Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium

Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium

3.6

81 reviews

60% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.9

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.9

Price: $$$

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Age: 44-55

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Cool

Hair: Other, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Green

As a periodic fan of YSL's original Opium (I have gone through several phases of enjoying the scent in my 48 years), I was eager to try the new release Black Opium. I saw this in France at Sephora six weeks ago but forgot to test as I was overwhelmed by all of the new scent releases. Fast forward to yesterday. A large tester bottle was sitting at my local drugstore. I was attracted to the gorgeous bottle and had visions of a dark, mysterious, sensual fragrance inside. I pulled up my sleeve and doused my arm without regard for the safety or well being of those around me. Immediately, I was choked by a cloud of chocolate. Not dark, rich, decadent chocolate...no, more the sickly sweet Snickers bar variety. "Ok", I thought..."this version starts off sweet. Soon the sexy, spicy scent of cinnamon will come in to wrestle this baby off the playground and into the bedroom!" Yeah, about that...I'm still waiting. It took approximately 3 minutes for Black Opium to frolic into a sugar fairyland version of Lancome's "La Vie est Belle"! I have never been as negatively surprised by a new fragrance launch as this. Where is the Opium? Heck, where is the Black? Seriously! Absolutely NOTHING about this dissapointingly linear fragrance is new, innovative or sensual. VANILLA, VANILLA...and more, VANILLA! This is rainbows and unicorns. Candyland and those Cos-Play pink festooned anim characters come to mind. Guess what? It lasts a REALLY long time too! My jacket will have to be dry cleaned as I don't care to smell like my daughter's 9th grade home room. I didn't wash my arm for a few hours. Convinced somehow, that there would be a deepening...a change...SOME development. Let's just say, I'm glad I didn't hold my breath! Sorry, YSL. This is bad. A travesty really. YSL has become a department store brand catering to the masses. Difficult to accept that such a great house actually allowed this to be released...especially as a flanker of one of THE most iconic fragrances in recorded history. I'm glad we have many, many better scents from which to choose. Big pass on this one!

23 of 28 people found this helpful.



on 11/29/2014 1:13:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I'm in love with this scent!

YSL's Parisienne was my signature scent for the last few years. When the bottle ran out, I decided to shop around for a change.

The original Opium, I remembered as a little girl was nauseating and musky. I decided to give this a try at the counter anyway. My first impression then was 'IT IS TOO SWEET' and passed on it but my oh my, as the day wore on, I smelt delicious. It settled nicely and lasted well into the evening for me. For me, Manifesto was much sweeter at the end of the day even though it does not start out cloyingly sweet like Black Opium. I had to come back for it after a week. I couldn't get it out of my mind.

I've had it for a week now and I like it more and more each day. Perhaps it settles down well with my skin. It starts off very sweet, but settles into a less cloying, but seductive scent. It is definitely erotic, but not in your face.

I take a lippie off for the sweet start though. I love it best after 3 hours of wear.


7 of 7 people found this helpful.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

This scent is AMAZING!It is really sweet but not disgustingly sweet.Whenever I wear it I get a ton of compliments.Even my best friend who hates sweet perfumes she loved this one and she is going to buy it.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.


on 3/25/2015 5:48:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Very Dry, Dark, Warm

Hair: Black, Kinky, Fine

Eyes: Black

I want to begin my review by saying that this is NOTHING like the original Opium so if you're buying this with the unbeatable original in mind you'll be very disappointed.
Black Opium is nothing new. It's a 'floral' gourmand. If you've smelled la vie est belle or flowerbomb then you pretty much know how this will play out. It starts out sharp with a blast of citrus that is quickly overtaken, covered, then promptly buried by jammy sticky goey sweetness. The 'florals' are nondescript, jasmin? Gardenia? Huh? This is follwed by a tiny whiff of something creamy & when I concentrate really hard i smell something reminiscent of those hazelnut coffees you buy from the coffee machines at hospital waiting rooms.indeed the entire impression i get from this perfume is sugar, sugar & more ingredients that emphasize that this entire concotion is supposed to be SWEET. Then i start getting a strong clean laundry musk. The drydown is the usual vanilla, amber drydown that we've had over & over again. The entire perfume is a case of deja vu. Some elements of Coco noir with less focus, some elements of black orchid with the coffee note idea, lots of Angel influence with the gourmand inspiration. I really don't like this perfume plus it smells cheap & plastic yet it costs too much.

6 of 7 people found this helpful.


on 4/15/2015 10:40:00 AM

Age: Unknown

Skin: Normal, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Intrigued by the great ad, I found Black Opium to be unexpectedly sweet!! It really does smell very good, but you have to enjoy sweetness and the same sweet-oriental formula that's *everywhere* these days. I find it similar to several others.

Notes, per parfumo.net (EDP, launched 2015):

Top Notes - Pink pepper, Orange blossom
Heart Notes - Coffee, Jasmine
Base Notes - Vanilla, Patchouli, Cedar

I do smell the coffee note, mixed with patchouli & vanilla. The scent itself reminds me of Bond No 9's So New York or New Haarlem or I Love NY for All -- kind of in that ballpark -- ie sweet gourmands. It smells nothing like original Opium.

It also smells very similar to Tresor La Nuit & Armani Si EDP -- I really think all 3 of these smell very much alike. It's not terribly far from La Vie Est Belle & Flowerbomb either, but these two are lighter & sweeter. Other reviewers have said it's a lot like Loverdose. A wonderful scent but one lippie off for being so sweet for its name and also so similar to others already on the market.

ADDENDUM 1/11/16: It's sweet, but it does have a dark resiny/incensy basenote -- almost like a little Eliz & James Nirvana Black has been added. Now that it's cold, I'm wearing it a lot.

ADDENDUM 5/30/16: I was in Walmart today and a 25-ish female employee asked me what perfume I was wearing (she had been walking behind me). I told her, and she said it smelled really good.

10 of 11 people found this helpful.


on 4/27/2015 11:55:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Normal, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

This stuff smells like something my grandma would wear. Seriously, if you aren't 60+ I can't imagine anyone liking this.

I wore this yesterday and it caused an awful migraine and just was an awful fragrance, I even had a friend comment that I smelled like an old lady. For me...I am disappointed I spent any money on this product. :( I plan to give this to my grandma as I think she's the only one in my family who will like it, seriously...it reminds me of "White Diamonds". Blah.


Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

The original Opium took the fragrance world by storm when it was launched in 1977, and it inspired countless imitators. Black Opium, sadly, is the opposite. First of all, it can't be properly described as an Opium flanker because it smells nothing at all like the original Opium. It's a derivative fragrance that smells similar to every other "fruitchouli" fragrance that's popular right now. The best way I can describe Black Opium is that it's a Flowerbomb wannabe, with a dash more smoky vanilla. I sprayed Black Opium on one wrist and Flowerbomb on the other, and I could barely tell the difference. It's just not that interesting, and it's not dark or mysterious as the name would imply. Sorry, YSL, this fragrance doesn't live up to its name or to the Opium legacy.

4 of 5 people found this helpful.


on 6/2/2015 7:39:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I bought this as i seen the TV commercial and loved the packaging. I wasn't really expecting much when it came but WOW. I adore this fragrance. A little goes along way but oh my it is beautiful. I tend to lean towards sweet vanilla scents and find this like cat nip !! My boyfriend also loves this fragrance, he goes mad for it ! No one can describe a scent online and i advise smelling this perfume when passing your local department store. It's beautiful, elegant, classic yet modern !

1 of 1 people found this helpful.


on 6/3/2015 12:20:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Blue

I got a sample of this. The package of the sample was annoying because you have to snap it open to use and then can't reuse it. I'm not too disappointed however because the scent is nothing impressive. This is a very sweet smelling perfume. Yes, there are a few others scents in there but they quickly fade and I'm left smelling like a bit more fruity version of Fresh Sugar. I don't think this fragrance matches how it is being marketed at all.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.


on 6/4/2015 8:38:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Oily, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

One word. Yuck. Smells cheap.


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