Exclusive: an interview with the perfumers behind YSL BLACK OPIUM

We’re excited to share some behind the scenes footage with you of what is set to be one of autumn/winter 2014’s most talked about launches, unveiled exclusively in Selfridges today.

YSL BLACK OPIUM is a new generation ‘gourmand floral’. Its inspiration? The contrast between light and shade (in art, it’s called chiaroscuro). It’s a step away from classic perfumery, playing on that powerful contrast via the bitterness of black coffee alongside radiant white flowers..

Four stars of the fragrance world each bring their different strengths to BLACK OPIUM, creating an original, enticing and multi-faceted new scent. Nathalie Lorson composed the black and intense coffee accord. Marie Salamagne’s idea of ‘rock’ revolves around the crisp notes of pear and pink pepper; Olivier Cresp’s vision focuses on the addictive nature of fragrance, while Honorine Blanc looks for light in everything – working in this instance with feminine white flowers.

First there is the wake-up call. The coffee note hits you, jolting the senses – this is the first time coffee has been used in such high doses in a feminine fragrance. Next, it becomes softer with the white flower accords of jasmine sambac and orange blossom absolute, and the finish is incredibly addictive and emboldened by the ambrosial appeal of vanilla and the woody notes of cedar and patchouli, giving a roundness, depth, and mysterious elegance.

The decidedly rock ‘n’ roll ad is fronted by British model Edie Campbell,  who was embraced back in May as YSL designer Hedi Slimane’s latest muse.

‘For me, the BLACK OPIUM woman is urban, glam-rock, and feels good about herself,’ explains perfumer Marie Salamagne. Hear what she – and the other noses – have to say, in the exclusive interview below.

We’re delighted, too, to invite our VIP Subscribers to a special evening event at Selfridges on 16th September to discover the fragrance in person. You’ll experience the scent in a completely innovative way, go home with a sample to try on your own skin and can even enjoy a makeover, if you wish. Click here to reserve your tickets…

Written by Alice Jones

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