Perfume Directory

Y (1964)
by Yves Saint Laurent


Y information

Year of Launch1964
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 180 votes)

People and companies

HouseYves Saint Laurent
PerfumerJean Amic
PackagingPierre Dinand
Parent CompanyL'Oréal Group > YSL Beaute
Parent Company at launchCharles of the Ritz Group

About Y

Y is a feminine perfume by Yves Saint Laurent. The scent was launched in 1964 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Jean Amic. The bottle was designed by Pierre Dinand

Y fragrance notes

Reviews of Y

1978 Extrait?

This goes on oily and has the skin glisten.

This is a BIG, Feminine Chypre. A plethora of Floral notes.
A blast of Galbanum and Fine Quality Citrus pumps into a dramatic Aldehydic Cloud opening. A powerful Bouquet is sweetened by Honey and countered with the slight acidity of Peach.
Support is provided by an extraordinary composition of Amber,Patch and Civet folded into Golden Benzoin.
Oakmoss creams it with a slight savoury and billow which dimensionalizes this into the dramatic. Powdery goodness in the end.
I am sure that Armani looked back at this while developing his first Feminine.
In Y's brush strokes I can see Yves Saint Laurent signature in the later 1971 Rive Gauche.
Recommended in Vintage, surely.
11th December, 2017
I forget how many zillion perfume releases there are in this decade, they seem inconsequential to someone of my age. Growing up we had benevolent dictators in our egalitarian society, they decided just how many perfumes, lipsticks and fine fabrics came into the country. It was all to do with having 'overseas funds' and our trading relationship was with Britain, good old blighty, the place where nearly all our Grandparents lived. There was a large degree of socialist sameness and women wore Tweed, Chanel No 5, and Y.
The only Guerlain I knew was Shalimar but back then I had no idea that Guerlain was a tapestry of living history; I knew who Yves St Laurent was and I think I've had a bottle of Y kicking around in some form since the late sixties. It smells familiar to me, I almost expect to see the smoke swirling around in a cinema. Is that what Cinema was supposed to represent? Scenting my person with Y makes me want to lay a length of fabric out, pin the pattern on the cross, (remembering to match any pattern) french the seams, iron it up, put it together, sew a waistband on the skirt, put the zip in, hem and go out to a dance. Like YSL, those days are gone. Makes you think though, about politics and tariffs and free trade...and perfume
17th July, 2016
Hot weather staple. When I wear this, it's like a phantom Mitsouko for those tiresome months when it's too hot to wear Mitsouko, even though I really, really want to. After a few hours, when the green opening notes of galbanum and honeysuckle have died down a little, and the peach, florals and chypre base are coming through, I'll get a waft that my brain interprets as Mitsy EdT from a distance.
24th October, 2015
Again Barbara Herman hit the nail on the head, describing this as "summer in a bottle." It is a floral fruit concoction with honey to sweeten it and a "mossy, creamy dry down."

The honeysuckle, supported by actual honey, and the peach make it bright and sunny. The large amount of hyacinth and jasmine in the heart notes accentuates the fresh, springlike overall aspect of the scent.

Unique in its lightness, because it stays. Most light scents disappear in half an hour simply due to the small amount of essential oils used. Y does not disappoint.

For me it is the counterpoint to Jacomo's Silences for summer wear - unisex.

Turin gave it four stars deservedly, but deemed it a green chypre (???).

Top notes: Peach, Galbanum, Honey, Honeysuckle
Heart notes: Rose, Jasmine, Hyacinth, Orris, Ylang
Base notes: Oakmoss, Amber, Patchouli, Civet, Vetiver, Benzoin

One of YSL's best creations and quite unique.
27th September, 2014
Genre: Chypre

You know there’s one serious floral chypre coming the minute Y’s crisp, dry, green rose and hyacinth top notes reach your nose. The central floral arrangement fills out with narcissus – also green – and a vetiver-patchouli accord that accentuates the woody aspects of both ingredients.

Woody-green rose remains the dominant theme in a composition that’s more hard-edged, piercing, and emphatically floral than later genre entries Chamade and Givenchy III. In fact, I think Y is even more coldly aloof than Chanel No. 19. A sustained bugle call of bitter aldehydes accounts for much of this impression, but I pick up plenty of galbanum, too, whether the published pyramid acknowledges it or not. The iris isn’t obvious at all until the drydown, where it contributes to the much softer texture and warmer mood that emerge in the wake of the subsiding aldehydes and green floral notes.

After two or three hours on the skin the ingredients and structural cues shared between Y, Givenchy III, and Chamade, along with No. 19, Silences, and Yendi, become increasingly obvious. But while the Givenchy, Chanel, and Guerlain all smell timeless today, Y smells of another time – and not necessarily it’s own. Perhaps it’s the unflinchingly serious demeanor, or maybe all those aldehydes, but Y feels more like 1954 than 1964 to me. It’s certainly “perfumey” in that classical manner that’s as likely to repel as appeal, depending on the wearer’s tastes. I prefer the shy smile of Chamade, the earthiness of Givenchy III, or the spring-tinted optimism of Yendi and Silences to Y’s poker faced expression, but I still credit Y for having very possibly paved the way for all of them.
09th July, 2014
kewart Show all reviews
United Kingdom
I have a bottle of vintage "Y" and find it one of the most versatile scents
in my collection. It has my name written all over it - a shape-shifting beauty
with gorgeous top notes and a subtle, mossy, powdery dry down, that lingers for
hours. "Y" is a well-behaved, elegant perfume that everyone should sniff at least
once. If she doesn't suit you, send her to me!
13th December, 2013

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