I'm not a massive perfume snob, but I know that I tend to go for light floral scents. Heavy, sticky, sweet fragrances have never appealed to me, that was until I walked by the YSL counter in Boots, Brighton recently. Enticed by the glamourous yet endearing black bottle perched on their side counter, I wandered over for a quick sniff and haven't looked back since. Launched back in September 2014, Black Opium marked itself as the third release in YSL's 'Opium' range and their new fragrance is interesting and mysterious enough to keep you coming back for more.
Based on the 'Glam Rock' notion of being a bit edgy yet elegant, the black, crystal-encrusted bottle totally encapsulates the entire fragrance. It's certainly a heavier-smelling fragrance than many I own, but it is by no means overpowering. The scent lingers gently, creating an intriguing contrast and adding some much-needed softness to the hard-hitting notes. It reminds me of a more sophisticated, well-rounded version of Jimmy Choo's self-titled perfume; the similarly sweet base notes are accompanied by patchouli and orange blossom, so if you liked JC's scent, you'll fall madly in love with this YSL launch.
The top notes of Black Opium are a mixture of black and green coffee; an unusual ingredient which adds to the air of mystery and excitement. Coffee has never been used in such quantities in a feminine fragrance before, supposedly adding to YSL's position as innovative fragrance leaders. I cannot personally detect the coffee that well and think it gets easily lost amidst the array of stronger notes within the perfume. The heart notes consist of those feminine white floral notes of jasmine and orange blossom (which really do come through and successfully lighten the fragrance), while the whole thing is tied together with a vanilla base note.
The sweetness of the vanilla may be too sweet for some (I was worried I would lean this way too), but the contrast with the elegant, light florals and subtle bitterness of the coffee really helps to soften this fragrance and create an overall gorgeous scent. The woody notes of cedar and patchouli round off the fragrance and add a little bit more depth. I would say it smells a bit generic, but there is something edgy about this fragrance which does make it stand out from the rest. It's found the perfect balance, and brings a warmth and sophistication which will be a pleasant change from all the light, floral summer scents (Marc Jacob's Daisy ranges, ahem). The only negative I can really think of is that it doesn't stay on my skin for particularly long- but that really is it.
I'm head over heels for this Glam Rock edition to the YSL fragrance portfolio, and is a surprisingly elegant scent! It retails at £64 for 50ml and is available at Boots. Have you tried Black Opium? Are you welcoming the warmer scents for Autumn/Winter?