Artist and gilder Manuela Paul-Cavallier was called upon by Maison Yves Saint Laurent to transform its iconic bottle of the Opium fragrance into one that speaks of contemporary expression to mark the brand’s 40 years of success and audacity.
Charismatic and passionate well-known figures including Jerry Hall, Linda Evangelista, Kate Moss and, more recently, Emily Blunt, have all fronted this very unique perfume.
Leveraging on her know-how as a gilt restorer, Paul-Cavallier, who was trained in Italy, reworked on the bottle using pointed brushes and applied various meticulous and highly skilled techniques, and completed the craft with touches of striking gold as a symbol of a metal object that was very dear to Yves Saint Laurent at that time.
The scent’s bold bottle also stands out, finished since 1977 in an opaque red lacquer with a glass window offering a glimpse of the fragrance within. The bottle, which is inspired by small Japanese lacquered cases called inrÅ, is accompanied by a black silk tassel with a bead, bringing a couture touch to the design.
The new scent from the anniversary edition evokes memories from the story, based on the legendary Opium fragrance which began in 1977, has a symbolic meaning to the addiction of life and love, described literary as ‘translating the passion that can unite two people right from their first spellbinding look’. The new Opium artisanal fragrance bottle has a bordeaux silk tassel with a bead added to bring a couture touch to the design. The emblematic tassel is hand-made by a Moroccan female cooperative.
Uncap the bottle and the top notes linger of mandarin, combined with middle floral notes of jasmine and miniature carnation, and a base comprising amber and patchouli, created to shake up the codes of ready-to-wear and couture. The scent’s bottle is made to look bold and outstanding in association with the various faces of the Opium women who were feisty and audacious with an attitude.
Just 20 hand-numbered bottles of the 40th-anniversary edition Opium Extrait de Parfum will be available. They go on sale from early November, priced €2,000 for 15ml.