Beauty Without Fuss

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

YSL Black Opium Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette and Nuit Blanche editions

YSL Black Opium Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette and Nuit Blanche editions Get Lippie 20161120
l-r Eau de Parfum (black glitter), Eau de Toilette (copper glitter), Nuit Blanche (white glitter)
Recovering from a disabled sense of smell, particularly a sense of smell that has been distorted, can be a tricky business. And, as a writer with a particular interest in fragrance, it makes life even more complicated, because sometimes I find I either can't smell a particular ingredient in a fragrance at all, or another ingredient will set off a parosmic reaction, and then I can't smell anything else in the fragrance whatsoever.  So writing perfume reviews is trickier for me than it ever was these days,  as I can't always be sure that what I register as a smell is literally what I'm sniffing, or  if it's just something that my smell-damaged brain is registering as a smell, in order to fill in some scented gaps.  Stay with me, it'll make sense in a minute why I'm mentioning this in a minute, I promise.

YSL Black Opium in particular is tricky for me, because the central ingredient in the fragrance - of whatever edition - is coffee.  And it just so happens that one of my most troublesome smells is coffee.  Back in the heady days before dysosmia struck, I loved the smell of coffee (I could take or leave drinking it though), its rich darkness and instantly recognisable savour was a delight.  During the worst of my parosmic days though, just the smell of someone putting a cup of coffee on their desk would cause me a whole world of distorted horror, and I'd occasionally have to excuse myself to go puke in the loos before I could continue working.  My reactions to coffee smells these days are much less dramatic however, and I can actually drink the occasional cup of coffee now, but I've discovered that I no longer register the smell of it.

All of which is a very long way of explaining that I can't smell the YSL Black Opium Eau de Parfum edition at all.  On paper, the fragrance might as well not exist, and on skin I just get a faint hit of celery, so if you want a "proper" review of the Eau de Parfum edition, this probably isn't the blog post for you. Sorry.  However, I can smell the freshness inherent in the Eau de Toilette edition of Black Opium quite well, and it's rather lovely, but I lack the ability to smell the whole thing with the coffeeness added in.  There's a fair bit of citrus up top, with some jasmine and musks and just a hint of orange blossom, which makes this a very easy wear, if not the most complicated fragrance you've ever tried.

Black Opium Nuit Blanche, however, I find the most interesting of the three, opening as it does with creamy almond, almost marzipan-like top notes, making this more of a frothy cappuccino than the "espresso" of the original.  There's some orange blossom there too, lending a silky greeness to the crreamy nuts, and there's a milky-caramel accord too.  Altogether, this is far more gourmand than the other two, and it's probably the only one of the range that I'd consider wearing on a regular basis. Despite the lack of coffee, I like it, and I LOVE the bottles of the whole range.

I do just wonder what they smell like to other people?  It's a lonely life having a nose with brain-damage, you know.

The Fine Print: PR samples

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