Yves Saint Laurent Opium ~ fragrance review

Yves Saint Laurent Opium advert

Few fragrances induce the instant love-it-or-hate-it response of Yves Saint Laurent Opium. Right now, you're probably either thinking, "Opium! I've had some of my most memorable nights wearing that perfume..." or "I can already feel the migraine coming on."

When Opium hit the market in 1977, women bought it by the gallon. Opium was so much more than a fragrance. It became an identity. Just as Chanel No. 5 showed its wearer as someone elegant and timeless (or at least trying to be elegant and timeless), the woman who wore Opium signaled that her life was rife with exoticism and secrets, even if she lived in a split level in the suburbs. The Yves Saint Laurent marketing machine fueled this image with print advertisements of mostly naked women surrounded by crimson and shadows.

Maybe the rush toward Opium was a reaction to stagflation and fuel rationing. Maybe it was a response to all the colonial hoo-ha surrounding the Bicentennial. Or maybe it was simply clever marketing. Although Opium stood out among the mid-1970s perfume launches — for instance, the fresh chypre Molyneux Quartz came out the same year, Dana Tabu and Estée Lauder Youth Dew covered the same ground decades before. For whatever reason, Opium was the right fragrance at the right time, and it became a cultural marker.

Jean-Louis Sieuzac, the nose behind Christian Dior Dune and Oscar de la Renta Oscar, created Opium. In Fabulous Fragrances, Jan Moran writes that Yves Saint Laurent hired a ship, the Peking, for Opium's launch and stuffed it with Oriental-themed decorations, including a thousand-pound bronze Buddha surrounded by "mounds of white cattleya orchids". Truman Capote was at the ship's helm. YSL was determined that Opium would be a success.

Yves Saint Laurent Opium perfume advertThe Yves Saint Laurent website lists Opium as having topnotes of mandarin, bergamot, lily of the valley; a heart of jasmine, carnation, myrrh; and a base of vanilla, amber, sweet myrrh, and patchouli. Jan Moran adds plum, hespirides, clove, coriander, pepper, bay leaf, cinnamon, peach, orris, sandalwood, vetiver, opopanax, labdanum, castoreum, incense, musk, and tolu to Opium's notes. As these notes tell, Opium is a thick, spicy, wallop of oriental luxuriance.

On my skin, Opium Eau de Toilette opens with an aldehyde-boosted wave of bay leaf and citrus, but it doesn't stay there long. Soon clove, carnation, cinnamon, and pepper hit my nose, only barely softened by jasmine and ylang ylang. A tangy herbal quality — tarragon, maybe? mint? — lightens the scent. In the extrait, the aldehydes are less perceptible, and the scent transitions smoothly from bay to a spicy floral heart. The rose is more prominent in the extrait. But Opium is really about the dry down. Here, every trick in the Oriental fragrance's book is played: I smell wood, balsam, and resins galore, all steeped in incense, labdanum, and a honey-tea that reminds me of tobacco.

Opium launched a storm of imitators, including Estée Lauder Cinnabar, which some say was in the making before Opium hit the shelves. To me, Cinnabar is nice, but friendly and predictable, and I'm too soon done with it. Opium adds a few surprising notes to the formula, such as the tarragon/mint and floral balance that engage me more.

I don't know what I'd think of Opium if I smelled it today for the first time. Opium is big and potent. It's Cher in full Bob Mackie. I love it, and yet I can barely stand to wear it. My handicap is that, along with Chanel Coco, Opium infiltrated my 1980s. When I smell it, I think, "Oh, Opium," and the magic is over. It is forever linked to another life. I'd love to hear from people who only came to know Opium recently. What does it smell like to you? Do you like it?

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  1. Bunny says:

    hmmm, when I sprayed on some Opium at the store it started out smelling like a wood-burning fireplace and after a while it was really cinnamony and then much later unfortunately it turned into the acrid powder monster of doom. Maybe it was a bad day? lol

    • Angela says:

      “Acrid powder monster of doom”! Horrible (and funny)! Fortunately, I really don’t get powder from it. Lots of resin and spices, but not powder.

      • Bunny says:

        bitter/sour dusty powder is not pleasant *gack*! The fireplace part was interesting though lol

        • Angela says:

          The fireplace part definitely sounds like the highlight.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Well, I can’t offer any help with those last questions, because I wore Opium for years! It was the first grown-up perfume I bought for myself, when I was fifteen. My mother, grandmother, and aunt all wore it, so I just followed in their heavily-spiced footsteps. I don’t wear it anymore, but I still keep a bottle around for the memories.

    • Angela says:

      Opium has so much personality that just one sniff must really take you back!

  3. miss kitty v. says:

    I also can’t play this game, since my relationship with Opium goes way back. I no longer wear it, but I do recall getting quite the feedback when I did. I once went out with someone I was sort of dating, who asked what I was wearing. When I responded that it was Opium, I got a smirk and “Oh, of course you are” in return. To this day, I still don’t know what that means, but it was certainly a loaded statement.

    • Angela says:

      What a dummy! Probably a Drakkar Noir wearer. Good riddance to him, I say.

      • miss kitty v. says:

        Good riddance–oh, you have no idea. But I actually think the comment was more of a “my, that’s a seductive scent and of course you’d wear it, you little trollop” kind of thing. Which, now that I think about it, isn’t any better.

        • Angela says:

          Once a man told me, “I know exactly what kind of a girl you are” with a knowing wink. How irritating!

          • miss kitty v. says:

            Yeah, really. Umm, yeah, I’m the kind of girl who can’t be bothered with idiots like you.

          • Angela says:


    • SmokeyToes says:

      I can’t play the game either! My relationship with Opium goes back to the 80’s…. I no longer wear it but I love it, brings back fond memories. A very dear co-worker, whom everyone loved and respected wore it (she passed away unexpectedly) and every I smell it I think of her. It was magic on her.

      Wasn’t Jerry Hall in Opium ads in the early 90’s? Or am I really fuzzy?

      Oh by the way, Miss Kitty V., I can appreciate the “Oh, of course you are” reply. I got that too.

      • Angela says:

        According to Jan Moran, Jerry Hall wore it, too. I kind of see her as a Fracas gal, but you never know.

      • platinum14 says:

        Yes Jerry Hall was the face of Opium in the ad campain of the late 80′ early 90′
        She was then replaced by the “plus size” Sphie Dahl. That created quite a stir….
        The stir must have been more about the nudity, ’cause I don’t see anything “plus size about this woman…

        • Angela says:

          I agree–unless they mean “plus extra glamour”.

  4. violetnoir says:

    God I loved Opium! I remember when it was released for the Holidays in 1977. It was an instant, and I mean instant, hit. Everyone was buzzing about it, and all of us were scrambling to get a bottle.

    But Opium hates me! It smells like celery on me. I am not kidding. It is one of the very few perfumes I have loved that just does not love me back. I finally had to confront the awful truth about Opium and give my bottle away.

    And, to be honest, Angela, Opium does not smell good on everybody. It usually smells like a mess of spiced cabbage. But on those few lucky women who possess that right balance of whatever it is, Opium smells absolutely amazing, almost heaven-like.


    • Angela says:

      Celery! Yuck! In reading through the reviews for Opium on makeupalley, lots of people said the same thing as you, that Opium does not love everyone. But celery! Not good at all.

      • boojum says:

        Oh, I dunno…Dzongkha does a kind of celery thing on me, and yet, it’s oddly addicting. LOL! I’d probably like it better on someone else, but even w/the celery, I want it.

        • miss kitty v. says:

          Oh, good, others have had the experience with Dzonghka! I thought it was just me. First time I smelled it I couldn’t see what others had raved about.

          • Angela says:

            I wonder if it’s the iris?

          • Joe says:

            The celery thread is interesting; I’ve heard that before about Dzongkha, which I love. I keep forgetting to TRY to find a celery note in it when I wear it. Better that I don’t ever find it, I suppose, but it’s hard for me to imagine.

          • boojum says:

            I have to wonder if it’s my skin or my nose doing it, frankly. Would love to know if others think it smells like celery on me, or if I think it smells like celery on someone who doesn’t get that note at all.

          • boojum says:

            Oh, and I think it must be some combo rather than just the iris, since I haven’t had that happen with any other iris scent yet. Interesting, though!

        • Angela says:

          Yatagan is celery-esque on me, I guess.

        • Carlos BFL 319 says:

          I got celery too!

          • Angela says:

            The mysteries of Opium!

          • Joe says:

            I think C meant in the Dzongkha (IIRC). The mysteries of Dzongkha!

          • Angela says:

            Oh good, thanks for the clarification. It makes it all a little less mysterious, then.

        • AnnS says:

          I get a kind of “chopped veggie” thing that could be “celery” with some Annick Goutals, esp., Neroli, Chevrefeuille, and Gardenia Passion.

    • kaos.geo says:

      I completely agree about the chemistry part.

      On some people it smells just bad. On others, it smells just as on paper (my mom and sister get that) and on some others, it is mesmerizing.

      When I was a teen in the 80’s a girl we knew used to steal the bottle from her mother. She had that lucky chemistry and I can swear that whenever she went to the arcade people swarmed (this is the most accurate word to describe the effect) around her like bees, attracted by the smell and her too-cool-for-a-14-y.o.- hippie-chic look. :-)

      • Angela says:

        Nice image! I can see it (and smell it) clearly.

    • jo says:

      hey all y’all!

      I happened to be in Europe when Opium was released. I tried it, I loved it, I bought it (three of the large spray bottles–because I knew it wouldn’t be able to get it in the USA for a while).

      It was–and is–gorgeous. On me, for me. I wore it for years, finally backing off a bit only recently, since it takes so much energy to carry it off. And, believe me, I am an old cackler! And I don’t always have the same energy as I did thirty years ago!

      But, somehow, when the occasion rises, I can still summon the strength to wear it. Because it is SO worth it! I still now always have two of the large spray bottles in my cache for when the mood strikes. And I will continue to wear it until they pry it out of my cold dead hands–to quote Charlton Heston……..

      I have lots of other scents that I love and wear, but I believe that Opium was the first one I recognized as being a scent that I would always wear and love, and, as such, will always occupy a part of my heart.

      And no celery for me, ever…… Just gorgeous, rich, delicious, eternal Opium.

      • Angela says:

        It sounds like you truly found your signature scent! I bet you smell fabulous.

    • glorious1 says:

      Well…………..long ago…I dated a man. He had chased after a woman to ask her what she was wearing and it was Opium. He bought me a bottle and asked me to wear it. It is my BELOVED! He is looooong gone but not the Opium. I am now more careful with my application but ….come on now…..I LIKE sillage! I have other faves but nothing is MINE like Opium. I try to have the original edt and parfum all the time. I go a number of days and do not wear it…but I can only go so long…..It is a classic and the quintessential oriental. I have stocked up on the vintage. There were perfumes that came after Opium but none came close. Say what you want. I revel in it! Have to say I like Opium Fleur de Shanghai also that you can still find. I live in Florida and it doesn’t matter to me if it’s cool or hot. Opium works in all weather….

      • Angela says:

        That’s a terrific story! It sounds like Opium was truly made for you–I’m glad you found it! As for the old boyfriend, he did you more good than a lot of old boyfriends, it sounds like.

  5. Jill says:

    My aunt who passed way a few years ago wore Opium, and I remember smelling it in her fragrance collection and thinking, wow, that is some powerful, overwhelming stuff. But that was many years ago and my fragrance tastes have changed, so I have no idea what I’d think of it now, but you’ve got me dying to try it again! Love the article — Truman Capote at the helm of the ship, how fun!

    • Angela says:

      I’d love to know what you’d think of it now! If you pass by a department store, why not give it a try? (A tiny little try, because if you don’t like it, boy will you be sorry if you tried a full spritz.)

  6. alltheprettythings says:

    I love Opium, but rarely wear it. My BF in high school wore it daily, and she has the same alabaster skin and body type of the model in the pic above. I think their ads have subconsciously lodged themselves into my brain, because I think it smells sexiest on red heads! I think it’s brilliantly sexy, and not for the faint of heart. Damn, I want to check in my stash for some now… I’m sure I have at least a partial around here somewhere!

    • Angela says:

      Hey, I’m a redhead, and it does seem to work on my skin. It’s so strongly tied to the 1980s for me, though, that I can’t smell it with an open mind anymore.

  7. I got Opium last Christmas and have mixed feelings about it.
    While definitely I see its hook and have days (or better said evenings) in which I feel just confident enough to wear it…other days it just smells heavy and almost suffocating.
    Definitely a love-hate kind of perfume with a mind of its own :)

    • Angela says:

      You bring up a good point: Opium is best worn in discrete amounts and when the weather is cool. I think I’d rather drive behind a garbage truck in August than wear too much Opium when it’s hot.

  8. Absolute Scentualist says:

    Great article, Angela. My first knowledge of Opium came from my mother, a labor and delivery nurse, and how her throat closed up and she practically fainted when a patient came in to deliver after dousing themselves in the potent potion. So it, along with any Avon frags (all of them gave her pounding headaches), were always out of the question for me to keep on hand or even test if she was about.

    When I got older, I met a green-eyed, red-haired co-worker who’d go tool around on a Harley on the weekends with her biker husband, and she always moved about in a cloud of what I learned was Opium upon asking.

    While it’s certainly strong, it’s spicy, take no prisoners, fierce, warm, and just seems to blend well with her wild exuberance. It’s quite lovely, and while not really my taste, I don’t mind being around someone wearing it.

    I’ve had worse experience with CK’s original Obsession, which I spritz on from time to time. A receptionist in a small hospital office took a bath in the stuff, which made filling out paperwork a task to finish as quickly as possible before my eyes teared up. Every time she moved, it rolled off her in waves. It took me a few months before I could even touch my own bottle of the stuff, and I hope someone was kind enough to eventually tell her that’s not a perfume to be applied with a heavy hand. :)

    • Angela says:

      I know just what you mean about Obsession. Too many people wore way too much of it, and I think it, along with Opium, have tainted people’s minds about perfume in public.

    • boojum says:

      I don’t know why, but it seems to me that the very people who apply scent with such overabundance nearly *always* choose one of those scents best applied with restraint.

      • Daisy says:

        Yup, it’s a Cosmic Law.

        • boojum says:

          I have to add Poison to the evil trio of over-applied scents, and I think it *is* a cosmic thing, now that you mention it… “OOPs, I oversprayed.” OOPs standing for Opium, Obsession, Poison.

          • Angela says:


          • ggperfume says:

            But you’ve got to put Giorgio Beverly Hills in that group! How to rework the acronym, that’s the problem. . .

          • boojum says:

            “OOPs, Got a Bit Heavy”?

          • ggperfume says:

            We have a winner!

        • Angela says:

          Sadly, you’re right on target!

          • lydiadrama says:

            If we are adding Giorgio, then it will have to be GOOP.

          • Angela says:

            Good one!

      • krokodilgena says:

        lol… when I wore Opium I used to put *a lot* on. Now I apply almost everything pretty lightly and nothing I own is even as heavy as Opium in the first place.
        And my mom wears Obsession, and I won’t even tell you how much she puts on D:

        • Angela says:

          Whew, Obsession is a Big One. No wonder you chose Opium–you’d have to pick something powerful to stand out next to Obsession.

  9. AnnS says:

    I was a kid when this came out, and probably 14 or 15 when I would have become aware of it at the beauty counter. I do remember all those sensous and seemingly naughty but glamorous ads. It was the kind of fragrance that my mom said was wayyy too strong, and that was also probably a symptom of how people tended to overapply everything in the 80s!! But my mom’s disparaging comments about Opium were kind of different from her normall dismissal of things. I know that sounds strange, but there was always this undercurrent from my mom that is was “dangerous” and “naughty”. Now, I know that she didn’t and still doesn’t wear dark resinous fragrances, liking lighter white florals. But I never even bothered to test it when I was younger just because my mom had such strong opinions about it. It seemed very much like it was way out of my league as a young teen. I have since tested it, and I know that it doesn’t work for me b/c the lily is so strong and it has a wee bit of that Pepsi thing which I have trouble with in anything like Youth Dew or Stestson. The lily is tough for me in the same way that I do not care for Donna Karan Gold b/c of it. I did try the Fleurs de Shanghai version of Opium, and though it is lighter, it still to my nose is all about that massive lily accord.

    So, I stuck with and still stick to Coco, which was my second major fragrance love. I bought my first bottle of it when I was 17 after I got to college and my mom couldn’t directly object!! It always has and still does smell absolutely divine on my skin. All these years I had no idea that Opium and Coco were sisters, competing with each other for that rich oriental market, as to my nose they are very very different. Coco is just gorgeous floral amber on me!! And though I respect Opium now, it will never rise above a major lily-resin fragrance for me.

    • Angela says:

      Coco ended up being “my” 1980s oriental, too. But I’m surprised you get so much lily in Opium. It sounds like you are really sensitive to it!

      • alltheprettythings says:

        80’s Orientals… I confess to wearing Ysatis!

        • AnnS says:

          The original Ysatis was awesome! My sister wore it and I would occasionally dab into it.

          • Angela says:

            It has changed, then?

          • miss kitty v. says:

            Yeah, I read somewhere that Ysatis is made with cheaper ingredients now. :( It does smell less….lush. I still love it, but long for the original.

        • Angela says:

          I haven’t smelled that one in years!

          • AnnS says:

            It does smell like it went on the accountant’s diet, in the same way that Magie Noir does too. Still nice, but not all there. (Well, maybe that’s me since my toddler-mommy brain is about to go!)

          • bergere says:

            “the accountant’s diet”! I love it! It seems like a very successful diet, too; everything that goes on it loses something.

        • jo says:

          i was lucky enough to be in europe the year Opium was launched and i was able to flaunt my Opium all the way through customs and then home. i still wear it and i still love it. and this is from someone who usually wears (big-gish) chypres!

          oh, and i loved Ysatis too!

          • Angela says:

            Nice! I bet everyone was jealous.

    • boojum says:

      I’m with you on the Coco…wouldn’t have thought it was the same family at all. I’ve somehow never tried it on skin, maybe because there was just always something I wanted to try more…but it is there somewhere on the “to try” list. You’ll never find either of the Os there!

      • Angela says:

        I don’t find Coco as spicy, but it’s a big O all right.

  10. AnnS says:

    It may be that I am sensitive to lily – I’ve only ever found one fragrance that has it prominently that I enjoy wearing (The discontinued Crabtree & Evenlyn Savannah Gardens). The other factor may be too that I am anosmic to most musks, so if there are any musks in it that transition between phases or dampen any of the notes, I’m not getting it. It is all lily to me – just too rich. I do enjoy smelling it at a distance on others though.

    • Angela says:

      It really is amazing what skin–and maybe noses!–do to a fragrance. I can very well imagine being ultra sensitive to lilies. Maybe in a former life you worked in a mortuary.

      • AnnS says:

        Maybe, lol. Or a florist for some bride-zillas who needed their stargazers and white’s. Have you ever been in a garden with those intense, insanely rich oriental lilies that you can smell from like a mile away? That is how Opium smells to me.

        • Angela says:

          You have a gift for sussing out lily!

  11. Bunny says:

    I must confess that I would like to recreate the ad up there… but only because I’m about to die of heatstroke.

    • Angela says:

      I wish it were a little warmer here!

      • boojum says:

        Whew, you can have some of ours! 94* and humid as anything.

        • Angela says:

          It has been rainy and in the 60s here, but the clouds seem to be breaking up now. Maybe tomorrow will be warmer.

    • Aparatchick says:

      Dying right beside you, Bunny. Yes, that does look tempting – do you suppose I could lie down on an ice floe?

      I had the unfortunate experience of working for someone who drenched herself in Opium, so I’ve been in the “hate” camp. Honestly, you could smell her a good 200 feet away. I really ought to try it again, though, because that was many years ago. I might be able to appreciate it (in much smaller quantities) now.

      • Angela says:

        I don’t know. It’s amazing how fiercely strong the scent memory of Opium is.

      • Bunny says:

        I’d be afraid that hot and sweaty skin on ice might end up something like tongue on ice cold metal. lol

  12. RusticDove says:

    Opium lover from way-back. I’m a fan of Orientals in general. The one thing that gets me through Winter and cold weather is that I get to wear my intense Oriental fragrances. A couple of years ago, I had a craving for Opium again and my husband bought me a gift set. I loved the rich resiny spiciness as much as ever, but I only wear it occasionally as it simply doesn’t feel unique anymore. I do regard Opium as a classic masterpiece though.

    • Angela says:

      I agree, it’s definitely a classic.

  13. krokodilgena says:

    This used to be my everyday perfume.

    Once I was talking to my friend about perfume and he asked me what my favorite was and I said Opium and I sent him the cheesy ad-copy that talked about the ~*mystery of the Orient*~ and he was kind of offended by the name 2bh. He’s of Vietnamese descent btw. But he started wearing it. Dior Homme is his everyday scent though.

    It smells different on me now… I don’t know how to tell if perfume isn’t good anymore so I don’t know if I should just try a new bottle or not. It smells like… really sharp. It hurts my nostrils :(

    • Tama says:

      Sometimes just the top notes turn, so if you dab a bit on and then wait for dry-down it might be okay still. Or not. But worth a try.

      • Angela says:

        I’ve definitely found that true for some vintage perfumes.

    • Angela says:

      Maybe your body chemistry has changed or something. Maybe you should try your friend’s Dior Homme!

      • krokodilgena says:

        I don’t know if its my body chemistry or not!! I have the EdP, and I’ve tried the EdT at Sephora a few times and it smells fine as in it doesn’t burn my nose and give me a headache… but I don’t like the EdT.
        but I’ve already tried Dior Home….

        • Angela says:

          Then that leaves the extrait…

  14. Olfacta says:

    Like everyone over thirty, er, forty, I had Opium at one time, but it never seemed to “fit” me. So I turned to other scents of the era. Last year, I bought a bottle of the EDP, which seems to have more clove than I remember, and it’s the same thing — it feels like somebody else’s perfume, like something I might have surreptitiously applied from a bathroom counter at a party. So I use it in a diffuser as a room fragrance, mixed with unscented oil, and it makes the bedroom into much more a boudoir.

    • Angela says:

      Hey, that’s a great idea! One definitely worth copying.

  15. Tama says:

    I need to try this again, now that my nose has changed. I couldn’t wear this or any of the big Orientals because on me they just went all gift shop with a hint of food. Kind of a weird, almost greasy smell. I can almost summon it. So I’ve been a little scared of them ever since.

    • Angela says:

      Maybe your skin just isn’t Opium-friendly these days.

  16. Karin says:

    Opium and it’s sisters – Cinnabar, Coco, Obsession – and I never got along. It seemed that everyone who wore these scents, wore them to the extreme, wafting it everywhere. All turned my stomach, and I cannot be near them or I gag!!! ha ha. Tried to wear them back in the day, but they were all way too strong for me. Couldn’t wait to wash them off. I tried, really I did. But I was more into Poison (another whopper of a scent), Rive Gauche, Cristalle, etc. Still can’t wear any spicy scents. Somehow they all seem to remind me of those others – heavy and overpowering.

    • Angela says:

      They are definitely not for everyone–in fact, they’re probably for a lot fewer people than actually wore them!

      • Karin says:

        Oh, I have to say, a boyfriend of mine wore the men’s Obsession in the early 90’s and I LOVED it on him!

        • Angela says:

          I have a friend with a weakness for men in Obsession for Men, too. It must be pretty good!

  17. Daisy says:

    I remember testing the Opium and Obsession way back when I must have been 17 or 18….don’t remember the Opium—bought the Obsession instead, made it through about 1/2 the bottle before it became “just too much” …so I moved on to Ralph Lauren “Lauren” and gave the Osession away….Obviously that was over 20 years ago…..now I think I’ll have to find some Opium and give ‘er a sniff. I think Obsession is still lingering in my olfactory passages somewhere, can almost smell it still.

    • Angela says:

      Oh yes, Lauren! I used to love that scent in its classy little brown bottle. Nice.

  18. Tara says:

    Opium was my signature scent in the 80s (I also liked Coco, but it really can’t compare to Opium). My BF’s scent was Tatiana…when we went out dancing I can’t imagine what we smelled like standing next to each other, but I have to say we each selected a fragance which matched our personalities at the time. I still absolutely adore Opium, but would not wear it everyday. However, every once and a while, its really the only scent that “works.” For me it is the masterpiece of my generation, I guess like No.5 was for an earlier generation. I wonder if it still is a big seller for YSL.

    • Angela says:

      From looking at the YSL website and the jillion formats of Opium offered, I’d guess it still does pretty well.

    • TwoPeasInAPod says:

      Tatiana, wow, that takes me back. My best friend wore Tatiana!

      This review makes me want to try Opium when the autumn returns. My scent memory of Opium is my great-aunt and her Mah Jongg group ladies just doused in it, in her condo whose air-conditioning never saw any action.

      I never could’ve afforded Opium in the 80’s. I’m trying to remember what I did wear then, and it was probably something from the drugstore. Lady Stetson, maybe? I did have a bottle of Bijan I wore, that was a cast-off from my great-aunt. It’s empty, but I stll keep the bottle on my dresser for sentimental reasons.

      • Angela says:

        Bijan! I forgot about that one. He was a big name in the ’80s. Wasn’t it a big, white floral?

        • TwoPeasInAPod says:

          I’ve seen Bijan classified as a Floral Oriental. That’s probably a pretty good descriptor. The drydown, i think prevents it from being a real floral-floral…it definitely had some spice. Oakmoss, cedar, amber, sandalwood, patchouli, benzoin, tonka bean and musk… not a bad list when I see it now.

          I had to look up the notes: basil, carnation, tuberose, ylang-ylang, Persian jasmine, Bulgarian rose, neroli, honey, narcissus, and then the base of oakmoss, cedar, amber, sandalwood, patchouli, benzoin, tonka bean and musk.

          Do you remember the Bijan ads with the models wearing mens suits & ties, and the lit (!) cigarette dangling from their red lips? .

          It sounds like something I might like again, but I’m afraid to try it now, fearing it’s been changed dramatically over the years.

          I liked Bijan DNA, too, and wore that for awhile in the 90’s. I may still have some of that left..

          • Angela says:

            With that list of notes, Bijan sounds really good, actually. I wonder how much it’s changed over the years? I don’t even know if Bijan is making clothes anymore. The name could be owned by someone with less care about the quality of the juice these days.

  19. Kseni says:

    I tried it just a week ago. Not the first time. I remembered that I liked it, though I never wore it, when I was in my teens. This time I was a bit bored with it. Maybe because I liked it some years ago and therefore expected more from it, expected it to be likable again. I do not know. I really wanted something heavy and even heady, as, I guess, opium is in my imagination. I was Obsession girl for a while, back in my teens, and it felt on the edge back then, now it feels so different. Now these smells are “friendly and predictable” to me. However, I was very surprised to see myself through these lenses.

    • Angela says:

      Once again, fragrance as therapist, showing us different parts of ourselves…

  20. I love it that everyone has their anecdotes about Opium… Which tells a lot about the… arrh… hum… age group of perfumistas? To which I seem to belong, since I have my own vivid memories of the first Opium wave.

    I had a student job at a teensy-tiny shop between two escalators in a downtown Montreal shopping mall. The manager was a fat lady with orange lipstick who sported polyester outfits (I particularly remember a candy pink and mint green combo). Her name was Miss Soucisse, which translates as Miss Sausage in English (at least the way Quebecers pronounce “saucisse”).
    She bathed in Opium. I have never, ever been able to live down that memory, though I fought back as best I could with Van Cleef & Arpels pour Homme, a fierce masculine leather chypre.

    Apart from that: Opium’s definitely been reformulated. No way that clove note can withstand IFRA restrictions on eugenol.

    • Angela says:

      Hilarious! You’d think with a name like Madame Sausage that she’d work hard not to wear anything that looked like casings.

      My bottle of Opium came from an estate sale, so I’m not sure how old it is. But it’s loaded with clove.

  21. mikeperez23 says:

    I’m a ‘new’ Opium fan. I have tested the EdT, EdP and parfum. I love the EdT the best, although I must say the parfum was amazingly complex.

    A Basenoter I respect always lauds the rare formulation of Opium called Secret de Parfum, or something like that. I believe it’s between the EdP and the parfum in strength. Anyone else familiar with this particular formulation?

    • Angela says:

      I’ve never heard of that concentration–really interesting. I bet it’s hard to find.

  22. Nina says:

    Opium was my first big perfume crush, when I was in my early teens and couldn’t begin to afford it. I used to haunt perfume counters for quick sprays, and envy my older friend who actually owned it. I don’t think any scent since has ever held quite that heart-thumping excitement for me. I still have a bottle, but, just as you describe, it’s just too identifiable to wear. And, to tell the truth, it’s too ‘big’ for me, even though I’m pale green with red(dish) hair!

    • Angela says:

      It is One Darn Big fragrance, that’s for sure. I would have terrifically envied a friend whose sister had a perfume boutique!

  23. annemarie says:

    That was a fantastic review Angela. That ad featuring Sophie Dahl still has a certain power to shock, after all these years.

    I’m a Youth Dew wearer, as was my mother. She would have veery much disapproved of the Dahl advertisement. Funny how YD marketing has always been prim; always (as far as I can recall) running with those innocent, bathroom-blue boxes. From the 1950s to today, no-one arriving at the the fragrance counter to buy Youth Dew need feel like she is being identified with the very overt sexualtiy expressed by the marketing of Opium. Indeed, YD is suggrestive of being wrapped up, not being naked.

    YD is spicy and assertive, and must have felt wonderfully liberating when it was new in 1953, but I don’t think it’s agressive (or at least not to my nose). Maybe that is the difference between it and the alpha-female scents of the 1980s.

    • Angela says:

      Youth Dew has a little bit of a powdery edge, too, that takes away from its carnality, I think. It’s easier for me to wear Youth Dew than Opium, I know.

    • ggperfume says:

      “Wrapped up”, indeed. Youth Dew always makes me imagine someone cuddling up in a mink coat.

  24. Joe says:

    That’s quite an advertisement, isn’t it?

    I’m sure Opium has invaded my nostrils at some point in my life, but I have to say I don’t have any scent memory associated with it, which is to say I have no idea how it smells. I think I need to correct that, and the description actually sounds pretty darn nice.

    Interestingly, I’ve read some commentary of those prefer Cinnabar, but believe it was relegated to also-ran status in Opium’s all-consuming [sillage] wake, timing, etc.

    I really want a sample of the extrait now. I’d almost be embarrassed to go to the tester at Macy’s unless I was quite certain no one was looking.

    Also: I will miss eugenol. :(

    • Angela says:

      I can’t believe you haven’t smelled Opium! I bet when you smell it you’ll remember it from somewhere. It’s pretty darned distinctive.

      I had a bottle of Cinnabar once, but it didn’t have the emotional fire of Opium, I thought.

    • AnnS says:


      • AnnS says:

        Gak – spastic fingers…Joe – No way should you be embarassed!! A man could totally wear Opium, esp. as you wear FM Noir Epices!!!

  25. Mediterana says:

    Doesn’t everyone have a history with Opium? My mother wore it for years.
    I have a bottle, but I must admit I don’t wear it very often. I actually wear it exclusively on cool spring evenings wearing my dressy black satin jacket, jeans and my hair back in a tight bun…

    • Angela says:

      If you could make it a YSL jacket, it would be even more perfect!

  26. Haunani says:

    Reading this thread has been great fun! I’m not the Opium type — generally don’t wear big orientals. They’re just too sophisticated for me. Or something. :-)

    Exception: I really love Boucheron (the original), and (I know!) it’s a big 80’s oriental.

    • Angela says:

      Oh yes, Boucheron. Another whopper, but so nice.

    • AnnS says:

      I love Boucheron! I remember the first time I smelled it at the frag counter at Marshall Fields in Ohio – I was so annoyed b/c everything I smelled was just so meh, and then WOW! It is not like anything else! I only wear it occasionally now, just a little extra something – it just projects confidence and sophistication! But it must be applied with a light hand for sure!

      • Angela says:

        Most definitely a light hand.

  27. Kayliana says:

    I appreciate it more now because no one has the balls to make this kind of fragrance anymore! No one under 40 would be caught dead wearing this in any self-respecting city. Sorry but true!

    • krokodilgena says:

      Maybe I don’t live in a self-respecting city… but I’m 19 and I wore it for almost 2 years. And my friend Josh is 18 and he wears it sometimes.

      • Angela says:

        I get the feeling that you do your own thing. I love that.

    • Angela says:

      It would be interesting to chart the age range of users of certain perfumes. I can see where Opium would skew older.

      • Joe says:

        This train of thought makes me wish someone would do a “candid camera” (now I’m dating myself) type of thing where they repackage Opium as the latest SJ Parker or Gwen Stefani scent, throw a “launch party,” and see what a group of 18-25 year olds think of it. I believe so much of what “dates” a fragrance or makes it skew older isn’t merely the juice itself, but all the wrappings of cultural history or just the *idea* that a scent has been around since one’s mom (or even — ack — grandma!) was a teenager. Sometimes I think it would be great if we could do more “blind” sniffing without all the mental & historical baggage.

        • Tama says:

          I inadvertently did that with Angel – somehow I missed the whole hullabaloo and must have been working in a cave because I really didn’t have any experience of it except for seeing it in the store until last year. Applied sparingly I like it.

          • Angela says:

            In a way, you were lucky!

        • krokodilgena says:

          But at the same time… YSL is considered to be very cool.
          I could see how younger hipstery type girls would like it just because it’s YSL and from the late 70’s.
          Hillary Duff wears Opium!!!!!!

          Oh Joe, I know candid camera. You could be 19 like me for all I know!!!!!!

          • Angela says:

            Good point. The era of Bianca Jagger, Halston, and Andy Warhol is cool again. But the women who were actually cool then (the normal ones, not the celebrities) aren’t cool anymore! Of course, most of them aren’t wearing Opium anymore, either.

        • Angela says:

          And there you have a comment worthy of an entire post. Sometimes I love the baggage and the old stories, and sometimes it taints the perfume for me. But I swear that baggage is a goodly portion of the appeal (or not) of a fragrance.

        • AnnS says:

          They could totally do the same thing with the recently discontinued Fendi – which is a real whopper of spices and leather too. If it were released now under Malle or Tauer, it would be a total unisex hit. Now that one can sure clear a room if overapplied!

          • Angela says:

            Man, I loved that one. It never worked on me, but I loved it on others.

  28. desmondorama says:

    I’ve been obsessed with the whole concept of “Opium” since it’s launch in 1977 – which epitomised “The Disco Years” and the adoration of Yves Saint Laurent as a fashion icon of the era.

    It took me decades before I was able to buy myself a bottle of this ‘Oriental Magic’ and I now wear it with pride and reminiscence of a bygone and magnificent Zeitgeist.

    As a male in my 50’s I should really be wearing the male version of this fragrance, but I’m more attracted to the sexy exotica of this Opium.

    I do not recommend it for younger women (or men) but definitely to the mature and worldly person who understands the mystique and feeling of what this perfume brings.

    • Angela says:

      It sounds like Opium is to you what the best perfume is to the right person for that perfume: a talisman of something wonderful.

      And they say that Opium for men is blah. Stick to the original, I say.

      • platinum14 says:

        Well I just discovered Opium Homme recently and I was hooked!
        It is also quite a wonderful, rich, exotic scent that I would describe a unisex. I bought it unsnifed and man-o-man am I glad I did.
        Not so Blah!!!

        • Angela says:

          Hey, I’m glad to hear it!

    • krokodilgena says:

      What are some other perfumes like that?
      Perfumesmellinthings reviewed something and the picture accompanying it was Charlotte Rampling (I think?) in a fur coat and I wanted to try it but now I forget what it was D:

      • Angela says:

        When I think of disco, I think of dry, green chypres, like Halston or Mystere. But that doesn’t make me think of Charlotte Rampling at all–she’s too lush.

      • Joe says:

        Looks like the review of Rykiel Septieme Sens:

        I love the idea of scents that evoke an era. After knowing Rampling only through her recent films, I was absolutely blown away when I finally saw all those iconic 70s photos of her — like discovering old photos of your auntie looking like a Betty Grable pinup. BTW for weeks now I’ve had a Netflix DVD of “The Night Porter” sitting here waiting to be watched…

        • krokodilgena says:

          yes, thank you
          I might look into Halston and Mystere too.

          • Angela says:

            They are a whole different kettle of fish than Opium, but I love them.

        • Angela says:

          She is still ravishing, in my opinion. Was a babe, is a babe.

  29. Melissa D says:

    I liked Opium in the seventies but my true naughty love oriental back then was Bakir by Germaine Monteil. Anyone else remember it? It made Opium smell like baby powder. Powerful stuff. Wish I had a small bottle.

    • Angela says:

      I’ve never smelled it, but I’ve heard of Bakir. I think Long Lost Perfumes does a dupe of it–it might be worth giving a try.

  30. CynthiaW says:

    I think that I wore all of the big, bad 80s scents at one time – and I still have bottles of Youth Dew and Obsession that I pull out when the weather turns cool. I’m sure that I apply them with a much lighter hand nowadays than I did back in the day. I think that all guys in the 80s must have thought that is was some smooth pick-up line to basically call you a tramp for wearing the one of the “Big 3” because I remember some guy sniffing me while I was standing in line at the movies and telling me that I smelled like “sex on legs”.

    During the 80s themselves, I mostly wore Obsession and Giorgio, although I also dabbled in Poison and Opium. I haven’t worn Opium or Poison lately, although I do like Pure Poison. I also have a very good friend who, to this day, only wears Opium – in the summer she sticks to the body lotion and it smells divine on her.

    • Angela says:

      Giorgio was just plain wicked, as I remember it. Giorgio and Obsessions were my two betes noires. People seemed to apply them with firehoses. But back in the day they were all that and more.

    • Tama says:

      Oh Man, I loved Giorgio, and I NEVER bought it because it was on everyone everywhere. I wonder what I would think of it now.

      • Angela says:

        I bet you could wear it now (if you liked it, that is). It might not have the same recognition factor as Opium and Obsession.

  31. dissed says:

    Cancel my membership card, but I don’t know how it smells. Couldn’t miss Youth Dew because an aunt wore it; hated Cinnabar because a friend used to spray it in the closed car. I think I remember Royal Secret, but I didn’t wear perfume in the eighties. From some of these comments, that could have been a good thing.

    • Angela says:

      Imagine the giant shoulder pads, Dynasty-ready lipstick, and garish colors of the eighties. Now translate all that to perfume. Missing the eighties perfume-wise had its benefits!

      • krokodilgena says:

        There’s nothing wrong with shoulder pads!!!!!!

        • Tara says:

          I concur!!

          • Angela says:

            I like 1940s shoulder pads, but, seriously? The Joan Collins shoulder pads?

        • Bunny says:

          …unless you have my shoulders!

          I don’t wanna look like a line backer! lol

  32. merchella says:

    I love Opium, I wore it a lot during my University years (uh, like 15 years ago already!) along with Rive Gauche (risky choices for a 18 years old girl, no?). Now I don’t see myself wearing it again, but I still love and use a lot of oriental fragrances. I agree, it’s a love or hate scent!

    • Angela says:

      Wow, Opium and Rive Gauche smell so different. But they were both so exotic!

      • Terry D says:

        Loved and wore both. Found Rive Gauche light enough for summer days and Opium for those smouldering nights. Both were great in any season. Does the Rive Gauche still smell the same/ Have they changed THAT ONE too?

        • Angela says:

          Rive Gauche has definitely changed. Clearly and noticeably. And sadly, many people say.

  33. Phyllislechat says:

    I don’t have much luck with spicy florals. I love the packaging, the ad (being in Paris and seeing it on the Champs Elysees was wonderful. it was hilarious to come home and find the ad considered so controversial), and the idea behind it, but it’s not for me.

    • Angela says:

      At least you recognize that. Lots of people wore it who couldn’t really pull it off, I think.

  34. mals86 says:

    Too busy to comment yesterday, but here I am now… with a lot to say about That Evil Opium! Looks like I’m very much in the minority here. Oh well, to each his/her own, and mine is not heavy balsamic orientals.

    Opium ruined the following for me: bus rides, an afternoon at the art museum, my comfort level while taking the SATs, and a screening of The Empire Strikes Back. That’s At Minimum, and if I cared to think about it, I could probably think of more occasions when I was nauseated by the Big O.

    I feel the same way about Obsession, Poison, Youth Dew and Tabu, by the way. Oddly, I sort of liked Jungle L’Elephant, in very teeny doses. (The first time I tried it, it took me back to that movie theater, smelling popcorn and my friend’s open cup of Dr. Pepper, and the Opium wafting through the air as an older woman walked by with her husband. Unfortunately for me, said woman – she must have BATHED in Opium – sat down beside me in this very crowded theater, and I missed most of the movie sitting in the lobby trying to retain my stomach contents.)

    Recently, after learning to enjoy Shalimar, I re-sniffed Youth Dew and – being brave – Opium. I still hate them. You know, I’m really trying to appreciate them, but I still get this Moldering Mummy Dust of the Crypt sort of feel out of all the big balsamic orientals, eck. It was a huuuuge shock to me to realize that some of my very favorite perfumes are orientals – like my HG vintage Emeraude pdt.

    A college friend used to wear Cinnabar – and I hated that, too, but I kept the friend. (She’s a redhead with a penchant for shocking people, by the way.)

    • Angela says:

      I think lots of people can’t stand Opium, probably because so many people overdid it. A dab of Opium would have changed it into a good citizen. As it was, I think Opium made a lot of people think they hate perfume altogether.

      • CynthiaW says:

        I, personally, love Youth Dew and apply it with a very light hand and only in cold weather – and even I was nauseated at the Estee Lauder counter a few months ago. They were having bonus gift time and every elderly lady in the tri-state area was there and smelled as if they had each dumped an entire bottle of Youth Dew on themselves. I can see why people who don’t already have an affection for the scent who hate it.

        • mals86 says:

          Oh, yes. As boojum remarked somewhere up there, it’s always the people who love the heavy stuff who over-overapply…

          I was utterly shocked at liking L’Elephant. I sent a mini bottle to Krok recently (I don’t think it was edgy enough for her!) and kept a sample. I may actually wear a dab some freezing day.

        • Angela says:

          I’m a Youth Dew fan, too. Reminds me of my maternal grandmother.

    • Terry D says:

      Though you hate my favorite perfume, you have made me laugh. I know Opium is NOT for everyone. That woman in the theatre probably DID bathe in it-and that’s not how you wear ANY perfume-esp. Opium. Sorry for the bad moments you’ve suffered ha!

  35. happilykim says:

    I love Opium. Really love it. When I was a little girl I would go sneak some from my mother’s bottle. But it was Opium, so you could not hide the fact you were wearing it. It does remind me of my mother, but I always have a bottle in my collection. I don’t wear it often, but I find the scent intoxicating.

    • Angela says:

      So true! Opium isn’t one you can sneak around in.

  36. zara says:

    huh, i love big 80’s scents and so i love opium. applied with a light hand, best dabbed not sprayed, it is a beauty in its own right. i bought a small extrait bottle and am happy with just a few dabs here and there.

    • Angela says:

      Dabs of extrait sound perfect.

  37. Pimpinett says:

    My stepmother wore it. I had a rocky relationship with her, so I haven’t smelled Opium since I was in my early teens. Tried it recently and to my surprise, it didn’t trigger any memories of her at all. I think Opium is gorgeous and will probably get a bottle at some point.

    • Angela says:

      I’m really surprised, too, that it didn’t trigger bad memories. So much the better!

  38. chrissyinoz says:

    I’m an opium gal from way back. I remember that my best friend gave me a huge bottle of the edp for my 21st back in 1984 & even had it engraved. Unfortunately i didn’t keep the bottle. My younger sis bought me the small atomiser case with the mini refill edp (still have the case) back from the states in 1985. Opium is tied up with so many great memories for me & although i wear it only very occasionally today, it’s still one of my all time faves.

    • Angela says:

      I bet when other people smell Opium they think of you.

  39. HemlockSillage says:

    Opium was the scent that taught me the differences between EDP and parfum, as well as body oil/lotion.

    My mother wore it magically–on her it smells ambery tonka musk on a bed of warm spices. . . She had the parfum, the pictured orangey flask with glass stopper, attached with cords. It seemed so elegant to dab on pulse points. I loved it, and as a teen, felt so womanly in it.

    I was so disappointed when I bought a spray of the EDP. It was more harsh, with alcohol edge and not as deep or warm. I was upset, because that purchase for me was a small fortune. I couldn’t afford the parfum, like my mom’s. The sweet saleslady pointed me to the spray oil, and wisely pointed out that it was closer to the parfum in scent. I wore it, lightly, for years. . .but never smelled as great as my mom.

    Weird that in the comments on Giorgio, Obsession and Cinnabar, I haven’t seen the dreaded ’80s Red. Now that was a monster worthy of taking on yellow pinstriped Giorgio! I think Red was an EDP in a spray bottle, and I hadn’t learned about decanting and dabbing. . .but impossible not to overapply.

    Thanks, Angela, for reminding us. . .and polarizing us with these massive, iconic fragrances. I have to admire their style, even if I don’t wear them; it’s like recognising a master painting, knowing title and artist at a glance. We can all name the scent and brand at a whiff, and that is certainly art, even if I’m not comfortable with it hanging in my home.

    • Angela says:

      Oh yes, Red! I’d completely (perhaps with reason) forgot about it.

      I’ve really been enjoying reading everyone’s memories about Opium, including yours.

    • annemarie says:

      That’s really interesting about the differences between sprays and dabs. I prefer to dab because it is easier to control the amount you get. Which, as this thread demonstrates, is imperative for these big old fragrances. Many, many times I have over-applied because often the spray will deliver one big spray, or nothing at all. Yes, you can walk into a mist, but it seems a bit of a waste. I’ve also often wished I could test a spray and a dab on of the same fragrance – same concentration, same vintage – to see if they are the same. They should be, but …

      One of the reasons I wear Youth Dew (sorry to hark back to that) is that it comes in an oil. Recently I did finally buy the EDP spray and was pleasantly surprised to find after all that it delivers a very modest spray which is easy to apply lightly. Thank goodness! Sigh. I do love it.

      • Angela says:

        Sometimes I like to spray, because I feel like I get the fullest expression of the fragrance. But other times–especially with big scents or precious vintage scents–I definitely dab. I like the Youth Dew bath oil, too. Plus, the bottle is adorable.

  40. x0x0 says:

    I only tested Opium recently. I can’t really put it in a like/dislike category, however the smell makes me uneasy, and the first thing that popped to mind while smelling it was “this is what dragons should smell like”.

    • Angela says:

      Perfect! I bet the perfumer would love that description.

  41. perfumesecrets says:

    I remember that ad with Sophie… The magazines took her nipple off, and some left it on. What a great ad. I thought it was tasteful, but on the edge.

  42. Angela says:

    It’s gorgeous, I think.

    • alotofscents says:

      Hi Angela. Beautiful written article. I wished I loved Opium, Youth Dew, Shalimar, Obsession, etc. It’s this damn block I have, looking for the perfect georgiours woody floral. I want to be pretty and nice with a little bad. But I am sick of it. I also want a grown up women’s perfume. I just turned 50 for God’s sake. I wonder, since I struggle with assertiveness and self esteem, does that reflect what you choose in fragrance? The closest I’ve come to spicy was Avon’s Mezmerize (Tabu with a bit more sharpness). My X used to call it, ah hem, “hardenize”. It’s the closest I’ve come to a big girl fragrance, unless you count Bulgari Black, which I love.
      I can see me being a floral oriental girl but not a spicy oriental.
      I’m not sure what my point is. I guess it’s the link between perfumes and personality types, and the fact that men seem to find orientals sexier than the florals. I must find middle ground. What do you think?

      • Angela says:

        I think you found a winner in Bulgari Black! It’s spicy, to my nose, but more like nutmeg and coriander. But it’s a lot more edgy than a lot of spicy orientals out there.

  43. Jared says:

    Well, I have no prior conceptions for Opium, having been born in 1979. I went to the mall today and gave it a smell to see what I’d think. It sure doesn’t help that the temperature is in the 90s- Opium may be a tad dense for summer heat! But right away my first association was Youth Dew, having recently sampled that for the first time as well. They cover some common ground, but Opium is way “more”. I can’t believe women were wearing this all over the place because that would be a major overload! I definitely get the sense that this comes from “another time”, and it does seem a bit dated when compared to what you smell today in department stores. However, I do enjoy it for just that reason, for that makes it interesting. It’s just a lot to handle! I like my scents strong, but this is a contender for the strongest. All of that bitter resinous material is manhandling me. You know….I kind of like it. Would I want to smell this on someone walking by? I don’t know yet. It doesn’t scream exotic to me, it just screams chypre with balls. And since I’m on the topic, it doesn’t seem super feminine by today’s standards, so I wonder if guys could take it over for a while? Maybe I’ll start a movement for my generation to wear it…

    • Angela says:

      Interesting! I’m so happy to hear the opinion of someone who hasn’t spent hours in elevators with it. I think Opium is best dabbed on, or it can completely overwhelm. But, as you say, maybe it’s getting to the point where it’s chic again.

  44. laken says:

    I’m finding Opium really good right here in the heart of winter. I tried switching to another wintry scent for a change, but missed Opium and went back to it. Yes, I’m addicted to Opium! (sorry) Its got great lasting power, too.

    • Angela says:

      It sounds like you’ve found a great winter scent, then. Enjoy it!

    • annemarie says:

      I agree it is a great winter scent. I am a bit shy of wearing it because I fear people will be thinking ‘Oh God, there goes an Opium wearer’. So I apply it very lightly, cover it with clothes (unlike Sophie – see above!) and hug it to myself. Worn that way it has a real ‘glow from within’ quality that keeps me going on a cold day. The 30ml bottle I was lucky enough to spot going cheap will do me for years.

      • Angela says:

        I love your description of a “glow from within” fragrance.

  45. jrmetmoi says:

    Opium is the only really heavy, old fashioned-y spicy perfume that I like actually. i love that it’s spicy and cinnamon-y without any ‘added sugar’ so to speak, so it doesn’t smell sickly or anthing because of it’s crisp spiciness. Just like how I love citrusy perfumes that have no ‘added sugar’ in them.

    • Angela says:

      It seems like people love it or hate it–I’m glad you appreciate it.

  46. Scentaur says:

    Dear Angela,

    I just found this site and have thoroughly enjoyed your article on Opium. I am a man in his late 40’s who remembers Opium on a young lady at while we were both in college in the late 70’s. This was back when I we were about 18 or 19 and we would all get dressed up and go to Studio 54. Well, she was the one who introduced me to the what I consider to be one of the world’s greatest parfums (she actually had the small imari bottle of parfum then and wore this to those great nights at the famous club.) Since then, I have travelled the world and stopped in specialty stores to sample other great scents. For some reason, Opium still stands out.

    I know men have worn the scent through the years. I purchased an eau de toilette once. I remember there was a gift with purchase at the time, a tiny, tiny sample of the parfum! (1/8 ounce?) Over the years I found I was attracted to opoponax that is a base in Opium. I have found it again in a few others: men’s colognes Romeo Gigli, Givenchy’s PI, Prada exclusive Opoponax, and others. (Of the same era, the Cartier men’s Must de Cartier with tonka is also of this strong breed of scents from another time). I found your site while searching for Opium’s ingredient list. I have been thinking of purchasing separately as many of the essential oils that are found in Opium to make my own blend. It seems to have the perfect grouping as far as I can tell! Thanks for sharing a great article.

    • Angela says:

      I wish I could have seen Studio 54 back in the day. It has such a mythical reputation. Then again, I probably would have been a drag because I would have spent the night staring at everyone and wondering about their lives.

      Good luck with the custom Opium! Let me know how it turns out.

  47. pragmatic says:

    I think Opium is nice. I’m in my twenties and the scent reminds me of my collective childhood spent in Buddhist temples. The difference is the quality: something like a luxuriuos Jasmine incense. The fragrance is well blended once it settles onto skin, surprisingly soft and not overbearing at all. It is an intense, intimate, exotic, sensuously warm, slightly sweet and spicy scent. The EDT has that fresh note that makes it more airy–some sort of dried [candied perhaps] citrus peel. On me it’s like I powdered myself with the highest grade Jasmine incense. Just like smoke, it lazily wafts from my skin burning with the intensity of myriad desires, diffuse yet lingering all at once.

    Basically I’m a walking, talking, incense stick. It’s a very comforting scent to me because of incense base [ various warm woods, sweet myrhh] plus some ingredients used in Chinese cuisine like cinnamon, Schehuan pepper, dried citrus peel, Jasmine tea……

    • pragmatic says:

      I only sampled the EDT. Will find out what the EDP is like. Probably thicker without the fresh note. I suspect that if it is more creamy/milky, it might give an impression of masala chai……..

      • Angela says:

        It sounds like Opium suits you perfectly! Its spices are very comforting, and on the right person it’s divine.

        • liliarundel says:

          For several years after it was first released, the streets of St. Thomas were giddy with it. Women rushed off cruise ships to the duty free shops where shop girls liberally sprayed it on anyone who paused for more than a second. I worked in a Jewelry store across the street from one large store and suspected it gave me headaches – I didnt get the fuss, thought it was too heavy – we joked that it was a slutty girl perfume – and of course we were right. Later, I actually liked it, wore it in winter, very lightly.

          • Angela says:

            It’s definitely one of those fragrances that makes its mark. I wonder if there will ever be a time that it will smell fresh again? I guess it probably does smell fresh to those who weren’t around when it launched.

  48. Lulubear says:

    When i was about 14, early eighties, this would have been, I was sitting in a meeting I didn’t want to be at, feeling bored, and so comforted myself by smelling what perfume each new person wore, and imagining what they would look like, or be like. I had to imagine, because I have no sight. I smelled Chanel no. 5, lots of it, Youth Due, Charlie, remember that one? other cheap stuff, I think even some Chamade, we all settled down, waiting for the speaker, and then the doors opened, there was a tinkle of bangles, a click of what were obviously killer heels, and a voice like cut crystal said “I say! I’m late, awfully sorry!”

    As this lady, for she was a lady, wafted past me, I smelled it for the first time. Opium! Once bitten, forever smitten! I wanted to be that elegant creature, who wafted in late and appologized so casually. I actually came to know the voice behind the perfume, and wanted to be like her more. Except I never could, we lived in different worlds! But I decided, as soon as I was grown up enough to carry it, I would buy some of that amazing perfume. Opium!

    Everything I love in a perfume, spicy, floral, rich, you only need the tiniest drop on pulse points, and you’ll give people you pass a lovely waft of the orient all day. Of course, if you lather yourself in it, you’ll make yourself obnoxious to everyone!

    I bought it when I was 19, I wore it on only special occasions. I wore it for my weddings, yes, fraid more than one, and, however broke I’ve been in my up and down life, when I can, I always buy a bottle, the biggest I can afford, keep it carefully away from light, and only use it for a special treat. You’d be surprised at how many people don’t know it now. I’ve had someone stop me in a grocery store, the time I’d detoured to the shops after a nice lunch out, and asked me what I was wearing. I love perfume, where many different ones, but only that and one other has ever got that kind of response.

    Like a good little black dress, it’s something I have to have, a part of me as much as my hair and my eyes, though more seldom seen. My touch of oriental luxury that, with the tiniest dab, makes me feel like a million dollars!

    • Angela says:

      I’m so happy you have a fragrance that you love so much! It’s wonderful to find something that expresses confidence and glamour and love it enough to continue to wear it over the years.

    • Terry D says:

      Love your story and can I buy half of your stashed bottle? Ha ha Just kidding. You wouldn’t like the new stuff then at all. I have been a wearer of Opium for over 25 years and I wore it in my 20’s too. I was that woman in heels and bracelets going to meetings, and social events and I just love your description of the Opium woman. That is definitely spot on!

  49. deannagraham says:

    Opium, Obsession and Poison all seem to have something in common that I can’t discern and can’t tolerate. Can someone help me out? Is it one of the notes, or a combination of notes, I am smelling? I can smell this oddity from a mile away and hours later. What a tragic thing for me…I have tried to love these but just head for the Tylenol as soon as I smell them.

    • Angela says:

      As far as notes in common, I’m not sure, but I can tell you that all three are loud, assertive, powerful fragrances–and they seemed way too likely to be overapplied.

  50. opiumfan says:

    I’ve discovered Opium 2 years ago and I absolutely adore it! I often read critics saying it’s dated, stuck in seventies and eighties, annoying, and I couldn’t disagree more. It is different than some modern and new fragrances, but it is special and wonderful. I wear Opium only in the evening ( it is the only pefume I wear when I go out in the evening), somehow I don’t enjoy wearing it during the day, I find it to heavy for a day in office. I love everything about it, but the drydown I find the best. Love it!

    • Angela says:

      It’s such a distinctive perfume that it makes a great signature scent. I bet when people sniff Opium, they think of you. That’s nice.

      • opiumfan says:

        Thank you Angela. I hope they do, since at least by night I always wear this one- in winter and in summer, and people around me always like it…It’s a pitty that I can’t wear it during the day, maybe I should try wearing eau the toillette ( I have edp too) in really small doses…

  51. Subhuman says:

    I love orientals but somehow had never smelled Opium until today. I spritzed on a bit of the EdT at a department store, and I have to say I was a little nonplussed, at least after all the amazing things I’ve heard about it. It smelled like a light, perfectly pleasant floral with some background spices – nicely dry and not overtly feminine, good depth, and incredible lasting power, but I was expecting more of a spicy whopper of an oriental and instead got a pretty soft watercolor of one. I liked it well enough, but it was a bit less than I’d hoped for. Are the EdP and parfum versions more dense and complex? I’m itching to try them, perhaps they better represent the Opium that everyone raves about.

    • Angela says:

      It usually is a whopper, even in EdT. I wonder if it’s just not as strong as it used to be? Maybe the other formulations will pack more of a punch. Either that or your skin is a real sponge.

      Well, in any case it’s a good one to try!

      • Subhuman says:

        Oh, my skin is definitely a sponge – the only scents that last longer than a few hours on me are those storied sillage monsters from the likes of Mugler, Gaultier, Dior, etc. (Seriously, what kind of nuclear vanilla does Gaultier use in Le Mâle? It never goes away!) YSL’s older frags perform well, too; both Kouros and Opium resist my skin’s black-hole quality admirably.
        I’ve been meaning to retry the Opium EdT, I was in a rush when I sprayed the tester and don’t think I gave it a fair assessment. The dry spices and florals remind quite a bit of Kouros, my current desert-island frag, and offer stark contrast to the sweet vanilla undercurrent of most mainstream orientals. The EdT is also the most temptingly priced (damn my student budget).

        • Subhuman says:

          So…tried the Eau de Toilette again today, a new one with the revamped packaging. Perhaps my nose (or the tester) was off during my first Opium encounter, because I LOVED it this time – here’s the whopper I was looking for! Those spices just scream bloody murder for the first few minutes, but that’s my favorite part. The citrus in the opening is so refreshing, and the incense (one of my favorite fragrance notes) is like a blanket over the whole thing, keeping everything bone-dry and rock-solid. The carnations remind me of Old Spice, in a good way, and the resins give it that warm, magical feeling I get from all of my favorite orientals. I bought a full bottle on the spot, something I usually manage to resist doing with fragrances, but what the hey. I can’t wait to try the Eau de Parfum, but I’m perfectly happy with this crackling EdT. My new fave.

          • Angela says:

            Fabulous! (And I love the word pairing “crackling EdT”!)

  52. carlaann says:

    I am new to this site, but felt compelled to join since the conversation is so friendly and interesting. I was feeling nostalgic and googled two perfumes from my past. Opium was one of them. I am a teen of the 80’s (not a redhead, but with red in my hair)and I loved Opium. It was my first real perfume. By real I mean something other than Sweet Honesty. I loved how it made me feel invincible and I always imagined that any guy to get close enough would take notice. The other real perfume was Arpege, but that doesn’t belong here! Now I am caught wondering which one should I wear now?

    • Angela says:

      Or maybe there’s an entirely different scent you’d love now! The only way to tell will be to smell your way through a few….

  53. carlaann says:

    I will be making a point of doing that the next time I am in our sorry excuse for a local mall. We have a JC Penney which should have a fairly decent perfume counter….looking forward to finding out!

  54. wyllowdaemon says:

    Strangely I had never purchased Opium or had much interest in it but as I have gotten older I am not as fond of sweet fragrances as I was. I decided to look up some classics and went to Macy’s and tried Opium. This is exactly what I was looking for, something warm and spicy and incense like. It reminds me of Red Crystal Tibetan Incense which I also love. There is a meditative quality to this fragrance that makes me feel relaxed and yet sexy. My husband loves dark rich fragrances like Poison and said this is another winner. I can see wearing a light spray of Opium at work but not Poison for some reason…am I alone on this?

    • Angela says:

      I’m glad Opium is working so well for you! I’d probably wear a dab of Opium to work before I’d wear Poison, too. Poison’s fruit seems more intrusive than Opium’s spices–at least, to me.

  55. smellsgood says:

    Like Willowdaemon I never had any interest n Opium, but decided to spritz myself on the way home from work a couple of weeks ago – and ………………I have found it – the holy grail – this is the one – I wish ‘i had tried it years ago, but was always scared, even of the word Opium. It is magnificent , amazing , sensual, beautiful. I have worn this now for two weeks, and have no intention of wearing anything else again – EVER! lol (Well I hope not ) ! Ok maybe I will ……… But right now this is ME!!

    • Angela says:

      You’re a lucky person! congratulations!

  56. smellsgood says:

    Hee hee talk to me agan in a couple of weeks ! lol Seriously, these guys knew what they were doing! A complete classic, that has stood the test of time.

  57. Dizzy Dazzy says:

    Nearly everyone wore this in the early 80’s. Not unlike Estee Lauder’s ‘Cinnabar’. It’s nice enough, but for some odd reason if I wear it I get depressed????? Maybe it reminds me of someone I didn’t like very much, don’t know? As a perfume it’s nice, but it gives me the hump lol!!!!!

    • Angela says:

      It’s always a drag when a perfume reminds you of someone you weren’t crazy about!

  58. ceelouise says:

    I enjoyed this while sniffing my wrist after getting a sample. First blast was very harsh, as is usually the case with spicy orientals (Black Cashmere). But now it is quite nice. I don’t have too many 80’s remembrances, so I just might buy this, but only for a very low price. I can imagine there will be about three instances in the rest of my life when I will want to wear Opium. Maybe my sample will do instead? Anyway, nice to know who the perfumer is, since I just bought his Dior Dune at the drugstore today for a relative steal – I wore it in college! (And, Opium came out the year I was born!) Thanks again!

    • Angela says:

      I bet you could find a mini somewhere for a steal–that might be all you need.

  59. Michelle says:

    I realize this is an old post but I would like to add my 2 cents on opium. I recently bought opium oil. I guess it is an imposter type thing but gorgeous nonetheless. I went to my neighborhood “create your own fragrance” type of store to get my egyptian musk oil and left with both that and the opium oil. I have now recently smelled the original and there is no difference except that it lasts longer in oil form. I love love love the rich smell and especially love the dry down after an hour or two. For some reason, it reminds of of something old and loved in my grandmothers dresser. And I am old enough to have purchased it when it came out (ok not really but I was 10). Anyway, perfume for me is envoke good feelings and memories. This one immediately did that as soon as I put it on. So much so that I even wore it in the summer with a soothing patchouli oil as a base. If you can imagine that smell, some would faint but for me, it was heaven. I do not like a flowery smell or stuff along the lines of DKNY apple or even Burberry. I am still getting to know some of the less known fragrences I see here in the comments section but my nose knows what i like. And I smell good always.

    • Angela says:

      I can imagine Opium’s spices, resins, and amber being very nice in an oil. It sounds like you found a great product!

  60. perfumesecrets says:

    I’m an Opium newbie myself. I’ve smelled the original version and now the newer bottle that people say is different. I can tell that it is lighter… My mom never wore Opium and I was a kid of the 90’s, so it’s thrilling to me. Opium has multiple personalities, in a good way. I try not to wear it like it’s clothing and it works for me.

    • Angela says:

      I can’t even imagine what it would be like to smell Opium for the first time! I think you’ve found the trick, though, in wearing it sparingly.

  61. cindylouwho says:

    I read your first paragraph (as well as the rest of the post) and had to laugh…I am one of those who screams internally in horror upon smelling Opium and realizing the inevitability of the raging migraine soon to take over. There are few scents that are as repulsive to me as Opium…the heavy sickly, spicy aroma that seems to cling to everything and everyone it encounters. Unfortunately my Mother-In-Law is a fan and wears copious amounts every single day. My kids come home from a visit and it is off to the bath tub first thing or I can’t stand to be around them. I wish I could grow to like it because it is a major part of our family life…but really to me Opium has been a 20 plus year curse. Sigh. Clearly this is something I feel strongly about, hence the rant.

    • Angela says:

      I’m sorry for your pain! Maybe this Christmas it’s time to give mom-in-law a bottle of Chanel Coromandel and see what happens.

  62. montmorency says:

    Angela, I’m someone who missed out on the original Opium craze, and I smelled it for the first time the other day – the check-out lady in the supermarket had it on. My first Opium, in other words, and I am NOT a fan. Perhaps I have some deranged olefactory nerve, but I am astonished at the lyrical approval of it I find on this and other perfume sites. Reminds me of my junior high school days in the dark and dreary 70s. Took me right back to the gym locker room – that horrible amalgam of sweaty gym clothes, steam from the showers, and whatever brand of gendered deodorant 13-year-old girls were wearing then. Yuck! Gym classes were torture enough without that. The only perfume in this category of big and cheap (or cheap-smelling, anyway) perfumes I like less than Opium is Chloe. It is probably the vanilla funk somewhere in it that is so revolting, but I couldn’t bear to stay around to analyse it in detail. Now that I have smelled Opium, I realise that it may be this fashion in perfume that sent me scurrying in fright, at about that same pubescent age, to Eau Sauvage!

    • Angela says:

      That’s Opium–love it or hate it. The one thing a person can say for sure is that it was mighty influential.

      Now, Eau Sauvage, a whole different approach to perfume! You had great taste even as a kid.

  63. opiumaddict says:

    Don’t know why I’m surprised comments have been posted on Opium for more than a year :) Other than a few years wearing Coco, it’s been my (lightly applied) signature scent for many years. So now that it’s been reformulated (yuck) and is soon to be discontinued… I’m curious if anyone has found a worthwhile dupe or substitute? Don’t just love it– it’s actually one of the few perfumes I can stand !

    • Angela says:

      I hadn’t heard Opium was on the chopping block, I would have thought it was still too profitable for that!

      I can’t think of any good Opium dupes off the top of my head, but maybe someone will comment with a good suggestion or two.

      • opiumaddict says:

        I read that Belle d’Opium will replace it, but perhaps they mean to keep both. Doesn’t matter, the reformulation is powdery on me and nothing like the original, which I thankfully received from someone who was happy to swap for Chanel :)
        Tried Cinnabar today and it’s nice, but not the same at all even if some of the notes are similar.

  64. moore says:

    For me Opium EDT smells like funeral wreath! It beats my nerves and makes me shudder (it’s like the smell of death snuffing at my neck!!!). And I see that the publicity fits perfectly on my description and on their conception to the perfume: The woman on it is coldly white like a dead and for their description a person who use it is elegant and timeless, in other words, a vampire, or a dead-alive, and that girl seems to be one, doesn’t she?… uhuhuhu. I never understood why it’s a reference at perfumery world. Maybe someone can convince me…

    • Angela says:

      I think a lot of people wouldn’t even want to convince you! They agree with you wholeheartedly.

      • moore says:

        Do you know its flankers? Any prefference?? I may confess that some of them woke my attention (maybe cause of the bottles)…

        • Subhuman says:

          Not a flanker, but I’ve seen the regular Opium in a limited edition black bottle done up to look like Chinese laquer, with a print of lilies on the bottom half of the bottle. I’m not a bottle whore, but I tell ya, I came thisclose to buying that one (unsniffed!) on eBay last year.

          I did manage to track down an older bottle this past spring – the tall packaging, not the new square-ish one – and the difference in scent is rather pronounced in the early heart and base. I find the old version smokier and spicier, FAR more clove-laden (damn IFRA), and the drydown isn’t as strangely rubbery and flat as that of the new bottle. They share a similar opening, though, and they both have that creamy carnation/jasmine with a cola-like resinous quality. Regardless of the formula, Opium is just…a thing, and you either dig that thing or you don’t. I find it less wearable than I used to; the drydown recently struck me as too civety/mossy/patchoulified and rather dated, and I stopped wearing it for months, although I gave it a random re-spritz tonight in this chilly weather and it’s working beautifully. More than one spray and it’s all over, though, even in the cold. Opium is a careful balancing act that must be respected as such (and apparently most of its wearers didn’t, given all the ’80s-era horror stories from those subjected to its impressive sillage).

          • Angela says:

            Yes, a one-spritz fragrance, I agree! You describe it so well.

            It’s a cold night. You’ve tempted me to try a little Opium.

          • Terry D says:

            The newer crappier version of Opium has such short staying power-in a way that’s a good thing because you don’t have to smell the sadness and impotence of a fragrance that in its former days left its lingering notes of oriental mystery for days.

  65. MizzyH says:

    Just found this thread. I’ve worn Opium since about 1978 when my French sister-in-law bought me some of the Dusting Powder for Christmas. I was immediately hooked and bought the EDT and EDP. I’d worn Rocha’s ‘Femme’ for years and loved that, but Opium was a revelation to me. I have an acid skin and I believe that is why Opium works for me. I’ve lost count of the number of people (always women, sadly never the men!) who’ve stopped me in the street or supermarket and asking what I was wearing. In 99% of cases, they were surprised and said they couldn’t wear it. Many years ago, a colleague came in after lunch smelling delightfully of sweet peas and when I asked what it was, she said Hartnell ‘In Love’. Next day I rushed into town and asked for a tester spray. Well, by the time I got back to work, it smelled evil on me. I just can’t wear the light flowery perfumes. I NEED the intense musky orientals. Now I’m devastated to read on various blogs and forums that Opium has been taken over by L’Oreal (God help us!) and is no longer the same. Yesterday I went into a perfume shop and asked to try a spray of it, but they didn’t have a tester. I noticed they still had a tester of the old one and when I asked if I could buy it, they said no. I thought this was really mean, as they don’t even sell it any more!! I did get another spray of Femme though, and it was OK, but hadn’t the quality of Opium. I’ve tried Cinnabar, but it lacked that slightly sweet warmth of finish that Opium has. I won’t give up on Opium though until I’ve managed to try a test spray. I just don’t know what to go for next if it doesn’t suit. My view is that modern perfumes don’t last at long on the skin as they used to – one way of making us buy more of course (she says, cynically!). Opium lasts (or used to last) all day and into the evening, just needing a tiny spritz to top up.

    • Angela says:

      It sounds like Opium is really wonderful on you! I hope the latest version turns out to wear well on your skin, too. You are clearly made for Opium, so you should have it.

    • Terry D says:

      I am with you sister. This just stinks so bad pardon the pun. i am frenetically going about checking stores websites and I’ve contacted a few people I know in the fragrance industry. This new version of Opium is nothing like true Opium. What a horrible inexact replica. I can’t believe they’re flogging it to the masses under the name of Opium. It sully’s a great iconic perfume and trashes one of the best reputations in the House that Saint-Laurent built. Sad very very sad…and I wonder if it is illegal as well, though probably not if names and brands and houses are sold to other large companies. L’Oreal has done a serious disservice to women worldwide who embraced Opium as their signature scent. I think we should have it chemically analyzed and democratized as a scent for the people. Yves would’ve loved that. Opium takes to the Paris streets as a true rebel against conglomerate conformity and reclaims its essence. On a less dramatic point I am searching outside the IFRA world into the middle east where the perfumes and spices of Arabia may sustain me.

      • Angela says:

        Independent perfumers may well be the place to go! I hope you’re able to find a good replacement for Opium–or at least uncover a stash of the old formulation that was kept cool and dark.

  66. Miss Cast says:

    What a lovely article, it brought back great memories of my favorite scent.

    I was 21 and working in Paris when Opium came out. You couldn’t walk into a hotel elevator without smelling it so I jumped on the bandwagon and bought some. I’m a jazz musician and it seemed to complete my image of myself, or what I wanted to be – worldly, sensual and mysterious.

    Yes, it’s heavy and orientals aren’t the rage these days but I’ve worn it ever since, if only on ‘hair and makeup’ evenings. And more sparingly too – no wrist spritzing, just one short spray of EDP deep in the decolletage… I find that’s enough to perk up a gentleman’s nose. Unlike a previous poster, women never ask me what I’m wearing but plenty of men do, usually with a nose-leading dip of the head.

    A few years ago, my boyfriend went to buy some for me for Christmas. The saleswoman told him, ‘Oh no, she doesn’t want that old-fashioned perfume. Get her this instead.’ Lucky for her, she sells perfume rather than trying to make a living mind-reading.

    It was fine and I dutifully wore it but the fact that I can’t even remember its name pretty much says it all. As soon as the bottle was finished I was back to Opium!

    • Angela says:

      I love all the stories Opium is bringing out! It seems some women were simply born to wear Opium, and you’re one of them. I hear stories and memories about Opium that I’ve never heard with any other fragrance.

  67. Skyking says:

    I first became aware of this intoxicating fragrance back in the late 70’s, when I happily chanced upon it while searching out a Christmas gift for my new bride. I got all jolly in my shorts when she wore it, and I still do today. The little, lace dancer pants, and camisole did nothing to hinder it’s effects.
    I wonder if we would still be married if it wasn’t for this delectable Parfum? I don’t care to find out. I keep her well stocked with the Parfum, EDP, moisturiser, deodorant, shower gel, and powder. She knows how to wear it, and it is heavenly on her skin. You might think that the combination would be overpowering; but she has it down to a science.
    Yes; she wears other fragrances. But never together with other scents. She’s very astute about such things, and she always checks with me to see if it smells OK one her. She’s not one to go about with mixed fragrances(I can’t stand that); or too much of any one in particular.
    I have never found a cologne that I like on me; or that smells good on me. So; I just go about eau naturale. I’m not really one for such affectations. That doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t wear one; but rather I haven’t found one. I gave up decades ago. I’m open to suggestions on the subject.

    • Angela says:

      Well, some couples have “their” song–I guess you and your wife have your fragrance! That’s wonderful.

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