Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium ~ new perfume


Yves Saint Laurent will launch Black Opium in September. The new fragrance for women is a "a rock ‘n’ roll-inspired interpretation of the 1977 classic" Opium, and follows recent flankers Opium Vapeurs de Parfum and Belle de Opium.

Black Opium was developed by perfumers Nathalie Lorson, Marie Salamagne, Olivier Cresp and Honorine Blanc. Notes include coffee, pink pepper, orange blossom, jasmine, vanilla, musk and cedar.

Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium will be fronted by model Edie Campbell. It will be available in 30, 50 and 100 ml Eau de Parfum.

(quote via wwd, additional information via bwconfidentialuoun.cc, parfum-femme.prime-beaute)

Update: Black Opium will not launch in the US until 2015. The brand describes it as a "floral coffee"; additional notes include pear.

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  1. Merlin says:

    Four perfumers?

    • Dusan says:

      My thought exactly!

    • Robin says:

      Well, it’s hard to know what that means. Possibly one team started the scent and another finished it, that’s often what happened when you see these long lists of perfumers.

      • Mitzi says:

        In my experience it means that the end result is so bad that no one is willing to exclusively lend their name to it… Hope it’s not the case here

  2. I should apologies for only commenting on NST (which I’ve been avidly reading for years) when it’s an occasion to complain but this looks horrible. The bottle looks gaudy and the idea of YSL being “rock n’ roll” is completely mismatched. I have to admit to being overly attached to my mid-90s bottle of Opium and I was properly outraged at the reformulated new Opium a few years ago so I am clearly biased towards hating any new Opium flankers. There hasn’t been a single YSL perfume that I’ve bought since the Tom Ford days of M7 and Nu.

    • Robin says:

      Hey, no worries!

      The bottle does not look appealing to me either, but hopefully it looks better in person (although usually, turns out the other way — they often look better in pictures).

      I do think it would be possible to make a wonderful flanker to Opium, and coffee could be interesting. Did not like Belle d’Opium at all though, and didn’t even try the ‘Vapeurs’.

      • pigoletto says:

        Vapeurs was terrible. Weak as water, sort of an insipid orangey amber thing. No nutmeg or incense or whatever else it was meant to have. I don’t really have an issue with reformulated Opium, as I actually find it wearable – vintage was really, really powerful on me – but as a whole after Tom Ford (was Cinema his last for them?) – Parisienne was ok, but just about – all they put out were really weak, forgettable scents.

      • floragal says:

        Yep, coffee caught my eye too. Definitely on my list to try.

      • scentsappeal says:

        I too was a huge fan of the original Opium. It’s a forever Perfume Hall Of Fame classic IMHO. I agree with you Robin, in that a modern version could be a definite success if done right. I was immediately intrigued to see coffee listed as the first note in Black Opium. This has potential!

  3. pyramus says:

    On the one hand, instant love for the name Black Opium, so perfect and obvious that I can’t believe they didn’t come up with it earlier.

    On the other hand, “rock ‘n’ roll”, pink pepper (again), and the mere fact that it is an Opium flanker do not inspire much confidence that the scent will be any good.

    I’m gonna go put on some YSL Nu, which at least left the market so quickly that they never had a chance to wreck it with a series of worse-than-the-last-one flankers and a dispiriting overhaul.

    • Robin says:

      Just about had it with rock ‘n roll as an inspiration for perfume. Please, can’t they think of something else?

      • Omega says:

        It really is dumb, they went all Vera Wang with the bottle…not itching to try the juice either.

    • 2rista says:

      I’m with you. I think Nu was the last YSL I really enjoyed.

  4. kaos.geo says:

    Well I’ll give them the benefit of doubt….
    My first reaction to the black bottle (with pink juice inside) was.. this looks like a cheap Opium knockoff… And I guess I also felt that they are “cheapening” the brand….
    But well, everybody else is getting money off cheap looking flankers, so I guess they have every right to jump in the action.

    But hey the bottle at least LOOKS as it is covered in black sparkly plastic-paint… so I guess there’ll be a lot of “outrage” and draaama over this one… :-D

    • Lucy says:

      The production of a flanker doesn’t bother me and neither does the bottle. My outrage is all focused on what they did to the original Opium. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forgive them.

      • kaos.geo says:

        THey did change it a lot…. but you have to remember that maybe they are not legally permitted to make the older scent or that the raw materials may no longer be in production… just saying..

        For me, the original Opium, up to the late 1980s was a masterpiece… after that, they subtly changed it over and over until what is now being sold as Opium that I no longer recognize.

  5. scentfromabove says:

    I am going to be the odd man out on this…..I like the bottle! I think its different and it stands out. I would love to try it out. I never like to say that I dislike something without trying it first. So, I will give it a chance.

    • Merlin says:

      I like it too! Reminds me of the planetarium:)

  6. Jillie says:

    I think my mood is black ….. I am pessimistically positive (if that’s not contrary) that this will not be black at all. The name conjures a beautiful smell vision of deep spices, mellow wood and something darkly addictive. But … I don’t think this is it!

  7. 2rista says:

    Opium was my first and greatest perfume love. I bought the Eau de Toilette (I think) as soon as it came out and fell for it immediately. Later I spent what was then a fortune for me on one of those lovely tasselled bottles of perfume. I continued to love it until they started messing around with it and, since then, have hated everything that has come out of YSL with the word Opium on the label. So, not raising my hopes here, although I await a review in September. Perhaps I should just consider it as something completely different.

  8. Ajda says:

    Well, I agree that the bottle looks tacky, but the notes sound promising, to me at least.
    And the Vapeurs flanker is actually quite good :-) .

  9. Omega says:

    The next flanker:

    Bombshell Opium…since I have seen that stupid word all over the place now, for everything. Wanna look sexy while eating junk? Eat Bombshell Cheetos..your chest will look larger too..we promise. Ridiculous, the whole world is going tacky, brothel Victoria’s Secret..and ppl buy crap named stuff like that?

    Then the next flanker:

    Sexy Bombshell Opium


  10. peter says:

    There is nothing that I hate more than the “Rock n’ Roll” cliche in fashion and fragrance (I’m looking at you John Varvatos). And that bottle is tacky and not elegant at all. Is YSL going the Calvin Klein way? Hedi Slimane is DESTROYING YSL!
    OK, Rant is over…..

    • Omega says:

      YSL pretty much sucks now, agreed.

  11. Endymion says:

    First: This should have been rather called Opium NOIR if they really wanted this.

    Second: The name itself is very cheap, overused, anything but sophisticated (which used to be expected from the house of YSL), the typograpyh (font) of the Black is even cheaper than the name itself.

    Third: I don’t care about the product itself as it’s the 3rd flanker of the mighty Opium after its scandalous reformulation and redesign (Belle d’Opium, Vapeurs de parfum). My heart is bleeding to see how the house of YSL has been falling and becomes cheaper and cheaper regarding quality, sophistication and creativity. Now it’s one of the many houses of flankers and mass fragrances. :'(

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