I secretly love when the days start to get shorter and the air gets cooler. Our wardobes get heavier and fragrances go from light and airy to heavy and mysterious. If I’m feeling especially autumnal I’ll opt for a spicy fragrance and when it comes to spice Opium by Yves Saint Laurent is queen.
Opium is pure incense; I feel as though I somehow managed to liquefy my favorite incense sticks and from them came Opium. It is not a safe or crowd-pleasing fragrance. There are those who hate it and those who adore it. It’s blend of florals, spices, and woods is not for the shy.
To say Opium is a cool-weather fragrance is an understatement. Picture the height of autumn or dead of winter, a wool sweater or dark silk dress. Wearing Opium in the summer is almost laughable. I think I’d gag if I tried wearing this in July. As luxurious as it can be in winter, it can be equally revolting and an assault to the senses if not worn appropriately. The spice and woods do not remind me of Christmas candles, wood fire or anything synonymous with a holiday. Instead imagine a damp and quiet church where incense has just been snuffed out and left alone to die in its own richness.
As for versions of Opium there are those who nostalgically recall the original and dislike the latest reincarnation while others are content with its current state. My version, a relatively new eau de toilette, is from a batch made in 2013.
Notes in Opium include tangerine, plum, cloves, coriander, carnation, Lily of the Valley, rose, myrrh, opoponax, castoreum, cedarwood, and sandalwood. Depending on your nose some notes my be more pronounced than others. Still, Opium is an Oriental fragrance whose presence pulsates.
Opium is available at Sephora and The Bay