Opium (1977) Eau de Toilette

Version from 1977
Opium (1977) (Eau de Toilette) by Yves Saint Laurent
Bottle Design: Pierre Dinand
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Opium (1977) (Eau de Toilette) is a popular perfume by Yves Saint Laurent for women and was released in 1977. The scent is oriental-spicy. Projection and longevity are above-average. It was last marketed by L'Oréal.

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Ratings

Scent

8.9 (62 Ratings)

Longevity

8.9 (54 Ratings)

Sillage

8.5 (54 Ratings)

Bottle

8.0 (54 Ratings)
Submitted by Sniffer, last update on 08.07.2019

Variant of the fragrance concentration

Opium (1977) (Eau de Toilette)

This is a variant of the perfume Opium (1977) (Parfum) by Yves Saint Laurent, which differs in concentration.
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Reviews

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Adhira

0 Reviews
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Adhira
Adhira
Greatly helpful Review    14
Dance the Mussolini - Opium between cigarette smoke and ice fog
Opium was my first real perfume. I wished for it in 1983 for Christmas and promptly the EdT lay under the - artificial - Christmas tree of my parents.

What an oriental spice and spice - lush, sensual, beguiling, room-filling, stunning. These intense spice notes, this density of fragrances and this shelf life - absolutely unique. Just right for this time, a statement in the 80s.

I was 17 years old and was regularly in the Frankfurt area in the hottest shed on the road. And opium was my scent - so I sprayed it generously. What is unacceptable today and causes a series of fainting spells was completely normal back then. Today I already wonder how my fellow passengers survived the drive in the car to the discos when one or in the worst case all the girls who went with them had dieselled themselves with opium. Apart from the breather between the parking lot and the front door, things didn't get any better later. Hardly arrived in the dance shed one expected beside New Wave and the creepy 80's fashion a smell overload at cigarette smoke, sweetish ice mist and perfume tumblers, which looked for their equals, above all opium. The scent clouds were literally wafting across the dance floors, exactly in this mixture, and in such a high concentration that one could literally cut the air. I'm surprised that we all survived this unscathed, without collapsing under anaesthetic.

But still, it was a great time, sometimes I wish it back. Only to wear the original scent again and to be able to correct my silly dance style - I dance the Mussolini ..
5 Replies
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Alex1984

41 Reviews
Alex1984
Alex1984
Helpful Review    5
Flowers of fire...
Opium! Den of pleasure, carnal delights, ecstasy. Forbidden euphoria.
Blockbuster since day 1, Opium is (was) the unparalleled success of Yves Saint Laurent. Cleverly following the footsteps of Youth Dew (Lauder once said it was ‘Youth Dew with a tassel’), Opium landed like a bomb in 1977 taking the whole world by surprise. In a time with no social media and focus groups, Opium alluded to the thrill of the forbidden and the state of mind; guilty pleasure and erotic ecstasy via the heavy spice route sweetened with exotic flowers. The Opium den that Yves conjured and which caused an outrage in the Chinese-American population, banned in many Arab countries and sold without its name on the bottle in some European countries, was nothing but hedonistic pleasure in liquid form. Opium didn’t endorse drug abuse, something that was increasingly the theme du jour in the late 70’s, nor did it condone it. It simply alluded to the state of trance and sensuality one feels under the right circumstances. Opium was either understood and immediately adored, or rejected like the plague. True vintage Opium, with all its forbidden notes, ingredients and allergens is one of my most loved and cherished fragrances. Nothing, absolutely nothing comes close. And sadly, this makes it extremely hard to replace.

Long review/homage based on various bottles, splash and spray, from 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981 and 1993.

When Opium launched, Yves sought to create the complete opposite of Y, his debut fragrance which was a beautiful and elegant aldehydic chypre. He wanted a heavy, languid, extremely powerful and sensual oriental that would make women go crazy, and men completely surrender to its charms. He enlisted Jean Amic, Jean Louis Sieuzac and Raymond Chaillan and together they created a legend that catapulted to success before its official launch, resulting in stolen testers, ripped publicity banners, sellout within hours of hitting shelves, all the while causing a little dementia in the population. Oh, Opium!
Heavily reliant on cloves, carnation, incense, Mysore sandalwood, resins, myrrh, opoponax, adorned with orchids, rose, lily of the valley, jasmin, peach, plum, orris and mystified with labdanum, castoreum, bay leaf, pepper, balsams and musks, Opium was like the breath of a raging dragon. Deep reds, golden ambers, the flowers of fire; the flowers of life.
Up to this day, words elude me when talking about Opium; I find it so masterfully blended, so true to its meaning, that I cannot (and don’t want to) analyze it or dissect its notes. It’s inevitable that some of them pass right under my nose and are easily detected, but Opium is such a state of mind that the real pleasure comes from surrendering to it. Yes, it’s spicy, floral, aldehydic and mysteriously powdery in the drydown, yes, none of what was used freely to create it can be used with the same abandon today, but why break it to pieces? If for nothing more, the pleasure is smelling it all day long and watch it’s evolution, how it caresses the senses and how it embraces the ones lucky enough to love it and adore it.

Opium is highly polarizing, and for most people, it stirs up memories; any kind of them. Good, bad, the ones who wore it, the elevators it permeated, the boss that doused in it...love it or hate it, this most recognizable magnum opus cannot leave you indifferent. Consider yourself lucky if only you can even smell it in your mind.
While Opium does not go bad, it does mellow with age. Vintage bottles still pack a punch with enormous sillage and 24 hour longevity, but they have lost the fresh sparkle that was there in 1977; they have mellowed and concentrated in a way that it smells richer and more dense. The patina of time, but still unbeatable.
And my personal opinion; up until the early 80’s, Opium was not reformulated, maybe only having suffered minuscule changes. It was so unbelievably expensive to produce that it was simply inevitable. By the late 80’s/early 90’s, the changes were a bit more pronounced but it was still itself. At the dawn of the new millennium, Opium started to suffer the consequences of cost cutting, change of taste and society’s evolution, and by 2005/6, Opium was not Opium anymore. L’Oreal simply murdered it completely, and what has been selling under the name Opium since then, bears nothing, zero relation but the name. It should have been discontinued altogether.

While future generations will likely never have the pleasure of getting to know this gem, anyone that has had the pleasure of experiencing it is extremely lucky. And I thank my lucky stars and eBay for allowing me to have the pleasure of dowsing in it. My sillage is free of charge; no thank you needed.
2 Replies
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Rosaviola

0 Reviews
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Rosaviola
Rosaviola
Greatly helpful Review    16
Opium EdT-my first great love
Finally I dare to write a comment about my first favorite fragrance: Opium.

I got to know opium at the tender age of sixteen in the summer holidays of the early nineties. The summer was sunny and beautiful and I had a lot of free time, was still without worries. At some point my father brought a little suitcase with him from a colleague at work, full of perfume samples, it was probably about twenty. And I was allowed to test them all to my heart's content! It was like paradise, wonderful! I can still remember some of the scents that were there: Eternity, Narcisse, Loulou, Poison, Samsara (the first Guerlain I got to know), Maroussia and some other "bombs" of his time. I don't remember any of them. And opium was there too! This immediately captured me, love at first sight so to speak.

This opulent, warm and secure spiciness was unique to me at the time, except for Ispahan, where I had never smelled anything like it before. And I didn't know Youth Dew at that time Opium is a dense round of spices in which it is almost impossible to smell all the components individually. This fragrance also works as a whole and lives from its density. Something that was pretty much taken away from the 2009 version.

Mandarins with cloves and all the spices make me think briefly of rice spiced with onion and cloves (but the smell does not smell of rice and onions). The spices are slightly steamed by delicate jasmine blossoms.
More carnations follow, this time the flowers, lots of patchouli and warm cinnamon. Soft sandalwood joins it.
The base is also opulent, warm and oriental with discreetly sweet amber, animal musk, a hint of vanilla is gently spun in and some incense, but so dosed that it does not get too smoky (I get a headache from it), is still in play.
The Sillage is bombastic, the durability as well. When I went out in the morning I still smelled like it.

By the time I finally got my first bottle of Opium EdT, I was twenty-one and I loved my opium. For years it was my night scent, but I always dosed it discreetly with about two sprayers and it lasted until the next day. For a change I sometimes wore Chloe's Narcisse, also a Wummser, and during the day various Yves Rocher scents. I still have the empty bottle at home.
Today I don't wear it so often anymore, but still regularly for twenty years.
When it was replaced by the current version in 2009, I started to bunker what I could. So my supply will last for the next forty years...

The new version has been castrated especially with spices and carnations. But the mandarins and jasmine come out more. This version is still portable, but who knows the old one will almost always prefer it.
I would describe Youth Dew by Estee Lauder as a slightly similar fragrance.

In the course of time I could still find two really very old flacons from the eighties in the rather simple glass. I find here the clove is even more present. The bottle can be seen on my perfume photos Opium 1977 with the woody background on the far left. There were also several special summer editions of opium, of which I have some, as well as a body cream, the EdP and the Extrait were added to my collection.

I find oriental fragrances like opium wearable in summer as well, as long as they are carefully dosed. The spices and patchouli can really unfold in the warm temperatures, really come alive and appear in their most beautiful splendour. But please only one or two delicate splashes!

Opium will be one of my favorites forever.

5 Replies

Statements

Alex1984 2 years ago
Original edt; the oriental to end all orientals. Mysterious, hallucinogenic, erotic; resinous spices, carnations, lust. Flowers of fire.+7
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