Twas the Night Before Christmas: YSL Black Opium Nuit Blanche review


     Still searching for the perfect holiday gift? Stumped for ideas? For Christmas 2016 you cannot go wrong with a bottle of Yves Saint Laurent’s Black Opium ($71.39*), a 2014 release from the L’Oreal labs that stunned everyone by skyrocketing to the top of the best-selling lists. Or, if you prefer, you can take it up a notch with the latest flanker from the franchise, called Nuit Blanche ($75.59*).

     Nuit Blanche builds on the same themes developed by its predecessor, like Divine Decadence from last week. Once more we see subtle, almost indistinguishable differences that take these perfumes from the realm of “good” to “great.” Announced as a rock and roll interpretation of the former, Nuit Blanche rides the coattails of the EDT launched just a year prior, and has already been followed by Black Opium Wild Edition (with Floral Shock set to follow in 2017). The flanker-cranking machine churns ever faster…

Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Nuit Blanche

© Gil Segev 2016

     When shoppers see the shape of the bottle, they are frequently reminded of the 2009 bottle of Opium by Fabien Baron and Stefano Pilati and become scared. Although the shape of the bottle remained, the color scheme is an indication that Black Opium, and indeed Nuit Blanche bear little resemblance to the 1977 favorite of grandmas everywhere. This line is youthful and fun, but carefully not fresh. It still carries a degree of elegance appropriate to the label. I fail to see how exactly the concept of rock and roll was incorporated into Nuit Blanche, seeing that it did not even attempt to capture the aromas commonly associated with the genre (rose in particular comes to mind). It is, however, a very successful grab at the 20-30 market who might have felt neglected by the brand after a series of lukewarm launches in the past decade.

     If you’re familiar with the coffee, vanilla and bubble gum cloud that is Black Opium, you should have a pretty good idea of what Nuit Blanche is like. Now, throw in the mixture a dash of orange blossom in the top notes, caramel in the heart and sandalwood in the base and you’re in business. The sweetness is less pronounced this time around, and it leans slightly towards the bitter side of decadence (think a dark roast with a cube of milk chocolate on the side instead of a Frappuccino). Because it is so rich it is ideal for wintertime, when cozy scents are en vogue. Do like Edie Campbell in the official ad and pair this perfume with a fitted black blazer and kohled eyes (may I recommend YSL Couture Cajal, $27.99*?).

     In conclusion, be it the sparkly black flacon with rose gold cap, the enchanting name or the sexy and unexpected fragrance, YSL’s Black Opium Nuit Blanche is truly the ideal holiday gift. Make sure to grab yours before supplies run out, and if you use the banner affiliate links you’ll also help support this site. Thank you to Cynira for organizing this review!

*Prices true at time of writing.

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10 responses to “Twas the Night Before Christmas: YSL Black Opium Nuit Blanche review

    • I adore Deep Euphoria! Such a special scent, the perfumers gave it a unique “wet” molecule that makes it smell unlike anything else on the market. You’ll love Black Opium! Have a great weekend, love.

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