Perfume Directory

Y Eau de Parfum (2018)
by Yves Saint Laurent

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Y Eau de Parfum information

Year of Launch2018
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
Not enough ratings.

People and companies

HouseYves Saint Laurent
PerfumerDominique Ropion
Parent CompanyL'Oréal Group > YSL Beaute

About Y Eau de Parfum

A seductive fragrance interpretation of Yves Saint Laurent's iconic white T-shirt and black jacket.

Y Eau de Parfum fragrance notes

Reviews of Y Eau de Parfum

I utterly hated Y by Yves Saint Laurent (2017), as it represented everything that was wrong with the state of masculine designer perfumery. Dominique Ropion has seemingly come back to fix what he broke with Y Eau de Parfum (2018), and although I still think the fragrance is a very phoned-in designer juice, I actually like it now. Wowee.. what a difference a few minor tweaks can make. The thing I hated most about Y by Yves Saint Laurent was the scratchy, itchy, powdery semi-marine 90's fougère top emulating Nautica (1992) or Azzaro Chrome (1996), stretched over a laboratory of aromachemicals and the fashionable ambroxan/norlimbanol base. The smell of this combination felt like a perfume composed in a La-Z-Boy recliner at Dominique Ropion's home, as if he was surfing Netflix while scribbling notes on how to make the fastest buck for the house who commissioned him. The end result to me comes across like the embodiment of every adulteration designer perfume has embraced since the beginning of the 1990's; every sin committed, every cheap cop-out, every stylistic boor, every pastiche cliche of consumerist culture and shopping mall blah since the rise of the aquatic and fresh fougère compounded into one Antichrist of a masculine fragrance, signalling Armageddon on the perfume counters of department stores everywhere. Y by Yves Saint Laurent was so trashy and basic that it should have been a guest on Jerry Springer. We're talking not one, but multiple generations of cost-cutting BS crammed into one anathema de toilette for men. Granted, it's perfectly dialed-in for the brainless "my girlfriend likes it" CISHET upper middle-class American code monkey suburbanite you'll likely find these days in California, Washington, Northern Virginia, and New York, since they have to smell respectable while waiting in line for their Tesla Model 3 reservation to be completed, while their vapid significant others take duckface selfies on Instagram and chat about the latest Real Housewives episodes, but I digress. Y Eau de Parfum is the first real competition the Bleu de Chanel dynasty has had since 2010, and this is in light of all the BdC flankers as well, since all the other "me too" compositions from other houses in the wake of the watershed Chanel masculine have been too contrived, boring, or different in tone to be real contenders.

The things that turn around the cultural and olfactory trainwreck that is Y by Yves Saint Laurent and into something palatable are improvements in tone and texture. Most of the note pyramid is otherwise left alone, but the few key things that made the original so irritating are removed, to be replaced by notes which help the rest of the perfume make more sense, or that's how I see it anyway. Y Eau de Parfum doesn't try to be a crappy new-age aquatic-ish candied amber fresh fougère "everyone please like me" all-in-one generational stopgap focus group hot mess like Y by Yves Saint Laurent. Instead, this draws a line in the sand and leans towards nightclub-friendly "fresh oriental" tones, which opens up a whole new can of worms since a lot of people hate clubber scents, but I'd much rather smell Paco Rabanne 1 Million (2008), Versace Eros (2013), or Azzaro Wanted by Night (2018) over the midlife crisis jus that is Y by Yves Saint Laurent. At least with Y Eau de Parfum, Dominique Ropion focuses the camera lens on one specific purpose, trading out the phoney aldehydes in the bergamot ginger top for apple, which makes the scent instantly more comoforable and inviting for nightlife. The middle sees the sage and geranium of the original rounded out by juniper instead of the shrill violet leaf of the original. The overall effect by the midpoint of the wear is a modern sweetness which is still an acquired taste, but one that doesn't require selling your soul like the original release. By the base, the blue-hued sweetness of Y Eau de Parfum pulls away from any comparisons to the heavy-handed Eros or Wanted by Night since it takes a dialed-down play from the Bleu de Chanel (2010) playbook, which is perhaps the only use of "amberwoods" that has ever truly been accepted by hobbyists, made all the more amusing because it is the first significant use of the accord anyway. If Ropion was emulating the work of Jacques Polge, he did a good job, as cedar, cashmeran, ambroxan, and olibdanum mix with more-traditional fougère elements like tonka, vetiver, and a pinch of oakmoss. Y Eau de Parfum still may not redeem itself in the eyes of niche or vintage zealots, but it's the new pillar release that Y by Yves Saint Laurent should have been, and stands strong as a unique entry in a popular style, rather than previous Frankenstein's monster of aromachemicals encompassing three decades of boring to the point of offensiveness. Wear time will vary but this is over the 10 hour mark and is softer in sillage than the original EdT as well.

Like with Sauvage Eau de Parfum (2018), Y Eau de Parfum atones for the sins of its opportunistic EdT predecessor, while retaining a familiar personality for fans who enjoyed it, but refined into something that has more artistic merit and validity in the greater scheme of perfume history. Fans of Creed or Xerjoff will still hate this, and fans of long-dead overpriced vintage Patou or Gucci masculines will still call this a lapdog of Satan in a bottle, but Y Eau de Parfum at least takes the "amberwoods powerhouse" trope of the 2010's in a more aromatic and pleasant direction. I don't mind aromachemicals if they're blended skillfully into a fragrance, but I don't like it when they assault my nose with impunity and come across like somebody is trying to cast the widest net to reel in the largest haul of suckers. I have to work with those people, and they fog up the bathrooms and elevators enough as it is with over-application, so they can at least wear something that feels friendly and interesting to the nose. People who weren't convinced with Y by Yves Saint Laurent but who dig modern designer styles should give this a sniff, but people who have long since unplugged from the designer realms probably won't find enough here to warrant a revisit, so I'm only pitching this to people who actually like where perfume in this segment has headed over the last 15 years. For anyone falling outside of that circle, you'll at least find Y Eau de Parfum more tolerable than it's precursor EdT, but still not your cup of tea. As for me, it might be a long while before it ends up in the collection, and if it does by the time you read my review, consider me bored enough to have pulled the trigger on it, since buying Y Eau de Parfum is like adding sour cream to a standard Taco Bell taco in a late night food run: it is a significant upgrade, but only satisfies in lieu of better options. For me personally, Y Eau de Parfum is like drinking RC Cola when tired of Pepsi or Coke, which is about where it sits on the priority of usage too, and is barely above board enough for a thumbs up. Test before diving in, especially if you're on the fence about amberwoods freshies, but at least go forward knowing that this actually has some considerable chops, unlike the original Y by Yves Saint Laurent, which I still hate. Again, small tweaks to a formula can make all the difference between good and bad in perfumery.
03rd December, 2018 (last edited: 13th December, 2018)
Opens up very similar to EDT but then starts to get more powdery. A few hours in, the EDT starts to become lighter, airier but the EDP stays true with the same scent and projection. The EDT is still sharper from beginning to end while the EDP is softer, more rounded.

Projection is good for 4-5 hours. Lasts on skin for 7-8 hours.
28th November, 2018

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