In design school we often did exercises where we interpreted something classic in a new or a different way. This version of the the Black Opium launched in 2014 is a Rock and Roll inspired interpretation of the original YSL Opium that came into being in the year 1977. This is often done by brands to continue to ride on the fame of a classic while capturing the audience of modern times.
The original perfume was an Oriental fragrance (An Oriental fragrance is defined by its predominantly spicy character which is due to it containing spicy, peppery and notes exotic to North America – racist no!) whereas this one is a Gourmand (A gourmand fragrance is a perfume consisting primarily of synthetic edible (gourmand) notes, such as honey, chocolate, vanilla etc.) The OG perfume connoisseurs mights say that this was a bold & risky move but since it became a best seller the perfumer’s at YSL did play their cards right I say!
Cost: 4500 INR for 50 ml
Buy online: Here
A glam rock fragrance full of mystery and energy, Black Opium is an irresistible gourmand floral with notes of: Black coffee, for a shot of adrenaline; white florals, to instantly seduce; and vanilla, for sweetness and sensuality. These sensual ingredients are bound by a warm undertone of white musk.
Alcohol ● Water ●Benzyl Salicylate ●Benzyl Alcohol ● Hydroxycitronellal ●Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane ●Hexyl Cinnamal ● Limonene ●Linalool ●Geraniol ●Citronellol ●Cinnamyl Alcohol ● Methyl Anthranilate ●Amyl Cinnamal ●Citral ●Coumarin ●Benzyl Benzoate ●Ci 15985 / Yellow 6 ● Ci 17200 / Red 33 ● (F.I.L C167411/1)
The Fragrance Composition:
When the electrifying energy of black coffee meets the assertive femininity of white flowers. A vibrant, sensual and addictive contrast of light and dark.
Olfactive Family: Oriental, Floral & Gourmand
Top Notes: Black coffee accord, Mandarine & Bergamot
Heart Notes: Orange blossom, Tuberose & Jasmin sambac
Base Notes: White musk, Vanilla beans & Cashmeran.
As recommended by the brand: “Spray Black Opium Eau de Parfum onto your skin, focusing on the warmer areas of the body with the fragrance: behind your neck, onto the inside of your wrist and underneath your earlobes. Alternatively, spray generously in front of you and walk forwards, immersing yourself in the perfume.”
To keep the packaging harmonious with the original YSL Opium, Black Opium is offered in the same bottle as the classic, which itself was redesigned in 2009. Black Opium comes in a black glass bottle covered in tiny sequins that’s quite in sync with its rock ’n roll inspiration. Its a design you will be proud to showcase on your vanity.
The fragrance is feminine yet bold & rich! At first it comes on very strong and I thought I had made a mistake but it quickly settles down to a nice & mellow, well rounded scent.
Vanilla’s heady sweetness and Jasmine’s freshness are the first notes that hit me. They sort of set the stage for the spicy entrants to follow. I waited but I really wasn’t able to perceive much coffee, which to be honest was the most disappointing bit about this fragrance. After a while it settles down to a sweet floral with some patchouli playing hide and seek with White Tuberoses.
I heard that the original variant had great staying capacity! This is where the Black Opium lets down the audience! It’s very tame and will need frequent re-application for it to remain perceivable.
The scent is strong but not so strong that you would hesitate to wear it during the day. With a light application it can very well work during the day but of course since the staying capacity is less that would unfortunately make it last for even lesser time!
- Beautiful Packaging
- Interpretation of a Classic done well.
- Poor Longevity
- No immediately perceptible coffee notes.
It is definitely more of a sweet scent, but not so much that will give you & your co-workers a headache! It is balanced by the floral freshness and coziness of Vanilla & Musk. I believe it’s a scent that the majority would like primarily because Gourmand Scents are so trendy these days. Personally I don’t love it enough to repurchase but I don’t completely dislike it either.
Have you tried this fragrance? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Also hit me up on Instagram so that we can talk all things beauty!