Tag Archives: YSL Mon Paris

YSL Black Opium Floral Shock

floral shock

As you may know, I’m not really a fan of Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium.  I am a fan of Old Opium or OO as dear Lisa Jones calls it,  but sadly,  Black Opium was a turkey for me.

Ironically, I have in the past complemented two strangers on smelling fabulous, only to find out it was YSL Black Opium.  I guess, like stilettoes, it’s good on other people but not for me.

black opium

Recently I came across the latest Black Opium flanker,  Floral Shock. Anything with Shock in the title is always worth a punt and I tried two squirts on skin, one on sleeve and one on a blotter.  Reader, if I told you that the blotter is still going strong after a week, would you believe me? It is true. This stuff has nuclear longevity, which makes it a curse or a blessing depending on your preference.

Personally, I could define very few differences between Floral Shock and Black Opium.  The opening of Floral Shock is lighter than the opening of Black Opium and has more florals, as the name would suggest.  Both open with pear and vanilla and sweet syrupy fruit,  at least to my nose.  Both have strong coffee notes and thick vanilla.  In fact, the main difference between Black Opium and Black Opium Floral Shock is that the top notes of Floral Shock are slightly more floral.  The flowers do a little shimmy number, and then Floral Shock turns back into Black Opium again.

The Fragrance Shop UK
The Fragrance Shop UK

Apparently, Floral Shock has no patchouli in it, but I discerned plenty, or maybe I was getting confused because Black Opium has it and this is very similar.  What I know for sure is that if you already own a bottle of Black Opium then you probably don’t need this one too. There’s not much to play for.  In a fight it would be a draw.

This review  is, of course,  just my opinion and not gospel.  You may be one of the strangers I stopped and said “Sorry to bother you, but you smell amazing.  What is it please?” If you do wear this, you probably smell great, but trust me, on my skin this was red syrupy fruit, pears, coffee, vanilla and a little touch of migraine.

Fans of YSL Mon Paris and Dior Poison Girl may well enjoy this too.

Stockists: I found this in House of Fraser. You can also buy it from The Fragrance Shop UK among other places.

How About You?

Have you tried Black Opium or Black Opium Floral Shock? or are you a fan of the original? Or even the original original?  Do let me know.  I always love to hear from you.


YSL Mon Paris: It’s Not Mine After All

mon paris

I tried YSL Mon Paris in Boots today, and was eager to get my mitts on it, being a fan of the original iconic YSL Paris with its violets and roses. I was all hopeful and friendly towards the pretty bottle. I figured it must be covetable since it was chained to the perfume counter (like me).

But oh dear. It’s happened again. A flanker has been added on to a classic and come out smelling like a mass market overly sweet rent-a-scent. Harsh words? Maybe, but it’s not the first time this has happened. Fans of YSL Paris, that perennial Sophia Grojsman classic, may well be disappointed by Mon Paris. I certainly was. Do not buy blind.

YSL Mon Paris opens with pink flowers: sweet and sugary. You may find Note du Jour jasmine sambac in there, and some peony too. I usually like peony, but this is messy and overly sweet. Then comes lots of sticky fruit: strawberries, raspberries, pear. The basenotes are allegedly patchouli (two types if you please), ambroxan ( which is musk mallow- a plant based musk sub) and white musk. I would say the patchouli is faintly discernible, but crowded out by pink candy, rather than the mossy punch I’m looking for. (The blurb mentions a classic chypre base, but I don’t know where that went. It’s certainly not here)

This smells very much like Miss Dior ( the modern one, not the Originale) Dior Poison Girl and Black Opium without the coffee. It’s a sweet, candy floss, candy shop fruity floral that has little of any originality to offer. It’s as far from YSL Paris as can be.

Now I should add at this point that all my reviews are just my personal taste, nobody’s forcing me to buy it, and I guess they don’t make it like this unless they feel there’s a demand. There IS a demand, and they didn’t have the likes of me in mind, so I will go back to my quiet collection of retro mossy stuff and no more will be said on it.

Yves Saint Laurent will never lose my love and loyalty  because they made Paris, Rive Gauche, Y, Yvresse and Opium. But I’ll sit this one out, thanks.


YSL Mon Paris is widely available. Try Boots or Debenhams.