Thursday, September 10, 2015

Massive immature jasmine; Amouage Opus IX

Amouage Opus IX


Perhaps among those perfume houses located in Arabian peninsula, the house of Amouage is the most successful and renown globally. This is not only because of their impressively extravagant creations, but also for their tendency to western world and spirits while preserving original Omani atmosphere and their tradition of incense. This, for sure, needs artistic and smart management which we all know who's behind the scene; Christopher Chong.
Less than a couple of months ago the house announced for their new member of the Library collection: Opus IX. The variety of auras in this nine-opera collection is like a bookshelf full of the top sellers of the century. All are impressive, all are remarkable. From the first Opus, back in 2010, to the ninth there's a considerable growth and evolution. Seems Amouage is reaching a summit step by step.
Opus IX as declared in the house's webpage, is inspired by La Traviata; an opera in three curtains composed by Giuseppe Verdi, set by Venetian libretto Francesco Maria Piave and performed for the first in 6 March 1853 in Venezia.

G.Verdi (1813-1901)

The opera is set to Alexander Dumas' novel; La dame aux Camélias (aka Camille) published in 1848. Although the first performance of the opera has changed the novel and narrated a story back in 1700, Verdi and Piave in 1880 could finally reach their goal and set the opera to a contemporary story and in the book. The main character of the play is named Violetta; however, the main character of the novel is named Marguerite Gautier (a demi-mondaine loved by several men and suffering from tuberculosis). The story, is narrated by the other main character; Armand DuvalMarguerite is named The Lady of the Camellias after her habit of wearing white camellia for when she is ready to make love with her lovers, and red camellia for when she denies the lovers for the time her uncomfortable condition intensifies.

A modern poster of the opera performed in 2013

The performance is in three acts: the Act I is Violetta's interpretation: parties, jovial life in which she's the focal point of attraction. In Act II she runs away with his lover to rural life: settled but not joyous. Act III is her tragic fall and droop.
Pierre Negrin and Nathalie Lorson have transferred the trio into liquid form elaborately. The beginning of the fragrance is harsh, strident and inharmonious, with too much pepper and flowers (jasmine and camellia accord; I have heard that camellias have no smell by default). The floral accord is highly dusty, green and indolic like sound of cello in adagio. The beginning shows up a paradoxical feature: a soprano-to-tenor variation of floral/peppery character. Harshness, and luxury. The balance of notes in the opening and in the overall when the animalic nuances appear, reminds me light and extreme darkness in urban sketches of infamous British painter Jeanette Barnes: dark vision of ordinary stuff.


The heart of the fragrance is just the extension of what happened in the opening but with woodsy vibe. Beeswax, leather, and wood; aspects of pastoral life and stability. Then finally the animalic vibes construct the base of the performance and smoothen the throne for Camille's death. It's civet, in cloak of death coming for jasmine. Blackness attacks light.
Now, concluding the perfume. Experimentally, Opus series are not so wearable fragrances. They are massive, brutal, absolute and dense. Many people may not love to smell like that! Opus IX is not an exception.
A friend of mine described it: "Opus IX is like a teenager who wears mom's dresses, wears over-age perfume and silly over-makeup to expose older than her real age". In fact there's a immaturity behind that massiveness and seemingly it tries to not show it behind immense jasmine assault.
The rough texture of smell in Opus IX conflicts with Venetian-red bottle and gold label on it, which signify wealth and luxury. Basically, for a grown house like Amouage, the Library collection is just demonstration of art and culture and I swear they even don't vacillate if you deny it!

Carpe Odor!

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