Yves Saint Laurent: Black Opium Eau de Parfum Review

Sadly, very disappointed by first impressions.

The top notes gave me a headache: the Pink Pepper and especially Pear, Orange Blossom notes are very sickly sweet and synthetic.

However, the dry-down is this perfume’s only saving grace. Once the initial sweet and fruity notes have lifted slightly, the coffee in the middle note does come through and is delicious. Nevertheless, I found the coffee to be drowned out by the sweet top notes and the vanilla base note. The Cedar note, which could have helped, was at best negligible.

Also, by this point I was concerned about smelling of a Starbucks vanilla latte.

By the time the perfume reached the base notes it had greatly improved. A definite sensual evening smell, much more sophisticated than the initial impressions. The Cedar and Sandalwood comes through more strongly giving a clean woody powdery scent which is very pleasant.

This is certainly a perfume that gets better over time. Which is unusual as many perfumes seem to suffer from strong top notes and weak base notes.

I also didn’t think this was an especially unique scent. A variation on a popular theme.

Furthermore, the “glam rock” marketing strategy, is just not consistent with the perfume itself. There is nothing edgy or rock and roll about the overpowering sweet fruity notes. And although the rolled-in-glitter bottle is perfect for the younger market, the marketing theme itself has completely failed to capture the perfume.

Sillage was strong but longevity was moderate at best. 

All in all, there is a definite dark warmth and gourmand opulence to this fragrance, and although I can see why it is popular, for me it just isn’t special enough ; despite the name, I found nothing addictive about Black Opium at all.

  • The top notes are pink pepper, orange blossom, pear
  • The heart notes are coffee, jasmine, bitter almond, licorice
  • The base notes are vanilla, patchouli, cedar, cashmere wood


(I also have qualms about the slight romanticisation of drug-taking in the YSL video…)

5 thoughts on “Yves Saint Laurent: Black Opium Eau de Parfum Review

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s