A while ago I was the lucky winner of "Perfumes, the A-Z guide" by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez in a draw on the lovely blog Feminine Things. "Perfumes", if you don't know of it, contain reviews of 1200 or so perfumes. The authors do not hold back on critisism, neither good nor bad, making it a very entertaining read.
There are several ways to read the book. The reviews I've found the most useful are the ones reviewing the classics. Even the saddest little perfume shop, among all the clelbrity scents and cheapo fruit blends there tend to be a few classics still hanging around. They might look sad and out dated but, when you think about it, the reason for them being there is that someone has dearly loved them, loved them so much they've gone back time and time again to buy them, in some cases during more that 50 years. And by reading "Perfumes" I've gained two pals to hold my hand and giving me a guided tour on what's so remarkable about those classics.
Or, trying to be a bit serious here, Opium starts out very two sided. There is strong, freshly cut up, wood and a creamy generic sun tan lotion. After half an hour these merge into a malange of vanillia, cinnamon, balsam resiny goodness. It's soft, smooth and well integrated. I kept thining of Opium as a Ormonde Jayne Tolu, but everything golden is replaces by a 70-ies hue of mahogany brown (if that makes any sense to anyone). Opium also turned out to have remarkable staying power, I sparyed it on at 10 a.m. and it was still strong 12 hour later.
What surprised me most about Opium is that I fell in love with it. I thought this would be a little experiment, aiding to my general perfumista knowledge but I found I seriously enjoyed wearing it. So much I'll be getting a full bottle somewhere in the near future.
Disclaimer: I don't own a sample of Opium. This blog post is based on my one time experience, spraying some of the reformulated 2003 version of Opium on, at a store counter.