How the Mighty Have Fallen – YSL Black Opium Perfume Review

Black Opium - Even the Model Looks Bored

Black Opium – Even the Model Looks Bored

Smelling Black Opium, the latest from YSL, one finds it hard to believe that this fragrance comes from one of the most iconic and innovative designer fragrance brands of all time. Just think about it for a second, Yves Saint Laurent brought the world Opium, Paris and Rive Gauche, arguably three of the most important feminines released in the modern age. Not to forget the fact that they have also created cult classics such as Nu, M7 and Rive Gauche Pour Homme – perfumes that paint YSL as a brand with no fear, and a thirst to be different and divisive.

Black Opium is not an important fragrance, nor is it a particularly good one, and it seems that I’m not the only one to think so. Yesterday, Saint Laurent Paris (the fashion arm of YSL) distributed a press release on behalf of Creative Director, Hedi Slimane that distanced him from any involvement with the fragrance, stating that “no creative direction has been given by Hedi Slimane on the market launches and on the choices of artistic elements, or the definition of image, related to the product lines or the advertising campaigns of Yves Saint Laurent Beauté, including the ones of Black Opium”.  All I can say is ‘ouch’, that’s not a good sign.

With each release, YSL seems to be creating more and more duds (does anyone even remember 2012′s Manifesto? Exactly) whilst simultaneously unleashing a regular wave of flankers of their flagship fragrances. Black Opium is the third permanent flanker to the Opium name since 2010 (the others being Belle d’Opium and Opium Vapeurs de Parfum) and was created by perfumers Honorine Blanc, Olivier Cresp, Nathalie Lorson and Marie Salamagne – a waste of talent, if there ever was one. YSL describe Black Opium as follows:

“2014′s Most Anticipated New Fragrance [..] Black Opium, the new feminine fragrance by Yves Saint Laurent – new glam rock fragrance full of mystery and energy. An addictive gourmand floral.”

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New Escentual Post: Jean Paul Gaultier Classique Intense Review

Classique Intense

Classique Intense

I’m still alive! Due to being away for work this week, I haven’t been able to turn my attention to The Candy Perfume Boy. I assure you that normal service will resume next week, with more reviews and news from the perfume world. Whilst I may not have had time to put together a post for the blog this week, I have still written for my weekly Escentual column, and this week’s subject is the fabulous, glamorous and radiant new fragrance from Jean Paul Gaultier – ‘Classique Intense‘.

This new scent, penned by none other than Francis Kurkdjian, isn’t your typical ‘intense’ version that amps up the heavier notes and makes for a thicker and long-lasting experience. No, this is Classique with the glamour dials turned right up – a radiant floral vanilla that is the shows topping starlet to the original’s backstage boudoir. Between all that glitter and gold lies a beautifully composed fragrance that is a worthy addition to the Classique lineup. Read my review here.

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Smelly News: La Perla to Launch La Perla In Rosa Eau de Parfum

La Perla In Rosa Eau de Parfum

La Perla In Rosa Eau de Parfum

This July, famous intimate wear brand, La Perla will launch 2012′s Le Perla In Rosa, in a new Eau de Parfum concentration. This new version is billed as a heaver interpretation of the original and is described as being a “mischievous new elixir” for the “naturally playful and seductive young woman”. La Perla in Rosa Eau de Parfum will launch exclusively to Harrods on 31 July 2014.

“Delightfully audacious, she is full of life and loving every minute. Slipping into feathery layers of lace and silk. She adores the way the lingerie caresses her skin. She feels pampered, confident and exquisitely feminine. A sensation of pure joy intensified by the radiant bouquet of La Perla in Rosa Eau de Parfum”

- La Perla

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Smelly News: Lalique to Launch Amethyst Éclat

Amethyst Eclat Range

New From Lalique: Amethyst Éclat

This year, the French makers of fine crystal ware and jewellery, Lalique will launch a flanker to their 2007 fragrance ‘Amethyst’. This latest entry into the Lalique fragrance collection is a fruity floral developed by perfumer Nathalie Lorson (also responsible for Amethyst) that comes seven years after the original and intends to capture the bold berries and flowers of Amethyst in a more radiant light. The brand describe the perfume, as follows:

“This new offering draws its inspiration from the bountiful oeuvre of René Lalique by revisiting the peony, often stylised by the artist in elegant Art Deco motifs. It was just beginning to bloom in Amethyst’s berry garden. In Amethyst Éclat, it is in full blossom, radiant and majestic. [...] Amethyst Éclat is a fragrant translation of the boundless creativity of the artist known as the Sculptor of Light.”

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Water, Earth and Sky – Terre d’Hermès Eau Très Fraîche Perfume Review

Terre d'Hermès Eau Très Fraîche

Terre d’Hermès Eau Très Fraîche

I don’t wear masculine fragrances that often but when I do, I like to think that I choose pretty well. One of my all-time favourites is Terre d’Hermès, a glorious olfactory representation of orange-coloured earth created by master perfumer (and Hermès’ nose-in-residence) Jean-Claude Ellena. I’m not the only one to love it either and since its launch way back in 2006 this most modern masculine fragrance has become a cult perfume amongst fragrance lovers and general consumers of the male species alike.

Hermès is a house that is always respectful of its heritage and unlike many brands they have resisted the urge to dilute the Terre d’Hermès signature by releasing flanker-upon-flanker and including the subject of this review they have only revisited the fragrance twice to launch new interpretations, one of which was simply a Parfum concentration. So it’s safe to say that when Hermès do ‘mess’ with their line of fragrances, they do so in a respectful and tasteful manner.

Which leads me nicely on to my subject of today, ‘Terre d’Hermès Eau Très Fraîche’ -the latest fragrance in the Terre d’Hermès lineup and a perfume that is billed as a “new crossing of the elements” where the water, sky and earth all meet. It pays homage to Terre d’Hermès but instead of capturing the idea of dry earth, it intends to create the vision of water springing from the soil in a lighter, more lively and refreshing rendition of Jean-Claude Ellena’s phenomenal and undeniably classic masculine.

“Terre d’Hermès Eau Très Fraîche is a dot above an i. The line is the man on earth, the dot is his spirit. Inseperable.”

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Candy Stripe Couture – Thierry Mugler Angel Eau Sucrée Perfume Review

Angel Eau Sucrée

Angelic Clouds of Spun Sugar

Every summer, the fiercely innovative fashion and fragrance house of Thierry Mugler launches lighter, more ‘heat-friendly’ versions of their popular Angel and Alien fragrances. Usually, these limited editions see Mugler’s celestial beings draped in fruits, flowers or a delightful combination of both. This year however, is a bit different and instead of creating a limited edition summer flanker for Alien, the brand has decided to launch a permanent edition to the collection in the form of Alien Eau Extraordinaire.

This year’s Angel flanker is also a break from tradition and instead of showcasing the brand’s flagship fragrance drenched in floral or fruit waters, Mugler has opted for a summer fragrance that celebrates our dear Angel’s gourmand signature, albeit in a lighter, more dreamy and delicate way. This perfume is called Angel Eau Sucrée and believe me when I say that it is utterly delicious.

Angel Eau Sucrée is described by Thierry Mugler as being “a new ode to indulgence”, and whilst is is instantly recognisable as ‘Angel‘ it most definitely approaches the world’s first oriental gourmand from a different angle – one where the shimmering particles of sugar are evocative of twinkling starlight and the fluffy clouds of whipped meringue are the plushest, most luxurious fabric known to man. If the sweet shops on Planet Mugler all smell this good, then send me into space with a one-way ticket.

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New Escentual Post: Dior Homme Eau for Men Review

Dior Homme Eau for Men

I think it’s no secret that Dior Homme is one of my favourite masculine fragrances and my love for it is possibly due to the fact that it isn’t particularly ‘manly’ in the traditional sense of the word. Using a strong and powdery iris note that is reminiscent of old make up bags, Dior (and more specifically, perfumer Olivier Polge) created a perfume that celebrates the modern man who is in touch with his feminine side. It is nothing short of a masterpiece and easily one of the greatest masculine fragrances of our time.

For 2014, Dior have launched Dior Homme Eau for Men, a lighter and more urban interpretation of the original. What’s interesting about this new Eau de Toilette is that it manages to be lighter in concentration and in character without dumbing down the olfactory profile of its forbearer. If you would like to read my full thoughts on the new launch, please click here to head on over to Escentual. Let me know what you think of the scent whilst you’re there!

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