The appearance of "Black Opium", in 2015 demonstrates YSL's attempt to reach its youngest consumers, no doubt. The framing of this perfume is intended to meet an ‘underground’ aesthetic that is very popular among younger audiences.
The concept of this perfume is ‘the vice that erodes’, not in the fatalistic sense of expression, but in the very definition of a certain mystique of the more ‘underground’ youth. The motto itself reminds me of the Impressionist painters of the early years of the 20th century who, often rejected to exhibit at the Academy, created the so-called Hall of the Refused. I think it's a little bit of this mystique that the Black Opium tries to appeal.
Before writing this article I tried, very quickly, to read e listen to other critiques about this perfume and saw, from the start, that it doesn’t have a lot of followers. After all, how many followers did Monet, Manet, Van Gogh and Cézanne have in their first years of painting?
The fragrance, the pendulum on which the perfume’s success depends on, constitutes another step forward in the evolution of Oriental Florals, where the Orange Blossom and Jasmin commence a dialogue with Vanilla and Coffee, for example. I confess that I’m an admirer of Oriental Florals because they give a certain sophistication to the women that wear them although, in this case, I didn’t detect a note of coffee (and I love coffee!) and the floral notes seemed very plastic, very synthetic and too ‘loud’.
A very positive opinion on the container as it brings back the imagery of the (…) , like in the original ‘Opium’, and it has a very tridimensional colour which goes wonderfully with the rough coating. The cap is, in my opinion, a true failure, both aesthetically and functionally.
‘Black Opium’ is a good perfume to go out at night, particularly to nights of partying. Women who wear it gain a certain sophistication and a certain tinge of ‘femme fatale’. I don’t recommend it for daily use, family events or formal occasions.
José Cândido | October 2018