The Scented Hound

Perfume blog with abbreviated perfume reviews & fragrance reviews.

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Vintage Y by Yves Saint Laurent

A couple of weeks ago I was going through my perfumes and I found a vintage gem that for some reason had been hidden within a box; a small 15 ml bottle of Y parfum extrait which I believe is from the late 60s or early 70s.  Funny thing is that the same day that I found this little prize, Portia dropped a post on Undina’s Looking Glass about the same perfume.  Obviously the perfumed gods were trying to tell me to do a review of this vintage chypre.

WHAT I SMELL:  Y opens with a warmed honeyed galbanum layered with a dried woody vetiver and a hint of peach.  The perfume goes on strong, but then settles into a much quieter mix of slightly soured florals that are rich, deep and wonderfully intoxicating.  Y means business, serious business as there’s nothing soft or demure about the perfume.  Instead, it wears like a tweed if it’s been tinged with just a bit of dew bringing out the smell of the wool.  As it continues to develop the oakmoss comes forth front and center surrounded by an ambered hue.  In the end, the perfume settles into a lovely amber surrounded by soft florals.  Y is perfect for cool fall nights when you want to leave a trail of deliciousness behind you as you get swept up in the cool air.  Y doesn’t develop as much as it stakes its claim in being solidly beautiful.

Y Notes from Fragrantica:

  • Top: Aldehydes, Green Notes, Galbanum, Honeysuckle, Gardenia, Peach, Mirabelle Plum
  • Heart: Hyacinth, Orris Root, Ylang-Ylang, Jasmine, Tuberose, Bulgarian Rose
  • Base: Oakmoss, Civet, Vetiver, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Benzoin, Styrax

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Tweed via the 1970s.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE Y:  secure, no-nonsense, solitary

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT Y:  Undina’s Looking Glass, Bois de Jasmin

BOTTOM LINE:  Y is a beautiful perfume, but not one that reaches out to me for a regular wear.  Albeit being warm and posh, to me it feels a bit aloof and removed.  I find that with most vintage perfumes I prefer them to be comfort scents and Y just doesn’t quite fit that bill.  Of course, summer is wrapping up, and I might find that it’s just the right fit come October!

  • Bone Rating: 4 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent: Chypre
  • Nose:  Michael Hy
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense:  Varies on eBay, review based on parfum extrait


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