Fragrance review: YSL Black Opium EDP

I’ve never been an Opium fan. I find it a bit too spicy but, more than anything, kind of musty. It’s just not my bag. Many of the subsequent interpretations, however, have been lovely. The sheer citrus and warm vanilla concoction that is Vapeurs de Parfum is one of my favourites and you can check out my review over here.

The most recent Opium spin-off is a sexy little thing called Black Opium Eau de Parfum.

Opium Black - how much do we love the black glitter bottle?
How much do we love the black glitter bottle?

Brit model Edie Campbell is the face and the vibe it’s going for is ‘dark, devil-may-care rock chick’.

Edie Campbell for YSL Opium Black.
Edie Campbell for YSL Opium Black.

FYI, the moment I saw this pic, I was all ‘Oh, looky, looky! It’s my friend Tracy in a black wig!’


Aside from being a Hottie MacHottie and my favourite person to hit up Ocean Basket with (fried haloumi top ups and creamy feta all the way, bietse!) Trace also has her own tres mooi lifestyle, fashion and beauty blog, Tales of the Fashion Fox. On twitter she’s @TheFashionFox.

But ja. Let’s get back to Black Opium… Seeing the campaign, you’d expect a deep, smoky scent steeped in mystery – the kind of scent that Kesha chica, the gal who brushes her teeth with a bottle of Jack, would wear. But, as it turns out, it’s a sweet, chocolately hug from a labrador puppy. Because of this, many original Opium fans are up in arms and consider the scent an abomination of sorts. But for me, the girl who rather likes gourmand (but not too sweet), comforting scents, especially in bleh, overcast, jersey ‘n boots weather, it’s absolutely awesome.

Officially, the notes are as follows: pink pepper, orange blossom and pear up top and a heart of coffee (yum!) and jasmine resting on a bed of vanilla, patchouli and cedar. To me, however, I get a fresh burst of sweet orange blossom soon followed by jasmine, vanilla-patchouli, marshmallow and the teensiest bit of coffee.

In a way, it reminds me a lot of Lancome’s La Vie Est Belle and, as it turns out, they share a lot of the same notes. It also makes me think of something Lush would make and we all know I’m a total slet for their stuff. For me, it’s a great night-time/cold weather fragrance when you’re feeling a little bit flirty. I also like that it smells ‘expensive’. Like I could see my German friend’s uber glamourous, ex-model mom who dresses the teensiest bit too young for her age but gets away with it ‘cos she’s a total MILF and has that whole permanently tanned and gelished, drowning in Versace, Real Housewive’s thing going on. I realise this sounds utterly dreadful but I really do mean it as a compliment. My college friends and I all aspired to grow up to be Caroline’s mom.

Anyway, to wrap things up, I’m not really all that young anymore. I don’t have a tongue ring or lie in bed listening to vintage Daft Punk while smoking. I don’t wear smudged black eye liner and date angsty, tatted up boys who play the drums. (They simply don’t earn enough money to put my kids through Reddam. Sorry darlings!) In short, I’m not the least bit ‘rock chick’. But to me, that’s not who Black Opium really is. And I really, really like it. A lot.

If you’re interested, please do give it a sniff and let me know your thoughts. It’s in store now going for R695 for 30mls.

Love, love


2 thoughts on “Fragrance review: YSL Black Opium EDP

  1. love it! i’m wearing the tester i received in my nov. month glamour mag today. it is definitely going on my xmas wish list

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