I know I have been AWOL for a while, now—among other things, I have been hard at work on the nail polish database—a brand spanking new version is coming, with the ability to track your own collection. (‘Cause I personally really, really need to do that!)
For now, I can only offer up this rather long list of perfume notes that I have compiled over the month of January. As you can see, I’ve been doing a lot of huffing. This comes just in time for Valentine’s Day, which is tomorrow, in case you need some gift ideas for a lovely lady in your life!
Happy Valentine’s Day to you all! 💝
The full list for January:
- adidas Born Original for Her
- Ariana Grande Ari
- Bvlgari Splendida Iris d’Or
- Calvin Klein Obsessed for Women
- Calvin Klein Reveal
- Chanel Allure (EDT)
- Chanel Allure (EDP)
- Chanel Coco Mademoiselle (EDP)
- Dior Miss Dior Absolutely Blooming
- Dior Hypnotic Poison
- Dior Pure Poison
- Escada Sorbetto Rosso
- Estée Lauder Modern Muse Le Rouge
- Etat Libre d’Orange Jasmin et Cigarette
- Etat Libre d’Orange Putain de Palaces
- Giorgio Armani Sí
- Givenchy Ange ou Démon
- Guerlain Mon Guerlain
- Jason Wu Jason Wu
- Jean Paul Gaultier Classique Essence de Parfum
- Lacoste Eau de Lacoste
- Lancôme La Nuit Trésor EDP
- Prada La Femme Intense
- Paco Rabanne Lady Million
- Paco Rabanne Olympéa
- Rihanna Rogue
- Salvatore Ferragamo Signorina Misteriosa
- Sofía Vergara Love (Fragrance Mist)
- Sofía Vergara Sofía (Fragrance Mist)
- Mugler Angel (EDP)
- Mugler Womanity
- Vera Wang Princess of Hearts
- Vera Wang Princess Noir
- Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium
- Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Floral Shock
- Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Nuit Blanche
I also got minor sniffs of these on cards, so I won’t talk about them today. Several are scents I had tried once and forgotten—I’ll have to revisit some of them on skin!
- Chanel Beige
- Chanel Chance
- Chanel Cristalle (EDT?)
- Chanel Gabrielle
- Dior J’Adore Eau Lumière (EDT)
- Mugler Aura
[Quick edit note: I had to fix quite a lot of things in this post; WordPress appeared to have not saved some of the bits I wrote, so certain entries were just incorrect. I think I’ve fixed everything, now! (Feb 13, 2018 at 11:55 PM)]
Born Original for Her
Top Notes: bergamot, apricot, orange
Heart Notes: coconut, candied apple, jasmine
Base Notes: tonka bean, cedar, olive wood
I tried this because of consistent good reviews, but I really did not like this one. The drydown smells an awful lot like another perfume I’ve tried, but I can’t think of what it is. It’s just so synthetic and musky, it burns my nose hairs.
Top Notes: pear, grapefruit, raspberry
Heart Notes: lily-of-the-valley, rose, vanilla orchid
Base Notes: marshmallow, creamy musk, blonde woods
[Edited again on Feb. 15. WordPress reverted one or two of my saves, so this ended up being the copy-paste from last month’s review of Ariana Grande Moonlight. D’Oh! I had to rewrite my review for Ari.] Surprisingly lovely! Unlike her bottle for Moonlight, Ari’s bottle actually does look this nice in person. I love the little furry pompoms! Ahhhhhh! Anyway, this smells very pretty, but it’s also very one-dimensional. It smells the way you’d imagine a fluffy, pink marshmallow smells if it grew in a cartoon garden. Sadly, it is also quite fleeting on my skin. I picked up a set of Ariana Grande minis over Christmas, so I do have a teensy little pour bottle. I can’t imagine it will last me very long! Maybe I’ll pick up the full size one day, if it gets cheap enough.
Splendida Iris d’Or
2017 | Sophie Labbé
Top Notes: violet leaf, heliotrope
Heart Notes: orris root, mimosa
Base Notes: tonka bean, vetiver, sandalwood
Bvlgari recently reissued a new line of Splendida perfumes to replace a few of their classics; Splendida Iris D’Or is a replacement for Bvlgari Femme. I don’t remember the original well enough to properly compare them, but they both have a quietly elegant feel. I am quite a fan of iris in perfumes, though I did find the very pleasant Iris D’Or to be a bit too soft and forgettable.
I will note that I had the second-most awful allergic reaction I’ve ever had to a perfume! I spritzed it on my neck and twenty-four hours later, a rash developed that stuck around for almost a week. (If you’re curious, the worst offender was Hugo Boss Orange, which I’d sprayed onto my inner elbow, where within hours, I grew a huge, raised red bump the diameter of a tangerine. That was fun.)
Obsessed for Women
2017 | Honorine Blanc, Annick Menardo
Top Notes: citrus, neroli, elemi
Heart Notes: violet leaf, lavender, sage
Base Notes: Musk Helvetolide, ambrette, Muscenone
Sprayed on a card, this smelled basically like cK Be, or cK One, I forget which. It sounds like something I would like, with citrus and lavender, but holy cow, did this react horrendously on me. It immediately turned into this screechy, synthetic mess on my skin. I imagine it’s a perfectly nice unisex sort of fragrance on the right person, but I am not that person.
Also, it smells nothing like the classic Obsession; I wonder why they didn’t just give it an entirely different name and bottle style.
2014 | Jean-Marc Chaillan, Bruno Jovanovic
Top Notes: salt, pink pepper, black pepper, white pepper
Heart Notes: orris root, ambergris, solar accord
Base Notes: sandalwood, Cashmeran, musk
Reveal, on the other hand, is simply lovely! I wouldn’t have thought I’d like all that pepper in the opening, but it’s pretty tame.
This perfume is a little salty, a little spicy, with cozy and creamy woods in the base. If you like Paco Rabanne Olympéa for its salt note, but found it to be too overwhelming (as I did), then you might want to give Reveal a try. I have to re-sniff it, for sure, but I think I may want a bottle. I dig the bottle design, though it is also quite awkward to use.
1996 | Jacques Polge
Top Notes: mandarin, lemon, bergamot, peach
Heart Notes: rose, jasmine, lotus, peony, magnolia, orange blossom
Base Notes: vanilla, sandalwood, vetiver
Allure was first released as an EDT, and I’m sure I must have sniffed it back in the day, but 20-something me was not a fan. I don’t know if my preferences changed, or perhaps it’s the reformulation that Allure and countless other perfumes have undergone in the last decade (due to IRFA regulations), but I am in love with Allure, now. It’s warm, elegant, citrus-y and floral, with a subtle sweetness and powder. It’s an everyday, every season, do anything kind of scent. I do wish it lasted longer on my perfume-eating skin, but that’s probably more of a me issue than Chanel’s. The bottle isn’t one of Chanel’s best, though, as I find it very plain and somewhat masculine.
1999 | Jacques Polge
Notes: bergamot, mandarin, peach, rose, passionfruit, peony, jasmine, magnolia, lotus, vanilla, vetiver
The EDP version of Allure came out a few years after the EDT, and it was described as having an atypical fragrance structure (as does another 1990s perfume I love, Lancôme Poême). Instead of the usual top notes, middle notes, and base notes, Allure is structured in a “multi-faceted” way with the notes overlapping. Allure EDP is a lot warmer and peachier than the EDT, and less citrus-y. They are, to me, definitely different enough to own both, and so I do! (For Canadians, I picked up the EDT with Optimum Points, and bought the EDP during a bonus points event.)
Coco Mademoiselle (EDP)
2001 | Jacques Polge
Top Notes: orange, orange blossom, bergamot
Heart Notes: mimosa, jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang
Base Notes: tonka bean, patchouli, vanilla, white musk
Coco Mademoiselle is ridiculously popular, and yet I really do not like it. It’s just way too patchouli-heavy for me (same reason I don’t like the new Miss Dior, I guess). It also gives me a headache fairly quickly, so I have no interest in it. I did sniff it again last month, as it had been so long since the first time I tried it, but no dice. I still don’t like it, though its popularity clearly endures. I think the Chanel lady told me that it’s right up there with N°5 and Chance; frankly, I had no idea Chance was such a bestseller! I’m more of a Coco/Coco Noir, No°5 Eau Première, and Allure person.
Miss Dior Absolutely Blooming (EDT)
2016 | François Demachy
Top Notes: raspberry, pomegranate, blackcurrant, pink pepper
Heart Notes: rose, peony
Base Notes: musk
As I mentioned in the Coco Mademoiselle review, I don’t like the new versions of Miss Dior, which just have too much patchouli for me. I surprised myself by quite liking the Miss Dior flanker, Absolutely Blooming, but then I realized it’s because it doesn’t really have any patchouli in it. I liked it a lot the first time I tried it, so much that I was tempted to get a bottle with my Optimum Points—but upon re-sniff, I decided that the berries were a bit too much for me (I am not usually a big fan of the red berries accord in many perfumes) and went with Allure EDT, instead.
2004 | Carlos Benaim, Dominique Ropion, Olivier Polge
Top Notes: bergamot
Heart Notes: jasmine, orange blossom, gardenia
Base Notes: sandalwood, amber
I can’t do a proper review here, because I think the bottle I tested in store may have gone off. There was only a sad little puddle at the bottom of the bottle (which should have warned me) and the initial blast was so sour and hairspray-like that I couldn’t really pay attention to the rest of the scent.
Hypnotic Poison (EDT)
1998 | Annick Menardo
Top Notes: apricot, plum, coconut
Heart Notes: tuberose, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, rose, rosewood, caraway
Base Notes: sandalwood, almond, vanilla, musk
The notes make this sound like something I’d love (apricots, almonds, and rose!) but I found it overwhelmingly sticky and cloying. I do wonder if, as with Pure Poison, the tester had gone off, because this smelled a bit plasticky.
Top Notes: pear, citrus, Calone
Heart Notes: watermelon, salt, aquatic notes
Base Notes: amber, praline
I’ve never tried an Escada and liked it: they’re always too fruity, just too damned fruity, and overly alcohol-smelling. Sorbetto Rosso is no exception.
I guess if it’s the kind of thing you like, you’ll love it! If you don’t like Escada’s summer edition fragrances, you won’t change your mind here. The bottle is super pretty—honestly, I think that is the only reason I tried it.
Modern Muse Le Rouge
Top Notes: redcurrant, raspberry, pink pepper, safffron
Heart Notes: rose, jasmine, magnolia
Base Notes: patchouli, vetiver, vanilla, ambrette
I love rose and I really like a spicy rose, but I mainly smelled a fruity cough syrup. Too much patchouli for me, as well. The bottle’s sprayer was also very annoying to use.
ETAT LIBRE D’ORANGE
Jasmin et Cigarette
2006 | Antoine Maisondieu
Notes: jasmine, tobacco, apricot, tonka bean, curcuma, cedar, amber, musk
I was so close to buying this one blind, when I saw it at a great price, but in the end I bought some samples first. Turns out I needn’t have bothered—this stuff is lovely! The jasmine is very pretty and not too indolic. I’ve never been a smoker, but the tobacco note in this is intriguing. To be honest, it smells less smoky and more like fresh hay to me. Wonderful, wonderful stuff. This fragrance also lasts reasonably well on my skin.
ETAT LIBRE D’ORANGE
Putain des Palaces
2006 | Nathalie Feisthauer
Notes: rose, violet, leather, lily-of-the-valley, tangerine, ginger, rice powder, amber, animalic notes
Ditto to not needing to buy samples for this one first, at least for me! Putain des Palaces, literally Hotel Whore, is a perfume that smells like lipstick and skin-up-close. I thought the dirty spice notes might put me off (cardamom ruined the otherwise stunning Penhaligon’s Amaranthine for me) but it works beautifully here. I mean, it’s not the kind of perfume I’m going to wear while running errands all day, but mmm, I will definitely wear this one at home, while snuggling.
2013 | Christine Nagel
Top Notes: cassis
Heart Notes: freesia, rose
Base Notes: vanilla, patchouli, amber
Sí is one of those terribly pleasant, yet fairly unremarkable perfumes. It’s sweet and fruity, warm and tasteful, and I find it very hard to remember exactly what it smells like. The bottle is very elegant, and overall Sí screams bestseller. Nothing wrong with that at all, but it simply doesn’t strike me in any way whatsoever.
Ange ou Démon
2006 | Jean-Pierre Bethouart, Olivier Cresp
Top Notes: mandarin, cumin, saffron
Heart Notes: lily, Maxillaria orchid, ylang-ylang
Base Notes: rosewood, oakmoss, tonka bean, vanilla
This opens up exactly like Robitussin to me—blech! After that initial blast passes, the perfume smells very rich and heavy: not much “angel or demon” duality in this. It feels very ’90s, even though it was launched in 2006. I like the spice notes in it, and the florals in the drydown—especially the ylang-ylang, one of my favorite floral notes—are quite heady and intoxicating in a good way. But, overall it is too syrupy sweet and dense for my taste. I can definitely imagine this smelling magnificent on some people; just not me.
I wish I liked this better, partly because the bottle is a stunner! It’s morbidly fascinating, with the notches in the glass on the back reminding me of vertebrae.
2017 | Thierry Wasser, Delphine Jelk
Top Notes: lavender
Heart Notes: jasmine
Base Notes: vanilla, sandalwood
I tested this twice last month and my verdict had been that I couldn’t smell much of it, so I thought I may have been anosmic to a major component. Well, I tested it for a third time and I don’t know whether something has changed, or maybe I’m just paying much closer attention to it, but now I definitely do smell something more. It’s a warm and powdery, sweet vanilla cut with something slightly bitter. There is supposed to be a lavender note, so it’s probably that, though I’m not sure I smell lavender outright. Sandalwood in the base gives it a bit of creaminess. I do detect a combination of notes that strikes me as being a touch plasticky, but almost in a good way. Overall, Mon Guerlain is pretty and classy, except I cannot smell it at all unless I shove my nose right up against my skin! Well, that’s still a fail for me. Maybe when Mon Guerlain Extreme Noir comes out someday—as I’m certain more flankers will come!—I may find it more wearable!
JEAN PAUL GAULTIER
Classique Essence de Parfum
2016 | Daphne Bugey
Top Notes: chili, ginger, whipped cream
Heart Notes: jasmine, orange blossom
Base Notes: Cachalox, musk, cedar
Jean Paul Gaultier’s classic, Classique EDP, has been on my wishlist for many years, but I never got around to buying it since it wasn’t as though I loved it. I merely liked it a lot. But a few weeks ago I spotted a fancy new Classique-esque bottle and gave it a spritz.
Holy gorgeous. Classique’s newest flanker (at least it is new to Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada) has a stunning, sleek, geometric bottle and contents to match. It opens with a bang: aldehydes! It’s not listed in the official notes, but damnit, they’re there. I normally am not a huge fan of fizzy aldehydes, but here they are magnificent in combination with a delicious ginger top note. The aldehydes kind of last forever on me—I can still feel their sparkle after about a half hour. The middle of the fragrance turns into a creamy, white flowers-tinted vanilla dessert, yet it managed to avoid being too sweet and cloying. It is perfection!
I think it is superior to the original Classique by far, though perhaps it isn’t really fair to compare them. Classique strikes me as being far more lipstick-y and synthetic (in a great way); Essence is gourmand, warmer, spicier, and far more lush.
And yes, I have it coming in the mail as my Valentine’s Day gift.
2017 | Frank Voelkl
Top Notes: pink pepper, fig
Heart Notes: jasmine, peony, lily-of-the-valley
Base Notes: musk
I managed to squeeze this one in on the last day of the month! I’ve been looking forward to testing it, mostly because the bottle is drop dead gorgeous.
Unfortunately, it is a little bit of a bland floral (vaguely white florals, with jasmine and lily-of-the-valley, but weak) and there was something about the drydown that I nearly despised. Thankfully, it, too, was weak. However, the fragrance reached the drydown stage very quickly, and it got musky fast. I suppose it’s a particular type of musk used that I didn’t like, or perhaps it was the combination of it with something else in the perfume. Either way, it strikes me as being extremely safe and bland, even if you don’t mind (or even like) the drydown. Waste of a stunning bottle design, in my opinion.
Eau de Lacoste
Top Notes: pineapple, mandarin, bergamot
Heart Notes: jasmine, orange blossom, pineapple blossom
Base Notes: sandalwood, Peru balsam, vetiver, vanilla
This is the first Lacoste perfume I’ve tried, and if they’re all like this, I’ll be skipping ’em.
The bottle is sporty, cute, and well-designed, but the contents just smell cheap and unpleasant to me. I really think it must be the pineapple top note—I often think pineapple scents smell horrible—though I wasn’t much of a fan of the drydown, either. Ah, well.
La Nuit Trésor
2015 | Christophe Raynaud, Amandine Clerc-Marie
Top Notes: pear, bergamot, tangerine
Heart Notes: orchid, rose, passionfruit, strawberry, vanilla
Base Notes: incense, papyrus, patchouli, lychee, praline
While Lancôme’s wildly successful La Vie est Belle is not my cup of tea (far too sweet and cloying), its newer Trésor flanker hits the right sweet spot. I have grown to love these trendy new over-sweet gourmand scents, and La Nuit Trésor is one of the best ones out right now. I can’t take it any time a fragrance is sweet and cloying, but La Nuit Trésor livens up its saccharine praline and caramel notes with a burst of fresh lychee, just juicy enough to balance out the sugar. The patchouli is clean, and the vanilla is creamy. It does not hurt at all that the bottle is beyond gorgeous!
I don’t find much in common with the original Trésor, which I do love but do not wear. The only real similarity is that both perfumes are tenacious beyond belief. Perfumes often disappear on my dry skin, but La Nuit Trésor hangs on for the whole day, and then some! I picked up a bottle last month and do not regret it one bit—I am often in need of a perfume that will last a good long time on me.
1992 | Olivier Cresp, Yves de Chirin
Top Notes: bergamot, pineapple, red berries
Heart Notes: caraway, nutmeg
Base Notes: tonka bean, vanilla, patchouli, praline, sandalwood
This is one of those perfumes I’m familiar with because it’s immensely popular, but I’ve never actually tried it on myself before! I rectified this last month and spritzed a bit on my wrist. Oh, I definitely understand why this is so well-loved, but damn if it isn’t crazy strong! One little spritz was on my wrist all day long.
Normally, I dislike a lot of patchouli in a fragrance, but there are exceptions, and Angel is one. What turns me off Angel is not the patchouli, and not even that pineapple top note that I did not notice at all. It’s gotta be the spices. Oh my goodness, does this ever smell skanky on me! I swear I took a bath before spritzing this on myself, okay? Yes, this goes horribly, horribly skanky on me after about ten minutes. I am having flashbacks to when I put a whole spray of Guerlain Jicky on, then felt terribly self-conscious about my perfume’s skankiness for the rest of the day.
So, as beautiful as it smells on others, Angel (and Jicky, and the aforementioned Penhaligon’s Amaranthine) has no place in my wardrobe.
2010 | Mane, Alexis Dadier, Ralf Schwieger
Notes: fig, caviar, fig tree, fig leaf
I’ve tested this a few times, and it’s gotta be that caviar note or perhaps the way it’s juxtaposed with fig, but I utterly despise this perfume. It is the only one I’ve ever smelled that makes me feel nauseated. Frankly, it reminds me of stale bodily fluids. I also think the bottle design is vulgar and fairly ugly. The cherry on top: the name makes me cringe, too. I’m happy for those who can wear this, as it’s not actually a badly made perfume—but it just turns into an unholy mess on my skin.
La Femme Intense
2016 | Daniela Andrier
Top Notes: frangipani, ylang-ylang
Heart Notes: tuberose, orange blossom, jasmine
Base Notes: patchouli, vetiver, vanilla, iris
All of the notes in this blend together beautifully, and the result is a rich, honeyed, luxurious-smelling white floral. It’s unremarkable to my nose, but very well-executed and “safe”.
For some reason, I did not see the original La Femme available for testing; I’ll have to seek it out. The bottle is pink and it contains more citrus, less patchouli, which sounds right down my alley!
2010 | Anne Flipo
Top Notes: neroli, lemon, raspberry
Heart Notes: jasmine, orange flower, gardenia
Base Notes: patchouli, honey, amber
This is another one of those extremely popular scents that I’d never bothered to try on myself. I dig the bottle; it’s fun to depress the sprayer! I enjoyed the lemon-y opening, which leads into a perfectly pretty, sweet white floral with a heavy dose of honey. I often think honey smells too cloying, but it’s nicely done here. There’s nothing groundbreaking about it, but Lady Million is very amicable and I can certainly see why it is a bestseller.
2015 | Loc Dong, Anne Flipo
Top Notes: mandarin, jasmine, ginger
Heart Notes: vanilla, salt
Base Notes: ambergris, cashmere wood, sandalwood
The salty aquatic notes in Olympéa are intriguing and very lovely, but overall I found the fragrance to be too heavy, heady, and a touch cloying. I really would not mind trying a light version of this, to be honest, but it looks like they came out with an intense version, instead.
Top Notes: lemon blossom, cyclamen
Heart Notes: jasmine, rose, plum, suede
Base Notes: musk, wood notes, patchouli, vanilla, amber
I have found Rihanna’s perfumes to be surprisingly good! Nude is my favorite (though the packaging leaves a lot to be desired), and Rogue is quite nice, as well, and with a better bottle. Rogue starts off a bit generically, though pleasant, and dries down to a soft, leather base—which seems unusual for a newer drugstore perfume. It isn’t too sweet at all, like a lot of popstars’ fragrances. Well worth a sniff.
2016 | Sophie Labbé, Nicolas Beaulieu, Juliette Karagueuzoglou
Top Notes: blackberry, neroli
Heart Notes: orange blossom, tuberose
Base Notes: patchouli, black vanilla mousse
I am very fond of the original Signorina EDP, which has a panna cotta note, but I find the Misteriosa flanker to be far too sweet and one-dimensional for my taste. It’s all sugary blackberry jam! The florals are pretty but far too subtle, covered up under a syrupy blackberry dessert.
Love (Fragrance Mist)
2015 | Yves Cassar, Pascal Gaurin
Top Notes: mandarin, passionfruit, green apple, orange blossom
Heart Notes: coffee blossom, orchid, orris root, magnolia
Base Notes: ambrette, amber wood, praline, vanilla
I’ve been dying to try Sofía Vergara’s perfumes, since they get rave reviews online, but I didn’t want to blind-buy two bottles at around CA$30 each (and that’s at online discounters). Luckily for me, I spotted two fragrance mists at Winners, and (I know this was bad of me) I tried a quick spray of each since they were unsealed.
Love didn’t make a huge impression on me, and it didn’t last super long, either, not that I expect a body mist to do so. It was kind of sweet and pleasant, but I didn’t pick out any of the notes. It’s supposed to be a bit of a dupe for YSL Black Opium, but I’ll probably have to try the actual EDP to know if that’s the case. It might be that I was just too distracted by the other scent, though…
Sofía (Fragrance Mist)
2014 | Bruce Jovanovic
Top Notes: mandarin, passionfruit, green apple, orange blossom
Heart Notes: coffee blossom, orchid, orris root, magnolia
Base Notes: ambrette, amber wood, praline, vanilla
…Sofía is lovely! It’s a little bit on the generic side, but it’s so damn pretty smelling that I don’t care at all. Very softly sexy and warm. I was also stunned to find that the fragrance mist lasts several hours on me—there are EDPs that can’t manage an hour or two on my skin!
When I finish this up, I will definitely be adding the Sofía EDP to my wishlist.
Princess of Hearts
Top Notes: bergamot, strawberry, watermelon
Heart Notes: lily-of-the-valley, jasmine
Base Notes: vanilla cream, musk, cedar
The whole Princess line appeals to me in a very juvenile way, though I’ve never gone out of my way to try them. The original Princess is all right: I like the dry, gourmand base but not the sharp opening, and anyway, it doesn’t last very long on me. This is the first flanker I’ve tried—and there have been so many of them—and I like it! It’s so girly and bright with juicy watermelon and strawberry notes and a creamy drydown. It’s very pretty and if I had a teenaged girl to gift it to, I would do so immediately. I do think the bottle is on the less attractive side for a Princess fragrance, though (my favorite is Plaid Princess, though I haven’t been able to test it).
YVES SAINT LAURENT
2014 | Nathalie Lorson, Marie Salamagne, Olivier Cresp, Honorine Blanc
Top Notes: pink pepper, orange blossom, pear
Heart Notes: coffee, jasmine, almond, licorice
Base Notes: vanilla, patchouli, cedar, cashmere wood
I tried this when it first came out a few years ago, but I immediately dismissed it as being far too syrupy sweet. Well, the barrage of new fragrances that positively drip with sugar have finally converted me, I suppose. It’s not bad now that I’ve tried it again. I generally prefer the two flankers I’ve tried, though (Floral Shock and Nuit Blanche, mentioned below), as they are more interesting. I don’t really get the coffee note in the original Black Opium that people seem to go nuts for, so that’s probably why I’m less enamored of it. Nuit Blanche also lacks the patchouli that is present in Black Opium.
YVES SAINT LAURENT
Black Opium Floral Shock
2017 | Nathalie Lorson, Marie Salamagne, Olivier Cresp, Honorine Blanc
Top Notes: bergamot, lemon, pear, freesia
Heart Notes: gardenia, orange blossom, solar notes
Base Notes: amber wood, white musk, coffee
The addition of a citrus top note to Black Opium sounds like a good idea, but it ended up feeling a bit weird. A little too fresh and sour, the citrus juxtaposed against a sweet, dense white floral didn’t work well for me here. It might be the pear, too—I have trouble liking pear notes most of the time (Burberry Brit is a huge exception).
YVES SAINT LAURENT
Black Opium Nuit Blanche
2016 | Nathalie Lorson, Marie Salamagne, Olivier Cresp, Honorine Blanc
Top Notes: rice, Bourbon pepper, anise
Heart Notes: jasmine, coffee, peony, coriander
Base Notes: vanilla, sandalwood, musk, caramel, milk
Yummy! This edition, named for the annual art festival, Nuit Blanche, takes what I liked about the original (jasmine, vanilla, licorice, the minimal coffee note I can smell), takes away the stuff I don’t want (patchouli, pink pepper) and adds warm notes like rice, milk, and spices. Basically, this smells like the world’s sweetest rice pudding. The spice could have been amped up, but I’ll live. I ended up buying this one, of course!
Thanks for reading!