Mainstream Monday: Sniffing a Popular Perfume
It feels so cliché to be another perfume blogger that complains about a flanker of a classic perfume that’s geared to young’uns, but I can’t help it. I went in with an open mind when I sampled Black Opium. I *knew* it wouldn’t resemble the original Opium in any shape way or form. I had a feeling it’d be another sweet fragrance with a patchouli base – the mainstream “noir” recipe. Keep in mind, I love Mugler Angel Muse and I’m probably the only perfume blogger that likes Chanel Coco Noir. But, when I sprayed Black Opium onto my skin, it was an instant regret. Now you get to decide if you want to continue reading my kvetching…
Black Opium opens with heady, indolic white florals and something that is reminiscent of burnt sugar or candy floss. It has a syrupy plum/grape jelly thing going on. It actually makes my stomach turn in the opening. It’s so sweet and syrupy. But, what gets me is that burnt, nutty cotton candy. This doesn’t play nicely with the syrupy florals (which are too much) and then the sharp, synthetic patchouli. I also pick up on French Burnt Peanuts/Boston Baked Beans (candies too sophisticated for my pleeb tastes). So, there’s like a candied peanut thing going on that really gets to me. The dry-down is a sweet vanilla marshmallow. I can tolerate the dry-down but it’s not like it’s something special. I can name at least 100 perfumes that dry down to vanilla sugar and marshmallows (and 99% of those don’t have an opening that makes me sick!)
I wanted to not be a cliché. I wanted to say that people were being too hard on this fragrance. They weren’t. They were being very kind. My stomach hasn’t felt so uneasy from perfume since I tried Betsey by Betsey Johnson many moons ago. These sort of super sweet/floral/nutty perfumes are my kryptonite. I have no idea as to why, but they are. I’m also still mad as hell about the lack of coffee in this. I mean, that’s the only reason I sprayed on so much to begin with! I feel like I can forgive the name and even the fragrance, but I can’t forgive that lack of coffee. I’m not a perfumer and I’m not classically trained, but there is something that feels very incomplete about this fragrance. It’s like all top and then falls flat. I feel like it’s about 50% finished. But, in all fairness, many designer perfumes are composed like this. They want to get us to fall in love with the top notes so we’ll buy a bottle when we’re randomly sprayed by a sales associate in Macy’s.
Anyway, I can keep going on, but you get the point. I don’t like it. Mileage will vary. You never know until you try it, right?
Notes listed include coffee, pink pepper, orange blossom, jasmine, vanilla, patchouli and cedar. Launched in 2014. PERFUMERS – Nathalie Lorson, Marie Salamagne, Olivier Cresp and Honorine Blanc.¹
Give Black Opium a try if you like really sweet perfumes or like florientals with a sack of sugar. Or perfumes like Dior Poison Girl, The Body Shop Black Musk, Diesel Loverdose or Betsey Johnson Betsey.
Projection and longevity are above average. But, that’s the case with every perfume that doesn’t sit well with you. This is one of the Cosmic Perfume Laws. ANY perfume that you want to scrub off immediately will last on your skin for 24 hours minimum. IT IS THE RULES.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – A syrupy sweet floriental with a sharp, burnt nuttiness. This one is a huge disappointment for me (on so many levels).²
¹There’s a superstition in Perfume World that the more perfumers are attributed to a fragrance, the more terrible it will be. We say, “Perfumers in threes, leave it be”.
²I don’t mean to offend if this is your signature. I’m merely one “EauPinion” and I trust that it smells good on you. Fragrances wear differently on different people, etc. It’s just that this one that I can’t wear. We all have that one (or many) that can work for others but will never work for us.
Want more reviews? Try…
The Candy Perfume Boy – Oh, spill the tea.