Paris is the cult perfume by Yves Saint Laurent, a French perfume brand, that appeared back in 1983, at a time when powerhouse perfumes like Yves Saint Laurent Opium, Dior Poison, and Lancome Tresor were at their peak. The whole decade was marked by exaggeration, both in clothes and hairstyles, as well as music, film. The meaning of existence was sought in the intensity and scope of life experiences, and the sentence “less is more” hasn’t yet seen the light of the day in the perfume world. Perfumes like Paris pushed the scales so hard in one direction that detox perfumes from the 90s like Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey and Calvin Klein One were needed as a natural extension of the perfume saga to set the equilibrium and restore balance to the olfactory universe.


The perfumer behind this perfume is the famous Sophia Grojsman, one of the most talented creators, whose dizzying rise in the perfume world began in the 1980s, and especially with the still popular Lancome Tresor. In addition, she designed many timeless perfume creations, of which Calyx, Yvresse, and Eternity are perhaps the most famous. Legend has it that as she stuttered at the Paris lab, changing her fragrant concoctions over and over, on one occasion, when she returned home, she noticed that an unknown lady was following her. She stopped to face the person behind her, and the shout that came from the opposite side was very surprising: Wait, I just want to ask you what perfume you are wearing. That is the time she realized she got it right…and Paris was born.

Paris has continued a rich tradition of perfumes called floral salicylates in the professional circles, to which Nina Ricci L’Air du Temps, Guy Laroche Fidji, and Cacharel Anais Anais belong. This group of perfumes has a distinctly floral character, based on salicylates combined with woody notes and musk. What distinguishes Paris from the other classics in this group is the use of the violet and rose mix as the dominant flower base in perfume structuring.

Two significant innovations that embellish Paris are the use of Iso e Super as the main woody note, which forms an accord with the complex of musk and methyl ionones. Most know Iso e Super as the main and only ingredient in Molecule 01 perfume, the one that has aphrodisiac properties. Despite the mega-popularity that Molecule 01 has experienced and the undoubted fascination by its scent, the ionons are, I would say, even more interesting aroma-chemicals that combine wonderful scents of fruit, powder, and wood, making them an ideal bridge between the middle and lower notes of perfume. Therefore, they are very often used in the production of many perfume masterpieces, as one of their main structural components.

The perfume composition of Paris is floral, but instead of just one or two flowers as it can be inferred from numerous descriptions or PR texts, it is more a bouquet of various flowers. It sometimes seems to be dominated by a thick, honey-like, almost liqueur rose, sometimes powdery mimosa. At the same time, we are overwhelmed by the dry, ashy, and mystical aroma of iris. The richness and exotic feel of the composition are underlined by the fragrant notes of red berries, which at the same time provide a sweet and a green tone to the perfume. Over the years, Paris has undergone a number of reformulations but still remains larger than life and dangerous to handle. If you apply it too much, you can expect people next to you to drop objects from their hands due to the shock caused by the scent. But if you know the right measure, you can rest assured that you will always smell flawlessly clean and romantic. When perfume makers didn’t know, let us remember: less is more, at least when it comes to Paris.

[Fragrance notes] top notes: bergamot, orange blossom, rose, mimosa, violet, hyacinth, geranium; middle notes: jasmine, iris root, ylang-ylang, lily of the valley, lily, aldehydes; base notes: sandalwood, amber, musk, oakmoss, cedar, ambergris.

[Fragrance group] floral.

The perfumer is Sophia Grojsman.