Opium, a scandalous name for a divine essence
The Black version of the Opium perfume has been one of the best sellers in recent years. Back to a myth of perfumery.
It was in 1961 that Yves Saint Laurent founded his fashion house of the same name. His style is avant-garde, but also provocative. He likes to shake up classic codes and be where you don’t expect him to be. A fervent ally of women, YSL has contributed to their social liberation. He caused a scandal in particular with the “40 collection”, which took up the retro style worn by women during the Second World War. It will also shock public opinion and many countries with “Opium”, a sulphurous feminine fragrance.
Opium or the story of a myth
Certain perfumes influence an entire life, thus placing themselves in a position of legend, of myth. This is the case for “Opium” released in 1977. This fragrance, complex and opulent, is to this day one of the greatest successes of the YSL house. Regarding the much criticized choice of the name of the perfume, the couturier explains “If I chose Opium as a name, it is because I intensely hoped that it could, through all its incandescent powers, release the divine fluids, the magnetic waves, the eye-catchers and the charms of seduction which give birth to mad love ”… Unfortunately, public opinion does not agree, considering the name of this perfume as an invitation to consume illicit substances, an incentive to debauchery. Some even speak of “intellectual pollution”. Opium, a scent of addiction ”…
Surprisingly, this made women want to try this perfume, which has been adored all over the world, and still enjoys enormous success. “Opium” is a myth, because it is the first time that a perfume dares to speak of sex, drugs or even transgression, since we are, let us not forget, in 1977. “Opium” is a real revolution , but not only olfactory.
The mysterious notes of Opium
It is two talented perfumers who are at the origin of this legend, namely Jean-Louis Sieuzac and Raymond Chaillan. “Opium” takes off on the freshness of orange. This is immediately contrasted by strong and spicy notes such as cinnamon, chilli and pepper. The heart of “Opium” is floral and ultra feminine thanks to the association of jasmine, carnation, ylang-ylang and rose. Finally, the base is sensual, enveloping, intense and very powerful. It mixes Siam benzoin, vanilla, patchouli and opoponax (which is a resin extracted from a shrub, which is found mainly in the Middle East and whose smell is similar to that of myrrh) . As for the bottle, it is the work of Pierre Dinan. It is inspired by an Inrô, a small medicinal vial once used by warriors from the Far East, the Samurai. The latter wore it inside their belt. Initially, the “Opium” bottle is made in a nylon plastic shell. Its transparency will, however, reveal its amber-colored juice. The black and braided cord that leaves from the cabochon creates an ultimate link between the woman and her perfume.
More than a perfume, “Opium” is an ode to freedom. The “Opium” myth has toured the whole world, emphasizing once again the provocative side of Yves Saint Laurent.