Reviews of Cinéma by Yves Saint Laurent

    Find out more about Cinéma by Yves Saint Laurent in the Basenotes Fragrance Directory


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    Way Off Scenter's avatar

    United States United States

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    Genre: Fruity Floral

    Cinéma opens up with an irrepressibly perky accord of tart citrus, sweet fruit, and flowers that might have been the blueprint for today’s parade of trite, adolescent fruity florals. In fact as soon as I smelled it I was struck by the idea that the designers behind all of those twerpy pink-tinted bimbo juices sniffed Cinéma’s happy little amuse guele and mistook it for the entrée. More likely, they understood it’s appeal and then spent just enough on their concoctions to mimic it, without putting in any more funds (or thought) to extend it with anything substantial or intelligent.

    At any rate, I digress. Cinéma itself is a clever and sophisticated scent: a light green-fruity floral that keeps itself elegant and balanced by avoiding excessive sweetness. A naturalistic, dark, and moderately indolic jasmine lends Cinéma some depth and mystery beneath its bright, pretty surface. Sillage and projection are moderate, so while Cinéma is not weak, it’s not distracting either, and would make a perfectly nice everyday scent. The drydown sets in after about four hours, and consists mostly of very soft, creamy woods and vanillic notes. Is it groundbreaking? No. But in an age when scents of this type are almost invariably idiotic, Cinéma is refreshingly smart, and that has to count for something.

    11th June, 2014

    JackTwist's avatar

    United States United States

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    Why Turin describes this as "sweet mimosa" is a conundrum, since it contains no mimosa, nor does its chemical composition even hint at that scent. [If you want the perfect mimosa, try Caron's Farnesiana.]

    This is a decent powdery almond cookie-like scent - the musks, ambers and vanillas are dominant. The initial clementine is quickly gone. I don't get the middle floral notes at all.

    Nothing terribly original here, just very nice. More the effect of a powder after bathing than a perfume.

    12 February, 2014

    nanlovesperfume's avatar

    United States United States

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    This is a beautiful fragrance. It always makes me feel sexy. It's the right amount of floral, amber, vanilla, etc. Feminine and easy breezy to wear with a light hand, or more opulent, rich, and deep with a couple more sprays. Longevity and sillage are very nice. I just can't get enough of this. Oh, and I just have to mention that the bottle pictured is the pure parfum bottle, which looks different from the EDP/EDT bottle :)

    07 May, 2013

    muskymoi's avatar

    United States United States

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    I own nothing else like this. To me, it's a perfect combination of florals and musk/amber. It's subtle, elegant and a real catch for me. Sillage is ok and longevity doesn't seem to be a priority for this scent, but that just means that I get to keep it close to me for a few glorious hours.

    03 January, 2013

    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Cinema introduces that sort of common (fresh/warm) aldehydic/almondy/white powdery/musky oriental basic structure that is a cozy olfactory ambience for fresh fruity accents, sweet spices and some light/delicate floral patterns. I detect some pear, citrus (lemon-orange), a sort of heliotrope (but more likely benzoin)/jasmine/ylang-ylang/cinnamon chord and sweet/honeyed floral notes (yes, may be mimose among the others). Reminds me many perfumes around (combining inside some facets of those) from E.Coudray Ambre et Vanille to Burberry Brit Summer Edition for Women, passing through Organza, Teinte de Neige Villoresi, Phul-Nana Grossmith and Poeme. Pleasant, sophisticated but nothing new carring out.

    23 November, 2012

    Valkyriespacegirl's avatar

    United States United States

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    This is indeed a warm scent, and my favorite to wear in cooler months. My chemistry tends to swallow up perfumes and this one holds on with warm delicateness. It is a bit too strong to wear in hotter months though.

    21st November, 2012

    Kamenchi's avatar



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    Deliciously soft and warm. For me it's a MUCH better version of Armani code.

    04 November, 2012

    Wen's avatar



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    Oh I just LOVE this fragrance! It may sound weird but it reminds me of Schweppes! Really bubbly and sparkling and a bit mischievous. It's vanilla sprinkled with stars.

    02 August, 2012

    Janinae's avatar

    Czech Republic Czech Republic

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    Cinema is very near to the perfect perfume for me. I know... the warm apple crumble signature is there but that is not all. Not at all. No matter how descent it manages to shine through. I remember, before all the cinema multiplexes came into fashion, those small local cinemas, where films were often showed even if they were not just hot off the producers... The silver screens waiting for a movie to begin and again the same silver (actually golden) screen after the credits were over. Sometimes people used to stay till the credits were finished, pinned down by the atmosphere. This is Cinema EdP for me. You are pinned down. Not necessarily knowing why but the projection grasped you and the impression stays.

    13 May, 2012

    Red Theodora's avatar

    United States United States

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    I totally agree with Luca Turins' assessment of Cinema.
    It does smell just like a mixture of sweet mimosa and warm apple crumble.
    UM, UM good!

    13 March, 2012 (Last Edited: 15 March, 2012)

    magali's avatar

    Ireland Ireland

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    At first I completely ignored this perfume when I first tried it. I did not like the name (did not evoke anything to me). I thought the opening was too sharp. But later on I tried it again and now I can safely say it is one of my favourites. I usually like warm and bold scents and this one hits the olfactive spot. I would recommend it to anyone who likes Chamade or Shalimar. Not that it is the same but in my opinion it works in a similar way. At first you are taken aback and then it settles down and has a lovely vanilla finish, not at all synthetic. All in all, agood job well done!

    10th March, 2012

    Fleurine's avatar

    United States United States

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    I bought this on an impulse when I heard that it was being discontinued, and then of course, started to appreciate it. It's a wonderful yummy citrusy vanilla with a warm bourbon vanilla dry down. Wearable, and gourmandy without being too sweet. Perfumey enough to make you feel like a lady, but not so much that you feel like you are a lady from another generation.

    11th July, 2011

    angelofthenorth's avatar



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    Cinema begins like Hot Couture and Elle Intense, with strong and disturbing top notes of a graphite pencil shavings harshness. IMHO both of the others are better of their kind. After a while Cinema tails away into to a light sweet note. It's a disappointment if put in contention with original modern perfumes such as Womanity and Lolita Lempicka but maybe one for women who want a step up from bland fruity florals such as Dior Addict 2 and Miracle without getting into power statements. As a beginner I can only say sadly Cinema does nothing to attract me to the world of perfumes and to YSL as a brand.

    06 July, 2011

    blood-orange's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    While I agree that Cinema is a lovely, elegant and inoffensive scent, I have experienced what many other reviewers here have mentioned; it reminds me of something I've smelt before.

    I don't mean that in a bad way, and I certainly wouldn't be put off this fragrance because of it. After racking my brain for a few hours I haven't pin-pointed exactly what it smells like however I think it's a little similar to Organza by Givenchy, Poeme by Lancome and Donna Karan's Gold.

    In regards to the scent, I find it to be very classy and cosy. It has all the glitz-and-glamour to be worn to special occasions and the comforting vanilla in the drydown that makes for a wonderful casual, 'hanging around the house' type scent.

    Cinema fits the oriental category perfectly, with rich ambery and musky notes surrounded by sweet, honey-like florals and thick vanilla. The woman that wears this fragrance, in my mind, is mature and confident.

    It also has a soft, powdery-like quality which I really admire. Cinema certainly wasn't as strong as I expected it to be. For some strange reason I expected a loud and brash floral explosion.

    While the sillage is quite average, the lasting power is not. Cinema lasts considerably well, at least 9 hours so far. A somewhat creamy and rich oriental, that I do whole-heartedly recommend.

    26 June, 2011

    cocogirl's avatar

    United States United States

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    From the moment this touched my skin, it smelled exactly like an air freshener found in a rest area restroom. Not being sarcastic or snotty. That is what sprang immediately to mind and it did not fade. Sweet, fruity - not always a bad thing in my book. But this just did not work on me

    Eventually, with the dry down came a nice warm vanilla. However, I could still detect that floral scent that does not agree with me.

    Mercifully, it is short lived on my skin like many other fragrances. Whew. For a change, I am relieved.

    Totally eating my words - 12/1/12 - I re-tried a sample of Cinema. I don't know if there has been a change in my chemistry or my nose. However, after trying it a few more times from the sample, I have purchased a large bottle and am wearing it even as I type. Aldehydes and floral at the beginning with the underlying musk faintly evident. As it dries, I am getting floral and sweetness with a nice warm base. It has lasted throughout the work day and has become a warm skin scent by night. So, naturally reapplied before bed! The fact that it has lasted so long makes me believe my chemistry has done some small shift as it disappeared within 30 minutes last time. So, thumbs enthusiastically up!

    15 May, 2011 (Last Edited: 02 December, 2012)

    teardrop's avatar

    England England

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    After the aldehydic opening, this is a fresh, sweet & very pretty floral, with a lovely, honey-like note of almond blossom. As it dries down it becomes more powdery & ambery. The sillage is good & it lasts around 5-6 hours on me. l don't get the associations with the name; l think this is simply a classy yet youthful fragrance, perfect for Spring.

    13 February, 2011

    Weimar27's avatar

    United States United States

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    With one purchase of Y.S.L Cinema and in
    return takes you to a world of the highest
    Echelons of Glamour where Gods and Goddeses rule the silver screen irreproachable divas in exclusive suites
    made of finest marble & gold flowers of
    Calla white Pomeranians tip toe across
    the bed and servants wait on you hand
    and foot ala Sophia Loren or Cate Blanchet or male actors like Mastroianni
    or George Clooney driving Lamborghinis
    though Roman Plazzos or going to an exclusive and Elegant restaurants drinking Martini and wearing Armani or
    Dolce & Gabbana while the Paparazzi
    hounds waits outside.

    But what does this picture smells like?
    the top note starts very sweet with an
    sugar note then dries to an nutty note
    of almond blossom then the flowery hypnotic scent of peony in it's beauty,
    and an curious little flower Amaryllis an delicate floral makes it more feminine jasmine drifts quietly in the background and the ending performance
    dries exquisitely with warm amber
    musk with it animalistic undertones
    and the ending of the show is the powdery texture of Vanilla.

    12 February, 2011

    Shifty Bat's avatar

    United States United States

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    If you insist on buying another sweet-as-bubblegum modern feminine at least make sure she has some brains before you take her home! Cinema is like Burberry's Brit when she takes off the glasses and lets her hair down, opting out of the work-friendly clothes in favor of a more dance-friendly dress. Deep down she's always been the same girl but you wouldn't know from her carriage during office hours how cool and fun she really is. This is one of my very favorite offerings from YSL.

    02 February, 2011

    sighfoo's avatar

    United States United States

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    First impression of this scent - Thai restaurant. Like the lemongrass in tom yum soup. Dries down to a lemony vanilla. Still not sure if it's for me, but I love it.

    29 August, 2010

    Zosema's avatar



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    This is gorgeous, one of my favourite perfumes. I am often asked what I'm wearing when I have this on, mostly by other women rather than men. I think this is an exceptionally feminine fragrance and I can see it becoming a classic.

    23 April, 2010

    The_Entity's avatar



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    like most ysl scents, this is classy and elegant.

    you cant go wrong with this, inoffensive, suitable for most occasions

    27 March, 2010

    Sniffmonkey's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    For some reason the name and design of YSL Cinema gave me to expect a green/chypre scent with something of an edge. In fact this is a sweet, powder-puff of a scent - soft, almond-scented flowers on an amber base. It has a close-wearing warmth that always make me think of sun-kissed skin - and reminds me very much of Estee Lauder Private Collection Amber Ylang-Ylang, from its buttery floral heart to its play-doh base, although AYY is I think ever-so-slightly saltier in the drydown, and Cinema a little lighter/greener in the heart. Given that I already own Amber Ylang-Ylang, I don't need Cinema to whisk me away to a summer-holiday-in-my-head. Cinema is in the end a little too sweet for me, but it's nevertheless a very pleasant, easygoing scent, which could actually be very sexy on the right woman.

    26 March, 2010

    pinkfizzy's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    This is one of the few fruity florals I actually like. I mostly get notes of dried orange peel, mimosa, cyclamen/heliotrope, vanilla, and light amber and musk in the drydown. But then I'm not sure what almond blossom and amaryllis are like! Not much peony, which is a shame because I love peony and it's not a common note. I don't find Cinema particularly strong or long-lasting, but it might be a bit cloying on a very hot day.

    It has the same sort of "inedible vanilla" that I smell in Kenzo Amour, so people who like Amour might enjoy this.

    11th August, 2009

    AnnS's avatar

    United States United States

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    Cinema is a “happy” sunny vanilla floral powder. It is warm and very easy to wear. It’s a little bit sweet, but not cloying. The lasting power is pretty good and the sillage could be very strong if over applied. It makes me have the same luxuriously satisfied feeling I get if I have a wonderful, indulgent nap in sunlight or in a magnificent downy comforter. There is no getting around the fact that Cinema is really a sophisticated comfort scent. In case anyone is wondering….get Cinema rather than Estee Lauder Private Collection AmberYlang Ylang. Both are pretty, but I actually think Cinema is smoother and just better composed. Truly they almost smell the same. ELPCAYY does have a lovely opening, but once that passes, it seems a little bit clumsy in comparison to Cinema. ELPCAYY almost seemed to copy Cinema’s heart and base and add a dash of nice woods. Cinema is overall better and a better value.

    17 March, 2009

    hester's avatar

    South Africa South Africa

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    So is no-one else getting pure Charlie Sunshine (yellow packaging) from this? Perfectly pleasant, quite generic, a little fresh, quite happy and outgoing. Really not for mature, dress-up, complicated, earthy or dark days - wear this to the office when you just want to smell 'nice'. Not a big favourite here.

    13 January, 2009

    tale's avatar



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    Glamorous!
    It smells expensive and sophisticated, a little old fashioned but still modern and light mixed with lots of vanilla. To be honest if you do not love vanilla you are not going to like it.
    Be warned though it is very strong and dominant! I would only wear it for a night out... and preferably not in summer.

    07 January, 2009

    Madamemagenta's avatar

    United States United States

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    Sweet almond cookies. Oh, and some flowers and resins, too. Lasts, and gets more resiny with time. Not bad, but you may have more luck with Hypnotic Poison (both smell like Play-Dough on me).
    NOTE: I sampled the parfum.

    01st January, 2009

    Harmony's avatar

    Russian Federation Russian Federation

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    This is an attractive scent overall. To me it is too much of Bourbon Vanilla, and the fragrance is very powerful, so I would not recommend it for a business meeting. However, it could be useful for a night out; jasmine, peony, vanilla and musk could be considered sexy and complement a little black dress, helping you to be dressed up while dressed down. Cinema it is!

    07 December, 2008

    ubuandibeme's avatar

    United States United States

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    Such inconsistant comments here. Be forewarned, I'm going to add to the confusion.
    For me, the florals in Cinema are light and powdery, when combined with the predominant vanilla base, creates a fragrance almost identical to Kenzo Amour. "Almost", because Cinema is slightly sweeter. It is close wearing and comforting to my senses. If I didn't already own Kenzo Amour I'd purchase this in a heartbeat! Love the bottle too.

    13 October, 2008

    taliaseki's avatar

    Turkey Turkey

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    It is one of the fragrances my skin spoils. No almond blossoms, no sambac or lily nothing sparkling but a messy flower bouquet away from freshness, resembling to a bowl of fruit salad waiting in the lemon juice more than a day. Yes sour and messy... But not so bad that i have finished up a 30 ml bottle and had a few compliments about it. But i do not dream of using it again.

    29 July, 2008

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