Y Le Parfum Yves Saint Laurent is a perfume for men, but I will get it for myself and wear it with great pleasure.
I\’ve always thought it doesn\’t make sense to divide perfumes by gender because it is totally acceptable for a lady to wear a scent of smoke and leather and for men to radiate a delicate fragrance of roses and chocolate. What\’s important is what the wearer enjoys. However, there are scents that you unwittingly characterize as absolutely masculine or absolutely feminine.
Y Le Parfum is a masculine scent. Not unisex. Truly masculine. Nevertheless, ladies should definitely check it out.
Y Le Parfum is built of contrasts, but these contrasts are logical and consistent. It opens with a sharp, fresh, and boring scent of lemon eau de cologne, but just wait – it will turn fascinating later.
Aldehydes were the first thing that instantly engaged me in Y Le Parfum. They smell so spring-like; their cool sweetness reminds me of the fresh March air, still chilly yet already softened by the sun against the cold February wind that smells like melting snow. If you need an analogy in perfumes, they are very much like the frosty aldehydes in Infini Caron, maybe a bit warmer. If you don\’t like aldehydes, you probably won\’t like Y Le Parfum.
The breath of aldehydes picks up the scent of apple, green and sour, crunchy and juicy, unripe, but already fragrant, with a metallic note of a blade cutting the flesh. Sedge, sage, and lavender sprout from the astringent juice. They are slightly sweeter than usual in perfumery and lack soapiness. Sage, which turned out to be very natural, dominates among the herbs.
If the fragrance development had stopped here and conventionally gone into a woody-sweet patchouli base, it would have been boring, and even the beautiful aldehydes would not have saved Y Le Parfum. However, the darkness that starts thickening around the apples and herbs, lavender and sage, smells as tasty as only fine tonka beans could. Their velvety gourmand fragrance slowly blends and finally transforms into hot chocolate, not with sugar, but vanilla. And then it turns into the bitter caramel scent of coffee beer from the restaurant Pivovarsky dum in Prague. Truth be told, it was a long time ago that I last visited there, and I do not know if they still serve coffee beer or if the quality is the same as then. I remember it to be absolutely delightful.
This very stage of the development, when the springtime aldehydes levitate like a cool cloud above the warm gourmand base, is my favorite. It lasts long, and it is worth the wait. In fact, I like all the stages of Y Le Parfum, except for the first blast of the regular lemon eau de cologne.
In my opinion, Y Le Parfum is better than all its predecessors, although all of them are well-composed and nice.
From the first perfume Y for Men (2017), I expected something similar to the delightful Y for women, created in 1962: it was bitter galbanum green, with penetrating notes of hyacinth, the moist delicate iris, shy whispers of young roses, and a warm breeze from the south. It carried sweet scents of flowers that have already blossomed, fruits that are ripe and ready to seduce but are too far away; they tease but can\’t speed up the slow triumph of the Northern spring. I love the vintage Y.
Unfortunately, instead, the Y for Men line is much closer to the Sauvage Collection Christian Dior and the line Bleu de Chanel.
Yves Saint Laurent Y (2017) is a dry, detached fougere, with emphasized fruity notes: sour-sweet apple, sweet-sour pineapple, lemon, and lime laid out on crumpled grass and fragrant spruce branches, i.e., on a sweet woody base.
Y Eau de Parfum (2018) smells like fresh tart fruits, lemon, and apple, that gradually transition into the scent of green vetiver with sage, and then into a dark fragrance of wild forest where plants have never seen the sun and, thus, smell damp and poignant. The wild forest image intensifies with the fresh smell of juniper, the spicy bitterness of juniper berries, the green fragrance of pine needles and pine resin. And then, the fragrance shifts to the sweet side. Again, I smell apples, but this time they are caramelized, with a hint of candied ginger. I smell geranium, frozen in the middle of its transition into a rose. This sweetness can be annoying for some, but I like the contrast of the moist, bitter smell of the forest and the fruity-gourmand base.
Among the previous releases, I like Y Live (2019) the most. On my skin, it opens with refreshing and sweet fruity notes, which are less defined compared to the first Yves Saint Laurent Y. To my slight disappointment, these notes are powdered with laundry detergent. Before you take proper notice of the fruits, they turn into flowers, a rather sweet version of orange blossom floating in a cup of hot chocolate with a juniper branch sunk in it for additional taste, or maybe a few pine needles.
The composition of Y Live reaches its triumphant culmination when a sweet mandarin juice is poured into that sweet aromatic drink. The fruits in the top were not mandarins to my best knowledge, but when mandarin finally comes to the spotlight, suddenly and unannounced, there are no other fruits in the fragrance except mandarin. The fragrance then instantly smells like Christmas.
I think Y Live would smell so cozy, merry, ideal for winter if they would remove the undefined, sweet fruits and especially the detergent from its set up.
Y Eau Fraiche (2020) reminds me of old classic fougeres, although it\’s sharper, with some ice, which perfumers didn\’t know how to make before. The ice is sprinkled with pepper. There is also a slice of lemon, some sweetish ginger, a sheaf of spicy herbs, and a lot of lavender against the dark green background.
In the new Y Le Parfum, they didn\’t exactly consider the shortcomings of the previous editions but simply made it entirely different. Spring aldehydes, hot chocolate, coffee beer, and unsweetened vanilla in the last hours.
Y Le Parfum is extremely long-lasting and has an enormous sillage, so when buying it, know that your bottle will last a long time. Especially if you wear it to the office. Y Le Parfum is not one of those fragrances that can cover and smother everyone around, and yet be careful applying it. The amount can spoil the pleasure.
I don\’t want to end my review of the fragrance I really like with a warning; therefore, I once again remind you, and myself, about its dark, beautiful heart of coffee and chocolate and the cloud of aldehydes that I wear with so much pleasure.
There are days when you really need such a scent: cold outside, but warm inside.