When I first came across Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium five years ago, it was the hottest fragrance for gourmand lovers. From the “glam rock” vibes of the bottle design to the deep, sticky sweet notes of coffee, vanilla, and almond, this fragrance would stick in my mind for ages before I broke down and had to get my own bottle. It’s no wonder it has remained popular since its release.
Still just as alluring as it was then, it’s hard to justify pulling the purse strings with such a hefty price. They might not scream edgy glam from all angles, but these ten dupes will help you at least smell as mysteriously chic as the original.
What We Are Looking For in a YSL Black Opium Dupe
First premiered in 2014, YSL Black Opium was intended to bring out the edgier side of the YSL brand. With Edie Campbell as the face of the campaign, the fragrance immediately demanded the perfume world’s attention with its gourmand structured fragrance and mysterious meets glam bottle design.
An amber gourmand fragrance through and through, the fragrance opens with a splash of pear and pink pepper before immediately being taken over by a strong coffee note. As the fragrance begins to dry down, hints of almond and vanilla will mix with the coffee scent. Jasmine wafts delicately through the fragrance, giving the structure a floral complexity that pairs well with the otherwise sugary fragrance.
To reflect the need to be a bit edgier, the bottle design has a glam rock appeal with a sparkle gold base and light pink element. Unfortunately, edgy tastes can also be expensive, but I’ve searched and found ten dupes that can give you that rocker girl chic without spending your savings.
10 Dupes of YSL Black Opium
1. Dossier Ambery Vanilla
My personal favorite dupe brand for its pricing and ability to hold up to the original, Dossier’s Amber Vanilla brings some lighter tones to the YSL fragrance. Opening with a splash of mandarin and pear, the fragrance quickly dries down into jasmine, coffee, and vanilla.
If you want something slightly less gourmand and with a lighter touch, this dupe will be perfect for you. To my nose, Dossier allows the jasmine to settle a while before letting the drydown be taken over by the gourmand notes of coffee and vanilla. I do miss the almond that the YSL showcases, but overall, I think Dossier does an excellent job of giving a more floral-oriented option to the original scent.
2. Alexandria London Destination
If you wanted a more unisex quality to Black Opium, Alexandria’s London Destination might be the better pick for you. Softer in its sweetness than Black Opium, this fragrance mixes the coffee and vanilla with a hint of patchouli, making the dry down a bit more masculine. To my nose, there is a hint of licorice in the drydown as well, which further places this fragrance in less of a gourmand category.
Unfortunately, my nose doesn’t pick up any jasmine in this fragrance, which was a staple in Black Opium, but I think overall the departure from the original works with its unisex style.
3. Zara Gardenia
This popular fashion brand has won me over with its line of dupes. Their Gardenia fragrance continues their ability to make affordable fragrances while making fashion house-worthy scents. While some other fragrances on this list take Black Opium to a more androgynous route, Zara locks into the feminine sweetness with the usage of orange blossom. Keeping with the base of coffee and vanilla, this sweet but strong fragrance has a fantastic sillage for its price and will have a nice mixture of florals and gourmand notes.
4. ALT Fleur Noire
Vegan and cruelty-free, ALT Fleur Noir mixes the original sweetness of coffee and vanilla but adds a heavy hand of pink pepper and cedar. I like this fragrance because it feels like the sweetness is cut from the use of the pink pepper. To my nose, it’s like the sensation you would get by eating salted caramel; there’s a nice counterbalance to all the gourmand notes that make up the base.
The only drawback is that longevity leaves more to be desired, as the drydown makes this fragrance a bit more subtle than Black Opium. Still, at a fraction of the price of YSL, this is a bottle you can restock and reapply without feeling like you are losing your value.
5. Oil Perfumery Black Opium Nuit Blanche
I’m always surprised by Oil Perfumery because of their “on the go” approach to their brand, but somewhere down the line it has hit a vein with me, and I’ve fully embraced that this brand can create amazing fragrances with practical designs.
What I love about this dupe is its sillage and longevity. Despite its compact, rollerball application for daily reapplies, this fragrance could hold its own throughout the day. Opening with a bourbon pepper, this fragrance to my nose is sticky sweet. It then dries down into coffee, vanilla, and sandalwood which gives it just a touch of contrast to the otherwise gourmand-only structure.
What I love about Divain is that they can make outstanding dupes with very simple and clean packaging. Divain-167 hits all the structural elements of Black Opium, but gives it a little twist by making the vanilla the star of the show. Don’t worry, the coffee element will still be there, but this fragrance is definitely vanilla forward, with hints of jasmine and orange blossom mixed in.
7. Instyle Fragrances Inspired by YSL Black Opium
Instyle Fragrances makes a little bit of a departure on its signature notes, but the result to my nose is something comparable to Black Opium with a lighter twist. Focusing its main notes on the pear and orange blossom, Instyle dries down into a nice cozy vanilla and cedar.
While the coffee element in this fragrance is lacking, I do like the more fresh approach to Black Opium. It turns the Black Opium’s cold weather-driven structure and makes it a bit more accessible for a year-round signature fragrance. The longevity is lacking though, so thankfully this fragrance has a low price tag to give you peace of mind during those reapplys.
8. Bodycare Lovali Black Addiction
This fragrance caught steam as a discount brand in the UK, but don’t let the crazy low price tag fool you, this is a great inspired fragrance. Focusing on the amber qualities of the vanilla drydown, to my nose the main top notes in this fragrance are the pink pepper and pear.
A very feminine fragrance, I think the amber, spice qualities to this structure really add a hint of sensuality to the coziness of Black Opium. My only critique is that I wish the coffee and almond notes were more present. Still, if you weren’t a big fan of that total gourmand of Black Opium, this could be your new go-to.
9. PB Parfums Belcam Eau de Parfum
Ok, I know what you’re gonna say, but yes! Walmart made a good fragrance! This highly affordable and portable fragrance really does stand up to its YSL counterpart.
Opening with black pepper and pear, this fragrance quickly dries down into a bitter almond, coffee, and vanilla structure. I love this fragrance because there is an undercurrent of jasmine prevalent in the YSL version, so the complexity isn’t lost despite the affordability of the brand.
10. Aldi Lacura Dark Blossom
For a grocery store chain, Aldi outdid itself with its new Lacura dupe line; trying to bring both the bottle design and the fragrance inspiration to each scent.
Dark Blossom opens with a nice note of orange blossom and pepper and then slowly dries down into the cozy vanilla and coffee we know and love. There are also hints of jasmine and almond to my nose which lasts even after a couple of hours of wearing.
What I am especially wow-ed at is the design of the bottle, which is a strong geometric black bottle with a circular accent cap. While many dupe lines skimp on the bottle designs for more simple or practical styles, I love that this brand took it to the next level with both its design and its scent structure.
On a Final Note
There’s really nothing like the cozy, sultry feeling you get from smelling YSL Black Opium for the first time. It’s a perfect scent for a wintery or chilly autumn night, that gives you all the comforts of cuddling up with just a scent. Although the price tag might be a little high to cozy up to, there continues to be many dupes on the market that can give you that spiced sweet feel, without needing that brand name.