This month, thanks to Influenster, I was given the opportunity to sample Black Opium, the new fragrance by Yves Saint Laurent. I should probably begin by saying that I don’t typically wear perfume and, more often than not, fragrance samples that make their way into my home are often tossed or passed along without so much as a second sniff. It’s not that I don’t appreciate a good fragrance. It’s just that, ever since my favorite lavender perfume was discontinued back when I was a teenager, I’ve never found a scent that really felt (or smelled) like me. Sure, I’ve had a few short-lived fragrance flings since then, but for the most part I’m just not that interested in perfumes.
Given my general lack of enthusiasm for things of this nature, you might be surprised to learn that I was extremely excited to receive this VoxBox. Maybe it was because, although I’ve received and tested several boxes filled with products thanks to Influenster, this was my first high-end box. Also, I had never before sampled a YSL fragrance and my hopes were very high.
From the moment I opened my VoxBox and discovered the pretty, shimmery, glamorous little bottle containing Black Opium, I knew testing this perfume would be an experience. Plus, the language YSL used to describe the scent was intriguing, to say the least: addictive, seductive, intoxicating, sweet, sensuous, voluptuous and above all, feminine. I couldn’t wait to give it a try.
So what was it like? I’d say feminine was an accurate description. It’s a complex fragrance with very different layers of scent, but they all shared a feminine quality. When I first applied the perfume I was overwhelmed by its heavy floral notes. It had a kind of generic quality about it; it reminded me of so many of the floral scents that have crossed my path through the years. It didn’t smell bad, but I certainly didn’t find it addictive or intoxicating.
But things changed very quickly! After only a few minutes, those overpowering floral notes started to fade, giving way to a soft, sweet vanilla scent. Refreshingly, I could really smell vanilla, not the syrupy faux-vanilla that seems to be in everything from body lotions to hair serums and scented candles the world over. It had a very feminine quality and almost instantly changed the way I felt about the fragrance. As time went on and the floral notes continued to fade, I liked the fragrance more and more. Finally, some subtle coffee notes surfaced and blended with the vanilla to create a warm and inviting scent that was light and a little sexy. It lingered for hours and, amazingly, continued to get better with time.
If Black Opium smelled as delicious right out of the bottle as it does after hours of wear, I would wear it all the time. It gave my skin a light, not-too-sweet scent that I really loved. The floral notes came on a little too strong for me when first applied, but I could see myself dabbing this perfume on for a special occasion or when I just want to feel extra girly.
Black Opium really is a nice, high quality fragrance, and just because it’s not about to become my signature scent does not mean it couldn’t be yours. If you’re a fan of sweet vanillas (like Bath & Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar) or are drawn to sugary scents (like Pink Sugar), I’d recommend Black Opium as a sweet and sophisticated new option.