Perfume Directory

Opium pour Homme (1995)
by Yves Saint Laurent


Opium pour Homme information

Year of Launch1995
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 781 votes)

People and companies

HouseYves Saint Laurent
PerfumerJacques Cavallier-Belletrud
PackagingPierre Dinand
Parent CompanyL'Oréal Group > YSL Beaute
Parent Company at launchElf Aquitaine > Sanofi Beauté

About Opium pour Homme

A very sweet oriental fragrance. Opium Homme is the male counterpart to the original Opium (Ladies).
The Opium fragrances were banned in some countries because of the name.

Opium pour Homme fragrance notes

Reviews of Opium pour Homme

A gorgeous black currant heavy fragrance. Has a lot of spices, and a barbershop feel. Pretty unique, and a bit dated, but a classic at this point. Very heavy men's fragrance, so be careful on the trigger. One of the last survivors of the old school YSL men's line up, I'd say to give this a try before it gets discontinued.
21st November, 2020
alexmate Show all reviews
United Kingdom
I really like this. Spicy oriental notes, really noticeable pepper. Letdown by poor longevity at least on my skin, I tried this years version and I'm pretty sure it was incredibly potent in the past, perhaps reformulation. Also overpriced for what it is.
08th June, 2020 (last edited: 22nd June, 2020)
Starts off vanilla sweet and spicy on top and with some powdery mature notes to round it out. Reminds me of a slightly less fresh and clean Old Spice body wash scent. The drydown is still sweet and you still get the powdery anise but some of the spice is gone. Feels smoother than the opening. Still mature but not as much as the opening. Starts to remind me of Lolita Lempicka au Masculine in the drydown.

Good projection and longevity. Lasts about 6-7 hours with just a few sprays.
10th August, 2019
Yves Saint Laurent has had a weird penchant for making men's iterations of their famous feminine perfumes of ages past for quite some time, and all that arguably started right here with Opium Pour Homme (1995). YSL at this time was still independent and contracted out to Sanolfi for their perfumes, after a disastrous experience developing, marketing, and releasing Jazz (1988) entirely on their own once they were freed from their contract with Charles of the Ritz, who had become so reliant on the YSL brand that they were practically owned by the house anyway. Sanolfi reached out to Firmenich, who employed the immense talents of Jacques Cavallier at the time, and did the composing of Opium Pour Homme. A full-tilt oriental like its older sister would have never flown in the 1990's, so Cavallier cleverly incorporated spiced elements into a fougère base, but kept the balance favorably towards the oriental side to maintain the theme. As a result, Opium Pour Homme feels like a slightly richer and more sensual take on the theme of Jazz Prestige (1993), itself somewhat of an expansion of the ideas present in YSL's own Jazz, with Opium Pour Homme feeling like the more complete fragrance of the two and a bridge of sorts between Jazz and Rive Gauche Pour Homme (2003) also composed by Cavallier.

The scent opens with sweet lavender and a star anise note which is particularly indicative of this bridge, moving through with a juicy blackcurrant and boozy note not present in the later Rive Gauche Pour Homme. Opium Pour Homme bears little resemblance to the original femme fatale outside it's use of patchouli and tolu balsam, but that's okay, because the smoother and slightly sweeter bourbon vanilla vibe this has was more in line with the soft-spoken discretion masculine semi-orientals from the decade favored, and I doubt Opium Pour Homme would have survived had it been a more-masculine take of an already notoriously sweaty perfume. The smooth galanga/Chinese ginger note heading into the heart is particularly inviting, especially when coupled with an early use of pink pepper. The spiced semi-oriental fougère base of oakmoss, tonka, the aforementioned vanilla, patchouli, and cedar are the final payoff of Opium Pour Homme, presenting a romantic, confident, and elegant glow for evening use. Jazz Prestige goes in a fruitier direction with additional apple and mandarin notes that didn't make it into Opium Pour Homme, while Rive Gauche Pour Homme went for a shaving cream vibe with a stronger fougère base with clove and additional spices. I wouldn't consider this stuff for wearing outside the romantic or formal setting because it's just too "come hither" with its combination of notes, but where you use it is up to you.

It's hard to believe that something like this was the main money maker over the fresher and more broad-appeal Live Jazz (1988), but Opium Pour Homme was successful enough to carry things along until Tom Ford took over operations in 1999 and tapped Cavallier again to make Rive Gauche Pour Homme, in addition to releasing two limited flankers of this in the 2000's. Performance-wise, the standard eau de toilette has rather mild "typical 90's" rounded sillage, with good all day close-to-skin longevity, while the limited and sadly discontinued eau de parfum variant offered a more-intense and pronounced presence that better competes with modern aromachemical sillage monsters. Opium Pour Homme undoubtedly inspired a good number of clones, from Fragonard's Siecle (1996), to Michael for Men by Michael Kors (2000) and Penhaligon's Endymion (2003), each which added something "extra" or tinkered with the formula just a bit to stand out. Opium Pour Homme was definitely better late than never, and worth trying for anyone who loves a good, sleek, rounded masculine perfume that simply reeks of class and allure. It gets pretty hard to find something this robust without paying an arm and a leg for a luxury house brand trying to repackage the same idea as something only the socioeconomic elite deserve, so cut the crap and put down that Parfums de Marly bottle so you can try this instead. Thank me later. Thumbs up!
28th May, 2019
A sublime smooth spicy perfume. One of the best a man can get (where have I heard that before?)
30th December, 2018
A nice pleasant fragrance. I don't think the name matches the juice. With a name like 'Opium' you would imagine a mysterious powerhouse but it's really quite tame. Very nice all the same if a bit underwhelming. Something about it reminds me of LIDG.
02nd June, 2018

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