Archive for the ‘Yves Saint Laurent’ Category

La Nuit De L’Homme and Elle Shocking Reviews

April 6, 2009

La Nuit De L’Homme is Yves Saint Laurent’s newest masculine, a permanent flanker to L’Homme. It is supposed to be a more seductive version of the original, and was created by the same perfumers. I must applaud YSL for naming Coumarin as one of the notes, at least the fragrance companies are getting braver by naming aromachemicals – Coumarin is the molecule that ‘smells’ from Tonka, and is usually synthesised in a lab.

lanuit1At first spray, you can tell it’s still related to L’Homme, with its light Orange note. It’s much more powdery, sweet and warm from the off.
The heart is soft Chocolate with a lightly spiced Cardamom, with a Lavender note somewhere in the mix, and a mishmash of floral notes – nothing leaps out, but they are present, as is a Cedar note.
The drydown is a cold metallic Iris-like dryness, with the strong powdery hay-like Tonka note and a Violet leaf smell which seems to be in everything lately.
It’s good altogether, but I won’t be investing in a bottle simply because I already have Dior Homme for the same purpose as La Nuit, and although La Nuit is louder and attention grabbing, Dior Homme is subtle and more refined.

Top: Cardamom, Bergamot, Floral Notes
Middle: Cedar, Lavender, Aromatic Notes
Base: Vetiver, Coumarin

Elle shocking is the third flanker for Elle. The previous were Elle Intense and Elle Eau Fraiche, last years summer edition. It is an Eau de Toilette concentration and is lighter than the original Eau de Parfum.

ellesThe opening is a light Citrus (must be the Mandarin) and potent berries smell (must be the Raspberry), quite sweet in comparison to the original.
The heart note of Peony is still present, giving it a semi-masculine quality, but it’s much less intense, as you’d expect.
The drydown of inky and slightly sour Vetiver note and Patchouli has been toned down. I can’t help but be reminded of Stella McCartney’s Stella and In Two fragrances when I smell Elle. “shocking” is not remotely shocking, instead a better behaved version of the original fragrance. They are certainly rushing out flankers to Elle, and the fragrance will be entirely exhausted of any possible flankers soon.

Top: Mandarin, Ginger, Peony
Middle: Freesia, Jasmine, Raspberry
Base: Musks, Patchouli, Cedar


L’Homme Review

March 25, 2009

L’Homme was the first masculine release from YSL after the departure of Tom Ford. It was nowhere near as daring as M7 or Rive Gauche, and instead YSL decided to play it safe. YSL touted it as the fragrance of the modern man, and as YSL did so well, created an androgynous product – looks masculine, could be feminine. To make it more masculine, there was even a special “test tube” edition that looked quite phallic.

lhomme1L’Homme opens with a sweet, floral and almost feminine feeling burst of citrus, with a soft woody note. The citrus smells at first like Lemon. Then it becomes Orange. Then the first act is over in a matter of seconds, and the heart is apparent.
Soft Ginger (rather than rough like with Dior Homme Sport) adds an air of warmth to the fragrance. Then Cedar and a very quiet Pepper note create an aromatic aspect, with a tiny hint of Violet in the background – perpetually shy for fear of creating something too floral.
The drydown is soft, woodsy, with warm hay from Tonka and a grassy Vetiver. The Vetiver isn’t particularly earthy, it feels like all the dirt has been washed off. The sweetness from the Ginger is maintained into the drydown, as is it’s warmth. As a result, L’Homme is subtle enough for everyday use, but not standout enough for night. It’s still a very competent fragrance.

Top: Citron, Ginger, Ozone
Middle: White Pepper, Violet, Basil Flower
Base: Vetiver, Cedar, Tonka Bean, Sandalwood

YSL Elle and Elle Intense Reviews

February 1, 2009

Yves Saint Laurent is a house that offers many fantastic, interesting scents. When I first started selling perfume, I picked up the bottle of Nu and didn’t know what to make of it, but I liked something about it. Paris, the Rose-bouquet, is one of my favourite florals, Baby Doll, with it’s shot of Grenadine (which is wonderful with soda water, by the way) I think is the perfect sweet scent for young girls. And CinĂ©ma should live on as a masterpiece. So, in anticipation of the upcoming male release ‘L’homme de la Nuit’, I take a look at the most recent feminines from the house.

I remember the first moment I sampled YSL’s Elle, before it’s release, at a training course. The colour of the bottle was the first thing to draw me in. The fuschia skyscraper hypnotized me. I sprayed it and was surprised, I wasn’t expecting it at all. What I was expecting was another sugary sweet floral. What I found instead was a bright burst of sweet Berries and fruits, with a masculine edge – Patchouli is evident right from the opening, as in Midnight Poison and Prada Amber.
ellePatchouli and Pink Pepper are prevalent in the heart. This is softened by a loud floral note, which smells similar to Stella in Two Peony. I feel that big Peony note in these two fragrances feels incredibly masculine, and as such this scent must be worn with great confidence. YSL himself was famous for putting women in a tuxedo, and I think that this is the scent equivalent. If you are looking for a peony that is girly, go for Yardley’s Peony, which is peony with musk.
The Vetiver and Patchouli drydown isn’t a million miles away from Stella, with the same odd combination of saltiness and Amber.

Top: Citron, Peony, Lychee
Middle: Pink Pepper, Rose, Freesia
Base: Patchouli, Vetiver, Ambrette

elleintenseElle Intense is recognizably related to the original, with the Berries and Patchouli hanging around. However, it’s significantly darker and dirtier. It’s great when flankers feel related to the original release, unlike Miss Dior and Miss Dior Cherie, which are polar opposites, and Euphoria Man against Euphoria Man Intense, which smell like completely different scents.
What makes Elle Intense different is a glorious smoky Incense and Ink note, that reminds me of Comme des Garcons 2. The Ink/cense note is all over the fragrance after the Raspberry note in the head evaporates.
The drydown is salty, rooty Vetiver with Ink, and an almost Banana-y note.

Top: Raspberry, Lychee
Middle: Pink Pepper, Iris, Jasmine
Base: Benzoin, Patchouli, Amber

Opium and Opium Pour Homme

January 3, 2009

Over at, 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.


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.