The Scented Hound

Perfume blog with abbreviated perfume reviews & fragrance reviews.

Vintage Opium Parfum by Yves Saint Laurent


Opium-ParfumWHAT I SMELL:  Opium opens with a spicy bang.  It’s peppered with a sweet honeyed striking bite of cloves and cinnamon with hints of citrus.  It’s almost overwhelming in its richness and depth.  It makes my head swirl with the intoxicating jasmine and dare I say a bit of carnation which is a much hated note by me, but in this case it’s entwined with the other notes and doesn’t dominate. When I hold my arm close to my nose, the peppery spice notes almost burn the insides of my nostrils.  There’s a slight smoky incense like layer on top of the floral spice giving it increasing depth.  Opium is exotic, powerful and in charge.  After a while the cascading full and rounded notes start to even out and Opium becomes dryer with more amber.  At this point, Opium is still a spice bomb, but it ‘s now just a bit sweeter, but this is not sweet by any means.  Opium never calms all the way down but becomes a bit more woody…it wants to be taken notice for hours and that’s just fine with me.

Opium Notes from Fragrantica:

Top notes are coriander, plum, citruses, mandarin orange, pepper, jasmine, cloves, west indian bay and bergamot; middle notes are carnation, sandalwood, patchouli, cinnamon, orris root, peach, lily-of-the-valley and rose; base notes are labdanum, tolu balsam, sandalwood, opoponax, musk, coconut, vanilla, benzoin, vetiver, incense, cedar, myrrh, castoreum and amber.intoxication

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Whoever named this perfume, named it perfectly.  It’s intoxicating and habit-forming and I can’t get enough.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE OPIUM:  mysterious, seductive, passionate

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT OPIUM: Kafkaesque, Perfume Fountain, Yesterday’s Perfume

BOTTOM LINE:  Once again I can point the finger at Kafkasesque for leading me down the eBay path to buy this beauty.  I think I have put some on now for the past 5 days in a row and I continue to fall in love with it.  Now mind you, I think you can find some good deals on the EdT versions on eBay, but the vintage parfum is a bit pricier.  Even though I paid a lot for this love, it was still a relatively good deal at the price I got.  I have done some research and it seems that my version is from somewhere between 1995 and 1999.

  • Bone Rating: 5 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent: Oriental Spicy
  • Nose:  Jean Amic and Jean-Louis Sieuzac
  • Classification: Feminine
  • Review based on vintage parfum
  • Expense:  Varies on eBay

Author: The Scented Hound

Just a normal guy with the nose of a beagle!

24 thoughts on “Vintage Opium Parfum by Yves Saint Laurent

  1. Another vintage? I’m no good at trying vintage, difficult access. Plus it’s a weird feeling when you smell a perfume that is actually twice or three times older than I am. 😛


    • Lucas, I have clearly been bitten my the vintage bug and so far I really haven’t been disappointed in my choices. Given that, I like the fact that perfumes may be older than myself. But in my case, I think the perfumes would probably be long deteriorated! You, not so much 🙂


  2. Kafka and now you have been looking on ebay! Thank you, you awesome enabler 🙂


  3. I’ve recently tried this perfume (the bottle looked like the one on the picture you used) and it smelled… like most vintage perfumes smell for me. I give up and concentrate on modern perfumes. But I’m glad it works for you 🙂


  4. You have no idea how happy you’ve made me, my sweet Mr. Hound. Reading this was the only good thing in a very stressful day. Your appreciation for “My Preciousssssssssssssss” 😉 and the comment about how it really is like an intoxicating, addictive opiate brought me so much joy. I think the EDP version is richer, more ambered and focuses more on the base notes, while the EDT has more of the citrus and florals (at the start, at least), but both are absolutely beautiful. My all-time favorite perfume in the WORLD — always was, always will be. I would like to die with the scent of Opium in my nose.

    Truly, you don’t know how happy you’ve made me. Welcome to the (vintage) Opium Fanatics club! I have to warn you, though, vintage Opium kinda spoils you for everything else….. 😛


    • My dear K. I am a sucker for your recommendations as you have now noticed. So to be fair to me, please stop recommending perfumes…or at least vintage perfumes. So far you have been spot on with recommendations except for one meh….Parfum d’Hermes which is OK and it very much reminds me of the 1980s. My wallet is now empty so I beg you to have a heart. I’ll sit back and luxuriate in my Opium and let the world go by! xoxoxoxoxo Steve


  5. Wow! 5 out of 5. You’re on a streak! AND, you went straight for the parfum. Congrats on another great vintage perfume buy!


    • It’s vintage Opium. NATURALLY, it gets a 5 out of 5!! *grin* 😉 😛


      • K – I think that YSL needs to hire you for promotional work 🙂


        • Heh. I would have offered my services for free to old YSL. New L’Oreal-destroyed/owned YSL can go suck an egg! Pfffffffffffffffffft! L’Oreal has destroyed one of my favorite perfume houses. (Old Vintage Rive Gauche was quite something and I’ll soon write about my Go-To Happy perfume, also from YSL and also now destroyed to the point of being totally discontinued.)

          I think I may need a therapist to deal with my anger, loss, and betrayal issues when it comes to YSL. 😉 😛


    • Thanks H. This one is a stunner. I think between Opium and Ysatis I was meant to be Linda Evans in the 1980s. I love these bigger than life power bombs from the past for sure!


  6. Lovely review – I have samples of “Opium throughout the ages” too 😛 Both my parents wore Opium so I don’t think I’d ever wear it – the warm cloves are a bit of a no-no for me too but glad it works so well for you ❤ You vintage fiend you!
    Still waiting to read some reviews on the goodies I sent you 😉


    • Dear Freddie – I have just started to go through the samples. I have to say that Miriam did not work for me at all and I won’t be writing about my experience. That was a bit disappointing since you know how much I like the vintages!


      • Aw that sucks Houndy 😦 Least you didn’t go blind buying a bottle of that! Miriam is a dream for me – I wear it when I don’t know what to wear but want to feel really good, it’s always my safe back up if I’m in a rush. What happened with it to you? Any success with M/Mink? 😛 Can’t remember what else I sent you 😦


  7. how does one open this bottle? I have a 30 ML that i cannot figure out how to open.


    • Juan, does the bottle look like the one in my post? Sometimes on the vintage bottles, the tops can get stuck. If you google vintage bottle top sticking you should find some helpful hints on getting stuck bottles open. Good luck!


  8. I’ve fallen so, so hard. I’m definitely a VIP member of the Opium fanatics club. I must have around 50 bottles of modern perfume, but Opium has spoiled them all. Damn. So far I own two 100ml tall glass EdTs from the early ’90s (Sanofi), a 15ml parfum from 1981, a 7.5 ml from 1988, a full 60ml EdT splash from 1980, a partial 60ml from 1989, and, the grand matriarch, a 4-ounce EdT splash from 1979 with 22k gold lettering. And here I am, still looking on eBay for more. I can’t help myself, my willpower is nonexistent when it comes to my beautiful Opium. God, I love her. I have an Opium hoarding problem, and I”m not ashamed!


    • I love that you admit to being an Opium hoarder. We all have that one perfume that sends us over the edge! For me it’s Guerlain’s Vol de Nuit. Spend on Ms. Opium lover!! You have great taste.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s