Feb 27, 2022 | 7 min Read

9 Best Yves St. Laurent Perfumes and Colognes of all Time

 The name Yves Saint Laurent alone gives off an essence of luxury and class, and this world-famous perfume house has elegant fragrances to match. YSL perfume is consistently revered by perfume reviewers, and has 200+ popular scents to its name.

But which Yves St. Laurent perfumes are best? Follow along for a list of the best YSL fragrances for men and women. 

Top 9 Greatest YSL Perfumes 2022

1. Rive Gauche

Rive Gauche Perfume By Yves Saint Laurent

Rive Gauche, created for designer Yves Saint Laurent in 1970, is an elegant and classic aldehyde perfume that seems cool rather than warm. Silver rather than gold, crisp and clean rather than gauzy and effervescent. At its heart it slowly reveals a plush rose, and a shower of white flowers … gardenia, magnolia and honeysuckle that exude breathtaking French elegance. The effect of the aldehydes here are that they waft in the air and on the skin with a bit of sharpness and like the fragrance’s name, Rive Gauche (The Left Bank in Paris where the Louvre Museum is located) is a work of fragrance art. This gateway Aldehyde perfume is housed in an award-winning bottle designed by the great Pierre Dinard.

Recommended related fragrances. Black Opium, Paris, Paco Rabanne Calandre

2. Yves Saint Laurent Opium

Opium Perfume By Yves Saint Laurent

Yves, Saint Laurent was the first to grasp the narcotic thrall of fragrance, its ability to alter mood. In 1977, the year Opium was produced, it was shocking to suggest such a thing let alone market it. This vintage perfume smells thoroughly modern, composed by Jean Amic and Jean-Louis Sieuzac, it begins with one of the most exquisite openings in perfumery: the honeyed amber poised against the buoyant lightness of aldehydes that bubble up through a spill of plummy fruit, a tumble of cloves, cinnamon and coriander, narcotic jasmine and rose set against a tapestry of amber and resins.  Bianca Jagger, Studio 54 and Andy Warhol are all linked to Opium. Like a glittering golden disco ball, Opium sparkles and titillates long into the wee hours of the morning.

Recommended related fragrances: Black Opium, Paris, Cinnabar

3. Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium

Black Opium Perfume for Women by Yves Saint Laurent

There’s a good reason this is Yves Saint Laurent Perfumes bestselling fragrance. It’s sweet addiction…YSL Black Opium is a sumptuous scent without the heaviness of the original Opium. The sweetness of orange blossom, dark chocolate and jasmine blend with spices, and vanilla bean and patchouli cross into gourmand territory making it perfect for evening. Coffee notes create an energy few fragrances can match. 

Recommended related fragrances: L’instant Magic By GuerlainBlack Opium Shine On, Rive Gauche

4. Yves Saint Laurent Paris

Paris Perfume By Yves Saint Laurent

Paris is one of the most sumptuous rose-based perfumes ever created. Yves Saint Laurent’s vision was to pay a tribute to Paris and to its women whom he admired. He wanted the ultimate rose perfume. In his own words, the “old-fashioned, plump, slowly disappearing varieties, like in the exotic gardens of Marrakesh”. Famous perfumer Sophia Grojsman made his dream come true using the rose (May and Damask) as the effervescent star of a bouquet that includes violet, mimosa, ylang-ylang, geranium, iris and mayflower, all warmed by amber and musk. Just like Paris and the Parisiennes, the scent is at the same time modern and classic. It is the essence of joie de vivre in a bottle shaped like the Eiffel Tower and dedicated to women in full bloom. Best worn in the Spring or any time you long for a rendez vous in the City of Lights.

Recommended related fragrances: Euphoria By Calvin Klein Flowerbomb By Viktor & Rolf, Stella By Stella McCartney

5. Yves Saint Laurent Libre

Libre Perfume By Yves Saint Laurent

Don’t be afraid of your freedom is the tag line for Libre. In the ads, singer Dua Lipa, wears an elegant, low-cut, sexy black tuxedo evoking a sense of bold sensuality, with a nod to Yves Saint Laurent “Le Smoking” couture. The bright citrus opening is contrasted with aromatic lavender for a fresh, feminine effect.  The unexpected contrast comes here in the form of lavender, which brings a transparent, herbal facet accompanied by just a hint of toasted sugar, blending seamlessly with the sweet white petals of Libre’s floral heart. Underneath the fruit and flowers is a warm, glowing base of vanilla and cedarwood. The “must have” bottle is modern and sleek and as structured as a well sewn suit. 

Recommended related fragrances: Yves Saint Laurent Paris, Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche  Dior Joy Intense

6. Yves Saint Laurent Cinema

Cinema Perfume By Yves Saint Laurent

A beautiful and bright perfume to help make any woman feel like a Hollywood star. Vanilla is the main character, slightly powdery, as if the screen star is touched up before the camera rolls. Entering into the plot are juicy clementine, jasmine and almond blossom. Lovely, classy, and memorable you will stand out in this compliment getting perfume. 

Recommended related fragrances: CREED Sublime Vanille, Versace Vanitas, Lolita Lempicka

7. Yves Saint Laurent Kouros

Kouros Cologne By Yves Saint Laurent

Kouros was modeled after classic Greek statues and represented to Yves Saint Laurent the portrayal of super masculinity. Daring, bold and unlike any other cologne, it is musky, woody and represents strength and confidence.
The aromatic and spicy notes of clary sage, artemisia, bergamot, coriander convey vitality and good health. Like a great work of art, Kouros is one of few men’s fragrances, created in the 1980s, which has stood the test of time. Exceptional longevity and best worn for evening.

Recommended related fragrances:Kouros Body, Versace l’Homme, Le Nuit de L’ homme

8. Y by Yves Saint Laurent 

Y Cologne By Yves Saint Laurent

Singer, performer Lenny Kravitz loved Yves St. Laurent clothing so much that he went on to become the global ambassador fragrance in 2020. Why? Because just like Y, which debuted in 2018, he’s modern with an edge. Inspired by two sides of a millennial man- wearing his white t-shirt and in his black jacket, Y is a 21st century.  Opening with blend of: bergamot, apple, and ginger it is freshened by juniper then dries down into a smoky incense that rests atop deep woods and skin musk at the base. Exceptional longevity, and as easy to wear as your favorite blue jeans, but as bold and classic as your tuxedo. Y is great on every man, every season and everywhere.

Recommended related fragrances: Y Live Intense, L’Homme Cologne Bleue, Christian Dior Sauvage

9. Yves Saint Laurent Manifesto

Manifesto Perfume By Yves Saint Laurent

 Manifesto is soft, subtle and perfect for young women who are new to the brand. It is sweetly floral featuring notes of lily of the valley, tart black currant, bergamot and vanilla with a fresh green leaf like thread weaving throughout.  Soft musk clings to the skin very lightly in a captivating clean wood finish as puffs of vanilla floats like clouds above the composition. A whisper rather than a shout, it is a great fragrance for daily wear and when you just want to smell wonderful.

Recommended related fragrances: Elle, Daisy By Marc Jacobs, Parisienne

What is YSL Perfume?

Yves Saint Laurent is one of the world’s most recognized fashion designers and fragrance houses which has stood the test of time.  He famously said “Finding your own style is not easy, but once found it brings complete happiness. It gives you self-confidence, always.” – Yves Saint Laurent

There is a long history behind YSL creating some of the most popular unisex fragrances for men and women. It all began with Yves Saint Laurent who was one of the most influential and controversial fashion designers of the 20th century. His couture signatures from Le Smoking (women’s tuxedos) and the Safari suits are still widely copied. They also informed his perfumes. He was the first designer to feature multi-cultural models in the 1960s. He loved celebrity, form and fashion and that still is true of the brand today, with a catalog of 237 fragrances, his earliest in 1970 with Rive Gauche.

Best Perfumes by YSL – In Conclusion 

Yves Saint Laurent Perfumes and Colognes have status and elegance.  They are the ultimate statement of fashion and luxury, no matter your age or lifestyle.

FragranceX carries a great range of authentic Yves Saint Laurent Perfumes for women and colognes for men at less than department store prices. Shop discounted designer fragrances now!

Interested in learning about other top perfume brands? Check out the other FragranceX perfume guides:

image of Leanna Serras
Leanna Serras

Leanna Serras is a well-versed fragrance writer with a passion for perfume. She has loved trying new perfumes since she was a child, and has tried everything from fruity to woodsy fragrances in her time cherishing scents. Outside of her love for writing and collecting perfume, Leanna enjoys fashion, skincare, “the Bachelorette,” and kicking back on the beach.

More Articles from this Author
image of Leanna Serras
Leanna Serras

Leanna Serras is a well-versed fragrance writer with a passion for perfume. She has loved trying new perfumes since she was a child, and has tried everything from fruity to woodsy fragrances in her time cherishing scents. Outside of her love for writing and collecting perfume, Leanna enjoys fashion, skincare, “the Bachelorette,” and kicking back on the beach.

More Articles from this Author

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