound effect on me, a movie i shall never forget . I would love to try Opus X as I only wear rose. I have been using essential oils…..not as sophisticated as you but willing & eager to learn


    • Oh Di, I want to see it even more now. Thanks for telling me know how it affected you.
      Rose essential oil is stunning and can be very sophisticated.


  8. Most of the Library scents do not work for me. I liked Opus VI, but not even close to thinking about a bottle (though that might change one day if I finish the sample I’ve got and want more – you know, how it happens). I was curious to try this perfume since Lucas liked it (and our tastes are similar). And with your additional endorsement I look forward to it even more.


    • Well, I wear it quite happily but I wouldn’t say I enjoy the first half. Metallic greens and varnish aren’t my thing but it’s good to come across a rose fragrance that takes a different path.
      I haven’t fallen for anything from The Library Collection yet but I haven’t tried them all either. They’re always interesting and worth trying.


  9. I liked opus V, although somehow the first time I sniffed and wore it, on a humid warm day in Munich, it smelled much deeper and iris’er than it has ever done since…
    As always you make this one sounds quite wonderful, who knows… As the regular Amouage range isn’t for me, perhaps I should have more luck with the Opera (as they very fittingly are 😉 )


    • I fell madly in love with the iris opening of Opus V and thought I’d have to save for a bottle. Then the drydown was such a disappointment. I haven’t fallen for anything from the regular line yet, either.

      Yes, there really should be an Opus for you 🙂


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