Opium 1977Parfum

Version from 1977
Opium (1977) (Parfum) by Yves Saint Laurent
Bottle Design Pierre Dinand
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8.0 / 10     420 RatingsRatingsRatings
Opium (1977) (Parfum) 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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Fragrance Notes

Top Notes Top NotesBergamot, Clove, Jasmine, Coriander, Laurel, Mandarin orange, Pepper, Plum, Citrus fruits
Heart Notes Heart NotesOrris root, Lily of the valley, Carnation, Patchouli, Peach, Rose, Sandalwood, Cinnamon
Base Notes Base NotesAmber, Benzoin, Coconut, Musk, Myrrh, Opoponax, Sandalwood, Tolu balm, Vanilla, Vetiver, Frankincense, Cedar, Cistus

Ratings

Scent

8.0 | 420 Ratings

Longevity

9.3 | 294 Ratings

Sillage

9.0 | 282 Ratings

Bottle

7.7 | 288 Ratings
Submitted by DonVanVliet, last update on 07.02.2021.

Interesting Facts

Perhaps Opium is the most popular perfume by YSL. Launched in 1977, the name was deliberately provocative: There was great public anti-drug protest and the perfume was initially banned in the United States, China and the United Arab Emirates. In the U.S., it was again for sale, after a study proved that there were no drugs in the mixture and that the use of it would not encourage drug use.
One year after the market debut, there was a launch party at Studio 54, with Andy Warhol among the guests. This party was said to be a sumptuous Bacchanal beyond decency. What ever really happened there - the rumours about it contributed to the legend around Opium. Opium set the benchmark for a renaissance of oriental (floriental particular) perfumes in fragrance fashion, in a time chypres and aldehyde patterns were favoured.
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Reviews

10
Scent
10
Longevity
10
Sillage
10
Bottle
Primel
Translated Show originalShow translation
Primel
Primel
Top Review    15  
In a drunken stupor
"Mandarin Mix up", silent movie with Stan Laurel from 1924, opium (the intoxicant) played a major role, poor Stan involuntarily got caught in the smoke of an opium smoker during a well-deserved nap with turbulent consequences...

Even perfume can really get you into a frenzy! Liquid, spicy gold, hidden in a bottle that resembles a Japanese lacquer box. For me, the fragrance is like a thick, soft and precious carpet, densely woven with precious ingredients, whereby I enthusiastically adorn: Indonesian kretek, Chinese jasmine tea, pepper from Szechuan, plums from Japan, patchouli and sandalwood from India, coconut from Burma as well as cedar from the Himalayas and much more...An olfactory journey through the whole of Asia in fast motion :-) But the best thing is that the fragrance even manages without the oud, which is unbearable for me :

The visionary Yves Saint Laurent, born in 1936 in Oran/Algeria, was undoubtedly inspired by his oriental homeland for this masterpiece (Algeria was then still part of France). However, coming from the Maghreb "where the sun goes down", he lets his gaze wander far into the Far East to create a fragrance for the "Chinese Empress".

But the days are numbered, the "opium generation" is slowly dying out! The YSL decided to take a dramatic rejuvenation cure! The beautiful flacon, which captivates by its asymmetry, has to give way to a bottle that remotely reminds of a small washing machine. For a while, a strange string hangs in the fragrance liquid, "like a pig's tail", says Pierre Dinand, designer of the original bottle
The fragrance is also disfigured beyond recognition (although it may still have many followers). The new version even has a slightly fecal note in the base for me (?). Have I gone from drunkenness to delirium tremens and now I see oud-noodles everywhere? Ok, I know that oud is not of animal origin, just politically incorrect of me :-)

For me, the "primeval opium" is an immaterial world cultural heritage.

Serengeti must not die. Neither must opium!!!
10 Replies
9
Scent
10
Longevity
10
Sillage
8
Bottle
Kiwii
Translated Show originalShow translation
Kiwii
Kiwii
Top Review    30  
I know you
Opium, My first comment here shall be dedicated to you. We are truly old acquaintances. You and me. I am 70 years old and can proudly say: I grew up with you. My mother carried you daily with fervor and I - after the farewell kiss in the morning - inevitably also. You were (over)powerful, you accompanied me - after the kiss - the whole day. For better or for worse. Did I like you? I don't know anymore, you have often robbed me of the air to breathe, on other days you have embraced me comfortably. You've always been there, for a long time. Then what? What happened to us? We lost sight of each other for many years. Was it 20 or 30? A felt eternity. My mother still owns you and the other day I have rummaged through her collection and sniffed at you - and suddenly avalanche-like, old, long forgotten memories, experiences, pictures, songs from children's teenage days overrun me... a flashback I've never experienced so intensively before. I got soft knees and had to sit down. What an emotional moment!
Thank you, that was wonderful! For that alone I love you now!
5 Replies
8
Scent
8
Longevity
8
Sillage
7
Bottle
Serenissima
Translated Show originalShow translation
Serenissima
Serenissima
Top Review    27  
I just had to have it
As a young woman, already in the spring of 1983, I put "opium" in my head. I absolutely had to have it.
My boyfriend at that time, already a bit older, was at first of the opinion that "something practical" - e.g. a share in my first washing machine - would be much better than such "scented stuff"! Men!
But I can be quite persistent and finally he gave in: I finally got "Opium" (and he had his peace!).

But what did he bring me? Not the desired 50 ml bottle with atomizer: no, it was 125 ml!
And all this in a large flat plastic container with glass stopper - not exactly ideal for my small hands!
Well, I had what I wanted! Although not exactly what I wanted!
Women are strange in this relationship: I know!

Of course I was proud anyway. At that time "Opium" was not a mass product, which was available in every duty free shop and as a result could be found later on every underground station and in every factory building.
"Opium" was luxury for the extraordinary woman (It remains to be seen whether I was then!)

Due to my lack of body warmth - I am a "fish blood", the typical and full, erotic scent could not develop on me.
I myself do not notice this at all; "opium" was just too rare to have any possibility of comparison.
It was more or less a so-called "blind purchase" at that time.
But my girlfriend finally approached me; she was very enthusiastic!
I was surrounded by an abundance of spices, fruits and flowers - carried by patchouli and sandalwood!
The typical erotic fragrances such as musk, amber, incense, etc. could not develop at all with me.
What was unique about me was "opium"!
This big "plastic vat" almost sealed the end of my "opium" era I always had problems holding this big bottle and of course it slipped out of my hand one morning: oh, woe!
A large part of the contents poured into the basket with the dirty laundry; that too!
After work I hardly dared go into the apartment. What would await me there?
But I was lucky: "Opium" stayed true to me!
In the bathroom there was a full herbal flower scent - the erotic component of this very powerful scent composition did not develop there (in my dirty laundry) either!

In the meantime the time of long distance travel had really begun. Almost every woman brought "opium" with her from her holidays - whether it suited her or not: you could afford it. Hurray!
The fragrance for the special, unique occasion; the fragrance that holds promise and seduction had suddenly become common knowledge - and how common.
Where you walked and stood the air was "opium"-pregnated - yes, sometimes you could even taste it!
Nasty!

It was getting to be too much for me. Even if "my opium" smelled completely different: I couldn't take it anymore!
So this giant flacon (by the way, it didn't have a tassel - how disappointing!) probably disappeared into the depths of my cupboard in autumn 1983 and was forgotten there.

A few years later, a colleague raved so much about the "special scent" that she could not afford it. She would have loved to wear "Opium" to a great party Well, for this "extraordinary occasion" there was still enough of the desirable fragrance in my flacon!
I sold it to her for 25 DM; I still remember it well.
My colleague was so enthusiastic that she even cried for joy. How I allowed her this joy! However, she had to promise me to renounce her new "treasure" in my presence.
She stuck to it and so we were both very satisfied!

I believe that never before has a fragrance so unique in its kind been so badly treated as "opium" was then! Everybody had it - everybody wore it!
Created for the special, for silk and flattering fabrics, for irreplaceable occasions, it ended up through the duty free shops in places that its creator Yves Saint Laurent had certainly never thought of.
Often unfortunately also on not quite clean or unkempt women, at least here in the city.
"You could afford it!" - And sales rose, thanks to duty free shops!
A pity for this great fragrance spell from an unforgotten magician!
17 Replies
9
Scent
10
Longevity
10
Sillage
7.5
Bottle
Flore

22 Reviews
Flore
Flore
   2  
Great incense perfume...
Opium Yves St Laurent ;

A fragrance that carried my grandmother and my mother and myself and my daughter . For me this is a scent of Memories . If my mother kissed me as she went out. She was then nicely dressed and wrapped in a beautiful cloud of Opium . When I went to visit my grandmother and the whole house smelled of her signature scent . Just beautiful and so appropriate for her . Now I wear it myself especially in the cold winter months. My daughter always sniffed at me as I carried Opium. My daughter now also has Opium and she's totally in love !
The spiciness in this fragrance is wonderful and despite being a strong fragrance has it a fresh accent .
In short , a delicious smell of incense that impresses when you wear it .
Sorceress

213 Reviews
Sorceress
Sorceress
Helpful Review    6  
Strangle The Weak and Enslave The Willing
Back in the day when I was working the fragrance counter at Macy's and hawking it, Opium was flying off the shelves. Everyone was wearing it. People talk of Giorgio and how it created a sensory overload but Opium was right up there in its distinct aroma and how women over-sprayed it. Now, the prices for a vintage bottle are ridiculous. Is it worth it?

Looking at its notes, yes, Opium is everything its cracked up to be. It embodies all its notes. It's an outrageous perfume. This can be a grand old dame, wrapped in soft velour, adorned with Mikimoto pearls, carrying a Judith Leiber clutch or a bar-fly with a hiked-up faux-leather Guess skirt, Sam Edelman booties and a crop top. Anyone and everyone has worn it and altho it is a classic that stands alone, it is so well-known it is no longer special. It's lost it's uniqueness.

It had its place back then in the late '70's and '80's when the powerhouse perfumes were all the rage. Rock 'n' roll was loud, clothes were big and so were the hairstyles and attitudes. It just fit the time period. You'd wear it and strut because you could. Wearing it today outside takes a certain attitude, a certain way of dressing, it's a completely different way to be.

I'm not saying Opium can't be appreciated today, it just can't be appreciated in the same way because this isn't the same time period. Some perfumes stay beautiful and always will be, but they just don't make it into the mainstream of the future decades.
Opium is a perfume that needs to sampled by all vintage lovers because it belongs in the perfume Hall of Fame. It's rich in feeling, opulent in spices and incense, animalistic in nature and makes you want to let go. It will strangle the weak enslave the willing. If you are a fan of patchouli, spices, incense, myrhh, cloves and too many others to list, go for it. You won't be sorry. But be forewarned, you're signing up for the den of inequity to other perfumes. You may never be the same.
2 Replies
8
Scent
Mujo

48 Reviews
Mujo
Mujo
Very helpful Review    6  
Vintage Opium
Opium is one of the hardest scents to review. Because I love it so much, I seem to fall short in words to express my love. Nevertheless I will have a go. I have tried several reformulations, but my love is for the original version. The current formulation is so weak compared to the original and so completely different. I have 2 versions of the EdT: the 1st bottle is somewhere from the late 70's until the first years of the 80's and the 2nd bottle is from 1994. There is already a huge difference between those 2, but the '94 version is also very nice. My review will be for the original formulation though.

Just sprayed it's overwhelmingly strong. I only need a tiny bit. I can directly smell the incense combined with a somewhat soapy (makes me wonder if there is ambergris in the original composition) and spicy cloves. It takes a few minutes to settle into a delicious, warm, sweet, spicy, mysterious and oriental brew of the gods. And it last for more than 10 hours on my skin. After I finished my 30 ml bottle, I will probably not be able to find a new one. On the other side, seen the strength it will take quite a while. I will defintely cherish my treasure.
10
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10
Longevity
10
Sillage
ScentFan

327 Reviews
ScentFan
ScentFan
Very helpful Review    8  
An Eastern Oriental
Having avoided Opium all my life because it sounded just too gauche, I finally sniffed it the other day and was sunk. Opium is a quite fabulous oriental in the style of Panthère and other greats of the genre, except as its name implies, this one was truly born in the east. I'm sure if you added a wonderful incense perfume like Jovoy's Liturgie des Heures or Naomi Goodsir's Bois d'Ascèse, to any classic floral oriental, you'd get something close to this. Think Panthère with lots more frankincense, as well as myrrh and opoponax. The result is far more than I'd guessed, a hypnotic fragrance that could have perfumed emissaries traveling China's old silk road, something Marco Polo might have smelled at Kublai Khan's court, only to be disbelieved in Europe when he told of the marvels he'd found. Projection and longevity are great and I expect sillage is, too. When you tire of smelling like a potentate (Bal à Versailles) or growling like a panther, wear Opium and smell like China's only female dynastic ruler, Empress Wu Zetian.
3 Replies
10
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10
Longevity
10
Sillage
10
Bottle
Rachel

11 Reviews
Rachel
Rachel
Very helpful Review    5  
Opulence personified!
Oh boy where do I begin with this?! First off the vintage version is far superior to the modern version. Truly decadent scent wrapped in oriental warmth and mystery. If you love strong oriental/ spicy scents you will love this! Why did they have to reformulate this master piece? If I spray just one spray I can still smell it the day after on my coat it's that strong. Smells of good times long gone by
1 Replies
9
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10
Longevity
10
Sillage
10
Bottle
Athenaida

41 Reviews
Athenaida
Athenaida
Top Review    11  
Dreaming of Vintages
Sometime ago I tried some Opium from a big 4 oz bottle and it was
a m a z i n g !!

I saw an endless paradise.
I felt real warm carnation waves...
My hair bathed in moonlight coconut.
My heart beat sandalwood hard.

and...the next day...paradise still being there with some amber on my chest...
I tried Opium in a perfume store.
Oh my why.....
It was strong, bitter and so...chemical......

I forgot to tell you my Opium is about 24 years old.
why they killed this jewel...Oh why Oh why do you destroy such a gems like this one...
The answer my friend is blowing in the wind..!
1 Replies
10
Scent
10
Longevity
10
Sillage
10
Bottle
GothicHeart

87 Reviews
GothicHeart
GothicHeart
Very helpful Review    11  
Words could never be enough...
-It is a scent of contradictions, like the ancient incense of vespers and the fleeting musk of an one night stand.

-In small doses, Opium is not incompatible with dining, clubbing or romance. Used excessively it will ward off flies, humans and evil spirits.

-A spectacular incense of monstrous proportions.

-The smell of Marco Polo's clothes as well as come back at Venice from his journey along the silk route.

-I particularly love to apply a single, small squirt before bed. The smell is just heavenly. And all night I dream of the hanging gardens of Babylon...

-I know why this perfume is called Opium. It is totally addictive...

-Good lord, this is chemical warfare of the highest concentration!

-God, Opium... what are you doing to me?

-Is it possible not to be consumed by its beauty?

-This is a sin. It must be.And the name, God that name! The whole thing is criminal.

-The Opium is the most glamorous and dangerous girl ever appeared from Paris, seducing one feeble admirer after the other as she moves along.

-Holy mother of god, this is amazing!!!It is just to die for...

-OPIUM feels more like an impressionist painting about life and love on the ancient Silk Road. Truly you can't appreciate what an oriental fragrance really is until you've smelled this masterpiece.

-Oh god, I literally felt like this perfume had a death grip on my throat.

-Even after 32 years on the market, this scent still screams "OBEY ME."

-I like it because it doesn't try to be likeable. It's just there.

-I do believe that this perfume wears you...

-While I do not wear it regularly, when I do, I intoxicate.Seduction in a bottle...

-This is what I imagine the spice from Dune smells like...

-It caused such a stirring in my loins that I'd track and hunt a woman wearing this down forever. BRILLIANT!

-Treat yourself to the parfum. There is nothing in the world like it.

-Opium is intoxicating and heady stuff. Something no wicked, decadent girl should be without.

-It is my default fragrance. The one I want to be remembered for. The one I want to be buried in.

-When it comes down to Opium, I'd have to say I'm a total sucker for it.

-Dear God!!!What on earth is this???How could you ever create such a temptation???

-Opium is timeless and magical, and it is still THE Oriental.

-Proof that there is a heaven.

-I admit it, I'm hooked. I always heard that opium was highly addictive...

-This stuff should be illegal...

-It doesn't offer any favors, you don't have to just like it, you have to love it and if it loves you back, it will be a best friend for ever ...

-It’s a bit of a creepy feeling, like meeting one of your old boyfriends, or someone’s walking over your grave...

-Opium is the most magnificent antidote to the waves of pubescent pop princess, foody/deodorant-style, mass-made scents that rule young fragrance buyers as the 20th century closed and the 21st century begins.

-I thought I bought a scent,I got Lilith in a bottle...

Do I need to say more?...
1 Replies
Show all reviews (12)

Statements

CheckinCheckin 5 years ago
7
Scent
10
Longevity
10
Sillage
Week 1: This is too strong and spicy. Week 2: This scent is actually pretty good. Week 3: OMG I LOVE IT!

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