When YSL launched its Belle d'Opium perfume in New York last week, the party had a lot to live up to - namely the infamous party that was staged to launch the original Opium fragrance, which took place in 1977 and has been talked about ever since. Back in the decadent Seventies, YSL had Breakfast at Tiffany's author Truman Capote captain the 'Peking' - a giant tall ship, rented from a museum, draped with sumptuous gold, red and purple banners, and lifted into New York's East Harbour. The Oriental theme continued on board where NYC's most notorious party animals discoed into the night around a giant bronze statue of Buddha, decorated with white orchids.
Back to the present day, and before the after-party started, we were lead through different ‘experience’ rooms to discover the fragrance, first to re-familiarise us with the original Opium bottle and ad campaign images, then into a dream room where Belle D’Opium filled the air and transported us into a dream like state (this could have been the jetlag however!).
On a rotating seating area, we were mesmerised by giant screens showing the face of the fragrance, Melanie Thierry (France’s hottest new actress) dancing in the sensual new TV ad campaign. It was then into the decadence of the party itself where girl-of-the-moment Alexa Chung DJed, jugglers and Tarot Card readers entertained, and we mingled with likes of Whitney Port, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Ashley Olsen.
And the fragrance? Well although it shares Opium’s famous name, it’s not, like some might think, a lighter version of the iconic fragrance. Instead it’s a new, stand alone ‘luminous oriental’ scent which took four years to create and is a modern take on the addictive aroma that made Opium one of the best selling perfumes of all time.
The bad news is it’s not out until the end of September but the good news is, it’s worth the wait!