Opium and Opium Pour Homme

Over at Basenotes.net, it’s the first Sniff ‘n’ Speak day of the year, and as it’s January, it’s fragrances from the Oriental family. So, I thought I’d wear a real classic Oriental – Yves Saint Laurent’s Opium, launched in 1977. And as I have the male version, I decided it was about time to review it as well.

Opium

This is from Mum’s bottle that has sat in her cupboard for a good 15 years. Quite possible that this is ‘vintage’, because Opium relaunched in 2003, and I’m making the assumption that it was reformulated, especially as OsMoz lists different notes for both versions.
opiumOpium is a real powerhouse. I’ve only applied one spray and it certainly projects very well, and this is only the Eau de Toilette … I’d love to experience the parfum!
Opium opens with a powdery, sweet Cinnamon note. Slightly spicy and exactly as I remember it from years ago when Mum would wear either this or Coco whenever she left the house.
20 minutes in, the powder is still present on top of what smells to me of rotting petals. Pungent, and I’ve been told “overpowering”. I disagree!
The powder gives way to a warm, almost leathery but not quite, Vanilla/Jasmine combination. It’s a clean Jasmine, if you’re wondering.
Then, I get what can only be described as burned vegetation on top of kola kubes (much like Youth Dew), which moves on to a balsamic, oily, ‘thick’ note and the powderyness returns, and it reminds me of the strong Sandalwood note that was found in Samsara all those years ago – these days, Samsara is a watered down charicature of it’s old self. Sad times.
Long into the drydown is one of the most beautiful Incense notes you are likely to find outside of Comme des Garcons fragrances, the Incense is very soft and it draws people in. It’s worth the ride. Opium is delicious and incredibly addictive. I think it could work for me, if I apply it sparingly.

Top: Cinnamom, Pepper, Orange, Pimento
Middle: Carnation, Jasmine, Rose, Ylang-Ylang
Base: Vanilla, Benzoin, Patchouli, Opoponax

Opium pour Homme

I like Opium pour Homme. I like it a lot, but I don’t know if I’m ‘mature’ enough yet for this one. It smells beyond my years. I’ve never liked to thing that fragrances have an age bracket, but perhaps 23 is too young to wear some scents.
First spray reminds me of bay rum, or maybe Gaultier2. It’s boozy and very Vannilic.
The booze note evaporates quickly, and leaves me with a herbal, aromatic scent that reminds me of Jicky, but nowhere near as animalic.opiumph
There is a slightly Peppered, soft Ginger note. It’s not an abrasive, OTT Ginger, like the one used in Dior Homme Sport.
Driesdown into a soft, sweet Cedar and aromatic scent and the Lavender is what strikes me most at this stage. This is what smells too grown up about Opium for me. I’ll have to keep Opium for years, just to see if I ever feel like I’m mature enough for it.

Top: Black Currant, Star anise, Mandarin, Lavender
Middle: Galanga, Geranium, Ginger, Pepper
Base: Patchouli, Tolu Balsam, Atlas Cedar, Vanilla

I think the Opium fragrances are more like cousins than brother and sister. They don’t seem too closely related, probably because of the 18 year gap in launches! They do both last for absolutely hours and project for miles.
I hope the Feminine experiences it’s resurgence soon. It really needs to live a second day, and I hope it’s still around to get it’s chance.

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