Created by perfumer Jean Amic and Jean-Louis Sieuzac of Roure for the Yves Saint Laurent Brand (YSL), Opium Perfume for women is an oriental-spicy perfume that contains a number of spices and fruits as well as a number of floral scents. It contains three notes with the top notes containing fruits such as mandarin orange and plum in combination with spices such as clove, coriander and pepper. The middle notes consist of floral scents from jasmine, rose and lily of the valley in addition to spices such as cinnamon peach and orris roots. The underlying base note is made up of sandalwood, cedar wood, myrrh, patchouli, incense, amber and castoreum among others.


Marketed for the first time in 1977, the name Opium came with a lot of controversy and many people felt that Yves Saint Laurent was encouraging drug use and abuse. There was a group of Chinese Americans who called for the change of the name and demanded for a public apology from the designer as they saw the naming an insensitive gesture to their history as well as their concerns. Instead of diminishing its popularity, the controversy made the perfume more famous and it came to be the best-selling scent.

The Opium perfume was launched at a party held in a ship named Peking that was decorated with an oriental theme consisting of gold, red and purple banners and a thousand-pound bronze Statue of Buddha that was decorated with cattleya orchids. The oriental theme is also seen in the packaging design and the container that holds the perfume as designed by Pierre Dinand. The inspiration of the design came from the small Japanese cases that contained perfumes, herbs and medicines that women wore under the kimono

The other controversy that featured this perfume was the 2000 poster advertising campaign. The poster featured Sophie Dahl- a model- lying on her back and wearing only a pair of stiletto heels, with her legs apart and one of her breast cupped in her hand. Photographed by Steven Meisel the ad was seen in many areas including bus shelters and imprint ads. It created uproar in many places especially the UK where it was considered too sexually aggressive and degradation to women and the British Advertising Standards Authority was requested to withdraw the posters. In Spain the Best Opium Perfume advertisement won an award. Other people said that the advert was extreme and others said the model was depicted as an embalmed cadaver due to her position, whiteness of her skin in contrast to the bright red lipstick.

Opium perfume has become more popular all over the world and it has also been featured in some studies among other perfumes. In 2003, it was used alongside Lilac Perfume Oil, White Musk, Juniper Breeze and Bath $ Body Works in the study of the relationship between scents and memory. Its popularity is attributed to its unique layered scents which have become very difficult to imitate. The imitations of this perfume use the ingredients but does not contain the effective layering of the scents as most of them come with a single odorous scent.

Opium perfume for menIn 1995, the designer, Saint Laurent, launched Opium Perfume for men named Opium Pour Homme. It was created by Jacques Cavallier of Firmenich. It contains two notes; the basic note contains cedar and balam of Tollu while the main note contains a mixture of spices such as vanilla, pepper ginger with blackcurrant, galangal and star anise. Opium Perfume from Yves Saint Laurent is available in a number of stores many people can get them in Opium perfume Gift packs. It is therefore recommended that they go through Opium perfume reviews to get the best Opium perfume Price.

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