Tuesday 28 March 2023

YSL Black Opium Le Parfum

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YSL Black Opium is a hugely popular fragrance but despite wanting to love it, I've never been very keen on it. There's something in it that makes me feel a little nauseas - I think it's because the coffee note is quite prominent and a bit much for my nose? Whatever it is, something has stopped me wanting a bottle. I was excited by the release of Black Opium Illicit Green last year (the fig note really appealed to me) but on sniffing it, the juice was just too similar to the original. The latest flanker for Black Opium however, Black Opium Le Parfum, is one of the most gorgeous things I've had my nose on recently and I'm lucky enough to have the 90ml bottle.

Black Opium Le Parfum takes the heavy vanilla from the original and really elevates it and I think it's absolutely gorgeous! 
This fragrance is an elegant mixture of fruity, floral and vanilla notes but the vanilla really dominates.
The top notes are sustainably sourced Green Mandarin from Italy, Pear and Cinnamon.
Middle notes are Solar Jasmine Sambac and Orange Blossom.
Base notes are Coffee (specifically espresso accord), Indonesian Patchouli, Ambrox and a 'vanilla quartet' that includes Madagascan Vanilla Planifolia Absolute and Vanilla Pod Absolute, Vanilla Bourbon Infusion and Tahitian Vanilla.
Everyone smells things a little differently and to me Black Opium Le Parfum is a total vanilla bomb, with a subtle hint of coffee and bright white flowers very much in the background. Vanilla is absolutely the star in this, with a hefty sprinkle of brown sugar on top. I'd describe it as like sitting in a cafe, eating a big slice of vanilla cake with buttercream icing, with a beautiful vase of flowers on the table before you. The vanilla cake is the main character, while there are wafts of freshly ground coffee floating about in the air and a touch of floral elegance somewhere at the back.

It's been compared to Kayali Vanilla 28 and I have to say that the sugared-vanilla aspect of Le Parfum is very similar but there is no spice or woodyness in this like there is in Vanilla 28.
That said, if you like Vanilla 28, Billie Eilish's Eilish fragrance, Victoria's Secret Bare Vanilla and any bourbon vanilla type scents, chances are you'll really like Black Opium Le Parfum.
In terms of longevity, it lasts and projects on my skin for a couple of hours before drying down into a cosy skin scent but lasts for ages on clothing. For example, I sprayed this on my coat collar yesterday and it's still very much there!
The le Parfum bottle is smooth black, whereas the other Black Opium iterations are textured, and is quite sleek and elegant, but also shows up every smudge and fingerprint (as demonstrated below!).

 You can find YSL Black Opium Le Parfum at quite a few places where it retails for £75 for 30ml, £102 for 50ml and £135 for 90ml. Right now, Boots are having a fragrance promo where it's a little cheaper - I've linked to the 30ml for £63.75 here.

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