Still working up to my ultimate appreciation of Yves Saint Laurent’s Opium. I decided that since I wasn’t able to work myself up to Opium yet, I should start with Opium Light, as I call it. Otherwise known as the limited edition Summer Opium Flankers that feature Fleur Imperiale.
In Bottle: Definitely Opium based but the original fragrance has been reduced from its big flashy self to a lighter pleasant base for a layer of clean and sheer woods.
Applied: Neroli and Jasmine make a first impression as the Opium base matures and sticks around for the mid and dry down stages. Over Opium there is a nice, dusty sandalwood that covers the fragrance in a clean twang. The rest is handled by dry osmanthus and cleaned up myrrh. At its heart, this is a more flowery version of the original Opium. Carnation is used sparingly in this giving the fragrance a bit of floral spice. Not a lot though so if you were concerned about it, don’t be. Fleur Imperiale smells exotic. Like a nap under the shade of a tree in a desert palace. It helps that Fleur Imperiale is a dry, warm, clean scent as its approach on dry down is a parched but beautiful myrrh-backed, golden vanilla amber.
Extra: Great introductory fragrance to Opium, the classic. Even though this is a flanker one wouldn’t venture to purchase a flanker if they didn’t like original Opium. I urge you to try the summer limited editions, however. Particularly Fleur Imperiale and Shanghai. They are toned down and more sheer. Great for anyone hesitant and anyone who wants to come to understand and appreciate Opium for all its earthy, spicy goodness.
Design: I love the design on this bottle. It’s shaped like Opium with pretty red flowers on the glass. My major complaint, however, is the plastic sprayer and plastic cap. Okay, the plastic caps are common and I should stop raging about those now. I can dig that. But a plastic sprayer? Come on. Every time I go to spray this stuff, I’m worried the plastic sprayer is going to somehow break or worse yet, break off. The plastic sprayer just feels and looks cheap. I’d like a hardware upgrade (too late for that) but other than that, Opium Fleur Imperiale is a pleasant thing to behold.
Fragrance Family: Floral Oriental
Notes: Mandarin orange, neroli, bergamot, carnation, jasmine, apricot blossom, amber, patchouli, vanilla, osmanthus, woods, myrrh.
I was very impressed though a little disappointed by how similar Fleur Imperiale and Fleur de Shanghai are. There is a minor difference though as Imperiale is decidedly warmer and lacks the gentle sweetness.
Reviewed in This Post: Fleur Imperiale, 2006, Eau de Toilette.