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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on 10/13/2015 2:18:00 PM

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I still have a bottle of the original Opium, which IMO is a masterpiece and was ground-breaking in its day. I was outraged and heart-broken when I heard they reformulated it. I love the original scent. I use it sparingly so as not to run out of it.

I came back from Europe a couple of weeks ago and I tried this at the Duty-free shops. I tried it several times and at different airports to give it a fair go. As someone else said, this is an insult to the original scent and yes, if I were Yves Saint Laurent, I would come back from the netherworld to haunt the bastards who reformulated a wonderful oriental creation.

This concoction is the typical floral, sugary-sweet, run-of-the-mill, industrial vanilla, Eau de Mallrat that are a dime a dozen anywhere these days. Why don't they just sell it as something else?

Of course, the Age of Mediocrity (our present days) and the scentphobes rage against the original. But I ask you, if the original was so bad, why did the manufacturers name this new farce after it? I mean, if the original was so bad they had to reformulate it it stands to reason they wouldn't have named it after so offending an oldie, now would they? And yet ...

Look, I'm not saying that things should never change. But change does not necessarily mean you have to completely do away with everything that came before it. If that's the case, then let's get rid of all the paintings, music, books, etc, that came before the year 2000, shall we. Let's close all the museums, art galleries, bookstores that carry "old stuff." I hope more than one of you here think that would be completely bigoted, ignorant, and ridiculously discriminating.

What I mean is, go ahead and have your flowery, non-offensive, young, politically correct scents, if you want. But leave the classics alone for those of us who still like them. We too are entitled to our strong, "headache-inducing," "little old lady," "80s powerhouse" scents, if that's what we prefer. YOU don't have to buy them.

But of course, the manufacturers are all about making more and more money while spending less and less of it on their products. Anyway, people will always buy them, as long as they are marketed as "young." That's why I call this the Age of Mediocrity. Everything must be the same. Nothing/nobody must stand out and be unique (except celebrities, the worst mediocrities of all, who "stand out" for all the wrong reasons).

Forgive the rant, but I feel very strongly about this.

32 of 42 people found this helpful.



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 8/14/2016 2:16:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Blue

This is a sweet, almost creamy fragrance and it's for people who prefer gourmands to florals. There aren't many feminine scents out there with a coffee note - generally that seems to be reserved for the boys. Whenever I found fragrances featuring coffee, they were usually too butch for me. Even my beloved Bond No. 9 New Haarlem had a lavender note that reminded me of aftershave. So I was excited when Yves Saint Laurent launched Black Opium in 2014.

It's not as complex as New Haarlem, but Black Opium is a cozy scent that reminds me of a breakfast in a French cafe with a dear friend before we go out sightseeing. It's definitely a vanilla latte sort of aroma and in my mind a good choice for autumn. It is a suitable companion for my tweed blazer with suede elbow patches. Longevity is better than that of my Jo Malones; I can always smell the eau de parfum on my clothes the next day.

There are top notes of pink pepper and orange blossom. The heart is a blend of jasmine and coffee. Base notes are vanilla, patchouli, and cedarwood. Keep in mind that it is for people who like sweet scents.

I started off with a travel spray I bought at Sephora for $27 and took it with me on several trips. I've received compliments when wearing Black Opium and no complaints so far. It's not overpowering or migraine-inducing to those around me. After living with it for a while and getting down to the last few drops of my travel size, I bought a full bottle.

13 of 14 people found this helpful.


on 5/24/2016 1:34:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Oily, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Red, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

This perfume is absolutely addictive and honestly, I feel that it is appropriate for all genders (well, any gender can wear any perfume, but you get my point). Its darker notes keep it from becoming a chemically one note department store fragrance, the kind that wild eyed women spray on you as you sprint through your local Nordstrom's in the vain hope you'll make it out unscathed.

On me, the patchouli and the coffee meld in to a beautiful, abiding warmth, a dark, sweet musk that hangs around me in a delicate cloud. There's something so intimate about the smell, something that brings to mind a speakeasy or a plush bedroom artfully undone after a night of passion. There's also a subtle edible quality, edging towards vanilla, or maybe a frangipane petit four.

I can't say enough good things about this scent. I will also add that I recommend the roller ball. Something about being able to press it directly in to skin makes it much better. When I had it spritzed on me at my Sephora, I didn't like it as much.

13 of 13 people found this helpful.


on 9/14/2015 10:09:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Blue

If you are of a certain age and remember the first launch of Opium decades ago you will know Yves Saint Laurent is spinning in his grave at the thought of this. I'm not implying this is horrid, it isn't. This scent is so far removed from the original vision intended that it is insulting to the masterful original.
A scent for the non jaded who believe they are sophisticated. Perhaps in a few decades they will be. Then they will understand.

13 of 19 people found this helpful.


Age: 44-55

Skin: Normal, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Black Opium is an edgy, smoky bad girl with a touch of sweetness. Most prominent notes are coffee, jasmine sambac, almond, and vanilla. It's sexy and comforting at the same time. If a fragrance were a place, this would be a coffee shop that served drinks and played jazz at night. Men love it. Similar qualities with Trouble by Boucheron and the cult classic BY by Dolce & Gabanna.

11 of 11 people found this helpful.


on 8/2/2015 9:30:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

I tested Black Opium at Sephora.
Firstly, Black Opium is a TRAVESTY in the name of Yves St Laurent who has probably turnend in his grave more than once since 2009 and the reformulation of Opium the original .Secondly, the bottle is extremely tacky .
Thirdly, the fragrance is as dull as ditchwater.
The only interesting element is the opening and then it goes downhill rapidly....all the way into DULL .SWEET, BORING AND like every other new fragrance trying to catch customers with sweet and tacky cheap notes in their scents.
L'Oreal have ruined the name of Opium in my eyes.
What is worse ...is seeing really glowing reviews for this scent on the Sephora website. Black is the the new noir and noir is the new black .Hah .It is all nonsense.

11 of 18 people found this helpful.


Age: 44-55

Skin: Normal, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

We went shopping for a TV. And my husband was really taken by the sales girls scent. I couldn't smell it. In the end I asked her what perfume she was wearing ? "Nothing today, I did put Black opium on yesterday when wearing this jacket" of course I bought it, and oh my it's gorgeous, tad sweet at first but after it settled slightly musky. My go to now. I will repurchase it lasts too, I'd do the usual on my wrists but never my neck. Squirt into my hair. Even my son asked what it was. Of course the hug. And my hair perfect

10 of 10 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 9/11/2015 11:40:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Oily, Fair-Medium, Cool

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Blue

This is a huge miss. Basically the same as LVEB from Lancome, Flowerbomb, Bon Bon - they are all made by L'Oreal. Not an interesting scent, but sickly sweet (headache inducing).

8 of 10 people found this helpful.


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