Opium Perfume, Yves Saint Laurent’s Finest.

opium Back in the day when I was working the fragrance counter at Macy’s and hawking it, Opium was flying off the shelves. Everyone was wearing it. People talk of Giorgio and how it created a sensory overload but Opium was right up there in its distinct aroma and how women over-sprayed it. Now, the prices for a vintage bottle are ridiculous. Is it worth it?

Looking at its notes, yes, Opium is everything its cracked up to be. It embodies all its notes. It’s an outrageous perfume. This can be a grand old dame, wrapped in soft velour, adorned with Mikimoto pearls, carrying a Judith Leiber clutch or a bar-fly with a hiked-up faux-leather Guess skirt, Sam Edelman booties and a crop top. Anyone and everyone has worn it and altho it is a classic that stands alone, it is so well-known it is no longer special. It’s lost it’s uniqueness.

It had its place back then in the late ’70’s and ’80’s when the powerhouse perfumes were all the rage. Rock ‘n’ roll was loud, clothes were big and so were the hairstyles and attitudes. It just fit the time period. You’d wear it and strut because you could. Wearing it today outside takes a certain attitude, a certain way of dressing, it’s a completely different way to be.

I’m not saying Opium can’t be appreciated today, it just can’t be appreciated in the same way because this isn’t the same time period. Some perfumes stay beautiful and always will be, but they just don’t make it into the mainstream of the future decades.

Opium is a perfume that needs to sampled by all vintage lovers because it belongs in the perfume Hall of Fame. It’s rich in feeling, opulent in spices and incense, animalistic in nature and makes you want to let go. It will strangle the weak and enslave the willing. If you are a fan of patchouli, spices, incense, myrhh, cloves and too many others to list, go for it. You won’t be sorry. But be forewarned, you’re signing up for the den of inequity to other perfumes. You may never be the same.

This review is written specifically about vintage Opium. There have been more flankers produced since 1977 when the original oriental-spicy perfume by Yves-Saint Laurent was first introduced.  If you are interested in purchasing a vintage bottle of Opium, here is a link  to help you identify the bottle. http://raidersofthelostscent.blogspot.com/2013/11/opium-vintage-bottles-parade.html

Top Notes: Coriander, Plum, Citruses, Mandarin Orange, Pepper, Jasmine, Cloves, West Indian Bay, Bergamot.

Middle Notes: Carnation, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Cinnamon, Orris Root, Peach, Lily-Of-The-Valley, Rose.

Base Notes: Labdanum, Tolu Balsum, Sandalwood, Opoponax, Musk, Coconut, Vanilla, Benzoin, Myrhh, Vetiver, Incense, Cedar, Castoreum, Amber.



All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.


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