Reviews of Paris by Yves Saint Laurent

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    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Paris opens as a pleasantly peculiar, almost odd chypre, quite herbal and stuffed with flowers but at the same time with a pungent, slightly skanky base, then sandalwood, resins, heliotrope, patchouli and "something" weird I can not isolate, a sort of camphoraceous feel quite humid and heavy which creates a dissonance in the blend that reminds me of Héritage by Guerlain. As minutes pass it then becomes more "balanced" and familiar, a floral-herbal chypre with a waxy-powdery side of orris root and violet on soft resinous woods - which in turn, after one hour or so again turns towards a bolder soapy-powdery mix, with a remarkable presence of tonka, cardamom and vanilla, and a light fresher breeze of flowers and herbs, "colouring" this creamy gourmand concoction. Finally, the drydown is more dry than one may expect, with flowers blossoming out again and aldehydes providing their signature's metallic-salty feel – however, it's globally and elegant, discreet and long lasting drydown. Overall a nice, fascinating scent, initially soft and elusive with a warm and creamy personality, not that sophisticated - on the contrary, it starts more like a lively, young, cozy and friendly scent, with a light and "urban" elegance underneath; then it becomes more and more mature, austere, feminine and sensual, with shades arising all over and all notes getting denser and spicier, and finally, like a dawn, it opens on a luminous, radiant and sophisticated drydown. Quite a complex but masterfully played evolution, a really modern scent, ironic and understated, but still with something I do not like entirely (perhaps it's "too much" complex to the point of smelling a bit confused at some points). However, surely worth a try.

    8/10

    09 September, 2014

    Way Off Scenter's avatar

    United States United States

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    Genre: Floral

    Paris: As in “The Rose That Ate…”

    I once described Etsée Lauder’s Knowing as “a rose so big that a family of four could take up residence inside it and still have room to entertain.” If you dropped the rose they used to make Paris on your foot, you’d wind up in the emergency room.

    Sure, it’s larger than life, but Paris achieves the perfect balance between the fruity, liqueur-like quality of rose and the mossy bitterness of a green chypre. It stands with Estée Lauder’s Knowing at the apogee of the late twentieth century rose chypre cycle, and to my mind represents one of Sophia Grojsman’s most assured and brilliant compositions. Calyx, 100% Love, and White Linen may be more strikingly original, but none attain the poise and proportion of Paris.

    That said, the sheer scale of Paris makes it very hard to wear today. Like Giorgio, Opium, Amarige, and Poison, Paris can feel more like a period piece than a living fragrance. The scale and the degree of artifice they embody is no longer fashionable, or even socially acceptable in some circles. Wearing them is the olfactory equivalent of driving around in an enormous, pink vintage 1950s Cadillac with tailfins or walking daylit city streets in a floor length ermine hooded cape. Good for Lady Gaga, or Dame Edna maybe, but not for everyone.

    23 June, 2014

    thankssixx's avatar



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    review by thanks sixx

    After reading Chandler Burr's book, "The Perfect Scent," where he gives a wonderful nod to YSL's " Paris", I had to buy it, to try it again. I came of age in the 80's, and remember Paris well. Everyone back then loved it, everyone wore it. It was the perfume equivalent of the band Van Halen. Have you ever heard of anyone "not" liking Van Halen? Likewise, no one I knew "didn't like" Paris. It was a fragrance mainstay of the day.

    Clean rose, a smudge of violet, shimmery green to lighten the mix. A big floral, but not overpowering....enough to let you know she is there, and will not be ignored. But not enough sillage to offend anyone.

    A lady can wear Paris when she is relaxing, feeling casual, enjoying some freedom in her day, and just wants to smell pretty. No agenda, no ego to boost. It is Saturday....put on your favorite jeans and cashmere sweater and drink wine by the fireplace with your beau. Deciding to go out to dinner? Then change into a lovely long black skirt with a silk bodice, and you don't need to change your perfume.

    Paris will fit the bill.

    I received my bottle of EDP from Neiman Marcus tonight, and eagerly sprayed it on my inner wrists, the crook of my arms..........

    Delightfully, Paris still smells as I remember......I don't think any major reformulations have been done.

    Paris is still the clean, pink rose, green leafy scent I remember.

    It is probably more appropriate for spring and summer, but as a light spritz can be worn at the office, any time.

    I don't think you can go wrong with Paris (unless you do not like florals). YSL has a formula that delights those who are fans, but manages not to alienate those who are indifferent.

    Paris has stood the test of time, in a classy, quiet way. Nice to know she is still out there....

    19 October, 2013

    Cricketkitty's avatar



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    I little too girlie for me. It is a light, sweet, extremely rose and floral scent, that on me smelled the same from start to finish. There is nothing objectionable about this fragrance--after all in the mid 80s we all owned a bottle of it--but its just too little girlie and "pink" for me now.

    Good fragrance for tweens.

    09 September, 2012

    sallyb21's avatar



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    Lovely if you love roses and florals. Beautiful long lasting fragrance. Been a favourite of mine since 1983.

    24 August, 2012

    emelle's avatar



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    this perfume is very clean and full of roses. it is very long lasting. i like it very much.

    03 July, 2012

    Zut's avatar



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    I vividly remember the day when Paris was launched in 1983. In every perfume store, they gave away scented red feathers. This fragrance was an acquired taste for me, though. At first, I was almost repelled by the overwhelming rose note and the aggressive alcohol vapors. Also, back in the early 80's, flowery perfumes were a little passé and Paris seemed a little anachronistic. Paris is a fragrance you have to try on. Merely sampling it on a blotter can be deceiving. Over the years, I ran into quite a few women who wore Paris with great elegance and I began to appreciate this original and delicate fragrance. If there were green roses, I imagine they would have a fragrance similar to Paris. Fresh, fruity, green, chic and feminine, this is how I would describe Paris.

    04 March, 2012

    Leilahdancer's avatar

    United States United States

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    Sweet soapy rose with very romantic, "girlie" feel. Not bad, but not my style.

    Would be great if lightly applied on a young girl.

    03 March, 2012

    daysgoneby's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Simply gorgeous, I've always loved this from the very first moment. Although, in my view, it suits the younger ladies far better and is quite perfect with the "little black dress". For me it's got some quite "tarty" notes in there somewhere so i'd describe it as flirtaceous. I've never known it fail to make a good impression, as it seems to suit most skin with an aura of projection sufficient to ruin any wine tasting but never so overpowering as to make people want to open windows. It’s equally good behind the ears and on the wrists. Sillage is whimsical and enticing. In brief, a “man magnet”. Beware, this fragrance combination might seem absurd, on anyone with a few extra pounds, it simply doesn’t have enough basement wood or patchouli to balance the childishness of the wonderful florals, and the violet floral is so delightfully delicate, rather than blousy or musky, the violettes dance across with all the high notes and not the middle. If you’re 40+ then perhaps you should please pass it on to your daughter or favourite niece, or buy them some for Christmas?

    10th December, 2011

    Demeter's avatar

    United States United States

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    A beautiful rosa canina and powder scent that is a bit vulgar at first, but mellows considerably upon drydown. Very feminine, not overwhelming (if applied with a light hand), clean and uplifting. I own this as EDP & parfum. I prefer the parfum as there is no initial vulgarity to the scent. It's more subtle, too, but lasts longer. The body powder & lotion are also lovely - I do not normally care for perfumed lotions or powders, but these smell true to scent. For me, the ultimate springtime scent.

    26 September, 2011

    jtd's avatar

    United States United States

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    One of the few perfumes that is 80’s in style, size and exuberance but can still be worn today without irony. It’s a cartoon-like rose with candied violet. A bit shrieky up top, but fortunately by the heartnotes the rose grows citric and astringent, lending a sweet/tart quality to the accord. Paris has a crystalline quality similar to Guerlain’s Nahema, but is far less dense and juicy than Nahema. Paris gains a woody, musky quality in drydown, but remains true to the artifice and exaggeration of its era and is proudly an 80’s Huge Floral.

    08 July, 2011 (Last Edited: 29 September, 2011)

    blood-orange's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    This is one loud rose fragrance that I do enjoy greatly.

    As a child I always preferred the scent of the Black Madonna rose to any other rose in my Mother's garden. It had such a rich, distinctive smell that has been so well emulated through Paris.

    This fragrance opens with rich, (and in some ways harsh) rose, gernanium, green notes and what seems to be aldehydes. There is a definite soapy/powdery quality throughout the composition which I find rather alluring.

    Just looking at the adverts, I can't say that Paris is particularly sexy or seductive. I'd say forget the sexual aspect and focus on the romantic and classic feel of the scent. This is romantic, candle-lit dinners in a restaurant with a view of the Eiffel Tower, not a clothes-tearing, extremely urgent romp, beneath red satin sheets in a sleazy motel.

    I also find this scent to be quite fresh, almost something that I could imagine wearing during the heat of Summer, despite the scent being quite strong. For me, Paris sparkles with vitality and commands attention.

    The lasting strength is absolutely amazing. Even showering doesn't completely rid oneself of this potent fragrance.

    To some this will seem out-dated, far too strong and 'nightmarish', however I do have hope that some will appreciate this fragrance like I have.

    26 June, 2011

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    This olfactory tribute to the parisian way of life is a classical aldehydic floral-chypre with a woody powdery dry down. As well as many others notice, at the beginning i don't detect a prominent rose but a starring aldehydic violet. The latter indeed is mainly notable in the first part of development when waves freshly musky in the wind on the side of sophisticated (vaguely earthy) iris and delicate jasmine. The following rose is slightly old fashioned in its link with initial angular hesperides and is tenacious cause contributes to build the powdery and restrained in sweetness dry down where the link of rose-musk-sandalwood-iris exudes a sort of talky, "organic", somewhat opaque final whiff.

    11th June, 2011 (Last Edited: 22 July, 2014)

    bluemlein's avatar



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    it's a good thing that i like ysl's paris, because i was given more than a dozen and a half little bottles of the extrait, most of which continue to reside in my perfume armoire, prim in their little salmony-rose boxes and their fat rhinestone heads.

    when testing perfumes i always try to sample the actual perfume, as something in many edps refuses to anchor itself to my skin. so most of what i have is extrait and that might account for the fact that when i read many of the reviews i just shake my head and ask what it is that the reviewer is smelling??? so that, when i read "chemical and strident" or "hot clubber" i really want to know whether it was the extrait that was tested. we all know that there's an ocean between edt and lotion, edp and edt, and a universe between the eaux and the extraits of most serious, well-thought-out perfumes.

    paris opens - on me at least - like a large bowl full of violet and rose l'abbaye de flavigny drops which, while sugary, are authoritatively flavoured and have a heart of anise, so - not cloying. it goes from there into the stratosphere with lightly tripping flowers and, like an emphatic underline via a broad nib, just enough of the "animalic" to keep it from floating into the wild blue yonder.

    17 May, 2011

    Silmaril's avatar

    Serbia Serbia

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    I really wanted to love Paris. All these comments made my expectations high, but on my skin, this flowery monster turn out to be boring, faint floral. Twin sister of boring Bulgari Voile de jasmin. No rose, no violet, just some boring white flowers:( Longevity cca 1,5 h?!? Silage - none. Unbelievable... I'll have to try another bottle, I just can't believe that we're talking about same Paris...

    21st April, 2011

    Weimar27's avatar

    United States United States

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    A Tale of the Parisian Sisters Y.S.L Paris & Dior Diorissimo both French and exudes Glamor yet very
    different like Night and Day; Paris is a bold
    gregarious Sister nothing is quiet about her everything
    from the notes Of Paris is big The opening packs a punch
    from the Sweetish mimose bright greens Roses hyacinths
    to the fiery Sandalwood finishing she'll demands your
    attention and wont let go; She also has a lot of personas She's a hot clubber on the dancefloor seducing
    all the guys amid her path A top corporate raider who
    has everyone under her thumb Or a Diva who needs to be
    a center of attention.

    Diorissimo a reserved sister of Paris prim & proper
    and modesty is her aura Simple and Elegant she doesn't
    need a thousand floral notes nor Hot deep incense to be notice
    just a few fresh Lilies green notes and Bergamot ,
    Her Persona include being a Ballerina plus a housewife and mother
    she rather work
    behind the scenes then being center stage;
    If Y.S.L Paris is the fiery part of Parisian Elegance
    so Diorissimo is the Ice.



    05 April, 2011

    sophulla's avatar

    Germany Germany

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    I think, in the Eighties, for young girls with romantic ambitions, it was difficult to escape the fascination of "Paris", even if, in reality, it was too strong, too much "Madame" for us...
    I still think it was ('was' because I am speaking of the original version) a very original and distinct scent, with a quite fizzy, capricious floweriness. But it is not any more for me...

    25 March, 2011

    mikey_p's avatar



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    I must admit that I have a slight problem with Sophia Grojsman's work. Whilst her compositions ofter work rather well, they all seem to share a rather chemical and strident nature. Paris is no exception starting off with a blast of violets and a rose that is so sweet and cloying that i feel like i need to step out for air. Even when she is allowed a much larger budget than usual, as she probably had for frederic Malle, she produced Outrageous!, as chemical and cheap as any of her previous offerings. Sorry, no can do.

    25 January, 2011

    MOONB's avatar

    United States United States

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    Paris is an old-fashioned violet and rose perfume for women, with some potential on the right man. The blending is superb, there are powdery notes, enlivened by aldehydic action off the top, and a supremely abstract red rose blowing through the middle like a breeze through an indoor Parisian cafe. In fact, the whole fragrance is of this, the way air smells after it wafts and collects everyone's perfume. The only thing missing is cigarette smoke. Paris is likable, retro, and alluring. It's time it made a comeback.

    25 December, 2010 (Last Edited: 04 January, 2011)

    crystal lover's avatar

    United States United States

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    Both my husband and sons remarked "what is that smell??" Told them it was Paris to which they added "could you take that off before we go out." Enough said. Thumbs down for sure.

    23 October, 2010

    teardrop's avatar

    England England

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    l got very little rose from this, just sweet, cloying parma violets all the way from beginning to end. l like parma violets, but l didn't enjoy smelling VERY strongly of them ALL DAY. l'll give it a neutral because the sillage is so powerful & it lasts & lasts, unusual on my skin. l just can't think of any occasion where l would want to wear this.

    13 September, 2010

    redrose's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Most certainly Paris has been reformulated. I suspected this, but couldn't find an old bottle to compare with the new. Then last night, sorting through my sweater drawer, I came across a bottle of the EdP I'd bought two years ago and used up - now just a few drops left, so I'd put it in with my clothes to scent them. Out of curiosity, I sprayed the remaining few drops of 2008 vintage Paris on my right arm, and spritzed my left arm with the 2010 version. What a difference! The original had volume, subtlety, presence and longevity. I could still smell it this morning before showering! But the new version had completely vanished. And it was a much thinner, slighter scent. A wraith of Paris, in fact! A number of the huge florals had been replaced by notes of tea, chamomile and some unidentifiable smells. What a pity. I shan't buy it again.
    Fortunately, I now have La Rose de Rosine, which I absolutely love, not least because it smells a lot like the original Paris! Wonderful!

    02 July, 2010

    msleslie's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    This is so pretty, and a classic. Sorry others are having a bad time with it, and that truly surprises me. It IS strong, but with the right, light touch it is a lovely, bright rose with violet.

    18 May, 2010

    NillaGoon's avatar

    United States United States

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    A toxic cloud of stench with curious nursery associations, like a spray can of poison intended for killing babies. First you will decide that you hate fragrance, then you will pray for your own death.

    03 February, 2010

    Tirreni's avatar

    Wales Wales

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    I bought this years ago in my late-teens as I've always loved nostalgic, heady perfumes and especially rose and violet so I thought this would be completely 'me'. How wrong I was! It's heady to the point of being overbearing just with one squirt, stays put all day (not good if you don't want it to!), smelt of old grannies and cheap talc, the rose accord didn't come through on me, just an overpoweringly-strong smell of violets. Not for me I'm afraid!

    27 September, 2009

    jazzmin's avatar

    United States United States

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    One of the few scents that stays on my skin and doesn't turn to sugar. Scent stays true all day. It's very strong and I must spray it on a tissue first, and then dab my skin with it. When I wear this, people stop me and ask what I'm wearing -- it smells so good.

    11th June, 2009

    Primrose's avatar

    United States United States

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    I love the floral scent and the roses, roses, roses! Very, very fresh. The EDT is light but has real lasting power almost like an EDP. It gets compliments from both men and women; I have never tried the EDP. Flowery but deeper and not too young girl-y--it's womanly. The unusual bottle is faceted and lovely, and the unusual pink/rose cap conttrasts with the stark black. I think I will keep returning to this again and again. I think of the intellectual writer George Sand (a woman), known for wearing her top hat, trousers and frock coat, but wearing a blood-red rose in her hair when she posed for Delacroix.

    29 May, 2009

    TigerLilly's avatar

    United States United States

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    Yes Goldaline, it has been reformlated and is not the girl it once was. You can still get this beautiful vintage powerhouse on ebay (black stripe on box rather then all pink box) which is how I got my wonderful true 80s classic. I love it!

    05 March, 2009

    Goldaline's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    I bought Paris EDT in 1983, the very week it was launched in Harrods in London. I took a chance because I couldn't really smell it as I had a streaming cold. As I'd loved Opium; Rive Gauche, and Yves, I thought the chances were I'd like Paris, too. And I did. I wore it constantly for 3 years. I particularly liked the rose/violet mix, which I found uplifiting. I got lots of compliments on the fragrance, (but I also knew a couple of people who hated it on me.)

    But has Paris been reformulated? Feeling nostalgic, I tried it again recently in a department store, and it smelt much sweeter than I remembered. It reminded me a little of Red Dior, which I can't stand. Or perhaps it's just my chemistry that's changed? It's a great fragrance, though, in a class of its own.

    28 January, 2009

    CsgKaren's avatar



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    I used to wear back in my misspent youth and loved it although, to be honest, back then the bigger and more flowery a scent the better as far as I was concerned. I still like it - on others - but despite getting a nostalgic kick when I smell it have learned since then that it really didn't suit me.

    25 January, 2009

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