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Latest Articles - Luxury

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Opium by Yves Saint Laurent – the Legendary Fragrance

Thursday, 03 March 2011

Yves Saint Laurent opiumOpium by Yves Saint Laurent comes as one of the most scandalous perfume in the world of haute couture. They appeared first to shock the public and those who launched the scent were accused of promoting drugs. And yet, what made Opium by Yves Saint Laurent so popular and demanded? The aroma? The name or the reputation of the couturier?

History of fragrance

Opium by Yves Saint Laurent got the fame for the reason so clear when the maestro created the fragrant quintessence of that time which came as the eclectic symbiosis of the aggressive punk subculture with the typical sugariness and affectation of the glamorous life of 70s. That was the time of the flamboyant shocking behavior, outspoken sexual appeal, hard punk music and liking for drugs. And therefore the name of the fragrance was too more triumphant since it was associated with the intoxicating sweet aroma of the same drug. This similarity caused serious claims with the Chinese who considered the fragrance being the immediate insulting action against their national history related to the tragic facts resulted in the unrestrained supply of the narcotic opium by the British and American natives and to the territory of China.


Initially the idea to launch the fragrance called the Opium did not evoke positive emotions with investors. However, the logic and scrupulous approach Yves Saint Laurent applied to solve the issue convinced those who hesitated that the project was promising and worth investments. Scandalous and extravagant as ever, couturier suggested using the special approach to promote the fragrance. Four samples of the fragrance were offered to independent and fastidious judges to judge and choose the best.

The result was stunning when all of them unanimously chose Opium as the best scent among others. PR-action is like walking a tightrope when you slip and you risk falling into the ocean of platitude and vulgar taste, though Yves Saint Laurent exactly and masterly walked on the blade demonstrating the skills of the couturier of genius. A good advertising campaign based upon the provocative name, scandalous video, unique and bright scent with the special bottle all brought the fame from the launching day to break the records. The success wastriumphing.

Unusual deign

Pierre Dinand designed the bottle for Opium inspired by the Japanese Inro box to expressthe specific aroma. The Inro box was used to keep medications and personal stamp made from leather, wood, paper and glazed. The Inro box was incredibly beautiful decorated with gold, glaze and incrusted with gems, to be the object of pride and symbol of perfect taste of the owner.

The color of the bottle, the package, pattern from the leaves of bear's-breech to resemble the lacquered tiny Japanese trunks. The leaves of this plant has the other meaning as well when during antique times they were the symbol of triumph and negotiation of life tests, while at the Mediterranean territory it symbolized life, immortality and fine art. So, the design of Opium fragrance is full of special meaning.

The last stroke in the significant and concordant design of this fragrance is the small bead tying the silk threads. The zest of this is that it is like the poppy fruit case where opium is acquired.

The core of fragrance

The fragrance falls into the category of specious and woody scents. The scent is intoxicating to open the fragrance. Top notes show the cheerful orange and laurel tree leaves, treated with aldehydes strongly enough (these fragrances are known for the highest concentration of alcohol) to end with the burning aroma of the cayenne creating incredibly new blend of scents.

The heart notes of tender cove pink, luxury roses, flamboyant jasmine, ylang-ylang known as the good aphrodisiac, subtle peach flavored with the spicy notes of cinnamon to add the savory accord to the scent. All of them are blended together highlighting and contrasting with each other. Basic notes are the wonderful sweet and heavy luxurious aromas of vanilla, patchouli, sandal wood, balsamic musk and amber to give the tenderness and warmth and accentuating the floral nuances. Many of these components have relaxing effect and may evoke some erotic desire sometimes. So, the essence of patchouli can work against sexual impotence and frigidity. The musk being one of the incredible aromas adds more sensitivity and warmth to the fragrance to cry with some animal instincts.

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